The majority if registered blind people have some residual vision which is why is it so important to contrast the sign panel with the background and then contrast the text with the sign panel. The user may then be able to locate the larger contrasting sign panel on the wall and from there access the tactile and or Braille information through touch or be able to view the text up close enough to be able to read it.
Consistent positioning of the signs throughout the building is also very important. For example, room identifications signs should be positioned on the wall to the latch side of the door and at a standard height e.g. 1400mm – 1700mm FFL (from Finished Floor Level)
By following the Sign Design Guides (SDG) advice on signage design the user will know where to find the raised text and Braille on a sign thus making it easier to access the information through either sight, touch or a combination of both.
How to contrast the sign panel to the wall/door and the text to the sign panel?
Light Reflectance Values (LRV) are now commonly used to contrast objects against each other. The RNIB recommends an LRV difference of 30 points between colours, BS8300 recommends a 70 point difference.
An LRV meter can be used to measure the LRV of a surface or if the colour reverence is known then the LRV of a colour can opten be looked upon the internet.
By following the Sign Design Guides advice on signage design the user will know where to find the raised text and Braille on a sign thus making it easier to access the information through either sight, touch or a combination of both.
Often by either printing out the proposed colours or having a sample produced it is quite clear whether or not there is a sufficient colour contrast between the sign panel and the surface its being mounted on and the text to the panel colour.
What Colour Should Braille be on a Sign Panel?
If the only medium that a Braille user can access is Braille then they are likely to have no sight. Therefore Braille will be located through touch and it is not necessary for it to be contrasted visually on a sign. The Braille can be the same colour as the sign panel ad is located by following the guidelines in the SDG. i.e. Including a Braille locater in line with the first line of Braille on the left hand edge of the sign and locating the Braille 6mm below the left hand edge of the tactile text.
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