The history of Braille signage began in the early 1800s when Charles Barbier developed the ‘Night Writing” system of raised dots for Napoleon Bonaparte. This enabled soldiers to communicate in the dark without using a lamp and giving away their location. Barbier’s system was subsequently refined by eleven-year-old Louis Braille in 1820 and has since become the communications standard for blind and visually disabled people.
ADA Compliant Braille Signs for Buildings
WeBuildSigns manufactures a comprehensive set of economical ADA compliant signs for building interiors. Browse our website or call (512) 850-3036 to learn more about our signage systems and accessories.
In 1990 Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a far-ranging civil rights act that mandates reasonable accommodations for people with specific disabilities and limitations. The law requires that building signage include tactile raised-dot characters, and provides specifications for the size and positioning of these on ADA Braille signs. The dots must be located between 48 and 60 inches above the finish floor level.
Braille Signage Requirements
The key features and specifications are summarized in the Braille Authority of North America Guidelines. There are three distinct Braille ‘Grades’:
- Grade 1 contains just the 24 characters of the alphabet plus punctuation. Grade 1 is used primarily as an introductory language for blind or visually handicapped people.
- Grade 2 Braille signs add support for contractions (isn’t, we’re, I’m, etc.) Grade 2 has become the standard for ADA Braille signage and general use.
- Grade 3 adds support for additional words in a shortened form (much like shorthand), but this has not become widely used or standardized.
Additional detailed specifications for ADA Braille signs are listed in ADA Chapter 7 – Communication Elements and Features Section 703.3. These mandate dot diameters between 1.5mm and 1.6mm, an inter-dot spacing of 2.3mm-2.5mm, and raised dot height between 0.6mm and 0.9mm. The Braille symbols must be placed just below the corresponding raised text on the sign’s surface.
Standard and Custom Braille Signs
The standard signage collections available in our online store include a series of attractive ADA-compliant Braille sign designs. Each collection includes a complete set of interior building signs – level directories, egress maps, directional signage, room name/number and restroom signs. Most of our customers choose a standard collection that best matches their building décor and corporate brand.
But if you are looking for a custom high-impact ADA Braille sign package, we can create a custom collection just for you. WBS will work with you to design and manufacture a unique set of signs that show off your organization’s logo, colors, and graphics. Your customized collection will remind employees, customers and visitors that you care about people with disabilities by providing high-quality ADA signage. This also says a lot about the quality and substance of your company and products.
Call WeBuildSigns (512) 850-3036 today to learn more about custom Braille sign systems.
WBS Online Sign Store
Our website includes an online store with several attractive signage collections. We have sign systems and accessories for virtually every building style and budget. WBS collections include identification and directional signage for room names and numbering, building directories and lobby signs, elevator and stairway plaques, egress maps and restroom signs – men, women and unisex/gender-neutral.
For Class A office buildings or high-end medical facilities, many customers choose our top-of-the-line Cosmopolitan sign collection. This package has high visibility clear acrylic panels with wall offsets – and tactile Braille sign lettering – to provide the utmost in elegance and functionality.
Many WBS customers on tight budgets select our low-cost Econo sign system. But even at this low price point, you’re still getting attractive high-quality ADA compliant Braille signs for your office, motel, restaurant or factory.
All of our designs meet ADA and California Title 24 requirements, with redundant support for handicapped individuals -- including Grade 2 Braille where appropriate. We have sophisticated in-house design and manufacturing equipment that enable us to produce large quantities of top quality products at a very economical cost. And you’ll be surprised how much you can save when ordering a complete sign package for your business.
Call us today to discuss your interior building signage requirements and design goals.
WeBuildSigns – ADA Braille Signs – Austin TX (512) 850-3036