Awards & Engraving

September '19

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A&E SEPTEMBER 2019 • 9 WHAT IS ADA? The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a broad range of civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination based on disabilities. On September 15, 2010, the 2010 ADA Standards for Acces- sible Design (ADAAG) was published by the Department of Justice in the Federal Register, which provides detailed guidance on design and construction standards in an effort to prevent barriers for access for persons with certain physical limitations. These ADAAG guidelines require that all spaces in a commercial building that serve a permanent function (think rest- rooms, stairs, electrical rooms, etc.) be labelled with an ADA-compliant sign that includes good visual contrast with raised characters and Braille to aid the visually impaired in finding spaces. DESIGN It doesn't take long to learn the basics of ADA design guidelines. Color selections are important — there must be sufficient color contrast between the lettering and the background. Most manufacturers of specialty engraving substrates offer color contrast guides so that you don't have to become an expert on LRV contrast ratios. The sign can be labelled with a room number and/or a room name, and picto- grams are included on some signs to indi- cate accessibility. Lettering must be all capital letters in a sans-serif font. While there are technical requirements for the stroke and kerning of the lettering, there are a variety of fonts that meet these require- ments. Braille is placed directly below the raised characters with 3/8-inch clear space all around. There are easy-to-learn specifics on the placement and style of the lettering and software available for the rotary engraver that imports your designs from a more robust design platform into your rotary machine's layout software while also trans- lating Braille into the contracted grade 2 format required by the ADAAG. MATERIALS A quick flip through the catalog of your standard engraving substrate supplier will reveal that materials used for ADA signs may already be hiding in your racks. The field containing the ADA mes- sage on the sign must have a non-glare finish. There are ADA-specific single-ply materials offered by all major engraving substrate suppliers. You need 1/32-inch thick appliqué material that is backed with a pressure-sensitive sheet adhesive. You can choose from the standard colors available or you can offer custom colors by painting the first or second surface of a 1/32-inch clear matte plastic. Deep dive further into ADA education with this article from Sharon Toji, The ADA Sign Lady: Shown here is routed tactile appliqué done by mechanical engraver. Vector cut tactile appliqué done by a laser engraving machine.

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