Zach Meredith, a GLAS Education staff member, presented a 90-second video explaining GLAS Education’s efforts to make its office space user-friendly for the blind and visually impaired during a July 26 presentation. Zach did most of the filming and handled the editing and sound. Interns Daniel Feng and Alex Scerba also assisted with the video.
The video shows GLAS staff and interns laying down paths of carpeting and plastic as guides to important areas of the office, including the kitchen and the office area of Kate Meredith, director of GLAS Education. GLAS also adapted a system called NaviLens to help guide BVI visitors around the irregularly spaced, open design office. Colorful NaviLens codes, which can be read by smartphones, were taped to the floor to provide additional guidance around the office. Tim Fahlberg, a member of the GLAS Board of Directors and a teacher at the Wisconsin School for the Visually Impaired, suggested the use of NaviLens, which is widely used to assist the visually impaired navigate locations like subway stations and museums. With the NaviLens App, visually-impaired users can scan the NaviLens codes to find their way without needing to know exactly where they are. Then the video cuts to staff getting white cane instruction, testing the BVI guides wearing blindfolds, and using white canes to get around the office. There are two versions, one with narration and one with a music background. The video ends with a thank you to NaviLens.
Katie Corbett of GLAS staff wrote the script for the narration. The voice-over was done by GLAS volunteer Chris Schultz. The music version is upbeat and catchy. The project was overseen by Zach with Daniel and Alex making contributions. The video has some professional touches, like downward angle shots, ground-level shots, as well as conventional eye-level, takes. The video will be presented at the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Conference in Madison on Aug. 12.
Watch the video on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sruY2HwFJTE