The Building Code of Australia (BCA) contains requirements and standards for braille signs and tactile signage in section D3.6. of the code.
Building Code – Tactile Braille Toilet Signs
This Part sets out the requirements for the design and installation of Braille and tactile signage as required by clause D3.6.
Location of Braille and Tactile Signs
Signs including symbols, numbering and lettering must be designed and installed as follows:
- Braille and tactile components of a sign must be located not less than 1,200 mm and not higher than 1,600 mm above the floor or ground surface;
- signs with single lines of characters must have the line of tactile characters not less than 1,250 mm and not more than 1,350 mm above the floor or ground surface;
- signs identifying rooms containing features or facilities listed in clause D3.6 must be located:
- on the wall on the latch side of the door with the leading edge of the sign located between 50 mm and 300 mm from the architrave; and
- where (i) is not possible, the sign may be placed on the door itself.
Braille and Tactile Sign Specification
- Tactile characters must be raised or embossed to a height of not less than 1 mm and not more than 1.5 mm.
- Sentence case (upper case for the first letter of each main word and lower case for all other letters) must be used for all tactile characters; and
- upper case tactile characters must have a height of not less than 15 mm and not more than 55 mm; and
- lower case tactile characters must have a height of 50% of the related upper case characters.
- Tactile characters, symbols, and the like, must have rounded edges.
- The entire sign, including any frame, must have all edges rounded.
- The background, negative space or fill of signs must be of matt or low sheen finish.
- The characters, symbols, logos and other features on signs must be matt or low sheen finish.
- The minimum letter spacing of tactile characters on signs must be 2 mm.
- The minimum word spacing of tactile characters on signs must be 10mm.
- The thickness of letter strokes must be not less than 2 mm and not more than 7 mm.
- Tactile text must be left justified, except that single words may be centre justified.
- Tactile text must be Arial typeface.
The following apply to luminance contrast:
- the background, negative space, fill of a sign or border with a minimum width of 5 mm must have a luminance contrast with the surface on which it is mounted of not less than 30%;
- tactile characters, icons and symbols must have a minimum luminance contrast of 30% to the surface on which the characters are mounted;
- luminance contrasts must be met under the lighting conditions in which the sign is to be located.
Braille and tactile signs must be illuminated to ensure luminance contrast requirements are met at all times during which the sign is required to be read.
The following applies to Braille:
- Braille must be grade 1 Braille (uncontracted) in accordance with the criteria set out by the Australian Braille Authority;
- Braille must be raised and domed;
- Braille must be located 8 mm below the bottom line of text (not including descenders);
- Braille must be left justified;
- where an arrow is used in the tactile sign, a solid arrow must be provided for Braille readers;
- on signs with multiple lines of text and characters, a semicircular Braille locator at the left margin must be horizontally aligned with the first line of Braille text.