By Mel Poluck.
When the CNIB (formerly the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) opened its community hub last summer in Yonge St., Toronto, it set its ambitions high.
“We moved in, sat down and thought ‘how can we make this neighbourhood the most accessible in Canada?’” says CNIB’s Kat Clarke, Specialist Lead (Toronto), Advocacy and Government Relations (Ontario).
“The closest intersection to us wasn’t accessible, so we advocated to the [local council] to make it more accessible, which they’ve done,” says Clarke.
Now, a CNIB pilot aims to take local accessibility a step further using simple technology. ‘ShopTalk: BlindSquare Enabled’, allows blind and visually impaired people to find their way around the interiors of shops, cafés and other businesses in the neighbourhood via an app on their phone.