New braille-tactile maps help increase accessibility to Leeds.

Blind and partially sighted people in Leeds will have a new way to explore some of the city’s best-loved landmarks thanks to a brand-new book of braille-tactile maps

Leeds City Council and Visit Leeds have collaborated with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to increase accessibility to the city by creating the book which contain six maps spread across twelve pages, including a full two-page map of the Leeds SPOA.

The maps were born out of a request from a member of the public, and the pages contain locations, landmarks and road names embossed onto the paper and translated into braille. An additional route to the Royal Armouries was added in response to the request.

Throughout the design process, the council and Visit Leeds worked closely with the RNIB. Funding for the maps was provided by Visit Leeds and the city centre management department at the council.

The book is now available for collection from the Tourist Information Centre on The Headrow, underneath Leeds Art Gallery. If someone would like to request for the book of maps to be posted out to them, they can contact tourinfo@visitleeds.co.uk.

Karl Proud, senior sensory worker for Leeds Sight Loss and Hearing Service, said: “It was exciting to get a braille map of Leeds.

“For the first time I could get a feel for the whole city, a sense of where I go to work and how all the places I know are connected. It is a great addition to making Leeds accessible for all.”

Councillor Mary Harland, executive member for communities, said: “I’m delighted that the braille-accessible maps have been created.

“Leeds should be open to all, and by creating accessibility tools such as these maps, we can help ensure that everybody can enjoy this wonderful city.”

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