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Section II

Review Usability of Facilities for Visually Impaired People in Sri Lanka Case Study of Bambalapitiya- Kollupitiya Section

Authors:

W. K. Mampearachchi ,

University Moratuwa, LK
About W. K.
Eng. (Dr.) , BSc. Eng.(Hons.)(Moratuwa), MSCE (South Florida), PhD (Florida), CMILT (UK),
Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering
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L. D. U. N. Liyanage

State Engineering Corporation, LK
About L. D. U. N.

Engineer, State Engineering Corporation
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Abstract

Accessibility protects the basic rights of a human being such as the right to receive facilities like healthcare, education and the right to do an occupation to earn one’s living etc. Therefore it is essential to develop a barrier free road environment that guarantees accessibility for all. Accessibility for differently abled people is not a new concept to the world. There are many related codes and practices in other countries. Sri Lanka has recently introduced this concept to the road infrastructure by improving the Bambalapitiya – Kollupitiya road section as disabled friendly.


The study team has reviewed international guidelines on designing facilities for blind and visually impaired people. The study team has also observed the behaviour of two trained blind personal while they were utilizing the tactile guide way at Bambalapitiya – Kollupitiya road section. A video clip was produced to further analyze their behaviour and review the usability of the facility. Several problems have been identified in the new facility. Most importantly when compared with guidelines which have been followed [3], there were deviations of construction due to faulty workmanship and lack of details mentioned in the document. Comments of two people were noted regarding their personal experience and their suggestions for further improvements.


It was found that the guidelines [3] have been prepared neither with proper understanding of visually impaired people nor the suitability of the design for the road environment in our country. After considering all these facts, the study team was able to modify some guidelines and even come up with new standards for the Sri Lankan condition. The study team has proposed new layouts for pedestrian walkways and bus stops considering the needs of both visually impaired and mobility impaired people.


ENGINEER, Vol. 47, No. 02, pp. 33-45, 2014
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/engineer.v47i2.6866
How to Cite: Mampearachchi, W.K. & Liyanage, L.D.U.N., (2014). Review Usability of Facilities for Visually Impaired People in Sri Lanka Case Study of Bambalapitiya- Kollupitiya Section. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. 47(2), pp.33–45. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/engineer.v47i2.6866
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Published on 20 Apr 2014.
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