To me, summers in Chicago are my favorite, and something everyone should experience. The different cultural activities and attractions available all summer long make Chicago a great place to visit for both Chicagoans and tourists alike! This year, one of my favorite attractions is the Lighthouses on The Mag Mile exhibit. Developed by The Chicago Lighthouse, this exhibit showcases 51 lighthouse sculptures along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and nearby neighborhoods. Over 100 artists decorated these sculptures, and many of those artists have disabilities. The exhibit celebrates access and inclusion for people with disabilities, and will be on display until Saturday, August 11.
For what is perhaps the first time in Chicago’s history, individuals who are blind or visually impaired can fully enjoy a public art display. Sensible Innovations partnered with The Chicago Lighthouse and is the provider of iBeacon technology and the Aware app, which offers accessibility features for those with vision loss. By downloading the Aware app on their iOS or Android device, users can get descriptions of each sculpture‘s visual features. The app can be downloaded for free from the iOS and Google Play Store.
As someone who is blind, it felt wonderful to be able to enjoy these sculptures alongside my sighted family and friends. While they were admiring the beautiful paintings and decorations on each sculpture with their eyes, I was listening to the descriptions on my phone. It is wonderful to see how new technology is leveling the playing field for people with all types of disabilities. I hope that this trend will continue expanding to other cities and businesses across the country and the world. I also encourage everyone to come out and see this exhibit before it is gone on August 11. Not only will you enjoy beautiful art, but you will also become inspired. In case you cannot come out to Chicago, you can also learn about thee exhibit at www.lighthousesonmagmile.com.
For anyone interested in learning more about Sensible Innovations or would like to know how they can include this wayfinding product in their facility, please visit our website. Just as the Lighthouses on The Mag Mile celebrates access and inclusion for people with disabilities, we hope more businesses and public places will continue to do this in the future.