CNIB’s ShopTalk project continues with rollout: beacons now available in eight major buildings at Yonge and St. Clair.

1/5/2018

CNIB, in partnership with Slate Asset Management, is pleased to announce that ShopTalk beacon installations are nearly complete in Slate properties in the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood.

The beacons - which are funded by the Rick Hansen Foundation - are used by people who are blind or partially sighted to navigate areas independently and with confidence.

Once a beacon is placed in a business, it connects to a smartphone GPS app called BlindSquare. When the app user is in a beacons range, a verbal navigation message from the beacon is relayed to the user’s phone using Bluetooth. The beacons provide directions and accessible navigation indoors and outdoors including a description of the business, the layout or floor plan of the shop, and the goods for sale or on display.

Slate has been a strong supporter of CNIB’s Shoptalk project from the very beginning. 

"Embracing the Shoptalk project at Yonge and St. Clair was important to us because everyone should be able to navigate independently through our community. We want everyone to be able to enjoy and experience the exciting changes happening in this neighbourhood," said Katie Fong, Director at Slate Asset Management.

With almost 80 beacons installed in communal areas of their buildings, Slate has also encouraged their business tenants to install them.

Small businesses in the community also jumped at the opportunity to install free beacons. "JJ Bean is really happy to be part of the ShopTalk project. As a company, we are always looking for ways to honour our customers, and this project does exactly that by facilitating inclusion and accessibility in our space. We are thrilled that the Yonge, St Clair community is changing the game in the city and creating spaces in which anyone can feel welcomed and taken care of," said Manuel Cuevas, Retail Manager at JJ Bean.

The ShopTalk: BlindSquare Enabled project wraps up in late February 2018 and is made possible by The Rick Hansen Foundation Access4All Canada 150 Signature Project, supported by the Government of Canada.

If you are a business owner in the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood and would like a free beacon, please contact shoptalk@cnib.ca.

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