Skip to main content Skip to Table of Contents
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


The Public Right-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) rulemaking has concluded. The PROWAG final rule has been published in the Federal Register. Please visit the Access Board’s PROWAG page for the guidelines.

Synthesis on the Legibility of Variable Message Signing (VMS) for Readers with Vision Loss

AmericansWith Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles Part 1192 “Destination and route signs.” (1991).

ADA Standards for Accessible Design.(1994). Nondiscrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations and in commercial facilities. Pt. 36.

Bendekovics, G. and Zelisko, J. (1996).Plastic fiber optics for VMS. Traffic Technology International ‘96.Annual Review Issue, p.219-223.

Bentzen, B.L. (In Progress).Accessible pedestrian signals. Draft Report to U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board under Contract No.PD-97-0772.

Bentzen, B.L., Crandall, W.F., and Myers, L. (1999). Wayfinding system for transportation services: Remote infrared audible signage for transit stations, surface transit, and intersections.Transportation Research Record.No. 1671, p19-26. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Bentzen, B.L., and Easton, R.D. (1996). Specifications for transit vehicle next stop messages. Final Report to Sunrise Systems, Inc.,Pembroke, MA.

Bentzen, B.L., Easton, R.D., Nolin, T.L., and Mitchell,P.A. (1994).Signage specification for transit vehicles: Human factors research.Prepared for the American Foundation for the Blind. New York, New York.

Bowers, A.R. and Reid, V.M. (1997). Eye movement and reading with simulated visual impairment. Ophthalmology and Physiological Optics, 17(5), p492-402.

Colomb, M. and Hubert, R. (1991).Legibility and contrast requirements of variable-message signs.Transportation Research Record.No. 1318, p137-141. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Colomb, M., Hubert, R., Carta, M., and Dore-Picard. (1991). Variable-message signs: Legibility and recognition of symbols.Proceedings of the Conference Strategic Highway Research Program and Traffic Safety on Two Continents, in Gothenburg, Sweden.p45-62.

Community Services for the Blind and Partially Sighted (2002) Vision loss: Definitions. 9709 Third Ave. NE, #100, Seattle, WA 98115-2027.

Concise Medical Dictionary.(1998). Oxford University Press, Market House Books Limited.

Dobies, J.J. (1996). Customer information at bus stops.Synthesis of Transit Practice 17.Transit Cooperative Research Program, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Dudek, C.L. (1991).Guidelines on the use of changeable message signs.Final Report - DTFH61-89-R-00053.269p. U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C.

Dudek, C.L. (1997).Changeable message signs.NCHRP Synthesis of Highway Practice 237.National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Earnhart, G.A. (1996).Guidelines for transit facility signing and graphics.Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 12. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, National Academy Press. Washington, D.C.

ECMT European Conference of Ministers of Transport. (1999).Improving transport for people with mobility handicaps: A guide to good practice.OECD Publications Service, Paris, France.

Fine, E.M., Peli, E., and Reeves, A. (1995). Simulated cataract does not reduce the benefit of RSVP. Vision Research, 37(18), p2639-2647.

Fine, E.M. and Peli, E. (1996). Visually impaired observers require a larger window than normally sighted observers to read from a scroll display.Journal of the American Optometric Association, 67(7), p390-396.

Garvey, P.M., Zineddin, A.Z., and Pietrucha, M.T. (2001) Letter legibility for signs and other large format applications. ProceedingsOf The Human Factors And Ergonomics Society 45th Annual Meeting. Pp. 1443-1447.

Garvey, P.M. and Mace, D.M. (1996).Changeable message sign visibility.Publication No.FHWA-RD-94-077. Federal Highway Administration, Federal Department of Transportation Washington, D.C.

Garvey, P.M., Pietrucha, M.T., & Meeker, D. (1997).Effects of font and capitalization on legibility of guide signs. Transportation Research Record, No. 1605, 73-79. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Garvey, P.M., Pietrucha, M.T., & Meeker, D. (1998).Development of a new guide sign alphabet.Ergonomics in Design. Vol 6 (3), 7-11.

Garvey, P.M., Thompson-Kuhn, B. & Pietrucha, M.T. (1995). Sign visibility literature review. United States Sign Council (USSC) Research Project, Final Report.

Howett G.L. (1983). Size of letters required for visibility as a function of viewing distance and observer visual acuity.National Bureau of Standards. Report No.HS-037 967; NBS TN 1180 Final Report. 72p.

Hunter-Zaworski, K. (1994).Accessing public transportation: New Technologies Aid persons with sensory or cognitive disabilities.TR News, 175, p24-29.

Iannuzziello, A.S. (2001) Communicating with persons with disabilities in a multimodal transit environment: A synthesis of transit practice. Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 37. Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, National Academy Press. Washington, D.C.

Jenkins, S.E. 1991. Optical & Photometric Standards for Variable Message Signs. Australian Road Research Board, Report Summary, No. ARR-216.

Joffee, E. (1995).Transit vehicle signage for persons who are blind or visually impaired.Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 89(5), Research Notes, p461-469.

Kang, T.J. and Muter, P. (1989). Reading dynamically displayed text. Behaviour and Information Technology 8(1), p33-42.

Klein, R. (1991). Age-related eye disease, visual impairment, and driving in the elderly.Human Factors, 33(5), p521-525.

Krischer, C.C. and Meisser, R. (1983). Reading speed under real and simulated visual impairment.Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness 77(8), p386-388.

Kuhn, B.T., Garvey, P.M., and Pietrucha, M.T. (April 1998). The Impact of Color on Typical On-premise Sign Font Visibility.Presented at TRB’s 14th Biennial Symposium on Visibility, Washington, D.C.

Legge, G.E., Ahn, S.J., Klitz, T.S., and Luebker, A. (1997).Psychophysics in reading - XVI. The visual span in normal and low vision.Vision Research, 37, p1999-2010.

Legge, G.E. and Rubin, G.S. (1986).Psychophysics of reading. IV. Wavelength effects in normal and low vision. Journal of the Optical Society of AmericaA 3(1), p40-51.

Lewis, D.J. (2000).Photometric requirements for arrow panels and portable changeable message signs. Proceedings of the Ninth Maintenance Management Conference, Juneau, Alaska, July 16-20. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

Lovie-Kitchin, J.E., bowers, A.R., and Woods, R.L. (2000).Oral and silent reading performance with macular degeneration.Ophthalmology and Physiological Optics, 20(5), p360-370.

Marston, P.P. (1993). Changeable message signs: avoiding design and procurement pitfalls. Public Roads,Autumn, p27-34.

MUTCD 2000: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Millennium Edition.(2000). U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration.

Proffitt, D.R., Wade, M.M., and Lynn, C. (1998).Creating effective variable message signs: Human factors issues. Final Contract Report, Proj No. 9816-040-940 ,VTRC 98-CR31. 25p. Virginia Department of Transportation, Richmond, VA.

Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee. (2001). Final Report: Building a true community. U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. Washington, D.C.

Raasch,T.W. and Rubin, G.S. (1993).Reading with low vision. Journal of the American Optometric Association, 64(1), p15-18.

Sivak, M., and Olson, P.L. (1985).Optimal and minimal luminance characteristics for retroreflective highway signs. Transportation Research Record, 1027, 53-56.

Stainforth, R.W. and Kniveton, P.E. (1996). Display technologies for VMS.Traffic Technology International ‘96.Annual Review Issue, p.208-13.

Staplin, L., Gish, K.W., Decina, L.E., Lococo, K.H., Harkey, D.L., Tarawneh, M.S., Lyles, R., Mace, D., & Garvey, P. (1997).Synthesis of human factors research on older drivers and highway safety, Vol. II.Publication No. FHWA-RD-97-095

Swinea, J.D. (1999). Scroll with it.Traffic Technology International ‘99, Annual Review, p123-124.

Thomas, U. (1996). High efficiency LED technologies in VMS displays.Traffic Technology International ‘96.Annual Review Issue, p.214-218.

Upchurch, J. Armstrong, J.D., Baaj, M.H., and Thomas, G.B. (1992). Evaluation of variable message signs: Target value, legibility, and viewing comfort.Transportation Research Record. No. 1376, p. 35-44. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Census Bureau.(2001). Current population reports; Americans with disabilities household economic studies.U.S. Department of Commerce.

Willis, P. (1995). Electronic on-vehicle passenger information displays (visual and audible).TCRP Research Results Digest, No. 5.

Wourms, D.F., Cunningham, P.H., Self, D.A., and Johnson, S.J. (2001). Bus signage guidelines for persons with visual impairments: electronic signs. Federal Transit Administration Report FTA-VA-26-7026-02.1.

Yager, D., Aquilante, K., and Plass,R. (1998). High and low luminance letters, acuity reserve, and font effects on reading speed.Vision Research, 38, p2527-2531.

Yoshida, N. (2000). Green light evolution: InGaN LED technology.Traffic Technology International ‘00, Annual Report, p244-246.