Goalball WC Athletes Better Navigate with 3D Printed Tactile Maps

"Thank you for the great Tactile Maps. Our guests were truly amazed by the maps! They were awesome!"

Viivi Kuja-Kyyny, Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU)

About the Customer

IBSA Goalball World Championships 2014 was hosted from 26.6 to 6.7 in Espoo, Finland. The tournament was one of the biggest disability sport events ever held in Finland.

Goalball is a team sport played by athletes with visual impairments. Goalball is a Paralympic sport and the governing body of the sport is the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA). There were 28 male and female teams from 20 countries participated in the championships.

The Problem

Most participating athletes coming from other countries were unfamiliar with the Tapiola Sports Park, where the games were held, and the Sello Shopping Center surrounding the GLO Hotel, where the athletes were staying. One of the organizers, Finnish Sports Association for Persons with Disabilities (VAU) wanted to find a solution that could improve the event's accessibility and help the athletes better navigate around the unfamiliar environments.

The Solution

Versoteq designed and produced 3D printed tactile maps of the sport complexes and the hotel surroundings. The tactile maps helped the visually impaired participants gain a clearer understanding of the places, routes and distances through the sense of touch. The maps also included Braille and elevated letters for more precise descriptions.

We provided to all competing teams with 28 portable maps 3D printed in plastic. A larger map was also installed at the Tapiola sport hall.

The project was jointly funded by:

Other publications: