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St. John’s, NL, Launches BlindSquare Pilot Program in Partnership with CNIB

The City of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, recently partnered with our friends at CNIB to launch BlindSquare Event, a free accessible navigation and wayfinding tool, in their Downtown Pedestrian Mall to increase accessibility for those with low vision or blindness. This pilot program is one of the multiple accessibility initiatives St. John’s is implementing in the city.

As our BlindSquare users know, the app uses self-voicing GPS technology to locate and describe critical points of interest to provide safe, reliable travel for those with vision loss or blindness. At the St. John’s Downtown Pedestrian Mall, BlindSquare users can now seek out features such as sidewalk curb cuts, parklets, and public seating.

In a recent press release from the St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador website, Councillor Debbie Hanlon, Council Lead for Inclusion made the following statement on her incentive for the partnership with CNIB:

“We want the Downtown Pedestrian Mall to be a welcoming place for everyone who wishes to visit,” said Councillor Debbie Hanlon. “Each year, we continue to work with members of the Inclusion Advisory Committee, and our community partners such as CNIB, to identify ways to improve accessibility during the Downtown Pedestrian Mall event. The BlindSquare pilot project is the result of our ongoing work to improve the event and to make it more accessible.”

Amanda Halliday, CNIB’s Coordinator of Community Giving expands on the incentive to roll out BlindSquare into environments such as St. John’s Downtown Pedestrian Mall:

“Accessible technologies like BlindSquare are important connection points for CNIB, as we work together with community partners like the City of St. John’s to create more accessible spaces for individuals living with sight loss,” said Amanda Halliday. “Understanding this technology and its applications is an important part of our collaboration – together we are breaking down barriers to inclusion by using accessible technology.”

David Demers, President, CNIB Frontier Accessibility, shares our mutual applause to St. John’s for their attention to improving accessibility in the city:

“We are grateful to the city of St. John’s for their commitment to accessibility and inclusion,” said David Demers, President. He adds, “They recognize that social participation begins when everyone can navigate their city independently and safely. The BlindSquare installation in the Downtown Pedestrian Mall not only improves access for people with disabilities but also provides a better experience for everyone.”

For those based in the St. John’s area, spread the word on this powerful initiative that the city has invested in. We hope to continue rolling out projects such as these nationally to make Canada more accessible each and every day.

BlindSquare Event is free to download for iPhone users and can access this tool anywhere in Canada.