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    How RBA’s luminance contrast products are helping the visually impaired in bathrooms

    RBA Group

    Leading Australian supplier of commercial bathroom products, RBA Group offers a broad range of luminance contrast products to support the needs of vision impaired people.

    Luminance contrast is described in accessibility code AS1428.1-2009 as “the light reflected from one surface or component, compared to the light reflected from another surface or component”. A key objective of luminance contrast is to increase the usability of any facility for those with vision impairment.

    Luminance contrast products for bathrooms include blue or grey toilet seats, yellow train doors and black pushbuttons, each of which assists the visually impaired person use the product correctly. Luminance contrast can be very helpful for those with limited vision.

    For instance, a white toilet with a white seat mounted on a white tiled wall with a frameless mirror over a white basin can become a very confusing environment because the vision-impaired person cannot differentiate the finer details. However, a white toilet seat can be made luminance contrast compliant by mounting it on a different coloured WC, for instance, a stainless steel model in a public space.

    The AS1428.1-2009, Section 15.2.3 has also specified the contrast factor: the Australian design for access and mobility code calls for the seat on WC pans to have a contrast factor “…of 30% with the background”. The degree of luminance contrast may be measured on site or in a lab.

    Luminance contrast products compliant with Australian Standards are increasingly available in the market with typical examples including drinking fountains and soap dispensers with coloured buttons; hand dryers with black panels and outlets; and tap handles with black tips.

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