Blind and Low-Vision Educational Design

Creating a sensory rich environment is essential to enhancing the independence and comfort of people who are blind or visually impaired.  Dickinson + Partners accomplishes this goal by bringing creativity to the design of barrier free building environments while enhancing way finding elements through signage, tactile clues, and technology.

 Designing classrooms for children who are blind or low vision requires embracing all the senses so that the building itself is a teaching tool.   A school for blind children has special acoustics, light and textures to enhance the children’s understanding of the world.   Distinct floor surfaces and lighting help children to differentiate places and sounds when using a cane to travel.  Distinct and varied materials for walking paths, allow students to detect change of direction and crossing points to increase their independence.

Throughout the design process, Dickinson + Partners keeps a keen focus on the visual effectiveness of certain color combinations.  The contrast of interior colors can be strategically used to create visual boundaries such as dark flooring surfaces which allowed the students to identify changes in spatial composition.  The use of bright and contrasting colors aid students in discerning shapes and patterns, and can be a significant tool in designing a campus-wide wayfinding system.