Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Vision Loss Basics

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Wayfinding

Whereas mobility is getting from one destination to another, wayfinding uses cognitive and perceptual information to reach a destination. Wayfinding also involves orientation, the process by which people with vision loss determine where they are in a space at any given moment.

Wayfinding design involves organizing the built environment to provide useful information for wayfinding. Environments that include universal design principles in wayfinding take into account all the human senses (not just sight) and all modes of travel (not just walking) in both the design and maintenance of an indoor or outdoor space.

People who cannot rely entirely upon sight for wayfinding often use a combination of other strategies:

The following design features are basic elements of wayfinding used by people with vision loss. They are described in detail throughout the Design Needs section.

Any combination of these design elements may be used in wayfinding depending on a person’s level of vision, the level of training they have received to help them walk with the long cane, prior knowledge of a space or their needs at any given time.