G3ICT and Wayfindr: Accelerating the Adoption of Indoor Audio Navigation with a Standard User Interface
Accelerating the Adoption of Indoor Audio Navigation with a Standard User Interface: A G3ict White Paper Innovation Series
G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communications Technologies was launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in promoting e-accessibility and assistive technologies.
G3ict participants include industry, the public sector, academia and organizations representing persons with disabilities. G3ict relies on an international network of ICT accessibility experts to develop practical tools, evaluation methods and benchmarks for States Parties and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities. G3ict is the home of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals which counts more than 1,200 active members in 41 countries.
Since inception, G3ict has organized or contributed to more than 150 awareness-raising and capacity-building programs for policy makers in cooperation with international organizations such as the ITU, UNESCO, UNITAR and the World Bank. G3ict co-produces with ITU the “e-Accessibility Policy Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities” (www.e-accessibilitytolkit.org), which is widely used around the world by policy makers involved in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For additional information on G3ict, visit www.g3ict.org.
White Paper OverviewFor 285 million people who are blind or visually impaired around the world, audio indoor navigation which they could use across all environments with reliable, predictable guidance on their mobile devices would be a quantum leap for their independent living, wellbeing and safety. Wayfindr, a standardization initiative launched by the Royal Society for Blind Children, a leading U.K. based vision impairment charity and ustwo, a digital studio, and funded by a $1,000,000 grant from Google.org, was developed to specifically pursue this critical effort.
This report is designed to inform the community of executives overseeing complex facilities, public spaces, transportation hubs, campuses, shopping malls as well as accessibility experts, system integrators, advocates, local governments and policy makers about the considerable promises of audio indoor navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired. Furthermore, indoor audio navigation applications will also benefit millions of individuals with other disabilities, or who may have situational challenges such as those with print or intellectual disabilities or foreign visitors who need information in a different language.
The report examines the current state of technologies for indoor positioning and navigation and the importance of a technology neutral standardized approach to providing audio guidance to blind endusers. It describes how Wayfindr successfully enrolled the support of the International Telecommunication Union and worked with its accessibility experts to issue a standard in a record time in March 2017 as ITU-T Recommendation F.921. This accomplishment results in the Wayfindr Standard being now recognized as the global reference for indoor audio navigation by all ITU’s 193 Member States and 800 private sector members.
The timing of this effort is excellent: the market for indoor navigation is exploding with multiple drivers and success factors supporting massive investments in new technologies and services across public transportation hubs, shopping malls, public buildings, advertising, and university campuses. The market for indoor positioning and navigation is expected to reach $8.96 billion in 2018 and $17.89 billion by 2021 . As facilities adopt audio navigation for business reasons, advocates in the United States, and elsewhere, will work to ensure that accessibility laws and regulations are applied to mandate the deployment of accessible audio navigation as an alternative to inaccessible signage in private businesses and public sector facilities, campuses or public transportation.
For the promises of audio indoor navigation to materialize for blind persons and better serve all users, advocacy organizations, leading IT vendors and policy makers should promote Wayfindr among developers, users and organizations managing commercial or public spaces. It is seldom and quite remarkable that an accessibility standard be ahead of the technology and market curves and be available at the early stage of the development of new systems. For this reason, G3ict, publisher of this White Paper and supporter of Wayfindr since its beginnings, calls on the broader community of advocates, accessibility experts, leading IT companies and policy makers to rally behind the Wayfindr Standard, participate in its evolution and take practical steps to foster its adoption in the United States and other major IT markets. In practice, this means:
Regulators and policy makers are particularly encouraged to examine provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Federally Funded Programs and Activities (Section 504) and Information and Communication Technology Accessibility (Section 508) and the use of audio wayfinding as a way to comply with this existing accessibility legislation.
In particular, audio wayfinding can help entities comply with their effective communication obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Chapter V discusses options under existing accessibility legislation and regulations, including examples of other efforts to take account of technological and standards developments to address ATM, e-book and web accessibility.
Those covered by the law can take advantage of new and emerging technologies to comply with legislation most easily and deliver the greatest benefits to those with disabilities.
For the full G3ICT White Paper click on the following ling: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1d8295f81a8d7f63ba69beff5/files/141a8643-b5dc-4f59-b734-1fda3f04913a/Wayfindr_G3ICT_White_Paper.pdf
Published April 2018 by Gateway Navigation CCC Limited
Straight Talk – Indoor NavigationListen to Mike May – Founder Sendero Group, David LePage – Co-Founder Buy Social Canada, Albert Ruel – Canadian Council of the Blind: Get Together with Technology and Steve Barclay - President Canadian Assistive Technology discussion on accessible audio indoor navigation with David Brun – Founder Gateway Navigation. To listen, click here
Upcoming Event - AEBC WorkshopAlliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) is holding their National Conference at the Burnaby Metrotown Hilton Hotel – April 27th to 29th, 2018.
AEBC Workshop – Augmented Reality: 1:30 PM Friday, April 27th, 2018.
Join Albert Ruel, Canadian Council of the Blind, David Brun and Jim Taggart, Gateway Navigation CCC Limited at the Burnaby Metrotown Hilton Hotel. Presentation exploring the potential and opportunities possible through BLE (Bluetooth low energy) beacons, smartphones and apps. Focusing on the importance of standardization and best practices to create consistent and repeatable experiences for users. With hands on experience using the Right-Hear Accessible Zone Management Platform and App. Experience how this technology can augment our reality of indoor environments.
Standard for Excellence - Wayfindr Open StandardWayfindr was founded through collaboration and partnership between the Royal Society for Blind Children, ustwo design studio and Transport for London. Supported by an Impact Challenge Grant from Google.Org. All coming together to problem solve a need identified by blind youth. The desire and importance to be able to independently navigate the London Underground”. Starting their journey in 2015. They quickly realized the potential of what they were undertaking went far beyond the scope of their initial purpose. Last month Wayfindr published version 2.0 of their Open Standard. Here is the update and the vision we share.
Wayfindr’ s Open Standard is an approved international standard by the International Telecommunications Union as ITU-T F.921.
Why an Open Standard?
When individuals and organizations get behind a purposeful vision, solutions to what previously seemed like big challenges become attainable.
The aim is that this Open Standard will help lower the barrier for built-environment owners and digital navigation services to make their environments, products and services inclusive from the outset as we continue to weave technology into our cities
Once the Open Standard is adopted across the built-environment and digital navigation services alike, vision impaired people will benefit from a consistent, reliable and seamless navigation experience.
Emerging indoor navigation technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons and 5G hold the key to opening the world for vision impaired people. However, to achieve the greatest impact globally, there is a pressing need to develop a consistent standard to be implemented across wayfinding systems. This will truly open up a world where vision impaired people are no longer held back by their sight loss, removing barriers to employment, to seeing friends and family and engaging in their community.
The Wayfindr Open Standard aims to do just that. As the Open Standard develops it will give venue owners and digital navigation services the tools to implement high quality, consistent, audio wayfinding solutions. It includes an open-source demo app that enables people who download it to use BLE beacons to understand and implement the open standard with real users, in real contexts, in real time.
The Directors of Gateway Navigation and our Canadian Council of the Blind advisors support the work and open standard concept being undertaken by Wayfindr. We encourage all stakeholders to support the standards and best practices published in version 2.0...Through collaboration, partnership and advocacy stakeholders all play a vital role in developing accessible audio indoor navigation solutions that are consistent and repeatable regionally, nationally and globally.
Click on the link for more information on Wayfindr version 2.0:www.wayfindr.net
Action - BC / RHF Accessibility GrantRead how you can help initiate accessibility, inclusion and independence in your local community. By supporting and advocating for the installation and deployment of accessible audio indoor navigation projects.
“Creating livable communities begins with integrating accessibility into everything we do, our workplaces, buildings, neighbourhoods and businesses. This is the province I believe in and want to help build - a place where everyone can contribute and help make our communities inclusive, welcoming, and vibrant.” BC Premier Horgan
In the spirit of the Premier’s vision of building accessible, inclusive communities for all people. The Government of British Columbia is funding two programs designed to improve universal access in communities across the Province.
Through $9 million in provincial funding, the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) has launched two new programs to improve accessibility for British Columbians.
“When we remove the physical barriers, we create communities where everyone feels welcome. We are pleased to support the Rick Hansen Foundation with this initiative where together we can build a better B.C. for people of all abilities to be able to live, work and play,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
With the provincial funding, the Rick Hansen Foundation has developed the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) and the BC Accessibility Grants Program. RHFAC is a LEED-style system to rate accessibility for retail, commercial, institutional and multi-family residential buildings. Provincial funding is enabling approximately 1,100 free accessibility ratings within British Columbia, until March 2019.
Once rated, organizations will be eligible to apply for B.C. accessibility grants of up to $20,000 to use toward accessibility improvements. All projects will provide people with disabilities increased access and opportunities related to workspaces, health and fitness, arts and culture, and education. The upcoming round of B.C. accessibility grant applications must be submitted by May 31, 2018.
Gateway Navigation CCC Limited is a Community Contribution Company in partnership with the Canadian Council of the Blind. Our objective of being involved in accessible audio indoor navigation projects are to:
Unlike GPS, interior navigation systems of a similar kind must be established one building at a time. Through the Accessibility Grant Program, we have a path to accelerate the deployment and recognition on the value this technology brings to our communities.
The current BC / RHF funding provides the opportunity to raise awareness and accelerate acceptance of this empowering technology. Through engaging venue partners to be accessibility champions.
However, it is vital for those who share our vision. To advocate our message to stakeholders and venue owners and operators in their local communities. Stressing the importance of building accessible audio indoor navigation environments. Benefiting seniors, new immigrant’s, people with vision loss and many others. Building - a place where everyone can contribute and help make our communities inclusive, welcoming, and vibrant
Next StepFor more information, provide feedback or venues we can contact to participate in the Accessibility Grant Program for the installation of accessible audio indoor navigation click here..
Or contact: David Brun
Gateway Navigation CCC Limited
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