Braille is a system of raised dots that can be read by touch by people who are blind or have low vision. Louis Braille invented it in the 19th century, and it is widely used worldwide as a means of literacy and communication for visually impaired people. Braille can represent letters, numbers, punctuation, symbols, and even musical notation.
Braille signage is the application of braille to signs that provide information, guidance, or identification in public spaces. Braille signage is essential for making buildings and facilities accessible and inclusive for visually impaired people, who face many challenges and barriers in navigating the physical environment.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment, of which 36 million are blind and 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. In the United States, about 25.5 million adults have some form of vision loss, of which 1 million are legally blind. In Brazil, where this blog post is written, there are an estimated 6.5 million people with visual impairment, of which 1.2 million are blind.
This blog post aims to highlight the benefits of braille signage for visually impaired people and showcase some of the best practices and examples of braille signage in different sectors and settings.
Benefits of braille signage
Braille signage can provide many benefits for visually impaired people, such as:
- Accessible navigation: Braille signage helps visually impaired people locate entrances, exits, elevators, staircases, restrooms, and other essential areas in public buildings and facilities. For example, braille signs can indicate the floor number and direction of an elevator, the gender and accessibility of a restroom, or the name and function of a room or office.
- Independent wayfinding: Braille signage enables visually impaired people to navigate unfamiliar environments without relying on assistance, giving them confidence and empowerment. For example, braille signs can provide directions to different sections or services in a library, museum, hospital, or airport.
- Increased safety: Braille signage provides clear instructions on emergency exits and evacuation routes, reducing the risk of injury or harm in emergency situations. For example, braille signs can warn visually impaired people of potential hazards such as stairs, doors, or low ceilings, or guide them to the nearest fire exit or safe area.
- Inclusive restroom facilities: Braille signage makes restroom facilities inclusive and accessible to visually impaired people, ensuring their comfort and convenience. For example, braille signs can indicate the availability and location of accessible stalls, sinks, soap dispensers, hand dryers, or baby changing stations.
- Customized communication: Custom braille signs allow organizations and businesses to provide personalized information to visually impaired people, such as labeling conference rooms, offices, or specialized areas. For example, braille signs can display the name and title of an employee or the agenda and schedule of a meeting.
Braille signage is a simple but powerful way to empower visually impaired people and make public spaces more accessible and inclusive for everyone. Braille signage can enhance the quality of life, independence, safety, and dignity of visually impaired people by providing them with essential information and guidance in their daily activities.
At Modulex, we are committed to providing architectural signage and visual communication solutions that meet the highest standards of accessibility and inclusivity. We offer custom braille signs that comply with local and international regulations and guidelines. We also offer consultation and design services to help our clients create effective and attractive braille signage for their specific needs.
If you are interested in learning more about our braille signage solutions or want to request a quote for your project, please visit our website at https://modulex.com/ or contact us through our global staff.
WHO (2023). Blindness and vision impairment. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment
National Federation of the Blind (2020). Blindness Statistics. https://www.nfb.org/resources/blindness-statistics