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
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