Mobility is the ability to move about or navigate a space from one point to another. When designing spaces for people impacted by blindness, it is important to have an understanding of mobility. This section will provide you with an overview of how people impacted by blindness travel.

In general, people impacted by blindness choose one of several methods for mobility:

  • They may travel independently, relying on their residual sight or using a mobility aid. The three most common mobility aids, in order of frequency of use, are the long white cane, the guide dog and a mobile device.
  • They often combine their use of residual vision with their use of a mobility aid. For example, light perception can be used effectively in conjunction with a mobility aid.
  • They may choose to travel with a sighted escort (also called a sighted guide).
A diagram showing four examples of people impacted by blindness and the space required for each:
   – An individual with a white cane: 750 mm
   – An individual with two forearm canes: 920 mm
   – An individual being guided on the arm of another individual: 1,200 mm
   – An individual with a guide dog: 1,200 mm

Specific types of mobility aids include: