Blind Spots: Multisensory Placemaking for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Explore how you can go beyond mere compliance with ADA codes to address the opportunities—not just the challenges—of the visually impaired.


Using the new 40,000 GSF LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco as an example, this session will address issues related to acoustics, lighting, and technology. You'll also explore general strategies for visual and nonvisual design.

While complying with ADA codes is necessary, you have the opportunity to produce designs that are not overtly adaptive or condescending. By attending this session, you'll discover how to give all users of your spaces—particularly the blind and visually impaired—a sense of delight.

Learning objectives

  • Understand visual accessibility and how you can maximize visual acuity with lighting design, contrast, and strategic multisensory finish pallets.
  • Learn how to work with acoustic design to support nonvisual wayfinding and speech intelligibility, and to animate community.
  • Know how and when to use the expertise of consultants and strategic user groups to create successful, creative, and integrated solutions for visual accessibility and universal design.
  • Leverage nonvisual design strategies to increase social and broad lifespan inclusion while enriching the experience for all.
User rating:
Average: 4.6 (258 votes)
 $50  non-member
 $35  member
1.75 LUs
  • ADA
  • HSW
  • GBCI
  • RIBA


  • Mark Cavagnero

    Founding Principal/Lead Designer | Mark Cavagnero Associates

    Mark’s work at Mark Cavagnero Associates has garnered over 100 design awards from local to...
  • Chris Downey

    President | Architecture for the Blind

    Since losing sight in 2008, Chris has infused his 20 years of sighted architectural practice with...
  • Patricia Glasow

    Executive Vice President | Auerbach Pollock Friedlander|Auerbach Glasow

    Patricia Glasow has designed hundreds of lighting projects. Her strength lies in the blending of...
  • Shane Myrbeck

    Designer of Acoustic and Digital Space | Arup

    Shane is a designer of acoustic and digital space with Arup in San Francisco. He offers expertise...