Easy Access Map Tracker A First For New Year’s Eve

Families with prams & people who use wheelchairs will find it easier to experience Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) 2017 – Wonder, thanks to a new accessibility-friendly mapping service.

Developed with the help of wheelchair users, Sydney will be one of the first cities in Australia to use directional mapping for wheelchair users at a large-scale public event.

The map will provide safe routes for people travelling from major transport hubs in Sydney’s city centre to accessible vantage points where they can experience the fireworks.

The maps are colour-coded based on the level of accessibility of a route – from black (steep descent) to purple (coasting), green (easy level), orange (incline) & red (steep climb).

The City Of Sydney has teamed up with Briometrix, entrepreneurs specialising in smart technology for people who use wheelchairs, to develop the accessibility map.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the new mapping system would benefit everyone.

“NYE is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the world. It’is so important that everyone gets the chance to come into the city and experience it & that is what this new colour-coded mapping service will help to enable” the Lord Mayor said.

“We are committed to making Sydney inclusive & accessible for residents & visitors from all around the world”

To develop the map, people who use wheelchairs travelled around the city to map out the most accessible paths to access official Sydney NYE2017 – Wonder vantage points.

Mark Tomkins, Briometrix disability advisor & himself a wheelchair user, helped test the accessibility map. He said it is useful for wheelchairs, prams & older people who find walking in the city challenging.

“If the map is accessible to those users, then it is safe for everybody in the community” Mister Tomkins said.

Jason Jones, a wheelchair user from Wollongong, was involved in mapping the city for the accessibility map. He has attended large-scale events in the city & believes the map is a useful addition in helping wheelchair users navigate the city.

“Around The Rocks there is a few areas that are really steep & the map will help wheelchair users find a way to get where they want to go. For me, it means that I can more easily plan my route”

The map is available to view via mobile or desktop at sydneynewyearseve.com/accessibility to help plan your night.

From the 27th of December, City Of Sydney volunteers will be available to guide groups or individuals along routes between public transport & vantage points to view the fireworks display. The volunteers will help familiarise the guests with the route & any changes for NYE. Bookings are essential with limited spaces available.

More on the ground services & new guides will mean Sydney NYE is more inclusive than ever before.

The Sydney NYE 2017 – Wonder event guide will be available in large print and audio & has been translated into 5 languages – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish & German. With the assistance of the Council For Intellectual Disability, an Easy Read version of the event guide has also been created in order to make information accessible to a wider range of individuals. See the event guide at sydneynewyearseve.com/event-guide.

The City along with major vantage point sites offer 6 designated accessible viewing areas for people with a disability to enjoy the fireworks with family & friends. These areas cater to those with sensory, neurological, psychological, cognitive & learning disability. Areas still available are at Barangaroo Reserve, Cahill Expressway, Mary Booth Reserve, Pirrama Park & the Sydney Opera House. Bookings are essential. See the vantage point map at sydneynewyearseve.com/vantage-points.

To find accessible ticketed events in Sydney for NYE, visit the What’s On disability inclusive page: whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/tags/disability-inclusive.

Sydney NYE 2017 – Wonder will include Auslan, British Sign Language & American Sign Language interpretations of ‘Welcome To Sydney’ projected on both sides of the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.

A live audio description will be broadcast on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Extra & also on 2RPH on 1224AM or 100.5 FM. The broadcast will include a colourful narrative of the Welcome To Country, 9pm Family Fireworks, Harbour Of Light Parade & the Midnight Fireworks. Tune in to the ABC Radio app or ABC Extra digital radio station to enjoy the broadcast.

Those staying at home can enjoy the celebrations through the ABC television (TV)/online broadcast. The broadcast begins at 8:35pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time with live closed captions available on its TV & online services.

KIIS 1065 will broadcast the soundtracks for the 9pm Family & Midnight Fireworks.

For general enquiries & access to a detailed personal planning service, complete the online form at surveymonkey.com/r/NYEAccessibility.

You can contact the City Of Sydney Sydney NYE 2017 – Wonder Accessibility Officer on 02 9265 9333 or email nyedisability@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

Visit sydneynewyearseve.com for detailed information on the event.

Media Release: City Of Sydney