Designing space for people with visual impairments means careful use of color and contrast.

Vision decreases for all people as they age, as well as with many medical conditions and developmental disabilities.  Not all visual impairments are the same, but some environmental strategies can help most people with decreased or low vision.

First, it is helpful to view some common household environments with a minor or moderate vision impairment.

The first images are how most people would view the environment in the house.  There is enough contrast between the floor and step to safely navigate.

The second images shows how the same steps would look with decreased acuity and perception of color (both common age related changes).  Notice how edges become blurred and contrast between colors is decreased significantly.  It has become much harder to safely navigate this single step.

Similiarly, both of these step stools appear easy to see and use safely.  However, when viewed with low vision, the black and white stool has much more contrast to allow for safe use.

 

Feel free to use and share the free infographic in this blog post.  For more detailed information and ideas, access with full pdf version here.

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