Posted in: News
This International Day of People with Disability (3 December), we’re proud to report how we’ve worked with BindiMaps and the National Library of Australia in Canberra to increase accessibility for people with low vision or blindness at the largest reference library in Australia.
The National Library has launched Bindi Maps – an indoor navigation system optimised to assist visitors with low vision or blindness with directions to safely and independently navigate to different areas of the building.
BindiMaps is a mobile-phone app that acts as a personal navigation system with an audio guide-track directing users to their indoor destination. Two-hundred Bluetooth beacons have been installed throughout the public areas in the National Library building.
“The main purpose of the app is to increase accessibility to the Library for all of our visitors while increasing independence, and empowering and increasing safety of our visitors with low vision or blindness,” said Warwick Bartlett, the National Library’s Director of Facilities and Security.
Founder and CEO of BindiMaps, Dr Anna Wright, said, “The National Library is Canberra’s first cultural institution to launch the service and we are delighted that BindiMaps is able to ensure that this important national space is more accessible for people with low vision or blindness and for anyone who wants to explore the Library. We’re looking forward to ‘BindiMapping’ many more buildings and areas in Canberra.”
Orientation and Mobility Specialists from Guide Dogs, along with Guide Dogs Client, Scott Grimley – who was declared legally blind in 1998 due to the hereditary eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa – worked with the National Library and BindiMaps to test the app, prior to launch.
Scott is a long-term board member of the Canberra Blind Society and has worked for the past 10 years at the National Museum of Australia as Access and Inclusion Officer.
“I found it very easy to find my way around the National Library of Australia using BindiMaps. The directions are clear and easy to follow, especially as it uses the clock face orientation people with low vision or blindness are used to. BindiMaps can also assist people with cognitive impairments as well. It is always good to calibrate your phone’s compass before you arrive,” Scott said.