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Smart inclusive wayfinding: Is Waymap the solution for mobility and independence for all?

Thursday 28 April 2022 (6pm BST)

Visually impaired man using Waymap on his phone to navigate around a train station

About the event

Update (27.04.2022) Unfortunately, Tom Pey is no longer able to join us for our seminar on the Waymap app. In his place we welcome Ethan Brooks (Waymap) who will join Julian Jackson.

Wayfinding is typically dependent on visual cues. So how do people with vision impairments find their way? They are at quite a disadvantage, encompassing not only knowing how to reach their destination but also how to avoid all those obstacles en route. There are two key means to help people with vision impairments to find their way through the built environment. The first is by making structural alterations to the build environment so that it better meets their particular needs. The second is by creating technology to assist people with vision impairments, providing them with the information that they are unable to access due to their limited sight. In this talk we’ll be focussing on the second of these: assistive technologies to help wayfinding for vision impaired people. We’ll be hearing from two blind people Julian Jackson (VisonBridge) and Tom Pey (Waymap) who are involved in making assistive technology that works.

As a blind user of assistive technologies, Julian Jackson wants to be mobile, independent, safe and informed. He started the social enterprise VisionBridge to support eye research and to champion particularly innovative digital wayfinding technologies like Waymap which has been developed by Tom Pey. Julian has no commercial interest in these technologies, his mission is to make a measurable difference to people’s lives by introducing technologies such as Waymap to them. Julian and Tom both believe that accurate, reliable and robust wayfinding support can provide users with greater independence and mobility leading to enhanced connectivity and mental health as well as greater opportunities for education, employment and leisure time. One key aspect of Waymap is its pan-disability appeal: there are plans to add functionality to support its use by people with, for example, adhd, dementia, learning disabilities and autism.

About our speakers

Dr Tom Pey is the founder and managing director of Waymap, the world’s most accurate indoor and outdoor navigation system. This follows decades of research and work where he became a leading expert on the navigation needs of people with disabilities. Through Waymap, Tom has overseen the development of an integrated smart city navigation system that works both indoors and outdoors and for everyone – including those with disabilities. Following a successful career as an international investment banker, Tom, having lost his sight at the age of 39, took on a number of senior positions in the charity sector. Tom successfully transformed the national charity, the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) from a regional charity that provided education, to a national charity that supports the holistic needs of blind children across the UK.

Julian Jackson spent five years as Director of Development and Senior Adviser to a leading eye research charity. In 2016 he launched VisionBridge, supported by a nationwide group of academic researchers, clinicians, tech developers and patient advocates. He works to support assistive technology innovators, promote eye health, increase the awareness and understanding of sight loss and introduce the world of eye research to the public, eye health professionals and the wider Visually Impaired community across the UK. Julian lost his sight in 2010 to a retinal inherited disease and therefore has a personal as well as professional interest in the ongoing research to prevent sight loss, treat eye disease and restore sight but also crucially to improve the quality of life for patients through enhanced rehabilitation with appropriate assistive technologies.

Register for the event

This talk is free for SDS members. For non-members, the ticket cost is £10 per person. To join our Zoom talk, please get in touch with our administrator Kate at for the event link, ID, and password.

Not a member, unable to join us for the live-streamed event but would like to watch it at a time convenient to you? We now offer the option to watch the event recording on a time-limited basis for the cost of a £10 ticket. Please email Kate for more information.

[Note: this event will be recorded and available to paid-up SDS members via our Talks Archive within a week of taking place.]


Online via Zoom


28 Apr 2022 18:00

Price : £10.00

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