National Braille Week

braille fire exit signsBraille Week runs from the 7th – 13th October

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.accessibility 21 Braille Signs – Tactual from Stocksigns 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.

Read more about our Tactual signs

Signs for the DDA – Rail Signs Guide

signs for the DDA Click here for our DDA rail signage guide pdf

Rail Signs from Stocksigns

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.

Rail Signage

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.

Read more about Rail Signs for the DDA

How to Apply Vinyl Graphics

 

This article is dedicated to the different application methods used for applying/installing self adhesive vinyl signs and window graphics. Many of our safety sign ranges come with a self adhesive vinyl option making

frosted vinyl screen, glass highlighting

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

How to apply vinyl 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.

mobile phones, prohibition, safety signs

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.frosted glass, room divider, glass highlighting

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.

Fire Exit Signs and Emergency Escape Signs

 

ceiling mounted fire escape signsJust 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.
 

fire exit signs

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.
 
emergency escape 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.

fire exit signs 3

Signs for the DDA – Making Provision for the Disabled

braille signsMaking 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 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, this legislation 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 mist 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)      

BS 8300:2001

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

  • routes to and around buildings
  • designated car parking bays
  • building entrances and exits
  • directions to facilities – lifts, toilets etc.
  • information on services available to the disabled
  • clear indication of help points
  • emergency exit routes and disabled refuges
  • enhancement of general information signage
  •  

    Install Suitable Signage

    “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.

    What to avoid

    Text in upper case

    Upper and lower case text provides a recognisable “footprint” even if the text can’t be read.

     

     

     

    Letter Heights

    Viewing Distance Type of sign “x” height in mm
    Long Distance External Fascias 200mm
    External location 90 – 120mm
    External Directions 90mm
    House numbers 90mm
    Medium Range Location & Direction 60mm
    Identification signs 40mm
    Close Range Room Identification 35mm
    Directories 15mm
    Wall mounted information 15mm

    Good Contrast

    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.
    • parking bay signs
    • directional signage to reception or other areas
    • contrasting bands of colour on posts or columns
    • door entry signs

    Information Signage

    • The reception point should be clearly signed
    • signs indicating lifts, stairs, and other parts of the building
    • Facilities on each floor should be shown on landings and stairs
    • clear floor level signs in stair wells and by lifts
    • orientation signs in large buildings
    • directional signs, there and back
    • toilets, telephones, induction loop signs etc.

    Escape Route Signage

     

    Compliance with the DDA is not about avoiding being sued or fined but about caring for staff and improving your service for everyone.

    Braille Signs – Tactual from Stocksigns

    brailled signsBraille Signs

    At the end of March 2006 there were 364,615 people in the UK who were registered as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted) – RNIB. The Tactual Braille signs range from Stocksigns is the innovative and visually superior tactile signage system. Braille signs are capable of conveying fast, effective information to assist the visually impaired. They should be used to clearly identify exits, restrooms, entrances and other rooms for the visually impaired and also assist in way finding and navigation through your premises. Braille or Tactual Signs provide facility information in Braille for the visually impaired and also in bold letters and graphics for those who are not.

    Braille Signs – 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.braille signs Braille 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.

    What to look for in Braille Signs

    When choosing Braille signs from any supplier make sure they have the following features:

    • Wide spaced, raised text.
    • Highly durable, accurate, grade 1 Braille.
    • Braille locator.
    • Low gloss surface, high contrast colour range.
    • All safety symbols conform to BS 5499-5:2002 and ISO 7010

     custom made signs

    Stocksigns the health and safety signs and custom made signage manufacturer

    Top 10 signage areas to consider for the Disability Discrimination Act

    disabled toilet sign

    Safety signs and Disability Discrimination Act

    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:

    1. designating car parking bays
    2. setting down points
    3. routes to and around buildings
    4. building entrances and exits
    5. directions to facilities i.e. lifts, stairs, reception, toilets, restaurants etc.
    6. information on additional services available to the disabled
    7. clear indication of help points
    8. emergency exit routes
    9. emergency disabled refuges
    10. the enhancement of general information signage

    For additional advice on signage and the DDA we would recommend carrying out a site survey for your premises.

    DDA Signage Solutions for Surface Rail

    Stocksigns have produced an A5 reference guide to assist you with understanding the type of way finding needed for the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) and SFA (Step Free Access) improvement schemes.

    Network Rail have undertaken a comprehensive program to improve many 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 existing footbridge giving a step free route between platforms.

    Although rail signage schemes are sponsored by Network Rail in most cases the signage should be complementary to what is in existence 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.

    At Stocksigns we understand the signage requirements for these projects supplying DDA compliant signs in a train operator’s correct branding. Stocksigns have the knowledge that not only allows us to offer a compliant signage package but will offer it in a design that uses the correct identity. Our signs can bear directions, warnings, names, and advertising to help guide customers on their journey.

    The Stocksigns DDA Signage Solutions guide has been designed as an easy reference tool depicting the various generic sign types and their applications.

    For more information or to pre-order a copy email surfacerail@stocksigns.co.uk alternative DDA Signage Solutions for Surface Rail on line.