As Israel observed “Blind Day” on Tuesday, the Knesset introduced an auditory navigation system to help those with vision impairments and others who have trouble orienting themselves.
“Blind Day,” observed yearly, aims to raise empathy for and understanding of the blind minority in the Jewish state.
“The cutting-edge system that helps make the Knesset accessible includes a management and control module and roughly 55 Bluetooth sensors, scattered throughout points of interest in the complex,” said Sharon Cohen, head of systems and applications in the Technology and Computing Division of the Knesset.
People with disabilities can navigate the Knesset premises through a dedicated and free application on the user’s personal phone,” she continued.
The technology, created by Israeli firm RightHear with funding from the Menomadin Foundation, links a specialized smartphone application to wireless beacons placed in accessible locations and public areas.
It offers audio explanations of the area and sends them straight to tablets or cellphones. The user may receive extra in-depth information about their location, including the times of plenary sessions, by calling a nearby usher when they arrive at an area of interest or a crossroads, according to Cohen.
According to Knesset Director General Moshe Chico Edri, “The Knesset will continue to work toward making the facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities and will enable all visitors to experience the best of the country’s democracy.”
“We are proud to showcase the technological initiatives that we implement in the Knesset, with an ongoing commitment to progress and innovation,” he continued.