Tactile paving (also called truncated domes, detectable warnings, Tactile Ground Surface Indicators) is a system of textured ground surface indicators found on many footpaths and train station platforms to assist blind and vision impared pedestrians.
Tactile warnings provide a distinctive surface pattern of "truncated domes" or cones (which are small domes or cones that have had their tops cut off, or truncated) detectable by long cane or underfoot which are used to alert people with vision impairments of their approach to streets and hazardous drop-offs. People who are blind or visually impaired are alerted of impending danger from vehicle impact or a grade change.
Originally instituted at crosswalks and other hazardous vehicular ways by countries like Japan the United Kingdom and Australia, among others, the United States picked up the standard in the early 1990s, after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In the United States
In the U.S. tactile warnings systems are required by the ADA. The federal government, through studies and guidance provided by advocates and the Access Board, now mandates detectable warnings in prescribed locations, such as on the surface of pedestrian curb cuts and at the edge of rail platforms. Detectable warnings have been required for the edge of rail platforms in the United States since 1991. Detectable warnings for pedestrian curb cuts were suspended for study in 1994, and became officially required in 2001.
The ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) require these warnings on the surface of curb ramps, which remove a tactile cue otherwise provided by curb faces, and at other areas where pedestrian ways blend with vehicular ways. They are also required along the edges of boarding platforms in transit facilities and the perimeter of reflecting pools. The raised pattern of domes also known as truncated domes are the preferred design for detectable warning tiles and pavers.
The usage of tactile paving in many circumstances will be required in the United States as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Adoption of truncated dome-mats has been controversial in some areas including Sacramento, CA.
The Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) released Guidelines on access to buildings and services in 2007, under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. This recommends the use of Australian Standard AS/NZS 1428.4:2002 Design for access and mobility - Tactile indicators. The standard specifies the use of truncated cones, rather than domes (as used in the USA). HREOC describe the use of the standard in The good, the bad and the ugly – design and construction for access.
The original tactile paving was developed by Seiichi Miyake in 1965. The paving was first introduced in a street in Okayama city, Japan, in 1967. Its use gradually spread in Japan and then around the world.
- Australia / New Zealand AS/NZS 1428.4:2002 Design for access and mobility - Tactile indicators
- United Kingdom BS 7997:2003 Products for tactile paving surface indicators. Specification
- Japan JIS T 9251:2001 Dimensions and patterns of raised of parts of tactile ground surface indicators for blind persons
- Federal Highway Administration: Detectable Warnings Memorandum
- United States Access Board: ADA Accessibility Guidelines, Detectable Warnings
- External environments fact sheet
- Mobility Research Centre New Zealand: Providing Innovative Tactile SolutionsTemplate:Architecture-stub
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