Title

WAYFINDING SYSTEM FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES: REMOTE INFRARED AUDIBLE SIGNAGE FOR TRANSIT STATIONS, SURFACE TRANSIT, AND INTERSECTIONS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - station, planning - signage/information, planning - education, policy - disability, policy - disability, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro

Keywords

Wayfinding, Visually impaired persons, Transit, Subway stations, Remote sensors, Remote sensing, Remote detectors, Rail transit stations, Public transit, Print-disabled persons, People with visual disabilities, Orienteering, Mass transit, Local transit, Junctions (Traffic), Intersections, Infrared scanning, Infrared detectors, Educationally impaired persons, Cross roads, Cognitive impairment, Cognition disorders, Bus terminals, Bus stations, Blind persons, Blind, Audible signage

Abstract

People who are print-disabled, who are blind, or who have other visual impairments are restricted in their ability to participate in public life because of lack of labels and signs in the environment. Currently, persons with severe visual impairments often require extensive assistance from strangers to travel in unfamiliar areas. Many other types of disabilities can prevent people from reading print. In addition to people who are blind or who have low vision, there are many head-injured, autistic, and dyslexic (or even just educationally impaired) people, along with persons who have had a stroke, who are not able to assimilate printed language even though they can see the page. Many people can accept the information through speech--that is, having print read aloud to them. Some human factors evaluations of a signage system specifically developed to aid people who have visual impairments or a print-reading disability gain information that is available to sighted people through print are described in this paper. This remote, infrared audible signage system--Talking Signs--is composed of a small infrared transmitter that emits a repeating voice message over a directional light beam to a handheld receiver carried by the blind pedestrian. The infrared system greatly reduces the need for travelers to remember distances, directions, and turns, thereby enhancing independence and efficiency in travel. Results show that remote infrared audible signage provides effective wayfinding information for using transit stations, surface transit, and intersections, thereby enhancing independent use of public transit by people who have visual impairments or cognitive disabilities.