Creating Accessible Spaces
To create a brilliant customer experience, your company’s physical spaces can be welcoming and easily accessed by people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision. That means creating accessible signage and buildings. Think about how easy your entrance is to find and whether your reception area is uncluttered. If you have a shop, could someone find where to pay for their goods easily? Do your lifts have accessible signage so that everyone can use them?
Accessible environments and good design benefit everyone in the community. It is all about buildings, parks, and every public space being safe and easy to move around. Well-designed spaces help people who are blind, deaf-blind or have low vision be independent and make their way through the world.
Accessible Buildings and Public Spaces
Blind Low Vision NZ is an expert at advising private companies, councils and government departments on creating accessible buildings and spaces. Our experience includes:
- advising councils on shared spaces, pedestrian crossings and footpaths.
- working with transport agencies on creating accessible trains.
- advising corporates on designing accessible buildings.
Our team offer one-on-one consultation and advice. Whether it is for a space that currently exists, or one yet to be created, we can help.
To find out more about accessible environments, get in touch with us by calling 0800 24 33 33 or send an email to email@example.com
Accessible signage is a key to ensuring your customers can find their way to and around your space.
Signage that’s truly accessible can be read and understood by every customer, whether they read by sight or touch. Think about signage for your payment counters, lifts, floor directories, emergency telephones, room numbers, and rest room facilities – can they be easily found and accessed by every person who comes through your doors?
Useful Signage Tips
Tactile print: Accessible signs should include embossed high contrast print letters as well as braille so more people can read your signs by touch. Please don’t use engraved print – it’s really hard to read by touch.
Clear and Concise: Accessible signs should use easy to read fonts, good contrast between letter colour and it’s background, and letters big enough to be read from the appropriate distance. The letters should not all be capitalised.
Durability: Make your accessible signs out of durable matt materials like plastic, aluminium and stainless steel. Signs made from braille label stickers and laminated cardboard don’t last the distance.
Placement: Signs should be at 1200 mm to 1600 mm from the floor to the bottom of the sign.
Signage in lifts: Your lifts should have accessible signage for all buttons in and outside of the lift as well as floor indicators. The signage should be to the left of the buttons – it’s often too hard to read when it sits directly on them. We recommend braille signage even in talking lifts so deafblind people can also have access to the information. Talking lifts are important too – if other passengers are stopping at floors, the person who’s blind or has low vision needs to hear when the lift stops on their floor.
Sourcing signage: Several local companies produce accessible signage. We have found the cost of producing accessible signage locally cheaper than it used to be. You can import signage but it tends to be more expensive, can have different braille codes and sizes, and might not comply with Blind Low Vision NZ guidelines. If you do import braille signs, you should know that braille signage from the USA does not comply. Australian and UK signs may be safer choices.
Braille signage production: although Blind Low Vision NZ doesn’t produce signage, we can supply an image of the correctly-sized braille as a PDF.
For a quote, call 0800 24 33 33 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also happy to look at samples to help you get your signs right.
Taxi signage: As of 2017, the New Zealand Transport Agency no longer requires taxis to display braille signage. However, following advocacy and consultation with Blind Low Vision NZ, The Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ,) and the Braille Authority of New Zealand Aotearoa Trust (BANZAT), individual taxi organisations have agreed to continue to maintain or install braille signage in their taxis. This is highly recommended as it aligns with Outcome 5 of the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026, and increases the safety, independence, confidence and dignity of braille readers who use taxis.
Where can I get braille signs made?
Please find below the contact details of companies whose samples we have tested, and which meet the specifications in our guidelines.
If your company would like to produce accessible signs with braille, please email us email@example.com or phone: 0800 24 33 33. We are happy to look at samples and help you get your signs right.
Aura Ltd – Blenheim
Contact: Ayden Hamilton.
48 Kinross Street,
Tel: 03 579 2436
Clarkson Signs – Christchurch
Contact: Jason Crawford or Maria Clarkson
93 Wrights Road
Phone: 03 3383 429 or 027 222 5109
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Cuthbert Stewart Ltd – Auckland
Contact: Denis King
22 Fisher Crescent
Phone: 027 235 5132
Kentergraph Engravers Ltd – Auckland
Contact: Craig Woodfield
85 Onehunga Mall
Phone: 09 625 4219
Permark Industries Ltd – Auckland
Contact: Robert Plesnik.
103 Felton Mathew Ave
St Johns, Auckland 1072
Phone: 09 521 6629