Braille Signage

You’ve seen these signs in many places, and these are not hard to miss since Braille signage carry on them a distinct feature, and this is the dots that translate the copy on the sign into Braille for those who are visually impaired. These signs are essentially ADA signs, and they are called thus because these are made with the rules of the ADA in mind. Such rules are put in place to allow for everyone to easily read and understand what is written on these signs, which is what the ADA is all about, giving everyone equal opportunities regardless of whether they have disabilities or not.

If you will look at the signs around you, you will also notice that not all of these signs have these Braille translations on them. This is because of the fact that, according to ADA guidelines, not all signs need them after all. The reason for the rather selective manner in which this feature is added is actually logical. How indeed can a person reach out and touch the dots on signs that are mounted way up high, (this for directories and directional signs that are mounted at a height that is above the human head) in order to read the translations on them?

Braille signs are signs that have Braille translations on them, and these are mounted at a height that is reachable by human hands. It should be known however that not all directories and directional signs are mounted rather high, and some of these are actually placed at a height that can be reached by the hand. These particular signs, the ones that are reachable by human hands, can carry Braille dots on them, if the establishment sporting such a sign desires that these have such tactile elements on them.

So, what signs are required to have these tactile elements on them? According to the ADA, signs that need to have Braille translations on them, as well as tactile letters, are permanent room signs. These are signs used to mark rooms that are considered unchangeable, or will remain the same for a long period of time. Some of the rooms that are part of this particular designation include bathrooms, kitchens and closets.

These tactile elements are also required on signs that point out exits. Stairwells, emergency exits, and the like, need to have these signs on them, as mandated by the ADA. Such ADA signs also need to be mounted at a specific height for these to be easily read with the fingertips, since that is the reason why there are tactile elements on these signs in the first place. The most common mounting height for these signs is at 60 inches from the floor to the middle of the sign.

Aside from mounting height, Braille signage needs to be mounted in the right location in order to avoid any injuries or accidents. Since these are placed near doors, the chances of a person getting hit by an opening or closing door is rather high, if these signs are not placed in the right place for safety purposes. The ADA declares that these signs should always be placed beside the door of such rooms or exits, but on the latch or doorknob side so that people can easily avoid the opening and closing of these doors. If these signs are to be mounted beside double doors, then these signs have to be placed on the right side of the door on the right. If there is no space for this sign beside the door in question, this can be mounted on the nearest wall adjacent to the permanent room that the sign is to mark. 

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