At Stocksigns we supply Braille signs to make buildings safe for all visually impaired people. This range includes fire safety, prohibition and information signage, all of which are available in photoluminescent.
As part of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), service providers must ensure that access is available to all disabled people and that entry routes, facilities and all information are clearly defined and indicated by suitable signage.
Our signs use an innovative and visually superior tactile signage system. It is capable of conveying fast, effective information to alert the visually impaired. Our signage uses:
Wide space, raised supplementary text
Highly durable and accurate grade 1 braille
Low gloss surface with a high contrast colour range
All safety symbols conform to BS EN ISO 7010
To discuss your braille requirements call a member of our experienced sales team now on 01737 774072. Alternatively you can send us an email:
Over the centuries Braille has had an enormous effect on the lives of millions of people across 120 countries worldwide. It is not a language but a code by which all languages may be written and read. The ability to read and write in Braille opens the door to literacy, intellectual freedom, equal opportunity, and personal security. It is an extremely important gateway to opportunity for the UK’s blind or partially sighted people, enabling them to be more independent.
Tactual from Stocksigns
The Stocksigns Braille signs range – Tactual – fully comply with Technical Bulletin 24 of the joint Mobility Unit. The JMU is a service provided by the RNIB and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. Tactual signs may be manufactured to suit individual needs including a range of text options, panel colours and layouts. We can advise you on your own legal obligations and ensure that your workplace is complying with the appropriate regulations. Braille can be incorporated into your corporate signage to extend the audience range and the reach of your signs. It can be included in information and tourist interpretation boards to extend their accessibility and contact points, such as emergency assistance points, with Braille offer help to vulnerable members of the public.
Stocksigns only supply Braille signs that we manufacture ourselves. As a result not only can we be sure that they are of the highest quality but also that we have the technology and expertise to manufacture any custom made sign with Braille to our own specification. We manufacture both Braille Safety signs and Braille Information signs in standard designs, as well as being able to add Braille to custom-made signs.
All surface rail companies are constantly striving to provide better access and a better travelling experience for all their customers. Stocksigns plays a key part in helping train operators deliver these improvement projects through careful management of the accompanying signage.
DDA and SFA
A Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) or Step Free Access (SFA) improvement scheme is designed to supplement access and egress around a station.
As part of this scheme, Network Rail have undertaken a comprehensive program to improve many of its managed station facilities. Under the Disabled Peoples Protection Policy (DPPP), access to platforms is being improved. This usually means the provision of a new footbridge with lifts, or when possible, lift towers developed next to an exisiting footbridge, giving a step free route between platforms.
Although schemes are sponsored by Network Rail, in most cases the signage should be complementary to what exists at present on the station.
Station signage is usually specific to individual operators. Most train operators have their own typeface, colour scheme and corporate identity that specifies what is required.
This article is dedicated to the different application methods used for applying/installing self adhesive vinyl signs and window graphics. Many of our safety signs come with a self adhesive vinyl option making
them very versatile and easy to install. We also offer a range of frosted vinyl window graphics in both standard and custom-made designs. Glass Highlighting can also help you comply with Regulation 14 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The Regulation requires the marking of windows and glass doors to make them conspicuous.
How to apply your vinyl signs and graphics
Before applying any self adhesive graphics make sure that the application surface is clean and free from contaminants. To apply your self adhesive graphics, use one of the following methods:
For Small Sizes (up to approximately 20 x 20cm)
1. You will need a squeegee. ( a small rigid plastic card designed for sign applicating, if you can’t get one, a small professional window cleaning one will do, or even an old credit card)
2. Remove the backing paper from the face material.
3. Position the sticker/sign on the surface and press in place with finger tips.
4. Apply the sticker to the surface with squeegee, using overlapping strokes. Puncture any air bubbles with a needle and press in place.
For Medium Sizes
1. You will need a squeegee (see above).
2. Remove 3-5cm of the backing paper from one edge of the sticker and fold back.
3. Position the sticker to the surface and press the exposed adhesive area in place with finger tips.
4. Apply the sticker to the surface with squeegee, using overlapping strokes, removing the backing paper little by little with the other hand puncture any air bubbles with a needle and press in place.
Wet application method for large sizes
1. You will need a squeegee (see above), sponge or cloth, water plus a little liquid detergent (i.e. washing up liquid), agitated to produce foam bubbles.
2. Temperature of the application surface and in the workshop should be 15°C or above.
3. Wet the application surface entirely with foam bubbles.
4. Remove the backing paper, keeping the sticker flat.
5. Apply the sticker to the wet surface and bring into position.
6. Remove any excess foam bubbles from underneath the sticker with a squeegee, using light pressure in overlapping strokes, working from the centre. Dry the sticker with a cloth.
7. Secure the sticker to the surface with a squeegee, using overlapping strokes and firm pressure, paying particular attention to the edges, to ensure a firm bond.
8. When possible, check and re-squeegee firmly after 24 hours.
*note – With this application method ultimate adhesion of the sticker/sign is reached later than with a dry method. The sticker/sign will obtain ultimate adhesion about 24-48 hours after application.
Just because there is statutory requirement for all non-domestic premises to have the right fire safety signage, there is no reason that fire exit signs cannot be used imaginatively to fit in with your building design and decoration.
Here are some examples of the different ways that a compliant fire sign can be used.
1. Wall and ceiling mounted signs are very useful when for example, space is at a premium or there is a low ceiling.
2. Sign frames can add impact to the sign message. One option is to fit the sign into the appropriate sign frame, which can be suspended or wall mounted. Alternatively, for a more design conscious solution a Vision MX frame system, which can of course be double sided.
3. Wall mounted projecting signs increase visibility from several directions.
4. Sometimes conditions require the use of an extra large sign, particularly in public places. Extended view of up to 40 metres can be achieved with signs 1200 x 400mm in size.
5. Again, constraints of design or purpose may require the use of “portrait” style fire signs, for example multi-storey car parks.
6. An innovative aid is the use of fire exit floor graphics as part of a wider safety sign installation.
7. Two larger luminaires are available, for when this type of signage is required or chosen. The cylinder range comes in various options for mounting and is an elegant solution. At a very practical level are the BSI certified metal exit signs which are extremely good value for money.
8. Photoluminescent signs are both effective and alternative choices, and can be used with several of the options available to the standard fire signs.
9. Signs for the physically impaired are part of the provision that can be required under the Disability Discrimination Act. They also show an employers awareness and sensitivity to the needs of this often overlooked section of the community.
10. “Tactual” signs are particularly relevant to the visually impaired, with the wide spaced raised text incorporating Braille. Braille signs fully conforming to BS5499-2:2002 and ISO 7010, as well as Technical Bulletin 24 of the joint Mobility Unit, part of the RNIB.
11. The Hospital Sector has developed a range of fire escape signs, specifically for the sector but have proved popular in other fields too.
12. Finally there is a range of “Standard Enhanced” signs with clear acrylic and satin chrome panel supports – a very aesthetically pleasing choice, which complements the design aware decor of an office, shop etc. All in all, a much larger selection of fire and emergency escape signs than perhaps one might have imagined. The good news is that Stocksigns can supply all the ranges listed above. Why not think seriously about how you enhance your signage.
Making Provision for the Disabled – Its not just about the law or wheelchairs.
It’s been 7 years since the scope of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) became applicable to all service providers, whatever their size (i.e. 1st October 2004). But how many smaller organisations have actually made adjustments to their premises? Changes have to be reasonable and so proportionate, which is to some extent subjective. One key element – and a relatively low cost one at that – is disability signage. Below we set out the background to the legislation (and the need) and show how reviewing one’s signs can have a big impact in fulfilling the legal, practical and moral obligations of our fellow citizens.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Known as the DDA, the Disability Discrimination Act requires that from the 1st October 2004, all service providers will have made reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome any physical barriers to access.
“why bother it doesn’t effect me…does it?”
It does effect any business that provides a service, whether it’s free or paid for. Prior to 1st October, part 2 of the DDA only applied to companies who had more than 15 employees. However, since 1st October, ALL employers must comply with the DDA’s provision on employment and occupation. There are approximately 8.6 million people with disabilities in the UK. Their estimated annual purchasing power is between £40 and £50 billion.
“What are ‘reasonable’ adjustments?” – they must be specific to the building and the type of service being provided. Provisions should not just be restricted to improving wheelchair access, only 5% of those with disabilities are in wheelchairs.
There are 600,000 wheelchair users
2.5-3 million visually impaired
1.5-6 million reading difficulties
8 million deaf or hard of hearing
15 million mental health difficulties
1 in 3 people over 55 have Arthritis
(source: Department for Inclusive Environments University of Reading)
The British Standard gives dimensions and details of the physical requirements needed in order to comply with the DDA as well as signage requirements.
Disability Rights Commission
The DRC not only provides help for disabled people, but also produced a Code of Practice and various guides for service providers.
If you are a service provider or an employer, you need to:
assess the problem, or better still
have an access audit done
contact local access groups
produce an access plan
Once you know which physical features may make it difficult for disabled people to use your services then the law gives you a choice.
you can alter the feature
you can remove the feature
you can find a way of avoiding it
you can provide the service in another way
The DRC strongly recommends the ”inclusive” approach. Removal or alteration of a feature is the most likely option to ensure that disabled people receive the services in the same way as other customers.
Areas to be considered when making reasonable adjustments
“Signs should form part of an integrated communication scheme that gives clear directions, information and instructions for use of a building” – BS 8300:2001. Signage that complies with the DDA is based on the guidelines shown in the Sign Design Guide and developed by the Joint Mobility Unit.
Text in upper case
Upper and lower case text provides a recognisable “footprint” even if the text can’t be read.
Type of sign
“x” height in mm
90 – 120mm
Location & Direction
Wall mounted information
Black and white provides the most obvious contrast but can cause halation for some people due to the extreme contrast and glare.
So we are looking for:-
Clear text in upper and lower case
preferably white text on a darker background
letter heights based on BS 8300 or “Sign Design Guide”
good contrast between text and background
a white border to emphasise the sign
a matt finish to avoid glare
Position of signs
Consistency of sign height and position throughout the building is important. Signs should be placed between 1400mm and 1700mm for visually impaired persons when standing. For wheelchair users signs should be placed between 1000mm and 1100mm above floor level. Signs associated with control panels, e.g. lifts or door entry systems should be located between 900mm x 1200mm, to meet the needs of both wheelchair users and people standing.
Designated Car parking
Parking bays and floor graphics – one space for each disabled employee plus 2% of available spaces.
On October 1st 2004 the final stage of the goods, facilities and services provisions part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act came into force. Although the legislation has been in place for some time our need to meet the guidelines is still firmly in place. This article is a reminder of what we need to consider in terms of signs and our obligations to the DDA.
The aim of this legislation is to achieve equality between the disabled and able-bodied; it introduces a basic duty not to treat disabled people less favourably than others. The new basic duty or obligations apply to anyone providing a paid or unpaid service to the public. As a “service provider” you must ensure that access is available to all disabled people and that entry routes, facilities and all information are clearly defined and indicated by suitable signage. The regulations concern access, mobility and site signage, they apply to all service providers, ranging from large corporations to small businesses (not the owners of the premises).
Under recent changes to part 2 of the Act, all employers must now ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled people in terms of recruitment and employment conditions. Compliance with the DDA can be achieved effectively by most businesses within a modest budget; however, planning is essential to ensure that the disabled user is not at a disadvantage. The new provisions are a further important step towards ensuring that disabled people have access to services that others take for granted.
10 Sign areas to consider with the Disability Discrimination Act
You are required to make reasonable adjustments to your premises; the areas to be considered are the signing and marking of: