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One of Torontos busiest streets could become Canadas most accessible neighbourhood

Canada’s most high-profile organization supporting people with vision loss is turning to technology in a bid to create what it calls the country’s most accessible neighbourhood.The CNIB — formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind — says it’s hoping to transform a small stretch of one of Toronto’s busiest streets into an area that blind or low-vision people cannot only navigate easily, but fully engage with independently.The organization has partnered with the Rick Hansen Foundation to acquire beacons that will help blind people locate local businesses on the street, then find their way around inside with confidence.Read more:Too few intervenors to assist those who are deaf-blindArticle Continued BelowOttawa police to get braille badge covers — a first in Canada, CNIB saysThe foundation has funded the purchase of 205 of the roughly 14-centimetre beacons that stores and restaurants in the test area can acquire for free and program to convey detailed information about the layout of their physical space to a blind person’s mobile phone.Blind users hail the project as a major innovation, while the CNIB says it’s hoping the initiative convinces businesses that increasing accessibility makes good fiscal sense.

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