Any public or semi-public space that uses signage in order to offer information needs to take account of all of the people who will use it. This could mean setting your signs at a slightly lower height than usual, for example, so that wheelchair users can read them. You may also need to offer signage in multiple languages in certain situations, such as international airports, for instance. In addition, it is important to take into account the particular requirements of visually impaired people. Important signage that shows the way to facilities or provides information on the services on offer must be able to be digested by everyone, including those who cannot see as well as the general population. What measures should you take to make sure your signage is better for visually impaired people?
Many informational signs that are in the public domain already makes use of high-contrast techniques to make their words and symbols clearer. This is usually because people are viewing signs from a distance away, and these techniques help the signs be read. However, signs that are designed to be read close up tend to do away with this high-contrast approach, which is a mistake because many visually impaired people simply won't be able to read it properly. Stick with a simple typeface and two very contrasting colours for the best results.
In order to cater for everybody's needs, it is also crucial that Braille signs are offered. You do not need to produce a separate signage system for Braille readers. A good system will integrate Braille into the signs that everybody else is looking at. The raised studs that make up the Braille system should be sized correctly, however. All too often, signage manufacturers produce Braille that is not in the standard size, which means that it becomes harder to read than it should be.
Plan for the Future
Long-lasting materials should be used for any signage system. After all, if signs are to be left out in the elements, then they will be of little use if they fade over time. This will make them harder to read for everybody, let alone visually impaired people. Furthermore, any Braille elements that are included on signs also need to stand proud after years of use. Remember that as Braille signs are read, they will wear down unless a durable material is used in the first place. Avoid sticking Braille messages to a sign that has been manufactured before because the adhesive used will ultimately fade. Braille lettering should be an integral part of any sign's design in the first place.