Technology: changing the lives of blind young people

Technological innovation has been at our core since we were founded back in 1838 with our founder Thomas Lucas inventing the Lucas Type, a form of embossed text designed to teach vision impaired people to read.

We are excited about the ways in which technology can level the playing field for blind people; smartphones and mainstream technology have huge potential to meet the accessibility needs of users at work, home or on the move.

However we know that bespoke accessibility products are often unaffordable and out-of-date and so we are working with leading technology partners to find solutions to improve the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

In September 2015 we launched Wayfindr, a new nonprofit venture alongside ustwo to create the first Open Standard for Audio-based Wayfinding. Our latest trial guides participants through Euston Tube station, giving audio directions from a prototype smartphone app that interacts with beacons installed throughout the station.

We also recently partnered with Rewired State in July to hold a two-day Hackathon for developers and designers to come together to find tech solutions to the challenges faced by blind young people in employment and dating. Read about one of the exciting prototypes from the day called ‘Tingle’; a new dating app that focuses on personalities, not selfies.

If you’d like to talk to us about any of our technology projects, please call us on 020 3198 0225 or email connections@rsbc.org.uk.

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