Department of Health

Try the following exercise to see whether there is effective colour contrast.

Ask staff members to move around the facility looking through a piece of yellow cellophane. Staff should answer the following questions:

  • How well can I distinguish the floor from the walls?
  • Do I feel confident walking around at my normal speed?
  • Can I see important objects like chairs, doors, door handles, television, table tops, toilet seats, dinner plates, cutlery, steps and grab rails?
  • Do I know particular areas from the colours and patterns used, for instance dining room, lounge room, public toilet?
  • Is the main entrance door invisible? Is it easy to find doors to outdoor garden spaces?
  • Are paths easy to see?
  • Am I able to walk at my normal speed outdoors?
  • Are there landmarks that help me walk about easily?
  • Is colour a part of the landmark? Are there particular colours I can see better than others?
  • Is glare a problem anywhere?
  • What effect does lighting have on what I can see?

If this exercise isn't possible in your facility, take photographs of different areas, print them in black and white, and share them with staff. Adapt the questions to a sit-down discussion.

Reviewed 18 February 2016


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