The European Union has provided funds worth 3.8 million euros to a total of 13 European research teams to develop systems that improve the possibilities for blind people to access the Internet. The project, whose duration will be 3 years, is part of the so-called “Enabled Initiative“.
According to the project manager, Queens University scientist Professor Marshall, “If the inaccessibility issue (for blind people) is not resolved, the discrepancy known as the digital divide will worsen". In an article with BBC Technology, the scientist says that the Internet and new technologies are transforming the way people live and perform daily tasks, but many of the new technological advances remain out of the reach of people with disabilities such as blindness .
Scientists intend to develop advances such as touch screens with better technology and greater features than those that currently exist.
The application of more advanced audio systems will also be investigated, as well as the possibility of using mobile devices that serve to guide blind people through audio systems. According to Professor Marshall, when implanting devices in public areas, such as shopping centers, it would be possible to announce the location of stores by passing a blind person carrying a device with this type of built-in technology.