Adding braille signs to your business is a positive step towards inclusion. However, it's also easy to make mistakes. Before ordering your signs, it's important to learn about potential mistakes to avoid them.
Think about where you're placing signs and whether they cover all the right areas. One location that may fall to the back of your mind is anywhere where there's an emergency sign. For example, fire exits or beside rooms members of the public can't enter. Before ordering braille signs, imagine where you would reasonably expect a member of the public to go. To get an accurate idea of which locations are important, spend time observing where non-employees venture to in your building. Another reliable approach is to use braille anywhere you have a sign.
A lot of thought should go into the characters and fonts you use on your sign. Tactile braille signs have specific font requirements. Character heights can also vary depending on whether they're capitalised or not. You also need to achieve the right amount of space between the visual text and the tactile text. Of course, getting characters and fonts right can feel like a minefield. As such, it's always best to consult professionals in this area before ordering signs.
Correct Braille Type
It's important to use Unified English Braille for any tactile sign in Australia. The Unified English rules change over time, but they guide you through what is and isn't allowable. For example, the type of braille you can use in place of an image. Additionally, it offers guidance on approved symbols. Using Unified English ensures your signs are accessible to the people most likely to use them in Australia. Once you know what text you want on your signs, consult with a specialist and ask them to explain their approach.
It's acceptable to use other languages on your braille signs, but they shouldn't replace Unified English. You may want to use other languages when you're aware that people who speak a different language regularly visit your premises. However, you'll need to follow the Australian Braille Authority's guidelines when you do that. Using another language will usually require you to consult with an approved translator. By doing so, you'll get the translation right and make your signs accurate.
Although it may seem as though using Braille signs is complex, with the right guidance, it becomes simple. Always take professional advice. Once your signs are in place, they'll make your building accessible and easier to navigate.Share
28 November 2022
Hello, my name is Nicole, and I spent the happiest years of my life as a preschool teacher. In that role, I learned how to inspire children, how to present them with consistency and how to catch their attention. In addition to all of the tactile and motor-related activities we did in my preschool, I also used a lot of signs and posters. Though trial, error and extra research, I learned what works when it comes to signs. In this blog, I plan to write about years' worth of firsthand experiences and behind-the-scenes research. My hope is that my experience helps you to design and find signs of your classroom, regardless of the age of children with which you are working. Please explore and enjoy my blog on signs and education!