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

Information Desks

Many buildings have information desks staffed by an attendant. It’s often easier for a person with vision loss to ask an attendant for directions than find information from a directory.

Attendants should receive specific customer service training on how to provide good information to people with disabilities. This includes teaching attendants to communicate effectively with people with vision loss and use appropriate devices such as assistive listening systems (which augment sound for people with hearing aids) to communicate with people who are deafblind. In addition, training for information desk attendants should include appropriate guiding and etiquette techniques for assisting customers or visitors who have vision loss.

An information desk should be strategically located in relation to the main entrance of a building so that it’s easy to find and quickly accessed (e.g., placed in front of or at right angles to the main entrance). It could be highlighted using colour and brightness contrast in both the design of the desk and the path leading towards it. Consider using directional TWSIs or textural contrasts in floor materials, detectable by a long cane and underfoot, to lead individuals directly from the main entrance to the information desk.