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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Use of the light rail or light rapid transit systems by individuals with severe visual impairments Svendsen, Kathryn Jane


This study investigated the relationship between use of Light Rapid or Light Rail (LRT) by persons with severe visual impairments and independence in orientation and mobility. Use of the LRT poses special problems to blind users and requires skill in mobility. The premise of the study was that blind persons who felt confident in travelling independently were more likely to use the LRT than those who do not. The study also examined the difficulties blind persons experienced in LRT use. The subjects were 63 persons between the ages of 19 and 65 who responded to a survey questionnaire. Thirty five of these individuals were male and 25 were female. All the subjects were registered as legally blind with the C.N.I.B. The range of visual loss included total blindness, light perception, tunnel vision, central vision loss and low vision. The results indicated that orientation and mobility training on the LRT system would resolve many of the difficulties that users of the systems encountered. Modification of the systems by transit companies to make the systems more easily accessible to visually impaired travellers are suggested.

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