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Inclusive AT Signage Rolls Out At Waitematā (Britomart) Station

Auckland is the first in New Zealand to begin upgrading signage across its public transport network to include sign language.

As part of Auckland Transport’s (AT) mission to enable and deliver an effective, efficient and safe transport system, changes to digital signage will be made from this week at Waitematā (Britomart) train station to include New Zealand sign language.

AT facilitates the Public Transport Accessibility Group (PTAG), a regional advisory group representing sectors including the blind, deaf, youth, seniors, physically disabled, and neurodiverse communities.

“In consultation with PTAG, we recognised the need for changes to our facility’s safety and directional messaging to include the deaf community, particularly in the event of a serious network disruption such as the need to evacuate a major station like Waitematā,” says Teresa Burnett, General Manager Transport Safety, AT.

The group has been working on changes to basic safety facilitation messaging to include NZ sign language for the past six months and a suite of videos has been created for a range of potential disruptions, along with general station information, displayed for normal daily operation.

Plans to roll out the video in sign language across the ferry network are also well underway, and if received positively by the deaf and hearing-impaired community, will be extended across the remaining AT train and bus fleet.

“We are also working on te reo Māori translation of the video messaging, so it will be great to eventually have both of our official languages represented, along with English in the months ahead,” says Burnett.

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Using only English language-based messages is highly problematic, as a significant proportion of the deaf community struggles to read English easily. The pilot aims to start addressing this gap for the community and AT is committed to keep improving accessibility on public transport for all.

AT NZSL Pilot Waitemata Station A

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