Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres today announced initiatives being delivered in 2015 to make Vivid Sydney more accessible and inclusive than ever before.
Vivid Sydney is a festival that has something for everyone, so we are committed to making Vivid Sydney more accessible to encourage as many people to come and experience, what is now the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas in the world,” Mr Ayres said.
“Some new initiatives this year include, increased viewing areas to provide easier access to those with mobility requirements and special needs, increased drop off and pick up zones, audio described tours and a dedicated Accessibility Customer Service Officer to help visitors plan their trip to this year’s Festival.
“This year we’re also delighted that Australian Paralympian, Hannah Dodd, has joined us as a Vivid Trail ambassador to present her own accessible Vivid Trail, which highlights seven installations from Campbell’s Cove to the Sydney Opera House,” he said.
Australian Paralympian, Hannah Dodd said: “I am so excited to share my top picks of Vivid Sydney installations and to promote this awesome festival to other people like me who have disabilities which affect their mobility.”
‘Have Wheelchair Will Travel’ blogger, Julie Jones said: “I visit Vivid Sydney every year with my son who has Cerebral Palsy. These new initiatives will make it easier for families like ours to get out and experience the city awash with colour. It really is the perfect event to enjoy together and something that we always look forward to.”
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said: “Vivid Sydney welcomes visitors from all over the world – making the event as accessible as possible for everyone will ensure Vivid offers an even better event experience.”
Other initiatives include:
- A specially designed accessibility map, which sets out the best route that is level and avoids steps. The map is available from VividSydney.com and at Vivid Sydney Information Booths
- Accessible information booths at Circular Quay and Darling Harbour, which have lower counter tops for those in wheelchairs, plus offer water bowls for guide dogs
- Text to Talk function via VividSydney.com, which offers short descriptions of each Vivid Light Walk installation for screen reader or smartphone devices with accessibility options
- Limited special parking areas (Monday to Thursday) that can be pre-booked by disability groups and disability services within road closure areas, close to installations and projections
- Auslan interpreters at Vivid Ideas Game Changer major events. Game Changer venues including Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay and Sydney Town Hall offer hearing loop systems
- Audio described tours of Lighting of the Sydney Opera House Sails led by specially trained Opera House staff for people with vision impairment and their companions to experience the centre-piece of Vivid Sydney.
As crowds build at the weekends, it is recommended anyone travelling with special needs consider planning their trip earlier in the week and early in the evening when it is easier to move around.
Full details of the access and inclusion initiatives at Vivid Sydney are available at: www.vividsydney.com/accessibility