Braille signs are being trialed above pedestrian crossings in Cairns’ CBD in what is the largest initiative in regional Australia.
A total of 172 tactile signs have been installed to help people with vision impairments navigate the city and hospital precinct.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning says the signs intend to make it easier for people with vision impairments to get around their city safely.
“We’re always looking for ways to make our city more accessible,” he says.
The signs follow the installation of tactile ground surface indicators at pedestrian crossings.
Correspondence Secretary for the Australian Braille Authority (ABA) and Public Relations Officer for the International Council on English Braille, Leona Holloway says the ABA commend this initiative.
“The ABA applauds all efforts to provide accessible formats for people who are blind or have low vision.”
“Tactile braille signage is an excellent step towards providing the confidence and ability to navigate independently,” Ms Holloway says.
She says tactile braille signage can also be found in the Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane CBDs.
Braille is not only important in helping people easily and safely navigate streets, toilets and lifts, but is also being used in currency and restaurant menus.
“Tactile markings on Australian banknotes are a welcome tool for independence, ease of use and security when dealing with money,” Ms Holloway explains.
“Braille menus are not mandatory, but are a welcome and relatively cheap initiative being adopted by an increasing number of restaurants throughout Australia.”
The signs have been installed above the pedestrian crossing button on the controlled main roads in the CBD.
For more information on disability support and services, please visit DisabilitySupportGuide.com.au.