Showing the Way: Braille Wayfinding Signs and Your Business
Think of the people who enter your business every day, but aren’t your employees. Whether they’re customers, sales reps, or just visitors, the first thing they need to do is figure out where they are going. How do they do that? They look for signs! Your business probably has a wide variety of signs showing people how to find the areas or rooms they’re looking for – and that’s a good thing.
Now, think of someone else coming into your business, but this person is blind. How do they find their way? A person who is blind or has a significant visual impairment may not be able to see your signs, but they can feel them. That’s why it’s essential that you provide signage that allows the visually impaired to find their way in your facility. We call these signs braille wayfinding signs and they play a role in keeping your business friendly and helpful to all who enter as well as staying ADA-compliant.
Braille is a writing system that utilizes raised dots to indicate the location of objects, rooms, and facilities. Braille was developed in 1821 by Louis Braille and has been used ever since as a way for the visually impaired to navigate through their surroundings. He lost his sight at age 3 and when he was 12 years old he attended school for the blind where he learned how to read and write using raised dots. This allowed him to not only access information but also gave him independence because now he could go anywhere without needing someone else’s help! He improved upon the system, which is now named for him.
What is Braille?
Today, braille is used extensively across the world. Braille signs are an essential tool for accessibility to provide important information – especially braille wayfinding signs. The ADA mandates the use of braille signs in certain public areas to ensure people with visual impairment can navigate buildings and understand their surroundings.
Legal Requirements for Braille Wayfinding Signs
Braille wayfinding signs are required by law to be installed in public spaces, but there are some guidelines that you should follow. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all public buildings and facilities be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes providing information about your facility in braille or other tactile formats, such as raised lettering and symbols on signs.
The International Building Code (IBC), which is used throughout the United States and Canada, also requires certain types of signage to include tactile characters or graphics for those who are visually impaired or blind. These requirements apply only when the sign is placed within 4 feet (1.2 meters) of the ground level and does not obstruct any doors or passageways within 30 inches (76 cm). In addition, local regulations may require additional signage depending on your business type and where your business is located.
Braille wayfinding signs are a simple, effective way to improve accessibility and safety. Some of the reasons you should consider adding these signs to your facility include:
The Benefits of Adding Braille Wayfinding Signs
- Accessibility: Braille wayfinding signs are accessible to all people with visual impairments, including those who are blind or have low vision. This means that anyone can use the signs to navigate their way around the building or facility they’re in, regardless of whether they have any other disabilities or not.
- Safety: Braille wayfinding signs help ensure that everyone stays safe while navigating unfamiliar spaces by providing information about hazards such as stairs and elevators so that people know where these things are located before they get too close to them (or worse yet fall down them).
Creating an Effective Braille Wayfinding System
The first step in creating an effective braille wayfinding system is planning. Review your facility to determine what type of signage you need, how many signs you need, and where they should go.
Designing a braille wayfinding system involves determining what text and braille characters will be used on each sign, determining whether or not graphics should be added, and deciding which colors look best in your facility. After designing comes installation–and this step requires careful consideration as well! For example: Should we install the signs above eye level? Or below? How far apart should they be placed from one another? Make sure you know the ADA regulations because they may dictate some of these decisions for you.
ComplianceSigns.com is Ready to Help!
Not all signs that have raised dots are truly ADA-compliant braille signs. Trust ComplianceSigns.com, your braille sign expert. We’ve been trusted for years by thousands of businesses to provide correct, fully compliant, top quality ADA braille signs for bathrooms, room names, exits, elevators and stairs, no smoking areas and much more. We offer dozens of color combinations and have also developed a variety of resources to help you understand braille signage requirements.
Help everyone who comes into your business to find their way. For braille wayfinding signage, turn to the experienced team at ComplianceSigns.com. We know the way!