Making campus waste and recycling units accessible

Home Making campus waste and recycling units accessible

“Garbage and recycling units are not equipped with Braille labels. But even if they were, who wants to or should have to, interact with garbage and recycling?"

Hillary Scanlon, Wilfrid Laurier University Student

Making campus waste and recycling units accessible

To make waste, recycling and compost units accessible (and sanitary) for people with vision loss, Wilfrid Laurier University student Hillary Scanlon has created a series of rubber floor signs. The surface of the signs, different from the rest of the area flooring, makes them detectable by cane, foot or sight, alerting passers-by that they are near a disposal unit.

Scanlon has opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS), a rare neurological condition that makes her legally blind. In OMS, the eyes are subject to rapid, multi-directional movements, which make it difficult for the brain to process visual information or establish a field of vision.

She has little residual vision and can’t find the waste or recycling units on Laurier’s Waterloo campus, much less decipher between the recycling, garbage or compost streams. Instead, she disposes of her garbage when she gets home.

To learn more, visit Wilfrid Laurier University Spotlights.