Visual impairment

Whilst the selection of colours can enhance both the way a building looks and works, careful colour selection can particularly improve the ability of visually impaired people to move around a building more easily.

This section of our site provides design guidance on how to enhance the built environment for visually impaired people. It is not prescriptive, doesn't encroach on design and selection control and can be implemented cost effectively.

In short, it will help designers to use colour and contrast to the maximum effect in enhancing spatial awareness and allowing easier identification of key building features without sacrificing the building's aesthetic appeal. It is highly recommended for buildings which are open to the general public.

The guide is broken down into seven main areas:

Types of visual impairment
Understanding each of the main groups of visual impairment.
How people assess visual clues about the area they have entered.
How lighting can significantly affect the way we perceive colour contrasts.
Critical surfaces
What are the critical surfaces in an interior?
Special features
Other areas that need to be highlighted to allow the building to be used effectively by visually impaired people.
General obstacles & furniture
The importance of using strong contrast colour for certain items.
Advice on colouring trim features.
Colour scheming

View tonal, harmonising and contrasting colours for easily adaptable schemes

Helping you use colour and contrast to improve the built environment for visually impaired people