Chief Executive, RNIB - Lesley-Anne Alexander with Lisburn Mayor Brian Heading launching the new React system in the city centre. US4011-102A0
GROUNDBREAKING technology is being used to help blind and partially sighted people find their way around Lisburn by telling them where they are in the city centre.
The new React system is a series of small speakers fitted to the outside of various shops around the city centre. When a blind or partially sighted. person carrying a small key ring sized fob walks past one of them, an audible message is heard.
These messages give information on where you are. For example, "you are now at the corner of Harlem's Lane and Bow Street".
Phase one will direct a blind or partially sighted person from the Bus Centre to the Housing Executive building, taking in the front of Bow Street Mall.
If the individual requires more detail than this, they can press one of two buttons on the fob, and receive instructions on how to continue their journey. The great thing about React is that it is universal, so if you are visiting another town or city that has the same system, your fob will still work.
"It's like having talking signposts. It's great to have confidence that when you come out of a shop that React is there to remind you where you are" said Geraldine Dougal, a local user of the system.
The system is being set up by RNIB Northern Ireland's Lisburn in Focus, a Big Lottery Safe and Well funded project.
The React system can also be found in Bolton, Leeds, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Redditch, Portsmouth, Newbury, York and Lewisham and Golders Green in London.
Between now and Christmas Lisburn in Focus is working on phase two of the React Route, which will continue along Bachelors Walk, Railway Street, Market Square and along Linen Hall Street to the Health Centre.