The Ultimate Guide to Designing and Navigating Spaces for People With Vision Impairment
2.2 billion people living in the world have a short or distance vision impairment of varying intensities. Although blindness is falling worldwide, their number is set to grow due to the overall increase in population. It prompts us to be more socially responsible and make provisions for blind people to help them lead a comfortable life. Making shared public spaces more receptive to blind people’s needs is one such way of making life better for them. Thankfully, the world has laid down and accepted standards designed to help blind people navigate these public spaces independently. Let’s shed some light on those measures; these measures have the tacit approval of all the best signage companies in Dubai.
Navigating outdoors is a big challenge for bind people. They have to rely on their senses and telltale signs to find their way. Sign makers of Dubai are aware of it and manufacture signs accordingly. Here is how we can make our outdoors safer for blind people.
Use of bright contrasts: Nearly every blind person can perceive color if it is vivid and stand out from the rest of the environment. The ratio of totally blind people is meager. We can use bright contrasts to help them perceive their surroundings. For example, we can add a bright yellow or white stripe on the sides of the pavements to make them visible. Illuminating the sidewalks with LED lights is also a good idea. Although, while doing so, make sure the glare of lights is not very intense. Every outdoor sign company in Dubai follows these guidelines.
Pathways: There are universally accepted guidelines because traversing a path is very difficult for visually challenged people. The use of yellow-colored tactile tiles is now in every major city’s sidewalks. The one with lines means it is safe to keep walking, and the one with dots means it is time to stop. We can change their patterns to indicate other things like a crossing, intersection, etc. The railing should be installed at the start and end of the path to help them make sense of the way. The course should be cleared of any trees, bushes, and branches. Where it is possible, use a contrasting colored sign to mark a tree trunk. Avoid making a pathway that is uneven or has many turns. It is easier for blind people to walk in a straight line.
Auditory cues: We can add specific alarms or audible countdowns on crosswalks that announce when to stop and when it is safe to walk again.
Marking boundaries: When erecting fences, ensure they are of appropriate height and marked with bright contrasting colors. The idea is to make them perceivable for blind persons.
We can make certain modifications, introduce some changes, and add accessories to make the inside of buildings welcoming for blind people. Here’s what we can do to them.
Entrances and windows: Nowadays, most buildings have glass doors and windows. To make them more prominent for blind people, we can use glazed stickers with dots or stripes. We can also install a color contrast around the door’s frame. Another help for blind people can be adding contrasting colored textures close to the doorway. This way, they will know that they have reached the door. If it is possible to use automatic doors, they are effortless to use for visually impaired persons.
Lights: As we discussed above, vision-impaired people can make perceive a streak of light. Therefore, it is imperative that we keep the inside of the buildings well-lit, especially where someone with a low vision can get lost or feel helpless. There should be ample light coming from the floor and the ceiling alike. It should be like a guiding light that can help a blind person walk independently. Just make sure that the light does not glare; otherwise, it can confuse persons with low sight.
Stairs: Stairs form an integral part of any building. There are many things that we can do to make the stairs more prominent for blind people. First of all, all stairs must have a railing. It provides much support while climbing up and down. The signage of stairs should be large and contrasting. Use raised textured stripes at the start and end of the staircase. To mark the edge of the stairs, use contrasting textured tape.
Elevators: We can use textured contrasting colors to mark the entrance of an elevator. Inside the elevator, use buttons with engraved or raised numbers that someone with vision issues can feel with fingers. Elevators that announce the number of each floor are the best solution for blind people.
Signs: The signs should comprise prominent characters and images. Use contrasting colors to highlight the text written on the signage. And the use of contrasting lights on them can make them more noticeable. Signboards should have raised or Braille characters and be within easy reach. All signage manufacturers in Dubai adhere to these guidelines.
Pathways: The pathways inside a building are equally important as are in the outdoors. Inside it is much easier to convert them into a blind-friendly space. They should be adequately illuminated, to begin with. The contrasting colored textures should be used to mark an entry or exit point. Entire pathways can be constructed using a single material so that if a blind man strays from it, he should know by feeling a different texture under his feet. Rugs and mats can be added at strategic points to mark entrances, for example. A pattern of dark and light tiles should be avoided because they create confusion in the minds of a vision-less person. He conceives it as a change in the height of the floor.
If you have any questions or queries about making your inside and outside spaces friendlier for blind people, do not hesitate to contact Al-Rizq Advertising, one of the leading signboard suppliers in Dubai. It deals in all sorts of paraphernalia for visually imperfect people and dispensing excellent services.