When you’re trying to make cozy and fully functional surroundings for people with low vision, there are some practices you should always keep in mind. These practices are considered as the universal design – the design that can be beneficial to all of the potential users of the space.
The main goal behind the principles of the universal design is to make everything accessible to people that have low vision. Setting a place for blind or visually impaired people doesn’t have to be impossibly hard. You just need to understand the basic needs of the potential space users and you need some time to plan out everything. Some of the things you can think about are smart use of lighting, contrast, colors, and space in general.
We’ve scoured the web and we have managed to gather some of the best suggestions you should keep in mind when thinking about readapting your space to fit the needs of visually impaired people. Hopefully, this article will point you in the right direction when it comes to home renovations needed for people with low or no vision, so without further ado, let’s jump in.
One of the biggest problems for the visually impaired people is moving around the place. It gets easier as they get used to space, but there are some things you can think about right from the start. First of all, you need a clear traffic area – a part of the house used for navigating. With clearly defined traffic area that has no obstacles along the way, it’s way easier for people with low vision to move around.
Rugs can be quite a nuisance for the visually impaired, as they practically represent an obstacle on their way. Make sure your rugs are taped down and immobilized, or even better, get rid of it. Another thing you should consider is removing all the electrical cords from pathways and hallways. You can tape them down, or lead them over the ceiling to avoid making any kind of obstacles for visually impaired people. Don’t wax the floors, use products that don’t make your floor glare and keep the chairs pushed under the desks and tables.
Take care of lighting
Visually impaired people, especially elderly people whose eyesight is not totally lost need a lot of lighting in order to function properly. Think about that when you’re designing your house interior. Keep in mind that any kind glare in any combination should be avoided, as it makes life more difficult for the visually impaired.
Use adjustable blinds and curtains so you can adjust the natural light more easily. Place the mirrors around the house in such a way so that they don’t reflect or create glares. Use the general light, but also use a number of smaller lamps around the house to make sure there are enough light sources. Also, use lighting near furniture so it’s easier to spot for people with vision loss.
If you’re living in a house, then there are some great things you can do to adapt it for people with vision loss. These modifications can prove to be beneficial to everyone, as you can both upgrade your household and help any household member that has impaired vision.
Think about changing your windows for bigger ones, and try to let as much light in as you possibly can. Another great thing is renovating your roof. As the roof is one of the most important parts of the house, you can add roof windows to let more light in, and while you’re at it, make sure it’s been painted properly to extend its lifetime. As the experts from ASAP Roof Painters in Sydney have noted – well-painted roof with enough roof windows can significantly elevate the value of your property.
Use color and contrast smartly
Using the color and contrast to your advantage can help you a lot when you’re visually impaired. Usually, people with vision loss can notice highly contrasted items, so place light objects in front of a dark background and dark ones in front of the lighter color. Make sure that the doorknobs are in contrast with the doors and mark all the steps and sharp edges with a contrasting color so they’re easier to spot.
So, as you can see, making house modifications that can significantly help people with impaired vision is not impossible. It requires quite some planning and it requires a full understanding of the needs that visually impaired people have. The process of adaptation is not that hard once you know everything that needs to be done.
Another really great thing about these house modifications is that they show you care and that support is what helps quite a lot of visually impaired people deal with anxiety and stress that follows the slow or total loss of vision. Hopefully, these guidelines will help you get a better picture of what’s really needed in the home of a visually impaired person.