Living in Southern California has provided me with many years of sunshine and the desire to never leave the area. However, after reading the following bit of information, you too may decide that a greater sense of independence may cause you to want to move to Toronto Canada along with me.
The CNIB, formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind has partnered with several businesses on one of Toronto’s busiest streets. Along with the Rick Hansen Foundation they will equip businesses with beacons that will provide additional information to the blind through the use of an app on their smart phone. Visually impaired individuals could walk down the street and know what businesses they are passing and use the beacon’s information to locate cash registers, changing rooms, and restroom facilities located inside the store. Additionally, businesses can provide information on whether they have stairs and provide their location to them within the store. Any information that can help a blind person navigate the store independently can be relayed to a visually impaired individual through the app.
The CNIB is hoping to demonstrate to businesses that making their locations accessible to the blind makes fiscal sense and is not too difficult to do. The roll out of these beacons is already helping some visually impaired individuals and you can read more about their story in the link below.
Now I still fear cold weather as much as most people fear public speaking. But, if businesses in my area don’t start realizing the benefit of such technology, I may have to pack up my microphones and become an ice hockey fan in Toronto.