Unfortunately, in Romania, the number of tactile maps is close to zero. And accessibility is almost non-existent. Just a few days after celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities (on December 3rd), the Scripor Alphabet Association and the Romanian Association of the Blind – Bihor Branch took an important step towards accessibility:
After initiating the project last year in Cluj-Napoca, in collaboration with the Cluj City Hall and Local Council, the Cultural Center in Marghita from Bihor county has become the beneficiary and host of the inauguration event for a tactile map for orientation, using the tactile alphabet of colors – the Scripor alphabet.
From now on, visually impaired or visually challenged individuals will be able to navigate easily, safely, and, most importantly, independently within the institution.
Using the principle of Universal Design, the tactile map provides us all with tactile-graphic information, represented in both the Braille alphabet and the Scripor alphabet. Tactilely, each destination’s route has a chromatic correspondence. Thanks to this standardization, orientation has become intuitive and much simpler.
Furthermore, by scanning the QR code, the information will automatically download into the dedicated application. In this way, users will receive additional audio descriptions of the routes inside the institution. Soon, this will be possible even without an internet connection or GPS.
Tactile maps that utilize the Scripor alphabet represent a valuable and comprehensive source of information for both able-bodied individuals and, even more so, for visually impaired or visually challenged individuals, playing an essential role in developing their orientation and mobility skills.
The accessibility project was carried out by a team consisting of visually impaired individuals from several countries. Using state-of-the-art technologies, the multi-colored map – in vibrant colors – complies with all international norms, laws, recommendations, and standards.
Due to the pandemic situation, the inauguration was attended by a limited number of individuals, including Mayor Marcel Sas Emil Adascăliții, Vice-Mayor Demian Zsolt, Professor Silviu Vanda, Director Veronica Demeter, President of the Romanian Association of the Blind – Bihor Branch, Mr. Mihai Merca, Vice-President of the Scripor Alphabet Association, Ms. Tania Câmpan, the creator of the tactile alphabet of colors, Mr. Tudor Paul Scripor, and members of the Scripor Alphabet Association.