Electronic mobility aids are often used along with a white cane or a guide dog to provide additional information. They can help to detect overhead obstacles and/or provide information such as the location of doorways or a clear pathway of travel.
It is necessary to be trained by a qualified instructor to use an electronic aid.
There are two main groups of electronic mobility aids:
Orientation devices: These act in a similar fashion to a bat’s inbuilt sonar, by sending out ultrasonic beams. They provide vibratory or auditory feedback to the user when it detects an obstacle.
GPS devices: Global Positioning System (GPS) devices verbally guide the user along specified routes to destinations. GPS software can be operated through an accessible mobile phone (with speech software) or can be incorporated into a white cane.