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Disability Access Symbols

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Access to Low Vision

Stick figure of person with outstretched cane.

This symbol may be used to indicate access for people who are blind or have low vision, including: a guided tour, a path to a nature trail or a scent garden in a park; and a tactile tour or a museum exhibition that may be touched.

The Symbol of Accessibility

Stick figure person sitting in a wheelchair.

The wheelchair symbol should only be used to indicate access for individuals with limited mobility, including wheelchair users. For example, the symbol is used to indicate an accessible entrance, bathroom or that a phone is lowered for wheelchair users. Remember that a ramped entrance is not completely accessible if there are no curb cuts, and an elevator is not accessible if it can only be reached via steps.

Audio Description for TV, Video and Film

The letters AD in white on a black background.

This service makes television, video, and film more accessible for persons who are blind or have low vision. Description of visual elements is provided by a trained Audio Describer through the Secondary Audio Program (SAP) of televisions and monitors equipped with stereo sound. An adapter for non-stereo TVs is available through the American Foundation for the Blind, (800) 829-0500.

Telephone Typewriter (TTY)

Symbol of phone handset over keyboard.

Also known as text telephone (TT), or telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), TTY indicates a telephone device used with the telephone (and the phone number) for communication between deaf, hard of hearing, speech-impaired and/or hearing persons.

Volume Control Telephone

Phone handset with volume symbol coming from earpiece.

This symbol indicates the location of telephones that have handsets with amplified sound and/or adjustable volume controls.

Sign Language Interpretation

Two hands demonstrating sign-language.

The symbol indicates that Sign Language Interpretation is provided for a lecture, tour, performance, conference or other program.

Live Audio Description

The letter A superimposed on a vertical hashed background.

A service for people who are blind or have low vision that makes the performing and visual arts more accessible. A trained Audio Describer offers live commentary or narration (via headphones and a small transmitter) consisting of concise, objective descriptions of visual elements: for example, a theater performance or a visual arts exhibition at a museum.

Access for Hearing Loss

International symbol of access for hearing loss: an ear with a diagonal line through it.

This is the International Symbol of Access for Hearing Loss. Such systems typically transmit sound via hearing aids or head sets. They include infrared, loop and FM systems. Portable devices may be available from the same audiovisual equipment suppliers that service conferences and meetings.

Accessible Print

The words Large Print in black on a white background.

The symbol for large print is 'Large Print' printed in 18 Point or larger text. In addition to indicating that large print versions of books, pamphlets, museum guides and theater programs are available, you may use the symbol on conference or membership forms to indicate that print materials may be provided in large print. Sans serif or modified serif print with good contrast is highly recommended, and special attention should be paid to letter and word spacing.

The Information Symbol

Question mark within a circle.

The most valuable commodity of today's society is information; to a person with a disability it is essential. For example, the symbol may be used on signage or on a floor plan to indicate the location of the information or security desk, where there is more specific information or materials concerning access accommodations and services such as "LARGE PRINT" materials, audio cassette recordings of materials, or sign interpreted tours.

Closed Captioning (CC)

The letters C C in black on a white background.

This symbol indicates that a television program or videotape is closed captioned for deaf or hard of hearing persons (and others). TV sets that have a built-in or a separate decoder are equipped to display dialogue for programs that are captioned. The Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 requires new TV sets (with screens 13" or larger) to have built-in decoders as of July, 1993. Also, videos that are part of exhibitions may be closed captioned using the symbol with instructions to press a button for captioning. The alternative would be open captioning, which translates dialogue and other sounds in print.

Braille Symbol

Two columns of three dots representing braille.

This symbol indicates that printed matter is available in Braille, including exhibition labeling, publications and signage.