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

Obstructions

A concrete sidewalk with an amenity zone separating the pedestrian route from the roadway. The amenity zone is differentiated using brick paving, which provides colour and texture contrast. A bench, signposts and a planter are located within the amenity zone.

Paths of travel should be wide enough to allow an individual with a guide dog to pass a person using a wheelchair who is travelling in the opposite direction. The width of a path of travel should be a minimum of 1,800 mm.

Place benches, garbage cans, planters, signs, bus stop shelters and other streetscape elements outside the path of travel – ideally in an amenity zone that is clearly differentiated from the path of travel using ground finishes that contrast in colour and texture.

Elements of use to pedestrians (e.g., benches and waste receptacles) located near the path of travel should be within 600 mm of the edge of the pathway so that a person using a long cane can easily detect them.

Sandwich boards or temporary signs should be avoided wherever possible. These can create major obstacles for people with vision loss, making independent travel unnecessarily difficult. If deemed necessary, they should be placed well outside the path of travel.

Gratings should be positioned so that their long openings are perpendicular to the path of travel. To prevent canes and high-heeled shoes from becoming entrapped in gratings, the spacing between the openings should be 13 mm or less, measured edge-to-edge.

The path of travel around restaurant patios, located in the typical path of travel, should be separated from the patio by a cane-detectable barrier. The route around it should be clearly marked using cane-detectable guidance TWSIs, or it should have textural contrasts in ground materials that are detectable by a long cane and underfoot.