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For May 2015:

How to make subway platforms more accessible

For the most part the general perception appears to be that it may not be possible to make subway platforms accessible to those with vision loss but where there is a will there is usually a way. This does not mean to say that it will always be possible especially so if this task is attempted after the subway platform has already been constructed without having taken accessibility features into account at time of construction. In the normal scheme of things, there are a few very important features that should be considered no matter what and here is a short list.

  1. Make sure that the edge of the platform is marked with both a color that is easy to see and with material that is easy to feel with a cane.
  2. Make sure that the color being used to mark the edge has enough contrast with the rest of the surface of the platform.
  3. Make sure that the subway platform is well lit with lights that are of bright colors and ones that are easy to spot.
  4. Pillars should be placed in strategic locations and should be painted in colors that make it easy for them to be identified.
  5. If signs need to be used, then they should be placed in locations that are not in the way of ongoing pedestrian traffic and if placed in overhead spots then they should be located out of the way so that a person with vision loss does not bump their head while walking along the platform.
  6. If there are steps that lead up and/or down to subway platforms then these steps should be made easy to find, should be painted in colors that are easy to spot, are not too narrow or too wide, and not too steep.
  7. There should be railings on both sides of said steps.

This is a good list to get you started and there are of course more tips for you to consider. Give these a try.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan, your freelance writer and roving reporter wishing you a terrific day.

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