We invited some people living with disabilities to check out our new disability-friendly branch in Canberra’s city centre and give us some honest feedback about what they liked and didn’t like – and with the verdict in, we are thrilled to say they have all given it a giant tick of approval!
The branch has been purpose-built to accommodate the special needs of those living with a disability with subtle changes to textures, colour, signage, flooring and bench tops to make it warm and inviting.
We have also altered the lighting to prevent anxiety and confusion and added special acoustic measures to alleviate general noise which can also be distressing.
Jemma from Downs Syndrome ACT who brought along 22 year-old Ursula to the visit said the new, bold signage was a big bonus.
“Using symbols like a coin sign or a question mark really makes a difference for people with low literacy levels and opting for a clear font, size and weight of text is a great idea.”
Charlotte Poole who suffers early onset dementia, bipolar Type 2 and acute anxiety agreed.
“Signs and symbols are helpful and so is the directional style of flooring which marks a pathway to the help desk.
“Noise often causes me anxiety as it is agitating and confusing but I like what you have done here.”
Carl, 21, who is living with autism, said the branch felt good.
“The signage is not vague which can lead to too many possibilities so it feels less daunting on the sensory plane.”
Carl was also pleased with the designated meeting room that is sound-proofed with dimmable lighting.
“Noise, not just the volume but the amount of it can also be stressful.”
Looks like we are on the right track. Thanks everyone for coming along and we look forward to seeing you again soon!