Event Title

Use of Hiking Trails by Older Adults with Low Vision

Location

Steelcase Lecture Hall

Start Date

31-3-2011 4:30 PM

Description

INTRODUCTION: A study conducted in 2008 found that 3.5 million people over the age of 65 reported disability due to visual difficulty (Brault, 2008). Older adults with low vision experience a significant impact on their leisure occupations, especially the health benefitting occupation of exercise. Multiple hiking trails in Michigan have made accommodations to foster accessibility for people with disabilities but only a few hiking trails have specifically addressed issues of low vision. Furthermore, there has been little research performed to prove the effectiveness of these accommodations. This study will seek to understand accessibility and use of hiking trails by older adults with low vision, which is a disability characterized by vision that cannot be corrected better than 20/70. METHODS: This study will separately survey 50 adults over the age of 65 with low vision and 10 supervisors of parks in Michigan. The survey for older adults with low vision will seek to find current and past usage of hiking trails, perceived barriers and facilitators for using hiking trails, and desired accommodations for trails they would like to use. The survey for park supervisors will assess current accommodations to park trails and knowledge of current older adult visitors with low vision. Surveys will be analyzed for common themes and resultant recommendations will be offered to applicable Michigan trails. RESULTS: Results will reveal common themes among survey participants. CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide a conclusion about the effectiveness of existing trail accommodations, as well as, what accommodations are still needed.

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Mar 31st, 4:30 PM

Use of Hiking Trails by Older Adults with Low Vision

Steelcase Lecture Hall

INTRODUCTION: A study conducted in 2008 found that 3.5 million people over the age of 65 reported disability due to visual difficulty (Brault, 2008). Older adults with low vision experience a significant impact on their leisure occupations, especially the health benefitting occupation of exercise. Multiple hiking trails in Michigan have made accommodations to foster accessibility for people with disabilities but only a few hiking trails have specifically addressed issues of low vision. Furthermore, there has been little research performed to prove the effectiveness of these accommodations. This study will seek to understand accessibility and use of hiking trails by older adults with low vision, which is a disability characterized by vision that cannot be corrected better than 20/70. METHODS: This study will separately survey 50 adults over the age of 65 with low vision and 10 supervisors of parks in Michigan. The survey for older adults with low vision will seek to find current and past usage of hiking trails, perceived barriers and facilitators for using hiking trails, and desired accommodations for trails they would like to use. The survey for park supervisors will assess current accommodations to park trails and knowledge of current older adult visitors with low vision. Surveys will be analyzed for common themes and resultant recommendations will be offered to applicable Michigan trails. RESULTS: Results will reveal common themes among survey participants. CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide a conclusion about the effectiveness of existing trail accommodations, as well as, what accommodations are still needed.