CNIB Smashes Accessibility Barriers as the First Building in Regina to Utilize Beacon Technology that Aids in Navigation for People with Sight Loss

12/11/2017

(Regina, SK) CNIB's Beacon Project showcases how easy it is to make buildings more accessible to navigate for people who are blind or partially sighted. 

"Buildings do not always have predictable layouts, can be busy and have open space that can be challenging to move through for people with sight issues." said Lisa Telfer, CNIB Orientation and Mobility Specialist.

CNIB installed seven beacons around the Regina office and QR codes on doors. The beacons and QR codes feed information such as the location of doors, bathrooms and the name and title of the person located behind each office door to the BlindSquare Event iOS App which is announced out loud through the iPhone.

"As a person who is blind, utilizing this technology when it is available means I can navigate independently and learn the building layout by myself. Normally I would have to go with the CNIB Orientation and Mobility Specialist to learn and memorize the layout with her or rely on someone sighted to take me around," said Ashley Nemeth, CNIB client.

"We wanted this technology available as an example for developers, architects, building managers and public officers as a viable option to see how they can make built environments easier to navigate for those with sight loss," said Christall Beaudry, executive director, CNIB Saskatchewan Division. "I also want to thank Rob Nevin from BlindSquare for the donation of the set-up costs."

"With 14,300 people in Saskatchewan who are blind an partially sighted, this kind of technology lends to enhancing their quality of life by removing accessibility barriers in buildings and promoting independence," said Beaudry. 

The BlindSquare app is the world’s most popular accessible GPS-app developed for individuals who are blind or partially sighted. BlindSquare is available in 26 languages and in use in 160 countries. 

The BlindSquare app, aiding navigation all over the world retails for US$40 and and is available here.

About CNIB

CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.

The primary objective of CNIB is to create an inclusive, accessible, barrier-free society that provides the tools Canadians with vision loss require to live safe, fulfilling and independent lives. For more information, visit cnib.ca.

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For further information and interviews, please contact:

Jackie Lay, Communications Specialist, CNIB Saskatchewan

Office: (306) 565-5417, Cell: (306) 540-3086 or jackie.lay@cnib.ca​​


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