Ever been lost and late? For me, it was the Gaylord Opryland Hotel years ago. I was speaking to a group of over 450 people and could not find the way. I eventually asked one of the workers to escort me to the meeting room. It’s amazing how nerves and anxiety can take over your body!
Now, imagine being blind or having a visual impairment…this would be a daily occurrence.
For all ages, 12.1% of people have some type of disability. To put in perspective, over 37 million people have a disability. Two to three percent of all people have a visual disability which equates to over 7 million people. Over 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 daily. In this age bracket, up to 75% have a visual disability emphasizing the reason that ADA Compliant signs are so very important.
You may not realize it but every day these two groups, along with the sighted, rely on Architects, Designers, Sign Companies, and Installers to do their job correctly so that they can navigate the Built Environment. The 2010 Standard for Room Identification Signs (known as SAD) clearly states all of the codes for ADA Compliant signage. From thickness of raised tactile, braille dimensions, fonts, tactile minimum/maximum heights, to the placement of signs, it is so clearly spelled out for us. It is ‘not’ just our job to design and fabricate signs–it is also our job to help all people navigate the world.
In case you were wondering, my Opryland presentation went well despite being initially frazzled. Standing “O”!!!