Improved Bus Travel For Visually Impaired
A new system is being implemented on Bluestar and Unilink buses in the Southampton and Winchester area, to make it easier for those who are visually impaired to access services when travelling. This could be particularly beneficial to those who are new to the Winchester and Southampton area.
What is it?
The new system that is being put into place is an automated audio announcement that is designed to alert visually impaired individuals of upcoming stops. It uses GPS satellite navigation, and this identifies the buses location, so that a voice file can be activated, to alert visually impaired passenger that the bus is approaching a particular stop.
New features have also been added to the Bluestar and Unilink websites in order to make them more accessible to the visually impaired. The new “Speak me” (look for the words in the top right corner of the sites) feature gives people the opportunity to have the text read out in any language to them. The websites have also been made more accessible by giving anyone the opportunity to change the size of the text and the colour of the background, so that it is clearer and easier to read.
How Can it Help?
Buses and other forms of public transport can be vital in enabling people who are visually impaired to live more independent lives. The main benefit of audio announcements on buses is it allows people who have visual impairment to use public transport without worrying that they will miss their stop.
It can be extremely difficult for those who are visually impaired to get out and about, and this new system could make it much easier for them. These new systems being put into place could be particularly beneficial for those who are visually impaired, and this is because it can provide them with the opportunity to access more within the community, as travelling could become much easier.
These new systems could also be beneficial because they may help to boost an individual’s confidence in accessing the community independently. This is because those with a visual impairment may have issues with their confidence, particularly if they are new to an area, as they may struggle to get out and about. This system will also help to reduce the stresses that can be associated with travelling.
This system has been implemented by a number of different bus companies across the United Kingdom, along with a wide variety of other systems and devices to help those who are visually impaired to cope with a wide variety of tasks and activities associated with daily living. The main aim of this system being to make all forms of public transport much more accessible to those suffering from visual impairment or other disability.