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APH Press Release

Nearby Explorer™ now available for iOS

Louisville, Kentucky (September, 2016). The American Printing House for the Blind is pleased to announce that the much-anticipated iOS version of Nearby Explorer™ is now available. Introduced in 2013 for Android, the app empowers users who are blind or visually impaired to independently explore, discover, and enjoy their neighborhoods, in Louisville and other cities throughout the nation with poise and confidence.

Nearby Explorer is a full-featured GPS app designed for use by people who are blind. Nearby Explorer uses GPS and your phone’s compass to speak real-time information about your surroundings. It also displays maps on the screen that provide audio feedback with touch. The program enhances its onboard data with Google Places™ business listings and Foursquare® (iOS only), if you have a mobile network connection.

Instead of just providing directions, it describes the environment in ways comparable to reading signage or observing road characteristics. It includes complete maps for the United States and Canada covering millions of points of interest (POIs). These include both typical items like street name and address and specialized options like approaching streets, intersection configurations and nearby places and the distance and direction to them. All announcements are optional, so you control how much information Nearby Explorer is giving you.

Geobeam Feature
Since your device knows your current location and the location of POIs around you, you can point it toward features in your environment and receive feedback about them. Think of this feature as a virtual “beam” emitting from the end of your device that “scans” your environment! This feature requires a device with a compass.

Transit Feature
Nearby Explorer includes a transit feature that provides detailed mass transit schedules for over 60 metropolitan areas in the U. S. and Canada. It treats transit stops just like favorites and points of interest by announcing their name and relative position as you move, but in addition, transit stops add next vehicle stop time, direction of travel, and route name to the announcements. You can use the transit schedules to look up times or even follow a route. You may virtually move to any area in the U.S. or Canada and explore the road network, search, or use the transit maps for that area. For complete details about Nearby Explorer, see

About the American Printing House for the Blind

The American Printing House for the Blind, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is the world’s largest nonprofit company devoted solely to researching, developing, and manufacturing products for people who are blind or visually impaired. Founded in 1858, it is the oldest organization of its kind in the United States. Under the 1879 federal Act to Promote the Education of the Blind, APH is the official supplier of educational materials for visually impaired students in the U.S. who are working at less than college level. APH was recently named Kentucky Mid-sized Manufacturer of the year.

APH makes textbooks and magazines in braille, large print, recorded, and digital formats. APH also makes hundreds of educational, recreational, and daily living products including computer software and an array of assistive technology items.

The American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. is located at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, call (502) 895-2405 or log on to