I feel embarrassed to admit it, but when I am out and about, I limit the amount of water I drink because I worry about finding the bathroom when I need it. It’s crazy to think about it that way, but it is a subconscious decision I make because of the challenges of navigating unfamiliar and complex indoor spaces.
Other times it’s more of a calculated decision. Last year a good friend of mine (who is also blind) and I ummed and ahhed about going to the MCG on her birthday to watch the Aussies take on New Zealand in the Boxing Day Test. In the end, we decided against it because we worried about finding our seats, the bathroom, the bar, etc.
Five years ago, I couldn’t think of anything more torturous than a full day of sitting on an uncomfortable seat in the sun watching the same batsman running back and forwards back and forwards for hours on end. But along with my new-found love of cricket (Granddad would be proud) comes the realisation that even strong O&M skills and a can-do attitude can’t convince me to tackle the MCG independently. While watching the test on the couch in air-conditioned comfort and remaining hydrated probably sounds like a much more attractive option for many of you, it felt like a bit of a let-down after we had talked for so long about spending her birthday at the ‘G’ together.
I love the NDIS for allowing me to employ support workers. But sometimes I just want to spend the day with my friend. Plus, I can’t be spontaneous when I need to schedule a time with a support worker in advance. I also love Braille signs. But they’re not much help if I don’t know they are there.
I crave the day when I can wander around a shopping centre or sports stadium easily and independently. I would love to have control over when and how I get to the gate lounge without having to rely on airport staff. And I would love to be able to maintain my privacy by navigating to medical appointments independently. I realise I am starting to sound a little downtrodden, and that is certainly not my intention. In fact, I am dreaming of all the ways BindiMaps can change my life.
BindiMaps is a smartphone navigation app for the indoors, and it’s fully accessible! When I am in a BindiMaps location, I open the app and it immediately pinpoints my location and tells me what’s around. I can browse a list of locations or search for a specific destination. Then, the app will provide step-by-step directions to guide me there. And very importantly, it can tell me which coffee shop is the closest!
I am always excited to see the BindiMaps newsletter land in my inbox so I can find out about new locations and new app features. It really is the game-changer I needed, and I can’t help but imagine a time when every indoor space is accessible.
This story was written by Cassandra Embling, Customer Success Representative at BindiMaps.
What is BindiMaps?
Everyone loves navigation apps.
You know, like the one on your phone that rhymes with ‘frugal chaps’.
They’re brilliant, until you go indoors and everything just…shuts down.
That’s where BindiMaps comes in.
We help you find your way around the indoor spaces that other navigation apps can’t reach.
Once you open the app, the technology finds you and then uses common-sense, everyday language to guide you to wherever you’re going:
Parent’s room in the mega-mall? Walk this way.
Neo-natal ward in the new hospital? 9 metres on your left.
For many people this will be hugely helpful.
For people with a vision impairment, it’s a complete game-changer.
Whatever you’re looking for, BindiMaps will help you get there.