Alternative Perception Consortium

World Access for the Blind has joined forces with the Institute for Innovative Blind Navigation (IIBN) and the Cybernetics Research Center (CRC) of Toronto University to lay the ground work to design a fully functional, high definition alternative perception system.

IIBN, Directed by Dr. Doug Baldwin, Optometrist and Mobility Specialist, globally monitors advances in way finding for blind people and has faced the mobility profession nation wide with a modern and higher standard by holding the first way finding conferences, establishing the first listserves for mobility professionals and blindness product inventors, publishing prolifically in scholarly journals, and bringing together top experts to make good things happen.

The CRC is the first center to specialize in research and development of cutting edge micro-computing technologies that allow people to sense and process information far beyond the limits of the unaided brain. Prof. Steve Mann, Director, is known as the Father of Wearable Computing. He holds over 3 dozen patents, has authored several textbooks and hundreds of articles, and has presented keynotes and invited seminars throughout the world on every subject related to computer expanded consciousness.

Having established the feasibility of such an ambitious undertaking, this partnership is gathering an elete consortium of world class scientists, sensory specialists, and other experts to move dreams and science fiction into state-of-the-art reality. Alternative perception technology will stand as the crown jewel in a comprehensive approach to replacing an expanding vision with other ways of seeing - bringing the field of blind rehabilitation into its final frontier where blind people may see as they choose.

Our first undertaking has been to partner with the National Federation of the Blind, American Printing House for the Blind, Sendero Group, and Louisiana Tech University to stage the first annual World Congress on Blind WayFinding in Oct. 2005. Innovative pioneers and top experts related to the field of blindness across a range of disciplines including perception, engineering, funding, and information management and dissemination are coming together to exchange information and perspectives, and work toward a more focused union of efforts to revolutionize blind WayFinding.