Interactive Map Installed at Yekaterinburg Airport to Assist Blind Travelers

Audio-tactile device – a feature of the run-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Photo: Press Service, Koltsovo Airport

The interactive audio-tactile map of Yekaterinburg has been installed at Koltsovo International Airport in the runup to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and the First International Congress for Persons with Disabilities
that will be held in Yekaterinburg in 1917, said Oleg Kolpatschikov, chairmain of the autonomous nonprofit organization “White Cane” pursuing to encourage social and commercial activity of people with disabilities.

“We are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup as well as the International Congress for Persons with Disabilities that will be held in Yekaterinburg in September 2017. The map is covered with a tactile layer representing major streets, water bodies, rivers which feel different by touch. While you are touching the map, all object names are provided by the map narrator in Russian or English,” he said.

Earlier, the interactive classroom board was installed at Sverdlovsk regional medical college where students from across Russia study.

The press office of the airport explained that the map is an additional feature for the existing infrastructure for people with disabilities: “There’s a special group in Koltsovo available to assist mobility impaired passengers. Our agents assist them in going through all formalities with maximum speed and comfort – they meet clients arriving at the airport and escort them until they board the aircraft, and they provide assistance from the time of disembarkation from the aircraft, too. Also, there’s a special lounge hall for passengers with reduced mobility; for boarding and disembarking from the aircraft, a modern ambulift is provided.”

According to the press office, the support staff for mobility impaired travelers serves over 3,000 passengers annually.

The idea of an international congress was suggested and approved during the European Congress for Persons with Disabilities that took place in Belgium last year. The forum will run in Yekaterinbug on 7th – 10th September, 2017. The agenda of the congress is “Making values visible”. The program will feature lectures, workshops, sightseeing tours and panel talks. The congress expects over 1,000 visitors from different countries. There will also be a trade fair for technical rehabilitation tools and social rehabilitation technologies.

Koltsovo International Airport is one of the largest regional air transport hubs in Russia in terms of passenger traffic and is a member of Airports of Regions Group.

Passengers can choose from a broad route network with 120 destinations and are served by more than 50 Russian and international air carriers. In 2015, the airport handled 4,2 million tourists.