Two images side by side. One of a tactile building plan embossed onto a piece of paper. The second is a picture of the front of a building with large windows for natural light, and an open pull up for buses and cars to drop people off.

courtesy of Smith Group

Both the visually impaired and the sighted rely on information and architectural cues to navigate the built environment. As a consultant, who lost all sight in 2008, I draw upon my experience as an architect to help design teams and client organizations to create enriching environments for the visually impaired and, not coincidentally, the sighted as well.

I work as a member of user engagement team, designer, or client representative. I use my unique perspective to facilitate greater clarity in the overall design and better integration of critical tools for the blind—such as way-finding and access to information—through more thorough consideration of tactility, touch, smell, temperature, sound, and new technologies. I also help to craft design processes that are more responsive to the needs of blind clients and end-users.

Great architecture for the blind and visually impaired is just like any other great architecture, only better: it looks and works the same while offering a richer and better involvement of all senses. With this expanded understanding, I offer the potential to enhance the experience in all environments serving a greater proportion of the visually impaired.