When moving around the pedestrian environment, visually impaired people will actively seek and make use of tactile information underfoot.
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The ability to detect contrasts in texture underfoot varies from one individual to another. For example, older visually impaired people and people who have lost their sight through certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, may well have reduced sensitivity in their feet. It is therefore important that textures warning of potential hazards, for example a road crossing or a staircase, are rigorous enough to be detectable by most people but without constituting a trip hazard or causing extreme discomfort.