SoundMapping is a project which began in 2014. It involves a group of visually impaired people some of whom are blind and their wish to ‘map’ the city centre of Armagh in Northern Ireland. SoundMór worked with the local council and local Health Board and Trust to get funding in place to allow a project to run with the aim of producing a tactile map with audio annotations that someone with no sight could use in order to allow themselves a means of orientation within the city centre.

A group of 15 visually impaired took on this challenge and after a number of ‘sound walks’ in the town with volunteer helpers they were in a position to decide what might be possible as regards mapping. The result was a tactile map with audio annotations of a Safe Walking Route in Armagh which has been place in the Market Place Theatre in Armagh. This was considered to be a central area where tourists and visually impaired visitors would have easiest access to the map. IMG-20150327-00163

A second phase of the project is now underway in which a smaller outline map with key details including braille will be created in stainless steel and along with an external audio unit will be found in the Translink Bus station in Armagh. This is the only public transport access point to the town. It is hoped over time that a further 3 metal maps and audio units will be placed along the Safe Walking Route in the city centre to enable both the visually impaired walker and the tourist easier access to the city and what it has to offer.