ASSETS The 16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility

Buildings and Users with Visual Impairment: Uncovering Factors for Accessibility using BITKit.

In this paper, we report on the experiences of visually impaired users in navigating buildings. We focus on an investigation of the way-finding experiences by 10 participants with varying levels of visual ability, as they undertook a way-finding task in unfamiliar public building. Through applying the BITKit framework in this preliminary user study, we were able to uncover 54 enabling and disabling interactions within the building. While the public building used adhered to building legislation, our findings identified a number of problems including, issues associated with using doors, hazards caused by building finishes and difficulty in knowing what to do in the case of an emergency evacuation. This user study has demonstrated a disparity between design guidance and the accessibility needs of building users. It has uncovered evidence to enable architects to begin to design for the real needs of building users who have a range of visual impairment.

McIntyre, L.J. 2014 Buildings and Users with Visual Impairment: Uncovering Factors for Accessibility using BITKit. ACM. The 16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility. Assets 20 -22 October 2014. Rochester, New York, USA. DOI=10.1145/2661334.2661371

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