A close-up shot of a man's hands feeling a Direct Access tactile map board.

Tactile and Sensory Maps

Tactile Maps

Our A4 and A3 sized tactile maps give blind and partially sighted people access to information which improves spatial awareness, empowering them to engage with an environment independently.

In a post-COVID world where people are encouraged not to touch static maps or Braille signage, our paper-based sensory maps issued to visitors provide a hygienic-friendly solution for personal use.

Sensory maps can not only help visitors to identify sensory friendly spaces within your site but can be used as a guide for finding areas that are quieter and less crowded, spaces that have seating, and spaces with tactile engagement and accessible activities.

A tactile map of the Steven G. Terrall recreation centre featuring a braille field map of the site and a braille key of the key areas, including child play area, dining area, medical bay and toilets.

Swell Maps

By providing our team with an existing map of your site, Direct Access can also craft swell maps. Swell maps allow people with low vision to fully decipher the specifics of a site through touch rather than sight.

Swell paper has two sides – a white, slightly textured side and a smooth liner. Using our on-site tactile graphics machines, we can make outlines, symbols, and text rise off the page, allowing it to be fully accessible to people with visual impairments.

Swell paper maps are denser than regular tactile maps in that they are not actually printed on regular paper, but are also considered the best-practice standard for providing accessible written information.

A photograph of the front cover of the Access Guide which Direct Access produced for Cannock Chase. The cover has a dark green colour scheme with a mixture of yellow and white text. It reads "Cannock Chase access guide. Welcome to the Access Guide for Cannock Chase". Underneath this text is the Cannock Chase logo. A photograph on the cover shows a young white woman with downs syndrome riding a bike with stabilisers joyfully. Next to her getting in close for a photo is a white male companion who is off his bike and holding it with one hand. He is also smiling happily. Behind them is a bike trail through some woods.



A Tactile Braille Map Board displaying a museum map and its corresponding key, featuring QR codes and accompanying text which reads "audio description" and "sign language".

Audio description

and transcription

A young woman sits on her sofa practicing sign language while looking at her iPad.

Sign Language and

Captioned Videos

A row of five swell maps, all detailing the same location - A History Through Objects museum exhibition, spread out on a table at the Direct Access offices.

Tactile and

Sensory Maps

A young caucasian male student deep in thought taps the mousepad on a laptop as he logs in to an unspecific website. Next to the laptop is a plastic cup of coffee and pieces of paper with a black ball point pen on top.



Direct Access logo.

Unit 3706,
Platinum Tower JLT-PH1-12,
Jumeirah Lakes Towers,


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