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New Free Technology Released Today

New Free Technology Released Today Enables Blind, Vision-Impaired
To Safely Navigate DC Metro Stations and Routes
100 Routes Into Gallery Place Chinatown Station Is First Deployment In US

November 7, 2014, Washington, DC — For the first time, travelers who are blind or visually impaired will have access to a unique new audio app to navigate Washington, DC Metro routes and stations beginning with Gallery Place Chinatown Metro rail station and other rail stations in the future. This new personal navigation app is the first of its kind in any public transit system in the United States.

The ClickAndGo narrative map, launched today at Metro Headquarters, is a joint effort of Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The National Capital Transportation Planning Board contributed to the development of the new project. The app is free to travelers.

“Starting today, people who are blind and visually impaired have a powerful new tool to dramatically enhance their independence and safety as they travel to work, shopping, and to events throughout our region,” said Tony Cancelosi, President and CEO of Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. “ClickAndGo will make a real difference in the lives of those facing the challenges of vision impairment and determined to lead more independent productive lives,” he said.

The ClickAndGo narrative map offers indoor and outdoor travel guidance. The system, available via iPhone app, voice, and online, is designed for pre-journey review for safe travel. With the new system, all 100 routes into and out of the Gallery Place Chinatown station are precisely detailed in audio format for users of Metro. “Metro is proud to be the first transit system in the country to debut this revolutionary navigation service,” said Christian Kent, Assistant General Manager at Metro.

ClickAndGo is a narrative mapping and orientation technology that gives highly detailed walking directions to pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired. Currently, Metro customers who are blind or visually impaired are not able to access detailed information regarding the physical layout of a Metrorail station or a Metrobus transit center. This information is generally easily available to persons without visual impairments.

“This is just one example of what can and should be done to make all transit environments in the US more accessible,” said Joe Cioffi, CEO of ClickAndGo Wayfinding Maps, who has spent over 35 years working with adults who are blind and deafblind. “These are the very systems that adults who are blind rely upon to seek out and maintain employment, and proper access to these environments should be understood as a right and not a privilege,” he said.

For more information or to schedule a time for a demonstration, please contact Jocelyn Hunter, Director of Communications, CLB, at jhunter@clb.org or (202) 454-6422.

About Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB)
CLB serves people of all ages who are blind, low vision, or deaf-blind living in the Washington, D.C., region, by providing vision-health screenings, independent living skills training, support groups, retraining, and job counseling and placement. Among the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, 17% of them have visual impairments. CLB partners with government and private agencies to retrain and employ these wounded warriors. Independence is our vision.

For more information, please visit our website at www.clb.org.