Guide Dogs Victoria leverages wayfinding startup BindiMaps to launch gold standard for accessible buildings

Guide Dogs Victoria leverages wayfinding startup BindiMaps to launch gold standard for accessible buildings

Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV) has included digital accessible wayfinding startup BindiMaps as part of a “gold standard for accessible buildings” it’s currently building at its Kew Campus site in Victoria, where it is working towards building the world’s first fully accessible sensory campus.

GDV’s development has involved installing and implementing a holistic range of tools such as tactile surfaces throughout the Campus, contrasting colours to define spaces, adaptive lighting and lighting for wayfinding and other best practices to support inclusive and accessible employment features.

The BindiMaps solution forms a critical part of GDV’s goal of being a world leading, fully accessible sensory Campus for all abilities.  It offers all visitors to the site – especially those with low vision or blindness or disability – the ability to precisely navigate the entire facility with ease and accuracy.

This includes navigating to unique locations, such as the Betty Amsden Education Centre, the Guide Dog nursery, around the administration centre and from June to include the new client services accommodation, community education hub and cafe.

The app leverages sophisticated navigation algorithms and a network of Bluetooth beacons and smartphone sensors to offer users a choice of text, map view, or audio directions that guide users throughout the Campus using accurate, real-time, and step-by-step directions to any destination.

It was designed with input from hundreds of blind and low vision users to ensure the highest possible levels of accessibility and inclusivity.

BindiMaps has a long-standing partnership with Guide Dogs on a range of initiatives in other states, including NSW, where it worked with Guide Dogs Clients, operations and maintenance teams, management, and assistive technology experts to design and refine the product.

This close relationship between BindiMaps and Guide Dogs developed over many years is based on their common goal of making the world more inclusive and accessible for people with low vision or blindness.

Anna Wright, Founder and CEO of BindiMaps, said, “It is such a joy for BindiMaps to be working with true accessibility experts like Guide Dogs, and such an honour to be named as an important tool in their ‘gold standard for building accessibility’ tool kit.

“For many years, Guide Dogs has provided companies across Australia with critical services such as accessibility audits to determine the suitability of physical spaces for people with low vision or blindness, orientation and mobility services to guide and coach people with vision impairment, and broad accessibility advice.

“It has thousands of Clients who experience low vision or blindness, and its own buildings also go beyond best practice for accessibility and assistance animal support. For these reasons and more, Guide Dogs is truly world-class when it comes to accessible design and implementation.”

Nicky Long, CEO of Guide Dogs Victoria, said, “The Guide Dogs Victoria Campus sets the bar for accessibility requirements not just for those who have low vision or blindness, but for all people with a disability.