CLB and RightHear Complete Installment at Silver Spring Location

Darren Gladstone together with 2 people from CLB.

In June, RightHear visited the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind to complete the much-anticipated installation of the RightHear Indoor Wayfinding System, helping to advance accessibility and independence for the organization’s employees and clients. 

The Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, often referred to as the CLB, has been a cornerstone of the DC metro area blind community since 1900. The CLB’s mission is to rehabilitate people who have suffered from vision loss by training them in mobility and orientation, as well as in homemaking and technological skills. 

When RightHear reached out to the CLB in regards to a partnership, organization president Tony Cancelosi was excited by RightHear’s innovative vision – “The opportunity to better enable our faculty and members with RightHear’s technology is in consonance with the Lighthouse’s greater mission to improve the welfare of visually impaired and blind people of the 21st century.” 

RightHear's beacon on the wall.

Positioned on the eighth floor of a large office building, the installation process at the CLB required a dynamic approach. By utilizing the RightHear technology to assist navigation in eight different directions, director Annie Presley and Orientation and Mobility Specialist Denise Wyatt worked with RightHear to identify the parts of the office space that would most benefit from RightHear’s wayfinding directional instruction. 

The office layout at CLB can be challenging for blind visitors, with the restrooms located outside the actual CLB office space and so the RightHear technology has provided sophisticated intercommunication which has ensured an effortless installment. Clients who visit the building now on a daily basis for O&M Training will now be able to orientate around the offices, moving from the IT training rooms, to the kitchen space, and through to the room used for the Foundations of Adjustment to Blindness (FAB) training.

Annie Presley was amazed by the ability to help users wayfind through the space – “The number of rooms and turns required to navigate the office essentially required that students must be accompanied or assisted by an employee. But RightHear’s solution is designed to grant users an unprecedented level of autonomy that has been lacking in the blind community.” 

Darren from RightHear next to CLB reception.

The day’s work was concluded with a dry run conducted by CLB receptionist Chrichelle Brown. After downloading the RightHear app on her phone, Chrichelle easily accessed the beacon’s navigation features and she was able to freely move about the office using RightHear. 

In just two short hours, the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind became fully accessible. Chrichelle’s enthusiasm for RightHear’s solution went far beyond its potential to assist visitors of the Lighthouse – “A product like RightHear can revolutionize the blind experience way beyond where it is right now. From Safeways to metro stops, RightHear can empower the blind community of DC to move again and I’m really excited to get the chance to use the system to improve my own daily experience here in the office.”

RightHear is delighted to partner with Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind and look forward to many more years of cooperation as we look to make more and more locations accessible for all.