Did you use the wrong Braille on your sign??
What? Isn’t Braille just Braille – No?? Recently I learned this is not the case.

There is a sign shop in San Diego that makes excellent signs. About 3 years ago the owner bought a special machine to make ADA signs.

ADA is a law called “Americans With Disabilities”(ADA).

It is a massive law, and in one small secition it outlines the requirments for signs for the visually impared.


There are 3 elements to these ADA signs:
Location – recently the height on these signs has been lowered for wheel chair users. The original height was more visible, but could not be felt from a wheel chair.

Tool inserting little balls to make Braille
Tool inserting little balls to make Braille

Visual and tactile shapes. The outline of the sign and the shape within the sign is large and standard. For example the bathroom will have a triagle and the shape of a man or women. This can be seen and felt

the braille is easy to see in this sign
the braille is easy to see in this sign

The last element is the Braille. These are a series of beads. The beads are plastic and placed, with the aid of a machine, into drilled holes.

So my friend made signs, using the software in his new machine, for the entire building. He installed them and they were beautiful. But there was a hidden proiblem

There are actually 3 types of Braille and the most obvious one for us sighted folks to use…is wrong!. There is the “letter by letter” called Grade 1. Grade 1 Braille is the obvious choice, but in this building – filled with signs in “Grade 1” they were all wrong. Grade 2 is specified by the ADA law. What to know more? Lets start with what Braille actually is.

So do you know how to specify signs with the right Braille. Do you know how to tell the difference. Signage is a very visual art form, do you have a blind person to proofread for you.

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