Braille Signs

Contrary to what some people may think, not all ADA signs require the use of Braille. The reason why this is so is because of the fact that not all signs can actually be reached by human fingers, which is what is needed when reading Braille. These Braille translations are often placed under the message of the sign or the pictogram.

Along with Braille translations comes tactile letters as well on these Braille signs. There is also a legitimate reason for this. Just like Braille translations, tactile letters are crafted to be read with the fingertips. These are placed on these signs due to the fact that not all people can actually read Braille.

The use of Braille translations and tactile letters on these ADA compliant signs are for the benefit of those with visual impairments. These are placed on signs that are within reach of people’s touch since these are readable by means of touch. These tactile parts of these signs are placed in specific locations on the sign so that people with vision problems can easily find them.

What are the signs that require the use of Braille and tactile letters? According to the ADAAG, signs that are used to mark permanent spaces should have these translations on them. When you say permanent spaces, this means rooms or locales that will not change its usage soon due to how it is constructed or what equipment is found within. Good examples of such permanent spaces are kitchens and bathrooms.

It should also be noted that these Braille translations and tactile letters have to follow specific guidelines regarding character size, spacing and font (for tactile letters). For tactile letters, fonts that can be used are those that are sans serif. These should also be non-italicized and not in fancy script.

Minimum spacing between tactile letters on these Braille signs is .125 inches measured between points that are closest to each other. For Braille, the distance between dots in the same cell should be around 2.5 mm and distance between two dots in adjacent cells should be around 7.6 mm. This is measure from center of one dot to the center of the other dot.

These are but a few of the rules surrounding Braille and its use on ADA compliant signs. There are a lot more of these rules and regulations for signage in the ADAAG