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Home > ADA Sign Making
ADA Sign Making

ADA Signage Systems
Roland EGX-350 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-350 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-400 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-400 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-600 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-600 ADA Signage Package

ADA Signage Overview

On this page, you will find valuable information on creating ADA signage. Ranging from the various equipment solutions to current market analysis, rules and regulations; this page will provide all the resources you will need to consider on your road to ADA sign making. We recommend bookmarking this page for future reference as it is a compilation of all the most informative pages on the web.

American with Disabilities Act

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1992 by the U.S. Government with the intent of facilitating access and navigation in public places for people who are visually or physically impaired. In the process, the ADA set forth a set of guidelines for creating signage that would become the requirement for all tactile signs (those that require Braille and raised characters), particularly those located at doorways. The ADA recognizes the fact that people with little or no vision at all look to the doorway for a cue that there are tactile directional signs. In short, the American with Disabilities Act created a standard for properly labeling areas vision-impaired people are about to enter.

ADA Signs

Rules and Regulation

One of the main reasons some sign companies shy away from making ADA signs is because they worry that the rules might change too fast and would be too difficult to keep up with. In all actuality, they couldnt be further from the truth. The American with Disabilities Act has seldom changed in the many years it has been in effect. In fact, the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) that deal with sign regulations have remained the same. As knowledge of the rules have become more widespread, interpretations may have changed, or state building codes may impose some additional requirements, but the federal guidelines are the same as when they went into effect officially on January 26, 1992.

ADA Door Regulations

Furthermore, understanding the rationale behind the guidelines goes a long way toward shedding light on the ADA requirements. For example, consider the requirement for a height above the finished floor of 60 inches. The mandated height is important because the sign needs to be situated within a range that allows a disabled person who reads Braille to find it quickly. If the sign is too high, the vision-impaired visitor cannot reach it. If the sign is too low, they wont think to reach down. If the sign is positioned on the door instead of beside the door, the vision-impaired reader may peer closely at the sign and get hit in the face when someone else walks through the door. It really is quite logical. Whether you understand the rationale behind the particular rule or not, weve taken the liberty of providing you with the following links which will help guide you in finding all the necessary federal rules and regulations required for making ADA compliant signage (check with your state for additional requirements). Here you will find the ADA Standards for Accessible Design in both PDF and HTML formats. You can also view the American with Disabilities Act along with the latest amendments which became effective on January 1, 2009. All of this information and more can be found by visiting www.ADA.gov.

Required Equipment

There are a few pieces of equipment that are essential in creating ADA signage. First and foremost, ADA sign making requires an engraving machine preferably with an ample surface area. A Raster pen will also be necessary for applying the Braille lettering to the ADA signage. You will also need software with Braille translation capabilities along with a parallel cutter and a dot cutter tool for the creation of tactile signs. Watch the video to view the complete work flow.

ADA Signage Equipment

Selecting an Engraving Machine

When selecting an engraving machine for ADA signage, there are 2 factors to consider that directly affect the cost and the limitations of the machine. The first factor is the speed and strength of the motor. This greatly determines not only the types of material you can engrave on, but also how long you can safely operate the engraving machine without causing any damage. Hence, the more powerful the motor, the greater the variety of materials you can engrave and the more items you can engrave in a set time frame. The Roland EGX-350 is considered to be more of a medium-duty engraving machine, while the Roland EGX-400 and Roland EGX-600 are considered to be heavy-duty pro engravers. As the strength of the motors increase, the size of the engraving table increase proportionally as well. The second factor, the engraving area, sets the limitations for how large of an item you can engrave on. If the majority of your signs will not be exceeding 12 inches by 9 inches, the Roland EGX-350 will be a great match. However, if you plan on creating signs up to 16 inches by 12 inches (EGX-400) or 24 inches by 16 inches (EGX-600), you will need to consider one of the Roland Pro engravers.

Raster Pen Kit

Raster Pen Drawing A Raster pen is a device designed specifically for applying Rasters (machined spheres) to signs for creating Braille wording in accordance with ADA regulations. The Raster Method produces round or domed Braille dots that conform to new ADA Guidelines unlike previously used methods; such as photopolymer and routing, which produce flat Braille dots instead. The pen holds several of these tiny beads at once and is used to apply them manually, one by one into the pre-drilled holes of your ADA compliant sign. In flexible materials such as acrylic, the Raster is held in place by the tight friction fit of the Raster. In metals and other hard surfaces, Rasters are held in place by adhesive. The Rasters themselves are available in multiple finishes which can be used to accent the design of you sign. Rasters are available in black, white, stainless steel and brass. There are even clear Rasters if you desire to blend them into the sign face making them virtually invisible. The important thing to remember is that The Raster Method is a patented process. To use this method of Braille on signs, you must be licensed. The Raster Pen Kit includes a license to use the patented techniques and devices.

EngraveLab Software

Creating ADA signage requires software that supports a Grade 2 Braille font that utilizes a single-point drill function and has a built in Braille translator. With EngraveLab, you can convert text into Grade 2 Braille with a single click of the mouse. The Braille Drill tool can automatically locate individual dots and drill a point to a pre-determined depth. In addition, EngraveLab includes 65 import filters, 100 engraving fonts, a 5000-piece clipart library, and a variety of automatic fill routines including a nesting feature that makes your business more profitable by optimizing space and using material efficiently. Needless to say, EngraveLab is essential to various aspects of engraving, especially ADA signage.

Materials and Procedure

When using an engraver to create ADA signage, the consumable materials you will need are: Rasters, plastic substrate, and ADA applique. The plastic substrate will serve as your background and will also be drilled to hold the Rasters in place for your Braille writing. The ADA applique has an adhesive backing which is used to adhere the pictogram and letters to the plastic substrate.

ADA Sign Work Flow

The complete process can be broken down into a few easy steps. 1) Load the plastic substrate along with the dot cutter tool into the engraver and drill out the holes for the Rasters. 2) Using the Raster Pen, insert the Rasters into each individual hole to create the Braille writing. 3) Apply sheets of ADA applique to the desired areas. 4) Cut out the pictogram and letters. 5) Peel away the excess material. 6) ADA sign making has never been easier.

The Current Market

The ADA gave way to a new market place all together. All commercial buildings are now required by law to follow the ADA signage guidelines. While many people were and still are intimidated by the long, drawn out set of regulations, ADA rules are actually quite simple to abide by and are commonly overlooked or ignored by many sign shops. The fact of the matter is, ADA signage makes up a generous portion of the sign industry. According to the U.S. Economic Census Bureau, in 2008, the sign industry was an almost $11 billion market! An impressive number, especially if you have begun to feel the weight of the negative coverage of the economy. Of course, your shop might not be feeling like youve taken even a sniff of that large pie, which is an even better reason why creating ADA compliant signage should be taken into greater consideration. Many sign companies are not only prospering, but are reporting an increase in business during these edgy times due to the implementation of ADA sign making to their business.

ADA Signage Systems
Roland EGX-350 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-350 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-400 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-400 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-600 ADA Signage Package
Roland EGX-600 ADA Signage Package