City of Sydney Council has begun rolling out what will be Australia’s most comprehensive tactile network of street signs, helping people who are blind or have low vision to navigate the city.
Every signalised pedestrian crossing in the city will have braille and raised letter signs next to the push button detailing street names and building numbers.
Eventually the network will contain more than 2100 braille and raised letter tactile aluminium panels as part of the council’s legible Sydney wayfinding system that also includes pedestrian-friendly maps, information pylons, new signs and digital technology.
A key plank of the strategy has been input and on-site testing with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Vision Australia to get the project right.
Michael Simpson, Vision Australia’s General Manager of Client Services in NSW said many people would benefit from the clear, consistent and accessible wayfinding information.
“As someone who is blind, being able to easily identify my location in an unfamiliar environment gives me increased confidence to travel independently,” Mr Simpson said.
“With clear and consistent information, I am very hopeful that these wayfinding signs will help to improve access for thousands of Sydneysiders and visitors to our beautiful city.”
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT estimates that there are around 100,000 people with uncorrectable vision loss in NSW, and that number is predicted to increase by more than 20 per cent by 2020.
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