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Speakers Guide Blind Around Town

Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from BBC News, UK, September 4, 2005.

Hi-tech speakers which tell blind shoppers where they are and what their surroundings are like have been installed across a town centre. The React talking signs system is up and running in Newbury with 11 speakers set up across the Berkshire town.

Each speaker is activated by a "trigger module" carried by a visually-impaired person passing close to it.

The speakers have been installed at spots including the library, the Kennet Shopping Centre and the Corn Exchange.

"Increased confidence"

Local resident Alison Clarke has been the driving force behind the council-backed scheme.

She said: "The support of the community and businesses in the district has been overwhelming.

"React is a superb facility which will enable visually impaired people to get around the town safely, independently and with increased confidence."

Speakers are to be installed in the town at five more locations.

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