Braille bombers reinforce city signage for the visually impaired during Knowledge Week

There are thousands of them in the city; glued to street signs and hidden inside elevators. Small signs that are vital for a part of our population but that go unnoticed by the majority.

Braille messages are found on all CBD street signs, at bus stops, and on a selection of maps, park signs, and public art, giving directions and accessibility to the visually impaired.

The braille bombers prepare their signage.

The braille bombers prepare their signage.Credit:Luis Ascui

Usually small and placed just below visual cues, braille messages carry a variety of announcements, from simple traffic directions to the numbers on elevator buttons.

Signs are usually regulated by braille organisations, but a “braille bombing event” organized as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week has shown people how to make their own signs to add to the city’s collection.

Participants learned how to braille their own name before making labels to mimic the printed signage around the Melbourne Knowledge Week event, such as the names of the exhibits and the groups they feature.

Charging

They were also given pre-made braille to take home, offering positive messages to visually impaired people, such as: “Love braille”, “Love reading”, “Braille since 1829” and “Keep reading”.

Signs are written with styluses and blackboards. The letters are written backwards and read from right to left.

“It’s like writing a tweet, counting all the characters but doing it backwards and in the mirror,” said Amanda Kwong, a participant in the braille bombardment. “It’s been a bit of a challenge for the brain, but really an eye-opening experience.”

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