Improved Accessibility for Visually Impaired people
There are 285 million people visually impaired (who.org). Chronic retinal diseases, like cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, refractive errors are the main causes of visual impairment in upper-middle- and high-income countries.
Visual impairment can limit people’s ability to perform everyday tasks and can affect their quality of life and ability to interact with the surrounding world. The number of visually impaired people is increasing along with demographic changes, setting the requirements for traffic and pedestrian routing much higher year by year.
Our mission is creating more accessible and inclusive bus stops and pathways. By producing glare-free Beckstones we want to ensure accessible crossings – even at night and for everyone.
Trouble factors in streetscape and public transport
In public transport and streetscape design are usually equipped with standard pole lights, that create light islands and glare especially people with retinal diseases. The contrast of different color pavers, tactile systems and marking is poorly visible at night. Improving the situation with more light sources or increased lumen output makes the blinding effect even stronger.
Bill boards and typical inground lights glare and make orientation in public places difficult, sometimes even impossible for the visually impaired. In addition, we face construction barriers with curbs and steps and shared spaces for pedestrians, bikes and cars, which are not visible with their allover greyish contrast at night.
All these factors set a time barrier for visually impaired people, because surefootedness and easy orientation are not supported by most design approaches.
Our low light prevents discomfort with it’s ideal mix of non-glare luminaire and luminous flux that is accessible to those who are visually impaired.
By creating pathways within all types of architecture, our paver stones create a safe feeling within the community, its residents and guests all while considering the budget for energy, construction and maintenance.
Bus Stop with backlighting, normal vision
Bus stop at 25% loss of eyesight by cataract
Bus stop at 25% loss by cataract with LightStone edge-marking
Advantages in safety:
- Better orientation and detectability of the bus at night for visually impaired people
- Marking of the hazardous bus curb edge for all passengers
- Improved visibility of the curb while stepping out of the bus, since door lights are blinding people
- Warning function for approaching car and truck drivers