Many people link braille with signs that comply with the Americans with disabilities act (ADA). However, ADA compliance entails much more than that. Although braille is one of the most recognizable features of an ADA-compliant sign, there are many additional laws in place that define what precisely constitutes legal compliance in terms of signage.
Here are some broad guidelines for what constitutes an ADA-compliant sign.
1) A non-shiny finish
Why it is significant: people with weak eyesight, particularly the elderly, have a difficult time processing glare or reflection. As a result, a non-glare coating is one of the standards for ADA signs. It guarantees that everyone who enters a public facility can easily see relevant signs.
What is needed: for a sign to be classified ADA compliant, it must have a non-glare backdrop and characters. This is usually done by employing a matte, eggshell, or another non-glare surface. Without this kind of finish, the sign fails to fulfill one of the most fundamental ADA signage criteria.
It’s important to note that this law only applies to indoor signage. This restriction does not apply to outdoor parking and traffic signs.
2) A high contrast level
Why it is significant: A high degree of contrast on interior ada signs, like the non-glare coating, is critical to reading. It might be difficult to read text when characters seem to merge into the backdrop of a sign. Those with visual impairments may interpret the information on the sign when the characters contrast with the backdrop.
The method of achieving contrast is also adaptable. Colors are not critical as long as there is a strong contrast. This is why you often see white characters on black or other dark backgrounds, or black characters on white backgrounds. In either case, the contrast is extreme.
3) Useful font and character properties
Why it is significant: a large part of what qualifies a sign as ADA compliant is its ability to be read and comprehended by anybody, including people with visual impairments. As a result, folks trying to read the sign aren’t compelled to squint or move around in order to figure out what it says. It’s all about avoiding annoyance, which is why fonts should be simple to read.
4) Associated braille text
Why it is significant: Having braille features on ADA signs makes it easier for persons who are blind or have limited vision to traverse a structure. It gives them useful information, such as the location of bathrooms. Individuals may use braille to check they are at the correct location. Furthermore, the usage of braille on screens contributes to a more inclusive and inviting environment.
What is needed: any sign denoting a permanent room or location must contain braille text, according to ADA requirements. Grade 2 braille should be used in these instances. The braille dots must be domed or spherical and have the following dimensions:
• The distance between two dots in the same cell should be between 0.090 and 0.100 inches measured centre to centre.
• the distance between matching dots in neighbouring cells must be between 0.241 and 0.300 inches measured centre to centre.
It should be noted that somewhat different braille standards than the federal government. In this stage, a braille sign should have the following dot spacing: