Braille & Tactile Signage
Since October 2004 revisions to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) have made it compulsory for businesses to take 'reasonable measures' to make their services accessible to people with disabilities. To meet this requirement, inclusive signage is being adopted, but at a slow rate. In some cases the issue is being ignored altogether because businesses don't know what to change and how. With the main factors being cost and expertise, is it better for companies to outsource or make the changes 'in-house'?[IMAGE:205:10:braille_and_tactile_news.jpg:150:0:Braille and Tactile Signs:right:]
Nigel Toplis, managing director of Recognition Express, says outsourcing is the answer. With the right technical expertise, businesses can obtain advice on the most practical solutions to meet their needs.
He suggests that if the signage is intended as a one off, permanent addition to a business, it is simpler, cheaper and will yield a better result if produced by a specialist who can ensure the message is correctly translated to braille or other tactile code. "The equipment and knowledge needed to translate messages correctly and effectively onto a suitable material is very specialist and expensive," says Toplis. "In order to get it right, it is more cost effective to have it done professionally."
With a range of colours and materials available, braille and tactile signs offer the same style options as traditional signage. They can provide an attractive product that is both practical and useful to the sighted and visually impaired alike. In fact, since the DDA regulations came into force, adding braille and tactile code onto interior signage is fast becoming the option of choice for most organisations.
If a business felt it would be beneficial to produce the signage 'in-house' it must first buy in the equipment to produce hard copy braille from a computer:
Recognition Express is working with the RNIB on a 'one sign for all' programme to encourage companies to rethink the look and feel of their signs, making them accessible to all staff, visitors and customers and in compliance with the DDA regulations. The network of 45 branches across the UK have been trained in the production of RNIB-approved signage with braille and tactile wording as well as colour systems using shades of light and dark.