A visually impaired person is not necessarily blind. He or she can see shapes, colors and shadows, and have a general feel regarding positioning, brightness and contrast. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to read information, signs or directions.
When we think about accessibility we should consider the different types of limitations that a human being can have. In many cases, the requirements of visually impaired people are not taken into consideration. Designers and architects focus primarily on how appealing a graphic piece or a building will be. Motor disabilities solutions come in later.
A QR code can solve many of these problems. In fact, a QR code is a very simple and recognizable shape.
In everyone’s eyes, a QR code is a square based code and can only be interpreted by an electronic “eye” that decodes it into information (a sound, a video, a voice or a map).
Yellow The World is a worldwide initiative created by the NoisyVision organization that helps visually impaired people know whether or not they are at a positive or negative accessibility zone.
Yellow thumb cards indicate that all is good, while black thumb cards connote caution.
In order to make sure that everyone knows why cities are being tagged with yellow and black thumbs, QR codes where placed within the thumbs that are linked to the explanation of the project.
It is a very effective way to communicate; Yellow The World informs about the initiative and at the same time highlights the fact that people who are visually impaired can find QR codes very useful.
Whoever scans a QR codes is able to retrieve the information that can be easily read or heard trough a smartphone.
Examples of this use can be found at bus stops. Timetables are annoyingly small… However, in some cities there are QR codes just next to them, which can provide real time information.
The city of Antwerp’s public transportation system comes to mind as another example of how QR codes can provide scheduling information.
Then there is NoisyVision’s poster for the walk between Bologna and Florence organized in May 2016. Visually impaired people were able to scan the code and hear the information with the voice reader of their own smartphones.
QR codes can help you
More often than not, we think that technology has to develop itself to its maximum capacities before it becomes truly useful and profitable. But in reality, it’s all about working around the existing possibilities that the technology offers in order to develop new and interesting ways to use it.
QR code technology is very well known and they are available to everyone. Instead of going the usual route, think different. Find your own unique QR code twist.
You never know what a QR code can surprise you with. More so, it most certainly can be the greatest adventure a visually impaired person could ever have.
About the author
This case study was brought to us by Dario Sorgato, the founder of NoisyVision and a dear friend uQR.me
We thought it’d be nice to share with you his experience with QR codes and how he promotes their use by helping the visually impaired.
If you’d like to contact him or NoisyVision, click here.