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CNIB Award for Setting New Standard for Accessible Pedestrian Signals
The Navigator II features a programmed voice message that announces street names and informs people of road obstacles such as a centre median, railroad tracks or an angled crossing. There is also a voice message to clear an intersection quickly when emergency vehicles are approaching.
John McGaffey from Polara Engineering has been awarded the CNIB Winston Gordon Award, which recognizes advances in technology that improves the quality of life for Canadians living with vision loss. "Few things symbolize independence for people with significant vision loss more than being able to cross the street confidently and safely,” said Jim Sanders, CNIB President and CEO. "Polara's contribution to safe travel is immeasurable.”
The Navigator II also includes a locator tone to help users quickly find the activation button, and the volume of the signals and messages can adjust to the level of street noise. "The whole purpose of the Navigator II is to provide the same information to a visually impaired or blind person normally given to a sighted person, but in a format that can be easily interpreted,” said McGaffey.
The City of Toronto, which already uses Polara's original Navigator APS systems at 25 locations around the city, is testing the Navigator II and hopes to install the first systems on Toronto streets by the end of 2005.
- The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) is located at: www.cnib.ca