Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Orientation and Wayfinding


Devices to help blind people get around


About Orientation and Wayfinding 


Orientation tools can help you figure out where you are, what direction you need to travel, and whether there are any barriers in your way.

What kinds of wayfinding products are there?


Many mapping and navigation devices use Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology. GPS can pinpoint your location by sending a signal to a satellite. It provides information based on stored maps in your device or app. Turn-by-turn instructions are spoken aloud either while in a vehicle or while walking. One example of a GPS-enabled device is the Victor Reader Trek.

Indoor navigation is provided by wayfinding beacons or indoor maps stored in cloud services. Wayfinding apps are designed for use by persons who are blind. You can use this technology to follow turn-by-turn directions and hear points of interest (locations that have a descriptive tag) to help with understanding where you are in your environment.

Obstacle Detection

Obstacle detection devices can be handheld or wearable. They may be built into a white cane or a phone app. These devices use sonar detection to locate an obstacle and send feedback with sounds or vibrations. The detection range can be set for indoor or outdoor use. One example is the WeWalk Cane.

Related Apps


Apps can use a combination of sounds and vibration feedback to give directions or alert to barriers in the foot path.


How can I find out what’s new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:


GPS devices, talking travel apps for blind, obstacle detection for the blind, blind navigation tools, wearable sonar


How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania, you can find your state’s AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out.

Are these in Pennsylvania’s AT Lending Library?