ADA Signage

When you talk about ADA signage, you should be aware that not all of the ADA signs you need to have made for your business or establishment has to carry Braille translations on them. Some ADA signs only require the use of the proper color contrasts and non-glare finishes, as well as the right fonts, the right character sizes for easy reading and proper mounting height.

So, which signs need to have Braille on them and why are there only a few signs that need these tactile features on them? The reason behind the need for some signs to have Braille and others not to have these dots on them is due to the mounting height of these signs. If signs are too high for fingers to reach, what use do the dots on them have? To help you further understand why some signs need to have these translations on them and why others do not, here are some of the most commonly used ADA signs around, what ADA features are on them and why they don’t have (or why they have) Braille translations on them.

Different Types of ADA Signage, With and Without Braille

Directory Signs – Without Braille – these signs may or may not have tactile letters, and this usually depends on the preference of the company ordering the sign. These are elevated rather high so that a lot of people can see them, which means the use of tactile letters on these will only be an aesthetic choice. The very same reason is why these signs do not need to have Braille translations on them since people cannot actually reach up that high to read what is written on these signs to know what is written on them. These signs however need to follow ADA signage rules for color contrasts, font usage, non-glare finishes and character sizing as per mounting height.

Directional Signs – Dependent on Mounting Height – these types of ADA signs can be made with or without Braille translations, depending on how high these are mounted. Directional signs that are mounted at a height where people can feel these with their fingertips can carry Braille translations of the text on them. Some businesses do this in order to help people with visual impairments know which direction to take (according to the placement of the sign) in order to find a specific facility or room in a building. If these signs are mounted too high up, (like those that you see mounted on ceilings in airports and train stations) then Braille translations are out of the question. Some of the other ADA considerations that you need to use on these signs include color contrasts, non-glare finish, right fonts and right character sizes as per mounting height.

Permanent Room Signs – With Braille – these are ADA signs that require the most rules to be followed, and included in the list of rules these signs should adhere to is the one that states that Braille translations need to be present on these signs. These signs can be found mounted at a height that is reachable by human hands, which means, it can be read with the use of a person’s fingertips. Aside from the need to have Braille on them, these signs also need to follow all the other ADA rules set for these signs. These include the right fonts, the right color contrasts, character size as per sign mounting height and reading distance, and non-glare finish. This particular ADA signage also needs to have tactile letters which people can also read with the use of their fingertips. These are for the visually impaired who do not know how to read Braille.

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