Ask an Expert

1325–75; Middle English (adj.) < Latin expertus, past participle of experīrī to try, experience

Every day we live with the need to communicate. We need to rise above simple translation and see the meaning, when we build a website we need to include everyone (not just the sighted) and when we travel we are faced with challenging physical barriers. I know what it's like and think I have the depth and resources to help others make the right decisions.

Each month I will be responding to a question, chosen from a pool of some of the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and continue to be asked. A complete archive of "Ask an Expert" articles can be found here.

Donna Jodhan, a woman with short dark hair and glasses, sits at a table with a laptop in front of her.

This month, I'd like to answer the following question:

Making a train station more accessible

Before you say no or turn thumbs down on these suggestions; consider these thoughts.

You can definitely increase your revenue and reduce both your internal and external costs and here's how.

Take it from me! I have been an accessibility awareness consultant and advisor since 1998 and I continue to help companies to increase their revenues, reduce their costs, and reach hidden consumer markets!

In the normal scheme of things, October is probably the time when many of us visit a train station in order to embark on a wonderful journey to see the fall colours. For most persons with special needs this can considered to be a treat so we are going to give you some tips on how to make a train station more accessible.

  1. Make sure that there are ramps to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
  2. Ensure that doors to the train station are easy to distinguish and find. That is, that they are painted in colours that are easy to distinguish.
  3. That sidewalks are clear and easy to find.
  4. Signs should be easy to spot and read.
  5. Locating the service desk should be made easy and you can do this with appropriate signs and foreground and background to the desk.
  6. Use colourful tiles and tactile markations to mark important areas for travelers.
  7. Finally, make sure that staff is adequately trained in the rudiments of how to communicate with passengers with special needs. Remember now; one size does not fit all. Meaning that each traveler has their own unique requirements.

This should be a good start.