Stairs and Escalators
Escalators and stairs can be difficult to negotiate for people who have impaired vision, particularly if the stairs have irregular steps, poor markings or no handrails.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's Orientation and Mobility Instructors provide training to improve people's confidence and safety when using stairs and escalators.
Mobility aids are often useful to negotiate stairs and kerbs. For example, a cane can detect drop-offs in ground levels, identify a succession of stairs, and confirm the height or depth of a step. Also, a Guide Dog is trained to pause at the top and bottom of a flight of stairs.
To assist people who have impaired vision, the nosing (or edge) of each step should be clearly defined in a contrasting colour. Tactile ground surface indicators (TGSIs) are also useful at the top and bottom of stairs, to indicate the change of gradient or a potential hazard.
While stairs are increasingly designed using these safety measures, there are still many that do not have them. Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can advocate for the installation of TGSIs or stair markings in necessary locations.
Our instructors also provide specific training in the use of escalators.
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