Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Design Needs

Design Basics

Exteriors and Interiors

Exterior Design Elements

Interior Design Elements

Paths of Travel

A path of travel is any space in a public facility where people might reasonably be expected to move from one point to another. It’s essential to pay attention to the design of paths of travel when considering people with vision loss. An accessible route will allow them to navigate public spaces safely and independently.

An accessible path of travel should ideally be straight, with turns as equal to 90 degrees as possible. Ensure the path’s surfaces are firm, stable, slip resistant and free of glare. Avoid using busy and heavily patterned surfaces, which can result in visual confusion and disorientation.

Pedestrian paths of travel should be designed to intersect as close to a right angle as possible, and the intersecting paths should continue in straight lines.

A straight path is easier to follow for people with vision loss. Curved or winding paths are more difficult to detect, more difficult to describe when giving verbal directions and more difficult for frequent users to memorize. Primary paths of travel that are clearly differentiated from the surrounding area are much easier to navigate. In large open outdoor and indoor areas, consider using textured surfaces to differentiate paths of travel from adjacent areas.