TAMPA, Fla. (Wednesday, December 14, 2022) — The City of Tampa has implemented a new pilot project focused on improving accessibility for people that are blind or visually impaired.

The City has worked alongside assistive technology company Lazarillo to create accessible indoor and outdoor maps of public buildings and parks that can be navigated with audio guidance using a smartphone. Among these locations are Old City Hall, the Tampa Municipal Office Building, and Julian B. Lane Park.

The maps were beta tested by local residents with disabilities, ensuring that they are accurate, and properly functioning, and that they address the needs of people that are blind or have low vision. One of these testers was Janet Bayer, who had nothing but fantastic things to say about the service. 

“My experience with Lazarillo has been great! I use it with my iPhone inside buildings, on sidewalks, and on the bus. I find this application user-friendly, informative, accurate, and helpful,” Beyer said.

In addition to providing accessible navigation for people that are blind, Lazarillo also allows people with mobility disabilities to navigate more easily, providing them with wheelchair-accessible routes and information about the location of accessible bathrooms.  

“One of the biggest battles faced by people with disabilities is the struggle for increased access,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “Access for people with disabilities improves access for everyone. By implementing Lazarillo, the City of Tampa is taking the next big step in expanding opportunities for diversity and inclusion across City facilities.”

To access the maps, begin by downloading the Lazarillo app for free on Google Play or the App Store.

Once you arrive at one of the three mapped locations, the app will open an accessible profile allowing you to access a full directory of the location. You can also access the location directories at any time by navigating to the “Accessible Locations” category of the exploration screen.