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Please educate me on ADA signs

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Mark H, Dec 13, 2018.

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  1. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    Hello,

    I have an opportunity to supply a lot of signs to a nursing home. I can outsource them (please provide recommended wholesalers) or i can make them. If I make the how do I add the braille, can slugs be outsourced? Does all the lettering on the sign need to be raised of can the letters & numbers be printed as long as there is braille? Do colors need to have a required amount of contrast? Do ADFA signs need to be certified/approved or meet certain national standards? The more questions I ask it sounds easier to outsource the complete sign. I can use all the help I can get.

    Thank. Have a great day,
    Mark
     
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  2. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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  3. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

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    The letters have to be raised and they need to be a certain font.
     
  4. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    You need to read the regs on ADA and make sure they comply with fonts, color contrasts and heights for installs. You would be better off working with a supplier for ADA.
     
  5. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    You have to have the appropriate equipment (engraver, braille pen(s), raster spheres, and the software) in order to add braille to signs. There are very specific rules for where the braille must go, the size of the spheres, the spacing between the spheres, the depth of the spheres, et cetra. Virtually impossible to do without the proper setup. The lettering on the signs is required to be a certain size, specific fonts, and must be raised. There are contrast requirements as well. Any sign that requires braille also requires that sign to be ADA compliant, but not all signs require braille.

    Installation of the signs is much easier, far fewer requirements.

    We do TONS of ADA signage. PM with details if you're interested in a quote and I can put you in touch with the right people.

    [Edit: Also, should note that braille on ADA signage is grade 2 braille, so it's not letter for letter translations of words.]
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  6. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    Can you please recommend a supplier
     
  7. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    It depends on if you are doing custom or standard. Howard Industries has a wide selection of ADA themes and colors. https://www.howardindustries.com/
     
  8. Wesley Powell

    Wesley Powell Account Rep

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    We have done quite a few jobs ourselves that require ADA signage. We've had good luck with both Vista Systems and Sign PDQ. Both seem to be reasonably priced and quite at getting you estimates. PM me if you need anymore information and I can get you our contacts info.
    https://www.vistasystem.com
    https://www.signspdq.com
     
  9. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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  10. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    This is a good, concise description of the stuff you need. The rotary engraver machine is used for routing letters, numbers and graphics out of adhesive backed ADA plastic sheet. The engraver also makes the holes for the Braille beads, inserted with a Braille pen. ADA graphics and Braille can be applied to acrylic, aluminum or laminates. Certain materials that do not hold Braille beads well can have the Braille reversed out by the engraver.
    A good engraving machine is not cheap, and I don't think a laser engraver will work, though someone may correct me on this. I don't actually participate in the engraving at our shop. I just draw the signs to ADA specs and turn the files over to our engraving department.

    We also have a photopolymer machine, but we don't use it anymore. My boss has never seemed to be able to hire a screen printer with the expertise to screen tip the graphics successfully, so we just quit using the machine rather than pay for a more skilled screen printer. Besides, the photopolymer process stinks.

    I must also mention that we do a large quantity of our ADA-compliant signage by sandblasting solid surface material, such as Corian. This method does not require an engraving machine, just a plotter to cut vinyl mask and a cabinet blaster. Though sandblasting creates flat-topped Braille dots, which are non-compliant, you can easily round the tops off with a red Scotchbright pad. Of course, we cut the blanks and any windows for name inserts on the table router, but blanks could be cut on a table saw, or with a hand router and a template (maybe even stacked two or three deep for hand routing, though I've never tried it). Corners can be rounded by hand as needed.

    The latest revisions to the ADA rules for signs was in 2010, and saw many changes to the requirements. No more serifed letters for example. No fat-stroked letters. Skinny strokes only. The formula is that letter strokes can be nor more than 15% of the height of the straight letters (this is easy to calculate if you work in millimeters). The requirement for height above the floor was changed for installation, too. Color contrast between graphics and background is specified. I think it is 70%. No sharp edges or corners on the blanks. Even letter spacing is specified, as well as Braille dot size and spacing, as has been mentioned.

    https://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm
    This link is a page at the same website Johnny Best posted above, but this is the exact page you want.
    The manual is pictured in the upper left corner. You can view it online or download pdf pages. The section on signage is in Chapter 7, Section 703. It's not that long and worth printing out.

    Some ADA sign suppliers have also posted info that is helpful, if not always perfectly accurate. One site has posted that Helvetica Medium as acceptable, for example. It is not. I have printed out single pages from some of these sites for quick reference.
     
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  11. Cory Marcin

    Cory Marcin Member

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    Attached Files:

  12. JaySea20

    JaySea20 Member

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    We have made our own ADA Signage for years. It is getting harder and harder to compete with the larger ADA Manufacturers. Not to mention the investment in Router/Engraver, Raster License, Learning Curve, Software, etc.... At this point, I would NOT recommend to try to dip into this Very saturated market. We have a few hospitals that still use us. But, All Contractors and Builders have swapped to using companies like ASI, Mohawk, etc. You can hit me up if you want any more info.
     
  13. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Very Active Member

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    I can't imagine laser engraving would work, but we haven't tried. I think your instincts are probably correct on that one.
     
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