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Guidelines for Placing Braille Signage in a Hospital or Medical Facility

Hospitals and other medical facilities need to install braille signs to help blind patients find their way around. The placement of these signs is critical to consider or else they may end up being useless. The following tips will improve your sign installation and help your blind patients move around your hospital with ease.

Don’t Neglect the Federal Placement Requirements

The federal government regulates where hospitals and other medical facilities place ADA signs, including setting signs at a height between 48-60 inches. Braille signs should probably be on the lower end of this range because people will be feeling for them at a hand level. As 48 inches is four feet, this height is more than enough for most signs.

The location of the sign should be on the wall nearest to the latch side of the door. This placement helps blind individuals not only locate the sign but the handle of the door more easily. Installation on a wall away from the handle is okay only if placement near the latch is impossible because a wall or another hard object blocks installation or makes it impossible.

When it comes to double doors, the sign must be installed to the right of the right-handed door. Other criteria, such as where to mount signs on inward swinging or outward swinging doors, are too extensive to touch on here in any great depth. Talk to your ADA representative to better understand these restrictions and to adequately prepare for them.

Use Common Sense

Ultimately, the best way to ensure that your braille signs are correctly placed is to use common sense. Simply think about where a blind individual who put their hands when looking for a sign in your hospital. You may want to walk through your facility, when it is closed, with your eyes closed. Feel around the hospital as a blind person would and see where your hands fall.

Naturally, you’re not going to have the same kind of movement behaviors as someone who has been blind for an extended period. These individuals will have a better understanding of how to move around their environment and will have walking sticks and other aides for their movement. However, this exercise can give you a good general idea of what they experience in your hospital.

Use these insights to place your signs in a way that benefits the blind patients who visit your hospital. And, as always, make sure to follow the strict federal regulations on sign placement. These regulations are not put into place merely to annoy you but to serve as a guide for their ideal location. Play around with the range of placement options within the restrictions to find placement locations that work for you.


One Comment

  • Rosie Beckett

    My brother runs a family practice and yesterday he was telling me that he is looking for ways to make his office more accessible to people with disabilities. He is thinking about adding braille signs, and I appreciate all of the important information in this article. Thank you for explaining how important it is to walk around the hospital with your eyes closed and logically think about places where blind people would place their hands.

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