The Tactile Ground Safety Indicator, like lots of things in the world, has international standards it must maintain regardless of where it is produced or installed. Designers must also stick to a general way of functioning so that all tactile indicators are the same, and visually impaired people can access their settings no matter the country or regions they visit.

However, before we delve further into the topic of Tactile Indicators Brisbane and its functions, it’s important to understand how visually impaired persons explore their environments, and how accessible spaces can be built for them.

Also notable, is that the visually impaired are not completely blind, rather they are partially blind. Hence, they rely on their vision and some visual cues to move around. Thus, taking into account that they also explore the world with texture and audio signals, it is only right to include these two components to make navigation of spaces and environment easier for them.

Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI’s) – A Vital Improvement

This purpose-built technology is to assist people with poor vision in safely exploring or moving around the environment using sensory and visual indications.

Remember that legally blind people don’t necessarily have to be completely blind, and so, the luminance contrast technology is used to make particular architectural spaces easier to notice for legally blind persons.

The Right Areas To Use Luminance Contrast

In order for luminance contrast to be accessible to the visually impaired, they are required to be used in certain places e.g.

  • Doorways require a 50-mm band with a 30% luminance contrast.
  • A 30% luminance contrast is required for the toilet seat, surface, pan, or sidewalls behind the pan when it is observed from the doorway by the visually impaired individual.
  • For each stair step, 50- to 75-mm broad nosing steel tactile indicator strip with a 30% luminance contrast.
  • Signboards require a 30% luminance contrast against the wall backdrop.
  • Elevator buttons are to have a 30% luminance contrast around their edges, except they are the self-illuminating type.
  • 30 percent luminance contrast is needed for integrated floor tile type; 45 percent luminance contrast is needed for the single-coloured discrete type (individual buttons), and 60 percent luminance contrast is necessary for the composite-discrete (two coloured buttons) type.
  • For glass panels that could be assumed as an opening, visual indications are needed. A visual indicator needs a 30 percent luminance contrast against the immediate floor surface.

The Best Outdoor Areas to Use a Luminance Contrast

Here are a few areas you may use luminance contrast for a more accessible visually impaired environment:

  • To distinguish the edge of the curb from the black pavement, add a white or yellow line to the edge. This helps the visually impaired individual differentiate the sidewalk from a barrier.
  • To help a visually impaired individual determine the depth of stairways or steps, you can add high contrasts to the edges of stairwells.
  • The visually impaired individual can see contrast better than a well-lit area. To indicate a situation where their safety could be threatened e.g a crosswalk, it is only proper for one to increase the amount of lighting contrasts so they can safely navigate the area.
  • For luminance contrast, one will need to illuminate the ground. Placing LED lights in places with contrasting colours will assist the visually impaired to see the contrast long after sunset and paint visibility is no longer present.
  • Contrasting textures such as tactile plates or steel tactile indicators Melbourne can be used to indicate variations in areas like crosswalks to meet accessibility criteria. These adjustments also serve as indicators of elevations or traffic-feature changes in some other regions
  • Tactile ground surface indicator is also used to indicate the transitions allocated to walkers, cyclists, etc. Adding extended bumps to walking paths helps the visually impaired to determine places they can walk safely, and thus, help to prevent collisions with bicycles or motorcycles.

Etiquettes Involved In Building Shared Spaces

These are some etiquettes to have in mind when you build an outdoor space that will be accessible to the legally blind:

  • Use texture contrast, tactile plates, stainless steel tactile indicators only where necessary. They are not required elsewhere as this may lead to confusion and accidents for the visually impaired person.
  • Ensure that the walking path is not too curved. If you can keep it straight, please do.
  • Ensure that the boundaries you are adding are beneficial and not dangerous or threatening the safety of the visually impaired individual.
  • Ensure to use stainless steel tactile indicators at the start and end of the stairwell.
  • Always make use of tactile indicators and visual signals around stairwells.
  • Make sure to mark every step’s edge with textured steel tactile indicators, or with a luminance contrast.
  • Include railings in all stairwells.
  • Ensure to use contrast indicators to mark the boundaries of stairs.

Including the above in your designs are essential in making the environment a safer and more instinctive one for everyone.


This article has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the streets pose a threat to the safety of the visually impaired, and not just because of the traffic.

Staying on the path when using a crosswalk, finding the borders of curbs, and finding the actual crosswalks are also serious challenges for visually impaired persons. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that these challenges are considered when building roadways, so as to make them accessible to everyone.

You can get more information, as well as tactile ground surface indicators, stainless steel tactile indicators, and steel tactile indicators Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane at Floorsafe Australia Pty Ltd.