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Lord Mayor trials way finding audio signs in CBD

07 March, 2013

Lord Mayor trials way finding audio signs in CBD

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is today undertaking an Australian-first trial of audio signage that will assist people with a visual impairment to more easily find their way around Queen Street Mall.

Called ‘Step Hear’ audible signs, the technology works by sending vibrations to activator devices to allow people with a visual impairment to locate the sign, and then step on a button to activate the recorded audio message.

The Lord Mayor said the $21,000 three-month trial was being conducted in partnership with Guide Dogs Qld, and would establish the ongoing feasibility, best locations and use for the technology.

“This Australian-first trial of remote-activated audio signage is a perfect example of Council’s commitment to achieving access and inclusion for everyone,” Cr Quirk said.

“Council will install 20 ‘Step Hear’ audio technology devices in nine locations in the Queen Street Mall, which will be trialled by around 50 of Guide Dogs Qld’s clients who can’t use regular text signs.

“At the end of the trial, these people will provide valuable feedback that will help us determine where and how we can best use this technology in Queen Street Mall.”

Cr Quirk said the ‘Step Hear’ audible signs were being installed at nine high foot-traffic areas and interest points in the popular shopping destination of Queen Street Mall including:
• Intersection of Queen and Albert Streets (4 audio-signs)
• Council Public Toilets (1 audio-sign)
• Four sets of stairs to Busway tunnel (4 audio-signs)
• Council Performance Stage (3 audio-signs)
• Council Visitor Information Centre (2 audio-signs)
• Taxi Rank – George Street (1 audio-sign)
• Burnett Lane (2 audio-signs)
• Bus tunnel escalator (1 audio-sign)
• Crossing of Adelaide Street to King George Square (2 audio-signs)

“The ‘Step Hear’ audible sign technology is highly effective in that it can benefit a wide range of people, including those who are blind, vision impaired, print handicapped/illiterate or have difficulty finding their way to close proximity of a print sign,” Cr Quirk said.

Guide Dogs Queensland have purchased the solar-powered audio devices, activators and leads for the trial, and will conduct the trial and analysis.

For more information about Council’s Way finding Trial call (07) 3403 8888.

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