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This October, in Edinburgh, children and young adults with special educational needs took a few extra steps — literally — towards being able to navigate their community more independently. Two special needs schools, Pilrig Park and Woodlands, started trialling waytoB with pupils aged between 13 and 18.

Boy smiling and holding his phone up. Screen shows a smiley face and the words ‘you have arrived’
Boy smiling and holding his phone up. Screen shows a smiley face and the words ‘you have arrived’
A pupil from Pilrig School after finishing his first independent journey using the waytoB app.

A series of routes were pre-programmed taking into consideration the safest options for pedestrian crossings and links to local bus routes. The pupils could then choose one of the routes and receive step-by-step, icon-based directions on their smartwatch through their journey.

After a few training sessions with easy walking routes that helped them…


Think about all the times when you tried to watch a video on a busy, loud cafe, or had your hands full and had to ask your voice-controlled personal assistant to make a phone call. Now imagine having these limitations every day. Whether it is a permanent, temporary or situational disability, we will all go through it at some point in our lives. As the award-winning author Cindy Li once said, “We are all just temporarily abled”. That is why inclusive design is so important for every single customer. …


Photo of Professor Mary McCarron smiling with a blue blouse and trees on the background
Photo of Professor Mary McCarron smiling with a blue blouse and trees on the background
Professor Mary McCarron from Trinity College Dublin. Photo: Gerry Mooney (The Independent)

Living a participative life within the community and being able to complete daily activities — for people with Intellectual Disabilities (ID), this can mean a huge step for improving their sense of freedom, accomplishment, dignity and choice.

But when it comes to independent travel, the biggest struggle for family members and caregivers is usually letting go and having confidence that their loved one is ready for more responsibility.

“We need to better prepare both society and the technology to help people with ID navigate the community, and we need to be creative with the solutions that we are developing for…

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