Tactile markers and kerb cuts are commonplace on our footpaths and in other outdoor places. But what suits a person with a mobility restriction can pose problems for someone with low vision and vice versa. This issue of access features as a minimum standard is nicely presented in, Is your inclusive my exclusive?
The article is one of several conference papers in Open Space : People Space 3. It begins with a really good way of explaining the terminology each of which has inclusion as the underlying goal. Accessible design is about accommodating specific individuals and is usually applied at the end of the design process or a retrofit. But accessible design does not suit all.
Universal design is explained as a strategy to make designs usable for any many people as possible. This is less stigmatising for all users. If an outdoor space is designed inclusively, the need for tactile markers is reduced. Architectural features provide guidance instead.
The article includes a case study of tactile paving. Observations of pedestrians and lab tests on different designs are discussed briefly. The way that tactile pavers and kerb cuts are maintained is an ongoing issue for users and should not be ignored. The article ends with a reminder that good design, inclusive design, benefits everyone. Through a process of continuous improvement we can do better than minimum standards.
There are several good papers in this conference which was focused on research into inclusive outdoor environments.
See also a previous post, Tactile ground markers vs wheelchairs: a solution?