A University of Minnesota researcher is developing an app that would tell people who are blind or visually-impaired not only when to cross the street, but which direction they’re going and how many lanes they have to cross. The app, which will be free to download, will also tell users the name of a street if the user taps the phone and points it in any direction. Users tap the phone again to request a walk signal so they don’t have to struggle to find a button to push and the system will tell users when to cross and how much time they have.
Signals and traffic crossings owned by a city, state or county are obligated by the Americans with Disabilities Act to make the visual elements accessible to people that can’t see.
The prototype of the product will be tested in Golden Valley, Minn., beginning in late March or early April. I think this is really cool and cannot wait to hear more.
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