Universal Crosswalk Diagrams for Better Confidence and Safety in Pedestrians Who Are Blind

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 90BISA0003
Agency Tracking Number: BISA17000040
Amount: $74,331.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: n/a
Solicitation Number: HHS-2017-ACL-NIDILRR-BISA-0194
Solicitation Year: 2017
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
11 Harvest Lane, Elkton, MD, 21921-2027
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steven Landau
 (800) 884-2440
Business Contact
 Steven Landau
Phone: (800) 884-2440
Email: sl@touchgraphics.com
Research Institution
This project evaluates the effectiveness of Universal Crosswalk Diagrams (UCD), a new kind of street sign to aid pedestrians who are blind or have low vision. These small signs are mounted directly above existing Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), the pole-mounted buttons at street corners that pedestrians press to request information about the current status of the Walk/Don’t Walk indicator. Each sign shows a raised-line diagram of the street about to be crossed, with tactile symbols for You Are Here, vehicles, medians, turn lanes, etc. A thick dotted line indicates the direction of travel to cross the street. The pedestrian can examine the diagrams before crossing to determine the distance to the far corner and to preview the route. As an additional feature, each sign includes an embedded Bluetooth transmitter with a unique identifier code, enabling the pedestrian’s smartphone to provide an accessible description of the street crossing in speech or Braille when in close proximity to one of these signs. Phase 1 research and development includes prototyping UCDs for two intersections in San Francisco, culminating in a usability study comparing inferences about intersection layout made by eight users with visual disabilities, with and without use of the proposed signs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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