Braille is a form of writing composed of raised dots. It allows blind and visually impaired individuals to read with the help of their fingers. Nowadays, Braille is mandatory for almost all signs. To ensure proper Braille implementation, it’s important to comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
ADA was created to protect the civil rights of people with disabilities in employment and access to goods and services. ADA requires specific Braille signage. Under ADA any person can file a lawsuit and the court can require any facility to be ADA accessible.
For sign manufacturers Braille represents a great opportunity. Braille signage capabilities will be essential to potential customers who are looking to purchase signs. This could be the advantage that could allow your services to be chosen over the services of your competitors.
While having Braille sign manufacturing capabilities is an advantage, it’s also important to make sure that the Braille signage you produce is fully compliant with the standards. In Canada Grade 1 Braille matching set of cells for each letter and for each number is required. When it comes to legislation, CAN/CSA-B651-95 Barrier-Free Design is the National Standard of Canada as it relates to Accessibility. The country also has the Ontarian’s with Disability Act which requires public spaces to be made accessible with the goal of a complete accessibility in Ontario by 2025.
Here are some of the main the requirements for the signs in Canada:
- All the fonts must be Sans Serif;
- Width/height ratios should be between 3:5 and 1:1 with stroke width/height ratios between 1:5 and 1:10;
- Signs should be glare free, with dark on light or light on dark letters, include minimum level of illumination at 200lx (LUX), raised at least .8mm, between 16-50mm high and, if wall mount, – centerline at height of 1500 +/-25mm.
It is also recommended to use PETG(glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate) – a co-polyester that is a clear amorphous thermoplastic. PETG exhibits have high stiffness, hardness and good impact strength. The clear PETG base of all sheets contains a co-extruded UV inhibitor to block unwanted light contamination and increase the longevity and resilience of the material.
For many in the sign making industry putting Braille on signs has always presented a unique challenge. The tiny detailed dots are very time consuming even when using automated techniques such as a router. The solution to this problem is known as Raster Braille. Raster Braille is a method of manufacturing signs with Braille where instead of carving the Braille dots from the piece of material they are inserted. The machine first engraves the holes where the Braille letters will be positioned. Then with the Auto-Raster tool, which fits into the tool holder, the raised dots are inserted. Due to the flexibility of the material being machined, the dots are able to be fit into the small spaces and stay intact.
Not only is this method faster than routing Braille as part of the material but it is also superior in other ways as well. Firstly more regulations are requiring Braille to have a domed shape. This is very hard to do with simply routing them, and would require secondary finishing processes. Secondly, these round spheres can be used with any type of signage because they are not part of the material itself. Therefore they are versatile and can be used across all types of sign manufacturing.
Here at MultiCam Canada we offer Raster Braille systems for your CNC router. Feel free to reach out, to learn more about the tool and its applications that will benefit your business.
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