A group of scientists, architects, and advocates has worked on new methods of wayfinding for visually impaired persons. The maps created are tactile and have an audio component. In other words, they convey information through touch and sound. Users can tap on icons and listen to more detailed information since using Braille only may limit a map's effectiveness (via).
"This is really the first time [a visually impaired person] can sit in their living room and orient themselves to a BART station that they plan on visiting, plan a path of travel from the entrance, to the turnstyles, to the platform, and then off the train and to the bus stop. That's really special."
Joshua Miele (Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, lost his sight at four)
"For a very long time, there was research out there implying blind people couldn't use tactile maps. As a blind person, and as a researcher, I'm sort of shocked at this, because it's just not true. Blind people with good orientation and mobility skills have excellent spatial cognition, because we have to."
"My biggest goal is for blind people to not only be able to use maps like these universally, but to expect them, want them, ask for them, and use them in a way that improves their ability to get out there in the world and do the things they want to do."
photographs via and via