Canadian Council of the Blind, Independence, Media Release

Inclusion? There’s An App For That! Attend our Indoor Wayfinding Interactive Session on February 9, 2018 in Vancouver BC

Media Release: 

 

Inclusion – There’s an App for That!

New Technology Improves Interior Navigation for Everyone

 

Vancouver, BC, February 9, 2018.  CCB White Cane Week is February 4 to February 10, 2018 – click here for link to CCB website.  As part of CCB White Cane Week and in collaboration with the Vancouver Central Library, Right-Hear Accessible Solutions from Israel and Canadian Assistive Technology, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) and Gateway Navigation CCC Limited are pleased to present the first indoor audio navigation experience of its kind in Canada. Corry Stuive, representing the Executive Director of the CCB and advisor for the Beacon Navigation Project, explains, “Accessibility and inclusion is not just about putting braille on signs, but giving the blind the equal opportunity to hear the information in the same way a sighted person can read them.  This technology creates real inclusion and independence.”

 

Steve Barclay, President, Canadian Assistive Technology, describes how the BLE (Bluetooth low energy) beacon was deployed at the Vancouver Central Library, “We placed nine of these beacons at decision-making points such as entrances, stairs and elevators around the Vancouver Central Library.  This created nine accessibility zones that provide orientation information. The technology builds an audio road map that any individual with a smartphone and the free Right-Hear app can use to orientate themselves to their immediate surroundings and assist them in navigating the indoor venue independently.  The service can be accessed in multiple languages.” Right-Hear Media Kit: https://app.xtensio.com/folio/46do8nfq

 

Jim Taggart, Director of Gateway and advocate for social sustainability within the architectural profession, summarizes the Project’s focus, “We are dedicated to improving the accessibility of interior spaces for members of the blind and visually impaired community in Canada. Just as smart phone-based GPS has made exterior navigation easier for everyone, so Gateway imagines a wireless, technology-based network that will make complex buildings, such as airports, transit hubs, shopping malls and public buildings accessible to all those who cannot read signage or interpret other wayfinding cues.”

 

Mike May, recently appointed Executive Director at Envision, Inc., will be adding his vast experience and knowledge to the panel to discuss the importance of creating accessible and inclusive smart cities. The American Foundation for the Blind recognizes Mike’s past and current contributions as a pioneer and leader in the accessible technology sector.  Mike describes one of his current projects at Envision, Inc., “One of the many exciting projects being undertaken by Envision is using proximity beacons to create smart and accessible bus stops. This will help to connect people with real-time digital technology supported by location based services that will assist all commuters, including blind or visually impaired to travel safely and independently.”

 

David Brun, Founder Gateway Navigation CCC Limited, reflects, “Working in banking for twenty-years and a life time adjusting to sight loss has reinforced to me the importance of accessibility, inclusion, training and employment so that visually impaired people can fully engage in our society.  That has become both Gateway’s mission and its passion.  Over the last several years, Gateway has participated in discussions with many individuals and organizations to implement the proximity beacon technology into public buildings and spaces in Canada.  We are extremely excited to be launching the Beacon Navigation Project in Vancouver and are committed to promoting accessibility, inclusion, training and employment for blind and disabled people.” For more information visit www.gnc3.com

 

Contacts:

Beacon Navigation Project

Email: partners@gnc3.com

Website: www.gnc3.com

 

Albert Ruel

Canadian Council of the Blind

Toll Free Tel: 1-877-304-0968 Ext. 550

 

David Brun

Gateway Navigation CCC Limited

Tel: 604-499-4818.

 

 

 

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