© Dirk Verleyen

Ghent launches route and special booklets for deaf and blind tourists

Ghent is launching a tourist itinerary for the deaf and blind visitors as well as special booklets. It’s a first in Flanders. The booklet with tactile plates, audio descriptions and short films allows deaf and blind tourists to get to know seven monuments in the historic centre of the East Flemish capital.

Alain Cloet came up with the idea for the booklet and the route. "It is a booklet with plates of seven Ghent sights you can touch" he says. "Tactile plates are photos covered with a tactile layer.  That means they have a relief. The tactile plates also include an audio description that people can listen to using their mobile phones. In this way, visually impaired people can stop at a place of interest in the Ghent downtown and then feel and listen to what is actually there. There is also a version using sign language. A video will appear on your mobile with a sign language interpreter explaining the sight."

"Nowadays, many things are visual," Cloet continues. "That’s an added problem for people with visual impairments. We want to do something about that. We want these things to be accessible to them too. There is also more and more demand for this. We took care to carry out extensive tests with the target group beforehand to see whether it works. So before we put anything on the market, blind and deaf people test it for us."

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