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Two Patio Design Tips For The Visually Impaired

by Carolyn Fox

There are over 357,000 people in Australia who are visually impaired. Whether you are one of them or you have a family member living with you who is, you know that people with visual impairment do their very best to not let this impairment slow them down. Getting outside into the fresh air is invigorating for the mind and body, so now that you are planning an upgrade to your patio area, you need to give careful thought to the planning so that those who cannot see well get just as much enjoyment from it. Here are two tips to keep in mind as you are thinking about your patio design.

Patio Base

One of the most important decisions you will make about your new patio area is the type of base you will put down to walk out onto. It needs to be levelled and uniform so that a person with a visual impairment has no chance of tripping over an uneven surface. Surfaces that work well for this include a concrete pad, bricks, and paving stones. If you choose the latter two options, make sure you fill in between the bricks and stones with gravel or concrete so there are no deep gaps between each one.

The main reason these three options are better than a wood patio base is that they will give traction to the shoes of the visually impaired. Walking out onto a wet wood patio in the winter can get slippery, and this may cause a falling accident to happen.

Patio Paths

When considering the path that leads up to your patio, the key word to remember is texture. When there is a difference in texture between the path, the garden/lawn, and the patio edge, a person who cannot see well can distinguish between the different areas by the change in sound that happens when they move from one texture to another.

Again, make sure that you reduce the chances of any falls occurring by giving careful thought to the types of garden edging and paths that you will use. For example, if you want to distinguish between the lawn and the path using edging, it should be no taller than 20 mm off the ground. This will still give the garden firm definition, but will not cause an injury if a person stumbles over it (or stubs their toes)

Using these two ideas as a starting point for your patio design will help make sure that it is a safe environment for anyone in your home who does not have perfect vision. Make sure you mention your impairment issues to your patio builder so that they can take extra care when making your design plans a reality. For more information, contact local patio companies like Allweather Shelters