Frequently Asked Questions
Are 'Braille & Tactile Signs' GST-free? No.
Requirements in subsection 38-45(1) of the GST Act are that the sign must be specifically designed for people with an illness or disability and not widely used by people without an illness or disability. Braille & Tactile signs are designed for and used in public buildings. They are used by any person whether sighted or vision impaired, who enters the building and uses the sign for information (for example location of a toilet). Therefore, the sign is widely used by people without an illness or disability. As such, the supply of the tactile signs does not meet the remaining requirement of subsection 38-45(1) of the GST Act and is not GST-free. (reference ATO ID 2005/79)
Are 'Braille only Signs' GST-Free? Yes.
If the sign does not comprise any non-Braille component such as words or diagrams for use by the sighted. The sign is installed in public buildings and to provide information purely for the vision impaired as to the location of various areas and amenities inside and outside of the building. (reference subsection 38-45 (1) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) (ATO ID 2005/78)
Are 'Braille Strips' (Overlays) GST Free? Yes.
Braille strips or overlays are GST-Free for an existing sign that is located in a public building. The braille overlay is a Braille translation of that existing information which is recorded on a 'Braille skin' that is then laid over the existing sign. (reference subsection 38-45 (1) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (GST Act) (ATO ID 2005/80)
Am I limited to using white & blue only on BTS?Only the Accessible & Audio symbols are required to be white on blue. All other symbols and text can be any colour; so long as there is a minimum of 30% luminance contrast between the tactile and the background.
What is Luminance Contrast?
Luminance contrast is the amount of light reflected from one surface or component, compared to the amount of light reflected from the background or surrounding surface. The easiest way to understand luminance contrast is to make all colours grey scale... you will be surprised as to how similar some colours appear.
Where do I need to put BTS?
Braille & Tactile Signs are required in all public and commercial buildings, to show all sanitary, Accessible entrance and lift facilities & a continuous path of travel from the main entrance to these facilities. Additional signage requirements depend on the particular building. An access consultant can help determine what you may require.
If you require assistance by an Access Consultant we can arrange this for you.
Can I have these signs in Aluminium?
Yes you can, although at this stage it is a more costly product. We are in the process of developing a new product that will be more cost effective.
Why do I need to use BTS?
In Australia there are approximately 300,000 people who are blind or Vision impaired and many more have some reduction in the effectiveness of their sight. The greater majority of these people, (probably 70%) are over the age of 65 years.
The Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne reports;
Significant vision impairment occurs in 10% of people aged 40 years and over.
The rate of blindness is 25 times higher in people aged 70 than in younger people.
The Proportion of people with a vision loss or blindness trebles with each decade of life over 40.
The number of people in Australia with eye disease will double in the next 25 years as the population ages.
How does someone who is blind find Braille & Tactile Signs?
Although someone may be clinically blind or vision impaired, the majority do have some degree of vision. This is also assisted by learnt mobility skills. Someone who is totally blind would generally be assisted to the location of these facilities and then use the Braille to identify the facility required.
Does BTS (Aust) supply and/or install Tactile Floor Indicators?
Yes we do have a range of TFI's for supply or installation; rubber & ceramic tiles, plastic and stainless steel individual indicators. Please call us if you have any questions or require a quotation.