Wascana Park just became easier to navigate for people who are blind or partially sighted.
"For CNIB the goal of this project was to make Wascana Park more accessible and inclusive for people with vision loss, which in turn enhances quality of life. We also made one of the largest urban parks in North America accessible for people with vision loss and contributed to one of the objectives in the Wascana Centre Master Plan," said Christall Beaudry executive director of CNIB Foundation Saskatchewan.
CNIB set up more than 230 GPS points around the main walking path in Wascana Park that speak to BlindSquare to help individuals with sight loss to navigate independently. The GPS points highlight path splits, entrances, exits, landmarks, stairs, seating areas, buildings, etc. As well, the organization approached business in and around the park to install beacons. Which are low energy Bluetooth devises that are programmed with information about the business, like where the doorways, table and bathrooms are positioned within the building. Business that currently have beacons are The Lobby Restaurant and Bar, Naked Bean, the Wascana Centre offices and the Legislative Building and we will continue to reach out to more businesses about installing beacon.
The BlindSquare Event app which can be downloaded for free on iPhones, communicates information to the user through voice over on the phone describing general outlay, pathways, where to find the pool and bathroom locations.
Through the generous donation of an anonymous donor, CNIB was able to put the beacons in the entrances in businesses and the Legislative Building, as well as, in and around the park and cover the cost for the first year.
"The Wascana Park Accessibility project means that people with vision loss are able to navigate this amazing park that our city has independently and enjoy all aspects of the park like benches, parks, lookouts, monuments, that they may not have even known were there," said Ashley Nemeth the Program Lead for Advocacy with CNIB.
The CNIB Foundation Saskatchewan is a non-profit organization driven to change what it is to be blind today. We deliver innovative programs and powerful advocacy that empower Saskatchewan residents impacted by blindness to live their dreams while tearing down barriers to inclusion. Our work as a blind foundation is powered by a network of volunteers, donors and partners in communities across Saskatchewan. To learn more or get involved, visit cnib.ca/Saskatchewan.
For more information, contact:
Jackie Lay, Communications Specialist, CNIB Foundation Saskatchewan
Cell: (306) 514-2796 or email@example.com