Location technology for assisting disabled people

Brought to you by The Location Group

We aim to describe the current landscape of location based services (LBS) for disabled people, its limitations and areas for potential innovation.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

LBS for disabled people covers a very broad range of technologies. For instance, a connected city may provide people with information on which bus stop to use and when to expect the next service; or a map to indicate the accessible entrances to a building, rather than just an address.

The challenges are broader too. Some are shared with more commercial location based services:
• How do indoor navigation methods vary depending on the type of building?
• How should the technology be split between infrastructure and user devices?

Other challenges are different:
• Who will pay the costs of installation and maintenance?
• Who undertakes training of the disabled people to use these systems?

We will explore advances in assistive and adaptive technology, and in methods for accessible tourism. This is an event for providers and users of the technology and those looking for areas for innovation.

We have limited demo opportunities at the event for companies with relevant technology. If you would like to showcase your tech please contact CW for further information.

The purpose of the SIG is to promote and further the adoption of location as a value-added facility for a range of applications. Location Based Services are not about position – they are primarily about the use of location and position information as a value-add to service or product the end-user buys.

The specific objectives are:

  • Advocate location as a value-add to any appropriate application
  • Encourage and support the creation of open APIs
  • Develop and promote sustainable business models for LB
  • Offer expertise to guide regulatory and standards development
  • Provide expert input to sensitive issues such as privacy
  • Foster interoperability between technologies and applications

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWLocation.

Hosted by Digital Greenwich

Digital Greenwich develops and delivers smart city strategy for the Royal Borough of Greenwich, one of 32 London Boroughs.

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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration over networking lunch


Introduction to the Location SIG from Bob Cockshott, The KTN


‘Will Location Technology be of Practical Help to Disabled Travellers?’ - Dr John Gill

John will describe the needs of disabled travellers, and some of the issues relating to possible technological solutions.


‘People-centred thinking and design: How to design information systems that navigators with (or without) disabilities can access and use’ - Colette Jeffrey, Birmingham City University

Colette will focus on the people using location technology, describing the information needs of people with different disabilities using examples from her research for the London 2012 Inclusivity Audit, Legible London on-street sign inclusivity audits and will finish with a discussion of her ongoing PhD research on why people get lost inside buildings to find reasons for the lack of useful location technology currently being installed in public buildings.


Refreshments and networking Demo session

Demonstrations to be announced shortly.


‘Blind Allies’ - Roger Wilson-Hinds, Screenreader.net

Roger will speak about his life experience as a nearly blind man. He reflects on the various aids, allies, available to someone wanting to get about the world with little or no sight and looks forward to wonderful emerging technologies while greatly valuing what nature makes available.


'Future developments in transport and how could they impact location services?' John Paddington, Conigital Group

The talk will look at developments in the world of transportation, such as Mobility as a Service and autonomous vehicles and how location services might interact with them.


Final Remarks provided by SIG Champion, David Bartlett, u-blox


Event closes


John Gill

Dr John Gill OBE DSc FIET worked for over 40 years in the area of scientific and technological research for people with disabilities. His research has included assistive technology, mobility and orientation systems, accessibility of information and communication technology systems, and design for legibility. He has visited 43 countries and written over 300 publications.

Colette Jeffrey - Senior Lecturer, Birmingham City University

Colette is a full-time lecturer in Graphic Communication and a part-time PhD researcher. Before joining Birmingham City University in 2009, she worked for 15 years as a wayfinding consultant, inclusive design director and information designer. She researched and co-wrote the NHS official guidance on wayfinding in hospitals, published in 1999 and has had research papers and articles published on wayfinding in hospitals and other complex environments. As project director and inclusive design director at Applied, a specialist wayfinding and information design consultancy based in London, she carried out user-focused research and developed map and sign solutions for legible city projects in Brighton and Leeds. As wayfinding design director at The Brand Union and Information Design Unit she designed wayfinding systems for over 50 sites, including 20 NHS hospitals, the Natural History Museum London, Tower Bridge, Wembley Arena, Heathrow Airport and shopping centres in Dublin and Dubai. In 2012, Colette, as Director of Copper Jetty, researched and wrote a Wayfinding Inclusivity Report for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, for LOCOG. Colette has recently begun a PhD study exploring how people get disorientated inside buildings and what they do when they are spatially disorientated. She will compare her observational findings with data collected from professionals who design complex environments and develop wayfinding strategies to identify correlation or disparity.

John Paddington

John is a Senior Project Manager at Conigital, responsible for winning and delivering projects at Conigital. He joined Conigital at the start of the year. Prior to that I worked at AECOM, delivering transport technology projects for fifteen years. I've been involved in passenger information systems for bus, tram and train. He has been involved in projects in the UK, South Africa and Middle East. His relevant background to the group includes delivery of talking bus stop sign projects using RNIB React and the development of a prototype talking tactile map.

SIG Champions

David Bartlett - Head of Technology Positioning, u-blox UK

David Bartlett works in the positioning technology (R&D) group at u-blox with a focus on hybrid positioning: bringing together GNSS with terrestrial systems such as UWB and V2X, primarily in support of future autonomous vehicle, driverless car and robotics applications but also for IoT and indoor positioning. Prior to this he was CTO and co-founder of Omnisense delivering high precision indoor IoT tracking solutions. He also worked at Cambridge Positioning systems with a focus on cellular positioning and network aided GNSS techniques.

Bob Cockshott - Knowledge Transfer Manager, Positioning, Navigation, Timing and Quantum, KTN

After 25 years in the space industry working mainly on electro-optical payloads, Bob has spent the last 13 years in the government-funded Knowledge Transfer Network, supporting business in position, navigation and timing, and more recently also quantum technology. Bob has taken a special interest in GNSS vulnerability, and has organised international conferences on vulnerability and its mitigation. Bob is a member of the Cabinet Office PNT Technical Group and chairs the Royal Institute of Navigation’s Technical Committee. Bob is a member of the International Time and Sync Forum Steering Group and is also a Cambridge Wireless Location Based Services SIG Champion.

Ramsey Faragher - Founder, President, and CTO, FocalPoint

Dr Ramsey Faragher is Founder, President and CTO of Focal Point Positioning, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and a Fellow of Queens' College, at the University of Cambridge. He is the inventor of the Supercorrelation digital signal processing technique, which has redefined the state of the art in GPS positioning. He is the author of dozens of patents, and has been the recipient of numerous awards within the positioning and navigation ecosystem. His company is pioneering improvements to smartphone and automotive navigation systems, and in the past during his time in the Defence sector he has developed technologies that have been to the bottom of the ocean and all the way to Mars. He also helped to improve the bluetooth tracking capabilities of various globally-deployed contact tracing technologies during the Covid pandemic. He regularly contributes to technology podcasts, writes for Forbes, and has provided science advice for two television production companies. Ramsey lives with his family in Cambridge and is currently navigating the challenging landscape of having three small and adventurous children.

Ben Tarlow - Senior Staff Engineer, Qualcomm Technologies International

Ben has worked in positioning for 15 years, developing algorithms for satellite, cellular and other terrestrial RF technologies. At Qualcomm, Ben works in the Advanced Algorithms group, where current research areas in location are data fusion, use of sensor data for positioning and fitness applications; one day, he hopes to be given the remit to explore the area of olfactory positioning. Ben has a background in Pure Mathematics and a PhD in Combinatorics. He has over 20 different patents filed or granted, mostly on subjects relating to positioning.

Event Location

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Location info

Digital Greenwich, 6 Mitre Passage, London SE10 0ER

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