New Technology Set To Increase Mobility For People Who Are Blind

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14th October 2009, 10:47am - Views: 568






People Feature Guide Dogs NSW/ACT 2 image






MEDIA RELEASE



New technology set 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.


On International White Cane Day, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT spokesperson, Jennifer Moon,

says 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 more 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; a GPS application used

on a mobile phone which provides people with the ability to use their mobile phone which 

provides verbal navigation on specified routes. It can also read out “where am I”

information, enabling them to locate street corners and other landmarks.


Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s regional offices are celebrating International White Cane Day by

offering one-hour challenges to local media personalities. The challenges are designed to

provide media personalities with professional instruction and a demonstration of the

various ”mobility tools” such as the white cane, an electronic device called a Miniguide and

a talking GPS.  


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



ENDS


For interviews with Guide Dogs NSW/ACT regional managers or local case studies,

please contact Karina Candia (0402 307 056) at Palin Communications on 02 9412

2255. 


Guide Dogs NSW/ACT has regional offices in Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Tamworth,

Orange, Canberra, Albury and Newcastle.






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