Mayor Fischer announces expansion of American Printing House for the Blind mobile app to Louisville Metro Hall

December 3, 2018

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that Metro Hall is now equipped with beacons tied to a mobile app to help people who are blind or visually impaired navigate indoor public with audio cues.

The mobile app, Nearby Explorer Online, was developed by Louisville’s American Printing House for the Blind and is available for free on Apple and Android devices.  

Through this app, people who are blind or visually impaired are able to locate destinations, restrooms, airport security, points of interest and more. 

“Nearby Explorer is a perfect example of our compassionate city working and innovating to help improve accessibility,” Mayor Fischer said. “I’m proud that we could partner with American Printing House for the Blind and the James Graham Brown Foundation to install beacons to Metro Hall, and I’m proud of the work our Office of Civic Innovation has done to expand this program. This will be a big help for citizens, and that’s what we’re all about.”

APH is excited to partner with the City of Louisville to make a more accessible world. “It’s liberating to know what’s around you and to know what direction to go,” said Larry Skutchan, Director of Technology Product Research at APH. “With Nearby Explorer you have options that you don’t have if you’re always dependent on somebody else to take you places.” 

Beacons have been installed in public spaces across Louisville through support from the James Graham Brown Foundation and Louisville Metro’s Office of Civic Innovation. Beacons are installed at:

  • Louisville International Airport
  • KFC Yum! Center
  • The Hyatt Regency Hotel
  • Frazier History Museum
  • Kentucky Science Center
  • 21c Museum Hotel
  • Muhammad Ali Center
  • Kentucky Center for the Arts
  • Actors Theatre
  • Walgreens store on Frankfort Avenue
  • Crescent Hill Public Library
  • Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS)
  • The McDowell Center

American Printing House is in the process of mapping buildings and installing more beacons across Louisville. The end goal is to make every public building in the world a place that can easily be navigated independently. Nearby Explorer not only helps people who are blind or visually impaired, but can also help people who are sighted work their way through complex indoor spaces.