The Challenge

The Challenge

Imagine the frustration of hearing a bus approach and then listening as it drives right by you, simply because you were standing in the wrong place. For people who are blind or have low vision, this is a common occurrence that can mean missing a job interview, a medical appointment, or the chance to socialize with friends.

GPS navigation helps people who are blind travel independently in almost any situation, but it can only take them so far. Finding bus stops and other transportation markers remains a significant challenge to independence for travelers who are visually impaired, keeping them from exploring their communities, pursuing employment or accessing education.

In Their Own Words

Joann Becker

"I can hear the bus coming but unless I am standing right at the bus stop sign, it doesn’t stop. My iPhone GPS will tell me generally where I am, but how does someone blind find a physical bus stop sign?"

Wen Lo

“At night when my low vision is the worst, I use memory and a cane and hope for the best when navigating to my bus stop home from work.”

Jeff Magliozzi

"I try to use my cane to find bus stops but then usually ask people to double-check. Sometimes I miss my bus, because asking people takes time."

Our Project

In April, Perkins School for the Blind embarked on a new challenge: developing a mobile app that would pick up where GPS systems leave off – bringing users within a cane’s length of their precise destination.


Why Perkins?

Perkins School for the Blind is an incredibly fertile place to explore how technology can be used to solve problems and create a more accessible world for people who are blind or have low vision. Our engaged and committed community of teachers, students, families and staff are constantly providing feedback to us about where the need is and what our potential solutions could look like.

We are honored to be a grant recipient and look forward to using our expertise to create an innovative product that transforms travel for people who are blind.