Tactile Map Boards – Expo 2020 Museum

Expo City Dubai, a long-time client of Direct Access, has installed the first tactile map on its site at the Museum for Expo 2020.

The Tactile Map Board is one of Direct Access’ signature products, representing an innovative, multi-lateral approach to inclusion that utilises accessible digital media elements to deliver dynamic and inclusive wayfinding.

The Map Board includes a standard key and printed map of the site and various other elements that support people with different disabilities like visual or hearing impairments, including British Sign Language explanations of what is available within the building, and an audio-described tour of the site.

The bespoke map was designed, manufactured, and shipped directly from Direct Access’ Innovation Suite in the United Kingdom, the one-stop suite for all of our accessible media products.

Created using premium 3D-printing technology, the map includes braille translations of all written information, ensuring accessibility to people who are visually impaired and/or registered blind.

To maximise visibility, the board’s colour scheme, colour contrast, and physical placement on the Expo City site in relation to daylight were all key considerations. 

Working closely with Expo City throughout each step of the process, the resulting Map is a marriage of Expo City’s brand and Direct Access’ accessibility expertise.

The board’s Sign Language and Audio Description elements, accessed via QR code, allow the user to access an audio-tour of the site as well as take a copy of the map with them on their mobile device – overriding the requirement for multiple map boards across the facility.

The design also includes a miniature 3D model of the irregularly shaped building, allowing people with visual impairments to experience the site through touch, providing an extra layer of accessibility for neurodivergent visitors people who prefer a multi-sensory experience.

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