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What’s on the menu today? Braille….

in Latest News, Stories of Independence

Restaurants and cafes are slow to serve-up Braille menus and we’d like to see that change. We think it should be standard policy for all eateries to offer Braille menus.

We recently sent a call-out on our social media inviting cafes and restaurants to contact us so we could help create one for them.

Cafe serves-up the Braille menus

First to reply was Sage Café in Victoria Park, where Cormac O’Brien is the manager and joint owner.

Image shows Manny handing over the braille menus to the owner of Sage cafe
Manny hands over the menus to Cormac O’Brien

We have introduced ramps and disability-friendly toilets, so it makes sense to have Braille menus.

Cormac O’Brien
Sage cafe

“We saw your Instagram post and were keen to get involved as we have one man who regularly eats here who is vision impaired.”

The current Sage cafe menu was given to our assistive technology team at Visibility who transcribed it into Braille.

The verdict?

Image shows Manny, sitting next to Cormac reading the Braille menu

Owner of Sage, Cormac O’Brien sits next to Manny as he reads the new Braille menu

We then wanted to see if the Braille menus were readable. We took them to the cafe with our technology officer Manny Lee to trial them out.

I love it, it means I can sit down with friends and have my own menu to read myself and not ask others what’s available.

Manny Lee
Braille user

“Plastic may be better for the future as the dots may get worn away on this cardboard menu,” he adds.

Paramedic Deb Burchard, a customer in the cafe gave it her seal of approval.

“It offers someone a greater sense of independence. If they come with a group of friends, they will feel less awkward at the table – I can see it being really popular.”

Equally impressed was another customer Asher Dukic.

“What a great idea, it’s about time cafes got on board with this and I imagine it’s relatively inexpensive.”

One menu a season

Two Fremantle dining establishments, Bib and Tucker and May Street Larder, introduced Braille menus last year, but there are still very few committed to getting these menus on board.

The cafe will be using Visibility to produce the Braille menus and updating them every season.

“We’ll approach those who are vision impaired with a menu as they walk in. I just hope in time Braille menus become the norm, rather than the exception.”

If you’re a business and you’d like to know more about our Accessible Information Services, please email us on