Accessible GPS cell phone

This project develops an accessible GPS cell phone, which provides critical information about businesses, addresses, distances, and routes, thereby greatly augmenting the personal mobility of a traveler who is blind visually impaired. Specific activities include integrating the existing accessible GPS innovations with "smart" cell phone technology. The marriage of GPS and cell phones exists in the general market but it is screen based with a graphical interface rendering it completely inaccessible for blind and visually impaired individuals. Developing an interface to meet the needs of the nation's blind and visually impaired travelers, i.e. translating the visual information into spoken text, is a central focus of this project. A consortium of three organizations with investigators from research centers and industry collaborate on this project. The consortium systematically evaluates project activities. Dissemination via various avenues includes conferences, webcasts/online discussions, end user lists, various media outlets, and presentations. The end result of this project is to provide a commercially available talking GPS cell phone.

Key Personnel

Michael May, Principal Investigator

Charles LaPierre, CTO

Paul Ponchillia is the former Chair of WMU's Department of Blind Rehabilitation

Janet Barlowis a certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist who has been teaching O&M for over 26 years.

Ann Taylor manager of technology at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Jernigan Institute

Gil Lutz Staff Tester

Kimberly Casey GPS Training Coordinator and Marketing Manager