Waymap: leveraging technology to build an inclusive, accessible future

By: Donna Epps

Verizon and Waymap work together to make the world more navigable for people with disabilities.

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"Everyone in the world is an explorer at heart" says Waymap CEO Tom Pey. That's why he helped create Waymap, a navigation app that builds detailed maps of spaces and guides users to their destinations with step-by-step audio instructions. Waymap is particularly helpful to people who are visually impaired. It enables them to explore public spaces independently, making the world more accessible.

Verizon provided Waymap with support and mentorship as part of its Forward For Good Disability Innovation cohort. The app currently works on our 4G LTE network, but 5G ultra-wideband offers new possibilities for improved accuracy and routing. Our own Zacharay Bastian, Manager of Strategic Alliances, describes the app as a "truly creative, innovative navigation solution that can be life changing for people with disabilities."

We recently worked with Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and Congressman Tony Coelho, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act and founder of LMU's Coelho Law Center, to sponsor a trial deployment of Waymap at LMU's Westchester campus. See this video, which shows how blind people are using Waymap to navigate around the campus. As Congressman Coelho explains, providing physical access in effect provides intellectual access and helps people with disabilities fully participate in society.

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About the author:

Donna Epps directs Verizon’s domestic public policy team, as well as relationships with our external partners. Prior to her current position, Ms. Epps worked in Verizon’s Federal Regulatory Affairs group where she developed and advocated Verizon’s federal regulatory policy positions on key issues facing the communications industry, with an emphasis on issues related to competition, economic regulation, and consumer protection.

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