In this section
Tactile paving (used in many countries) is specialist paving which can be detected underfoot to convey information to vision impaired people. The paving is also often in a contrasting colour or tone to the rest of the nearby ground surface to provide an additional cue to those with useful residual vision. Internationally it is referred to as Tactile Walking Surface Indicators (TWSI) and is the subject of an international standard [ISO 23599:2012, Assistive products for blind and vision impaired persons].
There are two different types of tactile paving:
- Warning paving, which is used variously to warn of pedestrian crossings, platform edges and the tops of staircases.
- Directional paving used for guidance.
Tactile paving is useful for navigation as it provides a useful cue and reference point. Vision impaired people may be trained in the location of tactile paving along their familiar routes.
3.1 Mentioning tactile paving in audio instructions
For the reasons mentioned above it is recommended to incorporate tactile paving in audio instructions where it is used correctly for guidance or warning along a route. It will be important to check that the paving is laid correctly if the messaging is to be accurate.
When tactile paving is being used for guidance, the audio instructions can be expressed as in the following examples:
Turn left and walk forward until you locate the tactile guidance paving. Follow the guidance paving to your left.
At the next tactile paving intersection, continue to follow the tactile paving forward.
At the next tactile paving intersection, turn left and continue to follow the tactile paving.
At the end of the tactile paving, keep walking forward.
When tactile paving is being used for warning purposes, such as to indicate the edge of a platform, the audio instruction can be expressed as in the following example:
The platform ahead has tactile paving to warn of the platform edge