Fira de Barcelona Improves the Accessibility for Blind People

11th Mar, 2023

Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via venue is more accessible for the visually impaired since last February. The trade fair institution has taken further steps towards improving accessibility to its facilities with a new system of labels located on fixed elements of the facility which, through an app installed on a mobile phone, provide visitors with voice instructions.

In total, 146 tags have been deployed along the main walkway or central axis of the venue, from the main entrance to the last hall. These codes, which were launched during the recent MWC Barcelona, can be scanned using a mobile phone app and are translated into voice messages describing the location and characteristics of the space so that visually impaired people can find their way around more easily in unfamiliar surroundings.

In addition to the basic information about the layout of the venue, the system can also provide more specific information about the areas and spaces created for each event. The technology chosen by Fira for this project is the Navilens codes, developed by the Spanish company Egatel, which also work in complex environments for the mobility of blind people, such as the Barcelona metro, but which had never before been used in a trade fair venue.

The initiative is part of the Fira de Barcelona's accessibility plan, which, as the director of Venue Services, Marc Serra, points out, aims to "go beyond the basic protocols we already have, through innovation and new technologies, and achieve facilities in which access and participation in events is easier and more agile for everyone". "Making an event 100% accessible is very complex and we are aware that there is still a long way to go in the trade fair industry, but we will keep working hand in hand with companies and associations to provide the best possible response to the needs of the different groups", he added.

In this sense, the Navilens codes will gradually be extended to all areas of the venue.

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