Finding your way in the City

This week I was joined by Age & Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan and representatives from Guide Dogs NSW and Vision Australia to launch the trial of our new wayfinding and tactile signage.

This is the first step in the most comprehensive braille and tactile sign system in Australian and I'm told in the world as part of our extensive new wayfinding network. This will help make Sydney a safer, more welcoming and accessible city for residents, workers and visitors to walk.

The two wayfinding pilot routes will be run simultaneously from Wynyard Park to test all sign elements: the tactile and braille street sign plates, the freestanding pylons with new maps, and flag and finger signs.

While the tactile signs are designed to primarily help people who are blind and vision impaired, it will also make street location information easier to access for all pedestrians.

Susan Thompson from Vision Australia spoke beautifully at the launch event, reminded us that this project was not simply about making navigation easier - it was also about restoring dignity to people with a vision impairment or who are blind.

The sign design and installation route is being co-ordinated with Transport for NSW. The use of consistent pictogram imagery, place naming and information will mean a seamless experience for people walking and using public transport.

When completed, the $8 million Legible Sydney Wayfinding System will link Sydney's 26.1 square kilometre city area using tactile and braille street signs, pedestrian-friendly maps, information pylons, flag and finger signs and digital technology.

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