VI Accessibility

Introduction

This page serves as a reference for making schools and other public spaces accessible to people who have visual impairments including blindness, low vision, and Cortical Visual Impairment. *Note that Washtenaw ISD does not specifically endorse any of the vendors linked below. The links are for informational purposes only. 

Signage

  • Generally speaking, signage should be clear, high contrast, uncluttered and placed at eye-level and within reach by everyone. Room numbers should be accompanied by a room title when possible and grade 2 braille should exactly match the print.
  • Room Signs / Numbers
    • Room numbers should follow a logical format (floor 1 are 100-level and increase along the length of a hallway; even on one side and odd on the other).
    • Provide clear signage in large, high contrast, raised type.
    • Grade 2 braille should exactly match the print.
    • See ADA Signage Link for more specifics on dimensions and placement specifications.
    • Room Signs Example Link*
    • Image of a room sign that reads 212A Storage Room in dark raised type with braille underneath it.
  • Informational Signage
    • Provide clear signage in large, high contrast type.
    • Keep the location consistent and as close to eye level as possible.
    • Use braille on signs when possible.
  • Fire alarm cover:

Adding Contrast

  • Tile Stairs
    • Stair treads (stick on the top of the step) one on the top step and bottom step of each stair section.
    • Also mark the beginnings / ends of railings to draw visual attention to them.
    • High Contrast Tile Stair Example Link*
    • Image of a set of stairs and railing with high-visibility yellow marking tape on the stair tread and railing
  • Carpet Stairs:
  • Paint curbs yellow and outside steps (paint on the top of the step)
    • Curbs near entrances or other high-traffic areas should be painted yellow to highlight a sudden level change.
    • Example Link
  • Film Coverings for Windows 
  • Door Mullion Highlighting

Appliances and Workspaces

  • Labeling Appliances / Workspaces
    • Appliances and other devices in schools and workspaces are often inaccessible as-is and may require braille and/or large-print labels.
    • Image of cabinet labelled with Crockpots, Roaster, and Water Heater in large print and brailleImage of microwave controls labeled with brailleImage of stove / oven controls labeled with braille

Cortical Visual Impairment

    Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is an impairment which relates to how affected people perceive and process visual information. Simple modifications can work for many people affected by CVI.

    • Add bright, high contrast labels to things such as coat hooks, lockers, and stairs.
    • Image of a CVI-adapted coat hookwith bright markings on the hook and a reflective / shiny pom-pom hanging above it with a bold-lettered name sign to draw visual attention
    • Reduce the visual business of work areas
    • CVI Resource Link*

Floor Maps

  • Best practice is to provide a tactile version of floor maps for wayfinding and emergency use. 
    • 3D Printing from blueprints can be done by professional companies or savvy teachers and students.
    • Low-tech versions can be made by anyone using crafting materials.
    • Label everything clearly in braille and large print. Use a key to explain symbols.
    • Prototype of a 3D printable floor map for a school building