For Seniors and Homecare providers

Tips for accessible bathrooms:

  • Ensure that the lighting is bright, and is even throughout the bathroom including shower, vanity, and toilet area.
  • If individuals have trouble locating light switches, install sensors that turn lights on automatically when someone enters a room.
  • Avoid glare from sunlight by installing proper blinds on all windows.
  • It is best to use high contrasting colours in designing bathroom, for instance, a dark coloured toilet, vanity, and bath tub on white tiles.

Tips for accessible bedrooms:

  • Install bright lights in bedroom.
  • Closets should have proper lighting.
  • Wall finishes, ceilings and flooring material should not produce any glare from artificial light.
  • Bedrooms should be designed with contrasting colours on furniture, doorframes, and closets. For instance, navy blue bedding on white rug, and black doorframes against white walls.
  • Tactile name signs with high contrasting colours should be placed close to doors to assist the individual in finding their room.
  • All design features should meet the individual’s unique needs

Adapted from: Accessibility Guidelines, DeafBlind Ontario Services, 2015.

Accessibility needs are different for each individual and designing accessible spaces means designing for diversity.

Check out DeafBlind Ontario Service’s detailed Accessibility Guide

For Healthcare Providers

Tips for Accessible Waiting Rooms:

  • Doors should use contrasting colours on door knobs, and buttons that open doors automatically.
  • All name signs should contain high contrasting colours and Braille.
  • Indicate if door opens by PUSH or PULL in Braille, large print, and using high contrasting colours (for instance, white letters on a black surface).
  • If a person appears lost when they enter that waiting room, greet the individual loudly, or approach them and ask if you can help.
  • If a person has trouble finding a seat, help guide their hand into that seat.
  • When calling out the name of the patient who is next, please remember that a patient may be deaf or hard of hearing, and may not be able to hear you when you call out their name. Adjust your approach by taking the following actions:
    -Move closer to patients and call out their name at a slightly louder volume.
    -Write their name clearly with a black marker on a white piece of paper and show it to them.
  • Place chairs along walls to avoid tripping hazards in the middle of the room.

Tips for Accessible Meeting Rooms:

  • Ensure that there are extra chairs to accommodate family members and/or support staff.
  • Mark all doors with name/number with large print, Braille, and high-contrasting colours.
  • If the person is not reacting when you are speaking to them, adjust your distance and volume and ask the person how it is best to communicate with them.
  • If the room is loud and background noises are coming in, switch to a quieter space.