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Improving Access To Public Spaces

by | Nov 19, 2023 | Canadian Accessibility Action Plan

Person with white cane at stairs outside

Improving access to public spaces for the visually impaired requires careful consideration of their needs and abilities. Here are some ways cities can improve access to public spaces for the visually impaired:

1. Improve sidewalks: Sidewalks should be free from obstacles and well-maintained to ensure safe navigation for the visually impaired. Consider adding tactile warning strips at crosswalks and curbs, as well as using contrasting colors and textures to help visually impaired individuals distinguish between different surfaces.

2. Install Braille and tactile signage: Braille and tactile signage can help visually impaired individuals navigate public spaces with ease. Signage should be placed at eye level and in a consistent location, and should be easy to read and understand.

3. Enhance public transportation: Public transportation is essential for many visually impaired individuals to access public spaces. Cities should ensure that public transportation systems are accessible, with clear signage and announcements, and tactile and audible indicators.

4. Encourage inclusive design: Inclusive design takes into account the needs of all users, including the visually impaired. Cities should work to encourage inclusive design practices in the development of public spaces, such as incorporating audible signals at crosswalks and designing public spaces with clear paths of travel.

5. Foster community engagement: Cities should work with community groups and organizations that represent the visually impaired to better understand their needs and experiences in public spaces. This can help cities identify areas where improvements are needed and develop solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of visually impaired individuals.

Overall, improving access to public spaces for the visually impaired requires a comprehensive approach that considers a range of factors, including physical infrastructure, signage, transportation, and community engagement.

Kent Stewart

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