Buildings and users with visual impairment: uncovering factors for accessibility using BIT-Kit

Lesley J. McIntyre, Vicki L. Hanson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    93 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    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 an unfamiliar public building. Through applying the BIT-Kit framework in this preliminary user study, we were able to uncover 54 enabling and disabling interactions within the case study building. While this building adhered to building legislation, our findings identified a number of accessibility 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 users who have a range of visual impairment. Furthermore, it has instigated discussion of how BIT-Kit’s evidence could be incorporated into digital modeling tools currently used in architectural practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationASSETS '14 Proceedings of the 16th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers & accessibility
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Pages59-66
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)9781450327206
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2014
    Event16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility - Hyatt Regency Rochester Hotel, Rochester, United States
    Duration: 20 Oct 201422 Oct 2014
    http://assets14.sigaccess.org/
    http://assets14.sigaccess.org/ (Link to Conference website)

    Conference

    Conference16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility
    Abbreviated titleASSETS 2014
    CountryUnited States
    CityRochester
    Period20/10/1422/10/14
    Internet address

    Keywords

    • Accessibility
    • architecture
    • buildings
    • visual impairment
    • way-finding
    • methods

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