The mission of the Institute for Innovative Blind Navigation (IIBN) is to become a global center for the study, promotion, and development of sophisticated wayfinding technologies that have the potential for improving the efficiency and safety of travel for blind individuals. IIBN is a wayfinding think tank organized to gather consumer, public, and professional opinion, formulate proposed policies, and develop and distribute relevant information. IIBN strives to bring harmony and cooperation to the blind rehabilitation community. The business of the Institute is summarized in the four goals below.
The Institute strives to accomplish our first goal through the following approaches:
The establishment and management of two list serves:
A. The Inventors list for individuals working on wayfinding technologies and/or who have products on the market.
B. The Orientation and Mobility list for specialists in wayfinding and for consumers.
The establishment of a web site for the Institute (knowledge management system), with the following key sections:
A. An electronic textbook about teaching orientation and mobility to blind children.
B. An electronic textbook about wayfinding technologies.
C. A resource guide about services available on the web for helping consumers and professionals.
D. An internal search engine for researching topics on the web site.
To design and administer training programs
The Institute strives to accomplish our second goal through the following approaches:
A. To provide presentations that give an overview of the future, and that summarize the impact of technological change on blind navigation tools and strategies.
B. To provide workshops that teach the use of wayfinding technologies.
C. To create and disseminate curricular materials, textbooks, articles, and training manuals.
D. To organize seminars, conferences, and focus groups to address key issues relevant to wayfinding.
To identify key wayfinding technologies, to communicate and consult with inventors, and to report on emerging and existing wayfinding technologies.
The Institute strives to accomplish our third goal through the following approaches:
A. To search out and communicate with inventors as they become known to the Institute. We cannot endorse inventors or their work, but we can identity promising areas that need special support (such as environmental literacy).
B. To add these inventors to the Inventors List Serve.
C. To purchase technologies or prototypes for informal evaluation.
D. To establish partnerships with university programs (engineering labs) to design new wayfinding tools, custom make tools (for specific needs of individuals), or modify existing tools to make them lighter, cheaper, and/or more accurate.
To provide services and jobs for blind children (students, young adults).
This goal does not exclude older blind adults from services. Also, the term "blind" refers to visually impaired individuals as well, and it does not exclude navigationally impaired individuals.
The Institute strives to accomplish our fourth goal through the following approaches:
A. To create jobs that blind teenagers (young adults) can successful fulfill. These are jobs working for the Institute on the website, at workshops and conferences, as evaluators of technology, and as creators of informational materials.
B. To purchase wayfinding and/or computer technologies (for navigating the internet) for individual blind children.