Tactile Signage

When you are tasked to take care of your company’s signage needs, you know for a fact that some of these need to have tactile elements on them for ADA compliance. Tactile signage is needed for those rooms that are considered permanent rooms, like bathrooms, kitchens and closets, and as such, tactile features that include Braille, raised letters and pictograms (where these are required anyway) have to be present on these signs. Aside from being present on these signs, you also need to remember that there are guidelines that need to be followed in order for these very same features to be in line with what the government requires.

Guidelines that you have to follow include those that talk of how the Braille should look, where it should be placed, and other similar rules. The same goes for tactile letters. You need to follow rules that are set for these, which include the kinds of fonts you can use, how raised these should be, spacing between letters, and many more. To help you remember what these rules are, here are some of them:

Fonts that are acceptable – tactile letters on your signs need to be any one of the many sans serif fonts that the ADA has approved for use on compliant signage. Some of the fonts you can opt to use include Trebuchet, Helvetica, Futura and Optima. You can also use Verdana, Arial, Lucida Sans Unicode and Frutiger fonts. You also need to keep in mind that aside from the right fonts, you also have to ensure that these are not in italics, fancy or oblique shapes.

Braille placement on these signs – the Braille translations of the text on your signs need to be found directly beneath the text of the same sign. This is to enable those who need these raised dots to easily locate them, making it easy for them to read these signs. These dots should also be around 3/8” below any other tactile feature of the sign, whether these are characters or pictograms, as well as from borders.

Other Braille rules to follow – you also need to ensure that the Braille used on your signs have a rounded shape, are in Grade 2 Braille, and follow the proper case when added to these signs. When it comes to the proper case to use with these signs, capital letters are often reserved only for the first letter of proper nouns, single letters, acronyms, initials, as well as for the first letter of the first word of sentences. This means that all Braille translations on your signs need to be in lowercase.

You also need to remember that Braille dots on tactile signage need to be a specific size, shape and distance from other dots. The prescribed dot height is between .025 and .037 inches, prescribed dot diameter is between .059 and .063 inches, and the required space between these dots in the same cell should be between .090 and .0100 inches. For the spacing between cells that are beside each other, you need to ensure that the dots on each side have a distance that is between .241 and .300 inches away from each other. For the distance between cells that are found above and below each other, the distance should be between .395 and .400.

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