Promotion of a healthy public living environment: Participatory design of public toilets with visually impaired persons

Kin Wai Michael Siu, M. M.Y. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The principal objective of a healthy living environment is to improve the quality of everyday life. Visually impaired persons (VIPs) encounter many difficulties in everyday life through a series of barriers, particularly in relation to public toilets. This study aimed to explore the concerns of VIPs in accessing public toilets, and identify methods for improvement. Considerations about user participation are also discussed. Study design: Adopting a case study approach, VIPs were invited to participate in the research process. Methods: In addition to in-depth interviews and field visits, models and a simulated full-scale environment were produced to facilitate the VIPs to voice their opinions. Results: The key findings indicate that the design of public toilets for promoting public health should be considered and tackled from a three-level framework: plain, line and point. Governments, professionals and the public need to consider the quality of public toilets in terms of policy, implementation and management. Conclusions: VIPs have the right to access public toilets. Governments and professionals should respect the particular needs and concerns of VIPs. A three-level framework (plain, line and point) is required to consider the needs of VIPs in accessing public toilets, and user participation is a good way to reveal the actual needs of VIPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-636
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


  • Public environment
  • Special needs
  • Toilet
  • User participation
  • Visually impaired

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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