Braille Signs

When it comes to the manufacture of Braille signs, there are a number of rules that need to be followed. It is not enough that Braille translations be added to your signage but these have to follow certain guidelines that have been set by the ADA. If these rules are not followed then your signs won’t be considered totally ADA compliant.

When a sign is a permanent room sign, this means that this will need to conform to the rules set by the ADA for such signage. Aside from needing to follow specific color contrast percentages, tactile letter sizes and fonts, as well as character spacing, these also need to follow specific Braille translation rules. Here are some of the things you need to remember when it comes to the Braille translations used on your ADA signs:

-      Dot Dimensions for Braille Translations – when you translate your ADA sign messages into Braille, one of the things you need to ensure is that the dots used for these translations are sized according to regulations. Dimensions that need to be followed for these Braille dots include dot base diameter (1.5 mm to 1.6 mm), distances between dots in the same letter or cell (2.3 mm to 2.5 mm), and distance between dots in adjacent cells (6.1 mm to 7.6 mm). You will also need to ensure that you have the right dot height (.6mm to .9 mm) and the right distance between the bottom dot of the top translation and the top dot of the bottom translation (this is for Braille translations that are in two lines).

-      Braille Grade – there are three Braille grades that are being used by the visually impaired, however the grade you need to use when it comes to the Braille translations of your ADA compliant signs is Grade 2. Grade 2 Braille is the contracted system that allows groups of letters to be translated using one single Braille cell. You can easily call this the shorthand version of Braille.

-      Dot shape – while in the past, Braille dots did not need to be exact domes as long as these were in relatively round dots that can be easily distinguished from its background, these days, Braille translations need to be in perfectly rounded or dome shaped.

-      Capitalization – the Braille translation of your copy do not need to be capitalized, unless if the word on the sign is a proper noun or name, in which case the first letter of such a word should be capitalized. Initials and acronyms are also capitalized when translated into Braille.