In recent years sidewalk design has transformed to incorporate the concept of Universal Design so people of all abilities can utilize the public pedestrian environment. A small part of this change was the introduction of curb cuts, or curb ramps, which allow those confined to a wheelchair to leave a pedestrian way or sidewalk, cross a hazard such as a street and then re-access the pedestrian way without a barrier which historically was the 6” curb. While this change greatly improved the mobility for those confined to a wheelchair it created a problem for the visually impaired who now had no indicator they were entering a vehicular passageway.
Several solutions were attempted, acting as makeshift tactile warning systems, as a way to replace the curb. Of these solutions, by far the most beneficial was truncated domes. Truncated domes are a consistent surface that rises 0.2 inches above the base of the sidewalk, and serves to alert the visually impaired when they reach an entrance to a crossing. These truncated dome installations can be felt comfortably through your footwear, and audibly heard when tapped with a guidance cane. When tapped with a guidance cane the truncated domes will make a unique sound, making them easily distinguishable from the walkway or path.
Eventually, these truncated domes were incorporated into what is now known as a detectable warning tile, a tactile paving, or an ADA compliant tile. These detectable warning surfaces are long tactile panels which feature a series of truncated domes. They are used as tactile warning systems for a large variety of projects, including curbs, walkways, and transit platforms. Access® Tile pairs these with our directional Wayfinding tiles, which serve as tactile pathways, to create a system which allows the visually impaired to navigate a space safely and unaided.
Truncated dome installations must have a distinct contrast to the walkway next to it. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) established guidelines which state this color contrast must be at least 70% to maximize the benefit to visually impaired people. This ADA regulation allows people with limited vision to see the tactile paving.
Many jurisdictions have opted for Federal Yellow (33538), though many others colors are available including Orchre Yellow (23594), Safety Red (31350), Colonial Red (20109), Brick Red (22144), Ocean Blue (15187), Bright White (27925), Light Gray(26280), Dark Grey (36118), and Onyx Black (17038). In instances where the surrounding area is a light color, dark gray or black surfaces are used. Access® Tile is available in various sizes of tactile paving available to suit your unique project needs; detectable warning tiles can easily be cut without voiding the warranty.
A further benefit for all persons, including the visually impaired, is the anti-slip surface of the truncated dome tile. By using tactile strips, made from UV Stabilized composite technology, Access® Tile maximizes the slip resistance in our detectable warning tiles. We have further incorporated a unique diamond grip design on the surface of our tactile paving to increase its wear resistance; this diamond grip design is also on the truncated domes. Every one of Access® Tile’s ADA compliant tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI) contains up to twice as many tactile elements compared to other products on the market.
One of Access® Tile’s latest features is the replaceability system, which works for both our Replaceable Cast in Place tiles and Surface Applied tiles. Should one of Access® Tile’s TWSI ever become damaged due to extreme abuse, the tile can be quickly replaced. This whole process takes minutes, and allows the easy removal of non-compliant ADA tiles, greatly benefiting the community.
- Curb ramps benefit those confined to wheelchairs but removed the tactile warning system for visually impaired people. After many attempts, truncated domes were found to be the most beneficial solution.
- Truncated domes can be felt comfortably through footwear, and make a unique audible sound when tapped with a guidance cane
- All truncated dome installations come in bright colors that contrast with the adjacent walkway, allowing some visually impaired persons to see the tile.
- Multiple sizes are available, and tactile paving can be cut without voiding the warranty.
- All Access® Tile’s ADA TWSI are replaceable, allowing you to quickly remove tripping hazards.
- All tactile paving/detectable warning tiles are anti-slip surfaces.
- Our ADA compliant tiles are non-porous, which means they do not absorb water and can maintain their quality during the harshest winters.
- Every detectable warning surface fully complies with ADA Requirements.