Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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For most people with vision loss, good lighting is the most important tool in the built environment because it helps reveal most of the key areas in a space (e.g., stairs and signage). Lighting is also one of the most complex elements of architectural design.

As people age, their eyes require more light to function effectively. An adult in their middle to senior years will need much more light to see well than a younger person. An eye condition can also affect a person’s lighting needs. The same level of light may be fine for a fully sighted person, excessive for someone with glaucoma and too low for someone with macular degeneration. Because of these variations, there is no standard set of guidelines that will meet everyone’s needs. Here are some general concepts to keep in mind when designing lighting for a built environment.

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