Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Getting Around Seattle -- with talking signs

Seattle will be the site for a model Remote Infrared Audible Signage accessibility project. With RIAS, explains this Yahoo News article: "Talking Signs® is an orientation and wayfinding accessibility system that allows blind travelers to locate and identify landmarks, signs, and places of interest. It utilizes speech messages stored in labeling transmitters which broadcast directional, repeating human voice messages that are silent and invisible to the general public. However, travelers unable to see or read print signs scan the environment with hand held receivers and hear the messages to locate restrooms and other sites in buildings; identify approaching buses, locate bus shelters, and hear 'walk' and 'wait' announcements at crosswalks." What a great tool.