UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

According to the Disability Unit of the University of Pretoria, they accommodate more than 800 visually impaired students and this figure does not include other students with special needs. To assist these students in finding their classes, centers and refreshment areas, using restroom facilities in dignity and exiting gates, Gimi Access (Pty) Ltd and a Universal Access Consultant was contracted to construct a “Blind Path”, making use of Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI’s). Feedback from students are overwhelmingly positive.

A trial section was completed for students to determine the most visible color of TGSI’s, as some visually impaired people can distinguish between light and dark hues. A bright yellow color was chosen.

Quite a number of obstacles and difficult situations were successfully handled, for instance:

  • The “Blind Path” leads over channels with concrete covers, where specialized frames had to be constructed to make sure the pattern continues for the visually impaired.

  • It was imperative to use stainless steel discreet bars with yellow polyurethane in certain areas, as the route leads over a channel with steel lids, concrete slabs that could not be removed, as well as over an area covered with tiles.

  • Phase 1 was completed in March 2018 and Phase 2 was completed in the middle of November 2018.

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