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Lord Mayor makes CBD safer for vision impaired

15 October, 2013

Lord Mayor makes CBD safer for vision impaired

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is delivering on his access and inclusion vision, extending the city’s braille trail to link the most preferred path of travel by people with vision impairment from Queen Street Mall to Central train station.
The Lord Mayor said the $90,000 project also coincided with International White Cane Day (15th October) which promoted the white cane as a positive means of independence and mobility for people with a vision impairment.
“This is part of my access and inclusion plan which aims to achieve a safe, accessible and well-connected city for all residents and visitors,” Cr Quirk said.
“It’s about providing a safer route for people with a vision impairment, that avoids heavy traffic and pedestrian crossings (see map attached).
“By making this 85 metre connection from Queen Street Mall to Post Office Square, we are joining the dots-and-dashes for the vision impaired, helping them to confidently and independently navigate the CBD.”
Cr Quirk said the existing braille trail in the Queen Street Mall is one of the most recognised and successful projects for access and inclusion.
“At about 1.6 kilometres in length, the Brisbane CBD braille trail network through Queen Street Mall, Albert Street, Reddacliffe Place and King George Square is the longest continuous braille trail in Australia,” Cr Quirk said.
Guide Dogs Queensland Rehabilitation Services Manager Bashir Ebrahim OAM said the initiative, combined with other way-finding methods and devices like the mall’s talking signs, would help open up the inner city to those who are blind or have low vision.
“This extension will greatly assist the many blind and vision impaired workers and visitors to the CBD, enabling them to travel safely to and from Central station and into the mall,” Mr Ebrahim said.
“We hope these initiatives will continue to be expanded across the city and congratulate the Brisbane City Council on their efforts to make Brisbane truly inclusive for everyone.”
The Lord Mayor said he invested $6.8 million into the city’s Access and Inclusion Plan this financial year.
Cr Quirk said other Council Access and Inclusion initiatives included: Grants program, audio-tactile signs at signalised pedestrian crossings, tactile ground surface indicators, and tactile street signs.
Australia’s first braille trail in the Queen Street Mall was constructed in 1989.
A braille trail is a pathway of paving with dot and dash patterns that is followed by a person who is blind or vision impaired, using a cane. Braille trail ridges indicate the direction of travel along the trail. Raised dots are used as warnings.



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