Sydney: New Technology To Increase Mobility For People Who Are Blind

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14th October 2009, 01:40pm - Views: 848






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New technology to increase mobility for people who are blind


EMBARGOED TO INTERNATIONAL WHITE CANE DAY; Thursday 15th October

2009: Talking GPS guides, hand-held devices that emit ultra-sonic beams, and canes in

different sizes and colours. These are the tools now being used by people with impaired

vision to stay active, mobile and independent. 


People with impaired vision will be out to demonstrate their mobility and independence on

International White Cane Day (Thursday 15th October) for the inaugural Independence

Walk in Sydney CBD, organised by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.


According to Guide Dogs spokesperson, Jennifer Moon, improved technology and the

latest training techniques are giving people with impaired vision new options for keeping

active.


“The white cane provides great confidence to thousands of users, but these days it’s

more about giving people a ‘mobility toolbox’ with a range of options that they might use.

It means that the community will need to get used to seeing people with impaired vision

use devices other than white canes to navigate their way through day-to-day tasks,” said

Ms Moon.


Ms Moon believes that the new technology may well encourage people who experience

problems with their vision to explore different options.  “We’re finding many people who

may have been intimidated by the prospect of using a cane are keen to explore new

ways of staying mobile,” said Ms Moon. 


Some of the new options include services like Wayfinder Access which provides people

with the ability to use their mobile phone with a GPS application that reads out “where am

I” information and provides verbal navigation on specified routes.  


“The Independence Walk” is all about showing the community how technology and

professional instruction can help people with impaired vision to increase their

independence and mobility,” said Ms Moon. 


Guide Dogs’ Independence Walk will take place on the morning of Thursday 15th October

and will start from Hyde Park and finish at Martin Place at around 8.30am. 


For more information about Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and their services, visit



ENDS


For more information, photo opportunities or interviews, please contact Martin

Palin (0418 419 258) or Karina Candia (0402 307 056) at Palin Communications

on 02 9412 2255. 






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