How Better Access Map helps to take the guesswork out of going out for the blind or vision impaired

Imagine doing your shopping when you can’t see…How would you locate the items you want? Or know where the cash register is? For many people who are blind or have low vision these are some of the challenges they face every day. But being blind or vision impaired doesn’t automatically mean you lose your independence.
01-Jun-2020
David Aveyard, BAM user

Imagine doing your shopping when you can’t see… How would you locate the items you want? Or know where the cash register is? For many people who are blind or have low vision these are some of the challenges they face every day. But being blind or vision impaired doesn’t automatically mean you lose your independence.

David Aveyard has been vision impaired since he was teenager, “I had perfect vision up to the age of 13 but my eyesight just deteriorated from there.” 

David lives on the Central Coast and uses several techniques, methods and technologies to get out and about in his community. 

David recently started using the Better Access Map and says, “The app makes it so much easier because there are not a lot of accessible apps available. It tells you how to enter the place and gives you details about its accessibility. You look it up before you go, and you go, it’s fantastic to be able to do that.”

We thought we would round up some of the key features of the Better Access Map app, that help people who are blind or vision impaired to take the guesswork out of going out.

• Information on Light and Noise Levels
Find information on whether lighting is dim, dark, normal or bright and if the venue is quiet or noisy.

• Braille or Large Print
Know whether a venue has menus or other information in large print or braille.

• Audio Information 
Find places that offer audio descriptions.

Directional Information
Find out the general location of the reception or service desk or other facilities in a venue.


Below is a small selection of venues throughout the Central Coast and Hunter that have accessible features for people who are blind or have low vision. For each venue we have linked their Better Access Map Accessibility Profile which gives you full details on the venues accessibility.


Newcastle Art Gallery

Newcastle Art Gallery offers a range of tours and programs to suit groups and individuals with specific accessibility requirements. Admission is free but some special exhibitions may incur a charge. Tours are currently suspended due to COVID 19 but you can contact the gallery to find out more about when the tours will recommence. 

Newcastle Art Gallery Accessibility Profile


Newcastle Library

Located next to the gallery, Newcastle Library has an exciting array of audio and large print books and information. The space itself also has many other accessibility features including ramp access, hearing loops and accessible toilets.

Newcastle Library Accessibility Profile 


Gosford Regional Gallery & Edogawa Commemorative Garden

Gosford Regional Gallery is one of the Central Coast’s leading tourist attractions. It provides an important cultural and educational resource for the community. The gallery has level access from the car park and street as well as throughout the gallery foyer, exhibition spaces and toilets. Most of the Edogawa Commemorative Garden paths are also accessible.

Gosford Regional Gallery & Edogawa Commemorative Garden Accessibility Profile 


Gosford RSL 

Gosford RSL offers dining and free entertainment and is the perfect spot for a bite to eat after your visit to Gosford Art Gallery. The restaurant has braille menus and there is level access throughout the facility. 

Gosford RSL Accessibility Profile 


If you’re planning to visit one of these venues, why not download the Better Access Map app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store.


William O’Neil
Project Officer Better Access Map