International Sign Language To Welcome Guests To Sydney New Year’s Eve

For the 1st time, American & British sign language will be projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons to welcome international visitors this Sydney New Year’s Eve (Sydney NYE).

The City Of Sydney introduced the ‘Welcome To Sydney’ Auslan sign language projections in 2013, which will now feature alongside their international counterparts.

Research by leading analysts Stollznow revealed more than 46% of those who attended last year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve had travelled from overseas specifically to attend the event.

“We’re committed to being a city that is inclusive and accessible for visitors from all around the world & we want to ensure more people than ever can enjoy the celebrations” Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said.

“The introduction of British & American sign language projections allows deaf communities from around the globe to further enjoy the celebrations with Sydney”

Gerard O’Dwyer was the 2015 Don’t DisMYability Ambassador & enjoyed last year’s Sydney New Year’s Eve at the Cahill Expressway vantage point. Catching the train to Martin Place, he & his family were pleased with the support available across the city.

“It was quite easy getting the train into the city & walking to the Cahill Expressway. On the walk to the event, there were people offering directions which was very helpful” Gerard said.

“I had the time of my life – the crowd seemed happy & the fireworks were spectacular. I enjoyed the celebrations so much, I would love to attend again”

“Leading up to the night, Mum & I went online to get details on the best way to get into the city on New Year’s Eve. The information was very helpful”

“My advice to anyone heading into the city would be to leave plenty of time to get there & be prepared for large crowds”

As a Don’t DisMYability Ambassador, Gerard promoted equal treatment & equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

“I ask everyone this New Year’s Eve to be kind, show each other respect & treat everyone equally”

Sydney New Year’s Eve 2016 offers 8 designated accessible viewing areas for people with disabilities to enjoy the festivities with family & friends. The areas cater for those with sensory, neurological, psychological, cognitive & learning disabilities. The designated accessible viewing areas have been organised in collaboration with the Department Of Premier And Cabinet & other government agencies.

Pirrama Park in Pyrmont provides a less-congested, family-friendly vantage point on the harbourside. With an accessible spinner in the playground, children with & without disabilities can play & enjoy the Park’s facilities. It also provides accessible toilets, access ramps where required & a designated drop-off zone on Darling Island Road.

Pirrama Park image
Pirrama Park Photograph: Sydney New Year’s Eve

Other designated accessible viewing areas include Ballarat Park, Barangaroo Reserve, Cahill Expressway, Goat Island, Mary Booth Reserve, Mrs Macquaries Point & the Sydney Opera House. Bookings are essential.

Go to for detailed descriptions of each viewing area & to make your booking.

The audio description broadcast will again offer people with blindness or low vision the chance to experience the spectacular Sydney NYE fireworks with the rest of the world. Listeners will hear a high quality live audio description of the Welcome To Country, 9pm Family Fireworks, Harbour Of Light Parade & the Midnight Fireworks.

Leading up to the night, event guides will be distributed across the city centre at train stations, information centres, libraries & service centres. Event guides are available in large print, Braille and audio format & are available in Chinese, Spanish, Korean, German &  Japanese. Download or request event guides from

Sydney For All provides accessible tourist information including things to do & options for getting around. Head to for more information.

Those staying at home can enjoy the celebrations through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)’s broadcast of the event which offers live closed captions through its television & online services. 2DayFM broadcasts the soundtracks for the 9pm Family Fireworks & the Midnight Fireworks through their radio station 104.1FM.

People can listen to the ABC audio description on ABC Extra via your computer or device on:  or

  • Download the ABC Radio smartphone application for iOS or Android
  • Listen on your computer on the ABC Radio website
  • Look for ‘ABC Extra’ on your digital radio receiver

The City Of Sydney offers an interactive accessibility map to assist in planning the best route around the city. Head to for assistance in planning your night.

There will be major road closures &special event clearways in the city centre, on the harbour foreshore, North Sydney & lower north shore. To help plan your route on the night, you can use an interactive map that also features public transport information:

For a list of accessibility smartphone applications to assist with transport, head to

If you want to find out more about how to get to the city for Sydney NYE, go to or call Transport Information on 131 500.

 Contact the City Of Sydney for assistance with planning your night:

Sydney New Year’s Eve Accessibility Officer:


Phone: +61 2 9265 9333

For wheelchair-accessible taxi bookings, call 02 8332 0200 or visit

Media Release: Sydney New Year’s Eve

2 thoughts on “International Sign Language To Welcome Guests To Sydney New Year’s Eve”

Comments are closed.