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The Australian Disability Service Awards endeavours to recognise both excellence and innovation in the Australian disability support sector.

Braille House is a charity that provides a range of braille and tactile services for people across Australia who are blind or have low vision. The organisation started 125 years ago continues to enhance lives today. Braille House encourages environments where people who are blind or have low vision can flourish independently and was recently announced as the winner in the “Best Assistive Technology Product” category at the 2022 Disability Service Awards.

The Tactile QR Code Indicator developed by Braille House is a transparent tactile sticker which can be placed over the top of any QR code, allowing people with low or no vision to scan without the need to hand over their phones for assistance, or be guided.

The indicators are simple, durable and practical, and are made using the latest technology. Currently being used by governments, councils, stadiums, hotels, restaurants and even local cafés. This intelligent and simple technology has made mandatory QR codes accessible to thousands of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The true potential for QR codes is greater than just checking in, they can be utilised to send a user to any webpage, as long as they can identify where to scan.

Braille House General Manager, Richard Barker said “Winning this national award is wonderful recognition for Braille House and the amazing volunteers that donate their time and expertise to help us. It highlights that access and inclusion is valuable and makes our community better for everyone. We believe that there are opportunities for industries like tourism and hospitality to benefit from being more inclusive for people who are blind or have low vision.”

In 2022, as Braille House celebrates the125th Anniversary of the organisation and braille is as important as ever. Braille is the key to literacy for people who are blind or have low vision. Skills such as spelling, grammar and punctuation are not easy to learn through other methods like audio. Reading and writing are the fundamentals of education and without these basics, individuals would be disadvantaged.

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