Rules Impacting Braille Signage
One of the many rules impacting interior ADA-compliant signage is that there must be braille lettering located on the signs. Beyond those ADA rules, there are specific rules impacting braille signage itself regarding how it will be spaced and sized.
However, these rules can get confusing, as each state can set some of its own braille rules based on its building codes. California was the first state to set its own rules, which have since acted as sort of a baseline for other states establishing their own guidelines. Today, its specific style of braille is known as “California braille.” As of 1980, all sign manufacturers in the state must create braille signage that meets these guidelines (which is one of the reasons we have specialized services for California ADA signs).
Here are those guidelines according to Section 1117b.5.6 of the California Code of Regulations, Title 24:
1117B.5.6 Braille. Contracted Grade 2 Braille shall be used wherever Braille is required in other portions of these standards. Dots shall be 1/10 inch (2.54 mm) on centers in each cell with 2/10-inch (5.08 mm) space between cells, measured from the second column of dots in the first cell to the first column of dots in the second cell. Dots shall be raised a minimum of 1/40 inch (0.635 mm) above the background. Braille dots shall be domed or rounded.
Under these rules, dot size and spacing for signage are actually larger than those found on paper. The specific request for rounded or domed dots was put in to improve readability and reduce the potential for vandalism.
Outside of California, other states follow the ABA and ADA Accessibility Guidelines, which were published in 2004 and contain other specifications for braille sizing and spacing, which have evolved greatly over time since the first guidelines were published in 1991. The dimensions required are the same as those found in the ANSI’s International Building Code and also require domed dots.
For more information about rules you must follow when creating braille and ADA compliant signage, contact the team at Erie Custom Signs. We have a significant background in making ADA signage for sign suppliers and individual organizations.