Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Visually Impaired Persons and Social Encounters in Central Melbourne

Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 576 | Downloads: 583

Abstract:  Urban spaces are areas where routes, activities, and people, including visually impaired persons (VIPs), intersect. Most urban research on VIPs focuses on wayfinding. However, the experience of urban spaces is not limited to utilitarian functions and also includes people’s lived experiences and random social encounters. To understand how a broader range of activities, experiences, and encounters may be better enabled, VIPs have participated in multi-method research including interviews, word games, walking interviews, and diary recordings in central Melbourne. Results not only indicate a broad range of unmediated conflicts between VIPs’ mobility needs and key aspects of intense street life but also reveal opportunities that are potentially hidden in random encounters in public spaces.

Keywords:  Melbourne; social encounter; urban space; visually impaired persons



© Shirin Pourafkari. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.