Hanover Displays is emphasising the accessibility side of its product range. By ensuring it’s DDA-compliant, Hanover is making journeys on all modes of public transport easier for passengers.
When many people hop onboard a bus, they don’t think about what is needed from a passenger information system to provide information for everyone. A next stop passenger information system needs to provide concise information about the journey, with both visual and audio messages to give customers confidence when they travel. This necessity is heightened especially if they are not familiar with the route or have a disability, such as a vision or hearing impairment. Hanover Displays is leading the charge in making sure its range of passenger information products cater for all passengers.
It’s doing so by ensuring its systems maintain compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). These standards outline what is required to make buses and bus stops accessible for people with a disability.
“The DDA requirements set guidelines outlining what is needed on public transport vehicles for people with disabilities wanting to access transport without too many headaches,” Hanover Displays Australia director Grant Watson told ABC. “This pertains to features like the font size of next stop signs, voice announcements, preferred text, whether it’s upper or lower case and both internal and external announcements.
“For those who are visually or hearing impaired, our products remain DDA compliant to ensure those catching public transport know what stop they’re at, and if they’re getting on the right bus.”
Watson says every Hanover passenger information product onboard a bus is submitted to testing. The Australian arm of Hanover Displays engages with various disability groups to receive feedback on its latest designs. The product is then submitted for independent testing to remain as inclusive as possible.
Hanover Displays invites key stakeholders from transport authorities and local community groups to hop onboard a bus and trial the product on a test route. Whether it be a static or wayside display, a destination display or full next stop passenger information systems, people on the bus then give feedback to Hanover to keep its products as accessible as it possibly can.
“It’s about concise and consistent information delivery,” Watson says. “We are always seeing operators understand that the way this information is presented is very important.”
Company director of the Australian subsidiary of the UK-based Hanover Displays Fiona Watson says tweaks made to remain DDA compliant include slight automatic adjustments to the brightness of screens and volumes of the announcements.
“Our products aren’t just standard LED destination signs or TFT screens,” Fiona told ABC. “It must have ambient light sensing to adjust the brightness of the destination sign or TFT screen, it’s the same with the volume of our systems announcements.
“If the sun goes behind a cloud and impacts visibility, or if a vehicle travelling at a faster speed makes it noisier at the back of the bus, our Hanover Transport Computer (HTC) device adjusts audio output or the sign brightness. All these little crucial things make a difference in the delivery of messages for passengers.”
Fiona says these requirements make the product fit for purpose. Hanover has undergone research with lobby groups to determine what works best for vision or hearing impaired passengers. It found that a mix of upper and lowercase letters is much easier to read and preferred alongside specific fonts and character heights.
This technology is shining through in Hanover Displays’ latest range of passenger information systems and screens. Fiona says the company recently received positive feedback on its new high-resolution signs and its 29 inch TFT screen at the recent Bus & Coach Expo.
‘The clarity of the 29-inch TFT smart screen, and the fact that almost any information stream can be accessed via the screen, allows all passengers to receive information on Twitter feeds along with traffic updates, and of course next stop information from these systems,” Fiona says. “The level we’ve gone to with our DDA-compliant products means customers can trust the Hanover Displays name moving forward.”