Steps gutters and uneven surfaces

To assist with locating steps, curbs, gutters, uneven surfaces and changes in the ground surface look for:

  • the slope of railing indicating if the stairs go up or down
  • height change of the person in front can indicate if the steps go up or down
  • end of building, grass line or other continuous shoreline
  • curbs painted in contrasting colours.

When negotiating steps, curbs, gutters uneven surfaces and ground surface:

  • slow down
  • always use hand rails if available
  • look for visual cues, such as the edges of steps or changes in colour
  • turn light on
  • use torch
  • use your mobility aid.

If existing lighting is inadequate or hand rails and highlighted step edges do not exist in public areas you travel in, you can request the property owner or local council to look at these. You can certainly modify your own home to include these physical changes. Some local councils offer assistance with home modifications.

If visual and tactile cues are not enough to support you to get about safely, the use of a mobility aid, such as an ID, long or support cane may also need to be explored.

Remember, if you require further assistance to be able to get about safely, you can request specialist training from an Orientation and Mobility Specialist from Vision Australia.

Contact us

Contact us early and get the support you need. For more information on Vision Australia’s services call our helpline on 1300 84 74 66 or email You can also connect with our services here.

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