A continuous guiding route in the city of Borlänge. A study of four people who are blind and their walks along the route
AuthorsAgneta Ståhl and Mai Almén
SessionC4. Guiding and accessibility in transport environments
Date and Time2014-06-17, 11:20 - 11:40
Full Text PDFDesign Case
Presentation PDFShort oral presentation
People with impaired vision/blindness acquire information about the street environment through a long white cane that allows them to feel different surface structures or being able to see distinct contrasts between different surfaces. Hence important design details in the pedestrian environment must function reliably, i.e. different kinds of passages across streets and bicycle lanes, separation between pedestrian and bicycle lanes and design of bus stops. Properly designed surfaces satisfy three requirements: guidance, warnings, and choices. Pedestrian pathways must be easy to notice and follow. Gaps in the environment require artificial guiding surfaces, e.g. sinusoidal or rib slabs and must be 60 – 70 cm wide. The slabs of the guiding surfaces are to be placed so that the grooves lie in the direction of the walk and provide a tactile sensation in the hand via the cane. Warning surfaces must consist of chamfered domes. To enable people with minor visual impairments to follow a path, it must have light contrasts with the surroundings, at least .40 according to the NCS system. At the conference we will show how people with visual impairments experience different design details in the pedestrian environment, and what impact they have on their usability and safety.