Braille ADA Compliant Signs

Certain signs that you need to install in and around your facility have to follow the ADA rule that states the need for Braille. While not all ADA compliant signs need to have Braille on them, a good number do. This brings about the question, why do these signs need Braille and why are these required on particular signs and not all?

Before we explain why Braille is required on some ADA compliant signs, let us first tackle what Braille is. Braille is a written language that is made for the blind. This particular language uses raised dots in patterns that represent letters and words. This was made by French educator who was blind from age 3, Louise Braille, in 1824. This tactile system is used on many things, with ADA signs being one of them.

The reason why these are used on ADA compliant signs is rather easy to understand. Since the ADA is a law that criminalizes the discrimination of people with disabilities by public accommodations, certain provisions were made for people with visual impairments. One of the provisions is for them to be able to find their way around establishments easily without the need to ask anyone for directions, if they so desire.

Braille ADA Compliant Signs

This is done with the help of signs that have tactile letters and Braille translations on them. The signs that need to have these letters and Braille characters on them are permanent room signs, or signs that are posted to tell a person what room they are standing near. Some of the signs that can be considered permanent room signs include bathroom signs and conference room signs.

The use of tactile letters together with Braille on these ADA compliant signs is for those people who have vision impairments but do not know how to read Braille. As surprising as this may sound, only a low percentage of blind individuals do know how to read Braille. To help them understand these signs, tactile letters that are easy to recognize when traced with the fingertips are required on these signs.

Now, not all signs have Braille translations written under the tactile letters on them. The reason for this is also very simple to understand. Since not all signs are within reach of people who read with their sense of touch, there is no reason to put Braille on such signs. The signs that are excluded from needing to have Braille on them are overhead signs, directories and wayfinding signs. What these signs have in terms of ADA compliance is the right color contrast, easy to read fonts and the right mounting height that can help people with low vision easily determine what is on them.