Modern transport is becoming ever more reliant on smartphone based applications to provide passengers with the information they need. This technology potentially offers new opportunities to make travelling independently easier for blind and partially sighted people. We have tested a number of apps and are working to ensure new technology works for blind and partially sighted people by removing accessibility issues, not imposing new ones.
Testing transport apps
Sight Loss Councils across the country tested several travel apps to celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). Northumberland SLC tested Apple AirTags, using them to precisely locate luggage on a carousel, whilst Greater Manchester SLC used the GoodMaps Explore app at Manchester Airport Railway Station. Finally, SLC members in Bedfordshire used the Soundscape app to map out a route, using beacons to mark various landmarks and hazards along the route.
Bedfordshire Sight Loss Council hosted a webinar on accessible travel which covered information on apps like BlindSquare, Microsoft Soundscape and the new passenger assist app to book railway assistance.