Whose line is it anyway? A post about tactile paths and audible wayfinding systems.

If for some reason you are still not following Haben Girma on Linkedin, or just missed her recent post, please watch the following video that she recently shared: 

I loved this video and blessed Haben for taking the time to create it and share it. 
Then , Belinda O’ Connor commented the following comment:

Idan, can you please share a post of details on how that combination works?
How would it operate worldwide?
Thank you!

My answer is of course! That’s actually a good opportunity to talk about this topic a bit more broadly. So, let’s start from the beginning: 

Do you see the lines in the picture below?

Yellow Tactile Paving

These are called tactile paths (or tactile paving) and they help people who are blind or visually impaired to acquire better orientation regarding the direction and path of where they are heading. Businesses often employ these in their pavements and parking lots, along with striping markers. This is usually done with the help of a Paving contractor in Royse City, TX & DFW, or similar ones closer to them. Using their services, pavements and lots can be clearly demarcated with stripes for handicapped sports.

If you have ever tried to walk a long distance with your eyes closed, you’ve probably noticed that keeping on a straight track is a challenge.
These tactile lines are helping pedestrians to always get back to the straight lane.


Where is this lane headed anyway?

This is exactly where the audible wayfinding is getting into play!
Think of it as audible augmented reality.

Thanks to apps like RightHear, pedestrians can hear the descriptions of the spaces around them in their language and pace. These audio descriptions are completing the missing piece of the tactile paths which is CONTEXT.

Here’s a short example of how it might sound like:

“To the entrance of the building, continue in this direction for about 40 feet, along the tactile path”.

It becomes even more powerful, in points of “decision making” along the way, like intersections, or stops for example.

“After the entrance to the building, the tactile path will split into 2 directions. The right path will take you to the reception and the left path will take you to the elevators”.

The value of having a tactile path AND an audible wayfinding system is HUGE. This is the classic situation where 1 + 1 = 3

From our experience in over 2,000 locations worldwide and thousands of weekly users: when both accessibility aids are in place – the experience of independent wayfinding – is extremely positive.

The old good show “whose line is it anyway” was all about situations that were totally out-of-context, and I loved that show.

But in reality, and especially when it comes to wayfinding, context is crucial.

It is time to raise the bar of accessibility.