Clearing Our Path

Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Home > Design Needs > Interior Design Elements > Service Counters and Kiosks

Service Counters and Kiosks

Service counters, information kiosks, ticket counters and similar amenities should be located adjacent to a main path of travel. Provide enough space so that a person standing at the counter with a guide dog or sighted guide will not be in the path of travel. Consider using directional TWSIs to guide people with vision loss from the entrance to the kiosk or ticket counter.

Service counters and kiosks should contrast in colour and brightness to their immediate surroundings for easy identification. They should be lit at the same level as their surroundings or have brighter lighting when necessary – for instance, when a person may have to sign something or pay at the counter. Counters should be clear of unexpected objects such as plants and pamphlet racks. If pens are included in a holder for the visitor’s use, they should not have pointy or sharp ends.

People with vision loss generally prefer a higher counter than the height usually preferred by people who use wheelchairs. Use two-tiered counters where possible.

Service counters and kiosks with glass partitions should include a communication system that allows people on each side of the glass divider to communicate clearly with each other. Consider audio loop systems at service counters to help facilitate communication for people who use a hearing aid. Avoid excessive background noise, which can prevent a person who is blind or who has significant vision loss from being able to hear instructions from a counter attendant. Environments where large crowds gather (e.g., movie theatres and restaurants) create a “din” and are problematic for people with significant vision loss.