Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality Logo
SATH Logo

ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps - A new Product to help people who are blind

Oct 20, 2009

 Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Technology Startup to Provide Revolutionary Mapping Service to

Blind Travelers

October 20th, 2009

Contact:

Joe Cioffi

Co-founder and President

612-220-6657

joe.cioffi@clickandgomaps.com

Phil Agee

Co-founder and Technology Director

646-807-9501

phil.agee@clickandgomaps.com

Deborah Mendenhall

Public Relations Director

412-251-2165

deborah.mendenhall@clickandgomaps.com

ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps

www.clickandgomaps.com  

c/o InTouch Graphics P.O. Box 75762 Saint Paul, MN 55175

Cutting-Edge Invention for Blind and Deaf-Blind Travelers to be Launched at Assistive Technology Conference

A cutting edge navigation tool that promises to make travel much easier and offer a lot more independence for blind and deaf-blind travelers will be launched at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) conference October 29 through 31 in Chicago, Ill.

The system is called ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps and it offers detailed narrative route descriptions that help vision impaired people successfully find their way to unfamiliar destinations. The maps are free to users and can be accessed by telephone.

"This is modeled after the popular „directions‟ feature of Yahoo, Google, and MapQuest maps," said inventor and mobility specialist Joe Cioffi, who has 28 years experience teaching blind and deaf-blind clients white cane techniques. "With Internet maps, sighted users select a starting point and destination from a drop-down menu and then click "go" for driving directions.

"We adapted ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps by adding the options of voice output or Braille that literally walks blind and deaf-blind people through the route to the destination with customized „mobility-friendly‟ walking directions," Cioffi said.

Rather than depend on strangers for directions, blind ATIA Conference attendees will pick up a telephone or use a computer to access a website, give their point of origin and destination, and hear specific directions to help them find their way independently to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center‟s registration desk, interior restaurants, ballrooms and function rooms, restrooms, guide dog relief areas, and other destinations.

A caller may hear, for example: "After entering through the main doors, the flooring changes from carpet to tile. There are two elevators along the right side wall, 25 feet away. The elevator call button is located between the 2 elevators. Enter and press floor 2. Exit on floor 2 and walk straight. In 10 feet you will reach entry doors separating the elevator foyer from the main hallway. After these doors, walk straight 5 feet and turn right. You are now facing a 20 foot wide hallway, and straight ahead in 70 feet you will reach the double doors of the hotel ballroom."

The directions can be downloaded on a notetaker for later access.

ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps are mainly intended to help vision impaired travelers more easily orient themselves and move through airports, schools and universities, hotel and convention centers, public parks, amusement parks, tourist destinations, and other public places. But Cioffi also offers customized narrative walking directions for outdoor landmark-to-landmark route travel. All directions and point of interest information can be downloaded through ClickAndGoMaps' fully accessible website as both web pages and MP3 downloads, or obtained by using the company‟s voice activated technology with a standard telephone.

The system has been praised by users such as Ken Rodgers, who is blind and a Master's candidate at Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and the Past Minnesota Chapter President of the American Council of the Blind. Rodgers said the system offers a level of detail that is unparalleled by any other service or technology today.

"The CickAndGo narrative mapping technology is absolutely phenomenal!" said Rodgers who tested the product at the University. "It's easy to use and will revolutionize the way I find unfamiliar destinations without the fear of getting lost. Talk about maintaining my independence!"

Cioffi is the owner of InTouch Graphic which also produces tactile/low vision maps for people who are blind and vision impaired. ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps will be offered free to users. Cioffi is hoping to market the product to participating institutions such as airports and hotels that wish to accommodate their customers as well as comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The ADA offers some tax incentives and under certain conditions, reimburses businesses up to $15,000 for adaptations that encourage accessibility of public accommodations.

For more information, contact Cioffi at 612-220-6657.