Guernsey Press

Visually impaired given details of wildlife photos via app

Blind and visually impaired people can now enjoy a photography exhibition thanks to technology installed by Guernsey Arts in collaboration with the Guernsey Blind Association.

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Chantelle Tucker, left, Guernsey Blind Association vision support services officer, and Jade Kershaw, Guernsey Arts’ community and public realm officer. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32951334)

A NaviLens code has been placed on each wall in the Bailiwick Wildlife Photography Exhibition at Guernsey Museums at Candie and can be picked up by a phone camera using the NaviLens app.

These codes are programmed so the app will communicate audibly on what the photographs on the wall feature, the photographer and details of what is in the photograph.

‘We were given recommendations from the Guernsey Blind Association to make the exhibition more inclusive, one of which was NaviLens, and so I downloaded the app and looked at some of the trial codes and it was just incredible,’ said Jade Kershaw, of Guernsey Arts.

‘The fact that it is picked up from quite some distance and can guide someone to the object as well as giving a description is fantastic.’

The codes are completely customisable, and were first used on public transport in the Netherlands.

They now feature on some items in supermarkets, and it is hoped more businesses and organisations will also start to introduce them.

‘The codes give visually impaired people more independence,’ said vision support services officer Chantelle Tucker.

‘Previously they would have walked into the room with no spacial awareness, no idea of the shape of the room or any furniture in the way, and now the technology will help them to start mapping out the room themselves.

‘Everyone seems hesitant to take that first step, wondering what the cost will be, how much work is going to be involved, so we’re keen for people to give this a try and see how easy it is.’

Guernsey Arts has committed to using the NaviLens code in the exhibition, and would like people to test it out and understand the benefits as well as providing feedback.

The GBA said it was pleased how keen and proactive Guernsey Arts was to develop inclusivity and prevent there being any barriers for those with visual impairments from accessing and enjoying art exhibitions.

The collaboration is hoped to benefit people both locally and visitors on holiday.

Businesses are welcome get in touch with the association to learn how they can implement change.