The Importance of Tactile Business Signs in Ottawa, ON

Over the years, touchable signs and images have undoubtedly made life less of a guessing game for those living with visual limitations. Called tactile signs, this type of signage allows visually impaired individuals to read by touch, running their fingers along tiny raised bumps that come together to form words and numbers. This method of reading and writing a language is known as Braille, which is commonly found displayed on signage alongside written words for the general population. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of tactile business signs in Ottawa, ON.

OHRC compliance

As a business owner with a brick and mortar location, you should already be aware of the current laws and policies for your province. In Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has policies in place that require businesses to provide certain accommodations for people with disabilities. When it comes to signs around your business, the laws are more than reasonable: accommodate individuals with visual impairment by means of tactile signage.

More generally, the independence to perform everyday activities is something that everyone has a right to, especially since the public realm is not designated for only a single group of people. By displaying signs that speak to more than just your seeing customers, you are not only showing your willingness to contribute to personal independence, but also your respect for your vision-impaired customers.

Good business practice

If you have a vision impairment, being able to go about your day—going to work, grocery shopping, eating at a restaurant or going to a medical appointment—should not mean having to wait for an employee or customer to happen by to read a sign to you. To include Braille business signs in Ottawa, ON is good business practice for many reasons.

First, having both words and Braille posted is welcoming and speaks volumes about your business’ ethics. You don’t need to know much about human rights to know that this type of social inclusiveness makes a business stand out. Also, because everyone—visually impaired or not—can appreciate what a business is doing to support independence, your signs will not go unnoticed and good words will be said about your business. Word of mouth like this is one of the best forms of advertising out there.

Easy navigation for everyone

Navigating through a large business building without proper signs to guide you can have you all turned around, lost and frustrated. This is an even greater issue when there are no tactile signs to fit the needs of visually impaired individuals.

Signs are important for room identification—such as the names of particular rooms as well as room numbers, if applicable—so you can make it to an appointment on time or avoid walking in on the wrong conference. Tactile signage is also necessary to describe the amenities of a business or office, such as restrooms, phones, drinking fountains and stairways.

You may already be in compliance with the OHRC, but if you need new or additional tactile business signs in Ottawa, ON, contact the team at Plastics and Signs of Ottawa today to begin the process of creating new signage.

Braille for Your Business: Five Types of Interior Business Signs in Ottawa, ON

You may not always notice Braille signs in public—not because it doesn’t apply to you, but more likely due to the fact that they’ve become mainstream in our society, and rightfully so. Living with vision impairment does not mean losing independence or that your limitations are hindering your daily functions, which is why large companies, small businesses and offices can contribute to their customers’ quality of life with Braille signage.

But as a business owner, when and where should you have Braille added to your signage? Here are five types of interior business signs in Ottawa, ON that you may want to consider for your business:

  • Welcome signs: Inside or outside, a welcome sign offers a greeting on the business’ and owner’s behalf. A sign can be as simple as “Welcome,” or you can work with a professional sign making company to custom design one for your establishment. You want to be known to the public as a place where everyone is welcome, so keep in mind that it’s important to extend an inviting hand to those with vision impairments and other disabilities, as well.
  • Restroom signs: This is one of the most important types of signs a business can have. It’s an amenity that no one wants to have to hunt for, and nor does anyone care to walk into the wrong bathroom, which is embarrassing and can catch users off guard if walked in on. If the restrooms cannot be located or distinguished between men’s and women’s by visually impaired patrons, then you may have some complaints on your hands.
  • Elevator and stair signs: Not only is it essential for safety to mark stairwells and elevators with proper signage, but including Braille that tells which floor or door leads where will prove most helpful. Also, in case of an emergency like a fire, stairway instructions are needed to point individuals with visual limitations to the nearest exit.
  • Directional signs: You can help customers or clients find their way through the halls by installing tactile interior business signs in Ottawa, ON on the walls at the start of each new hallway, at the top and bottom of the stairs, next to elevators and especially close to the entrance of your building. Placing a Braille sign to identify the reception area is also a good idea, as folks can opt to ask for directions there.
  • Specific room signs: Whether sighted or visually impaired, everyone appreciates room signs. Room signs tell you the identity of a room or an area, and they can even tell you what the room is used for should the room name be too general. Just think of the many kinds of rooms you know make up a building, such as conference rooms, locker rooms, coffee stations, waiting areas and individual offices. In addition, tactile room number signs are just as important as room names when the number is the only identifying label.

Updating interior business signs in Ottawa, ON to include Braille is a fantastic move. Visit the team at Plastics and Signs of Ottawa today, where it has never been easier to create your Braille-enhanced business signage.