Czech Blind United

About the Navigational Centre for The Blind

The Navigational Centre for The Blind is a section of the Digitisation and Technical Support Department run by Czech Blind United.

The main purpose of the centre is to help visually handicapped persons to travell independently of a sighted guide only by using their cane or their guide dog even in places they are not familiar with. This service, in fact, could be seen as a virtual guide together with a map, with reliable travel information and phone book or as a well-informed person always ready to help, all in one and in pocket format. All this information is given to the users through a special hotline that is free of charge in the Czech republic and together with preparing of itineraries for the clients and direct navigation through the special navigational unit counts to the most important activities of the centre. The navigational units are GPS-based devices which can be hired or purchased by our visually handicapped clients.

Total number of four operators are performing the service always two in each shift. All operators have learned how to communicate with blind people and have taken part in special blind mobility trainings. During these trainings they all had to walk for several hours with their eyes closed to get an idea how it feels to be blind and to be able to imagine the situation of a blind person when giving advices. To make the evaluation of the service quality easier, all events, contacts with the clients and realized help are registered in a database system. The phone line is connected to an answering machine that registers requests for the service in time out of the operation hours. If the operation time or the capacity of the centre would appear as insufficient, the centre is ready to extend both the operation time and the number of the operators.

More information on offered services and technologies can be found under the related links.

The Navigational Centre is located in the Czech Blind United house in Krakovská str. in Prague. The activities of the centre, however, reach the whole Czech Republic, visually handicapped clients from all over the country have been using the service since 2007. The Navigational Centre has been set up and is run by the Czech Blind United, yet, most of the financial means needed for running the project come from the financial grant by The Vodafone Czech Republic Foundation. Thanks to the company Vodafone, the Navigational Centre can also run the phone hotline and transfer data necessary for the navigational units in the Vodafone GPRS network all free of charge.