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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May)


First Japanese university to enact measures for enforcing the New Barrier Free Act

Installation of “Talking Signs” to support visually-impaired students

A signal from the ceiling-mounted electronic label is converted into voice guidance by the handheld portable receiver

The Faculty of Human Sciences has installed an infrared-activated voice guidance system called “Talking Signs” in Building No. 101 of the Tokorozawa Campus. The system will support independent movement and smooth access to facilities by students, faculty and staff that are visually impaired. Talking Signs is used in public facilities and public transportation to provide information regarding locations and services to people unfamiliar with the area. The user can acquire voice information by operating an easy-to-use portable device. By using the Talking Signs system, voice guidance can be acquired for approximately 30 places within Building No. 101, including classrooms and restrooms.

Professor Takuro Hatakeyama of the Faculty of Human Sciences played a central role in the installation of the system. “Currently, there aren’t any visually-impaired students on the Tokorozawa Campus. However, I hope that the installation of this system will effect a change in the consciousness of faculty, staff and students who are without disabilities, and will bring about barrier-free reforms across the entire university,” says the Professor when discussing his expectations.