Navigating an unfamiliar space can be a daunting task for those with visual impairments. Many of the visual wayfinding cues we rely on, such as street signs and cross walk lights, are not available to the visually impaired.
Alternatively, tactile surfaces provide non-visual wayfinding cues that allow persons with visual impairments to safely navigate public spaces, unaided. The use of wayfinding detectable warning surfaces ensures an accessible, barrier free pathway that safely guides pedestrians to major destinations in public spaces.
What is their Purpose?
The installation of wayfinding detectable warning surfaces is to indicate the primary routes of travel within a public space, in a non-visual way. These specialized ADA tiles guide persons with visual impairments from the entrance of a public space to the major destinations such as transit stops, information desks, and elevator call buttons.
Wayfinding ADA tiles allow persons with visual impairments to orient themselves in an unfamiliar space and follow their desired path, without barriers.
How do they Differ from Truncated Dome Tiles?
Although sharing some similarities, wayfinding detectable warning tiles differ from truncated dome tiles, both in purpose and appearance.
Wayfinding ADA tiles are comprised of a series of raised bars, rather than domes, with a micro-texture on and in-between each bar for enhanced detectability and slip-resistance. Where truncated dome tiles provide a warning of upcoming hazards, wayfinding ADA tiles provide orientation and navigation to persons with visual impairments.
Where is installation required?
Wayfinding detectable warning surfaces are required in large open floor spaces, such as shopping malls, concourses, universities, transit stations, and more. The installation of these ADA tiles is required to facilitate the ease of wayfinding, by providing a non-visual indication of the primary routes of travel.
The detectable warning pathway should lead from the space’s entrance to major destinations, such as an information kiosk, front desk, transit stop, and stairways and escalators.
How do they work?
Utilizing a distinctive pattern, that is comfortably felt underfoot and easily detected by guidance cane, wayfinding ADA tiles are installed end to end to create a continuous pathway. The tactile surface is easy to detect from the surrounding flooring and provides distinct audible feedback when tapped with a guidance cane, to provide non-visual wayfinding cues.
Additionally, these ADA tiles work in unison with the truncated dome tiles. An ADA tile is installed in key places along the path of wayfinding tiles to indicate where the path begins, ends or splits.
Although similar to the traditional ADA tile, wayfinding detectable warning surfaces serve a critical purpose in creating truly accessible public spaces. These specialized ADA tiles are an accessible alternative to the visual wayfinding cues we may take for granted, and allow persons with visual impairments to freely, and safely, navigate public spaces.
Access® Tile provides industry-leading wayfinding tiles, which are available as both replaceable cast-in place and surface applied, to meet the wayfinding needs of any space. Our wayfinding ADA tiles are lightweight and easy to handle and are the most cost-effective option available on the market, without sacrificing industry-leading durability and detectibly.