Getting acquainted with Talking Signs®
Talking Signs Installations allow persons who cannot
read signs to hear the kinds of information that are on print signs.
Experienced users of the Talking Signs system
find their travel easier and more fun.
- Talking Signs transmitters provide labels and directions such as
"Reception Desk", "Conference Rooms Ahead," or "Public Telephone."
- The messages are spoken by a Talking Signs receiver which is held in your hand.
- Talking Signs transmitters give you environmental informatio~they do not provide additional safety.
- They do not substitute for any of the aids,independent travel.
- When you travel in potentially hazardous areas, be sure you don't get distracted by the Talking Signs system.
Pick up the Talking Signs receiver. Notice that
the top of the receiver has an "on" button and
small speaker holes.
A neck strap is attached to one end of the
receiver. On the opposite end is a little hole
where the message comes in. Be sure you don't
cover this hole when you are using the receiver.
Now you will learn the steps for using the Talking
Users have found that when they follow
these steps, in order, the system is easy to use.
Practice these three steps:
These steps are described in more detail below.
- SEARCH for a Talking Sign signal
- FACE THE CENTER of the signal.
- LISTEN while walking toward the
SEARCH for a Talking Sign signal
You find signals by searching or "looking around"
with the receiver held level and the button pushed down.
Follow these directions to learn how to search for a signal.
Go to an area where you know there is a
transmitter (so you will not be frustrated when
you start practicing).
Practice this back and forth searching motion.
Do it slowly, and keep the receiver level. Go all
the way to the left and to the right.
- Hang the receiver around your neck with the
button facing away from your body.
- Pick the receiver up and hold it level. The "on"
button should be on top.
- Press the "on" button with your thumb. The
receiver works only when you press this
- Be sure the hole where the message comes in
is pointing away from your body. It is on the
end of the receiver opposite the neck strap.
- Search to your left and then to your right by
moving your wrist and/or arm-not your whole
If there is a Talking Sign transmitter in front of
you and nearby, you should hear its message
coming from your receiver.
As you search back and forth, you will find that
there are areas far to your left and far to your
right where you cannot hear the signal. You
should hear the message clearly in between
these two areas.
Search only while standing still.
FACE THE CENTER of the signal
It is important to face the exact center of the find
both edges of the signal field in order to
signal. You must locate its center.
It's like tuning your radio, only instead
of turning the dial to get the best signal,
you turn the receiver to find the exact center of
- Search far enough to the left and to the right to
lose the signal on either side of your body.
- Turn to face the exact center of the signal
field. This is the direction of the sign.
LISTEN while walking toward the signal
After you find the center of the Talking Sign
signal, you can listen while walking toward it, to
confirm that you are getting closer to the sign.
- Point the receiver straight in front of you.
- Hold the receiver level.
- As you walk toward the sign, remember to use
standard protective mobility skills.
Getting to your destination
The Talking Signs system will get you very close
to your destination.
Talking Signs transmitters are usually mounted
doorways, on the wall, or hanging down from the
They are close to a destination, but not right at
They are usually mounted 5 to 10 feet high.
- Walk toward the sign for your destination until
you arrive or until you lose the signal.
- Use other cues such as listening for footsteps
or the sounds of doors, or exploring with your
hand, foot, or long cane to finally locate
When you lose a signal
Sometimes as you are walking toward a signal
and listening to a clear message, the message
will become unclear or disappear entirely. Stop
immediately. Perhaps you've arrived at your
If not, the following steps will help you to find
the signal again quickly.
Again: STOP, SEARCH, and FACE THE
In summary, when you lose a signal:
- STOP, SEARCH, and FACE THE CENTER.
Search all the way to your left and all the way to
your right. If you find the signal, face the exact
center of the signal field.
- If you do not find the signal, you may be very
close to the sign, or even under it. To confirm
that you are under a sign, tilt or lift the receiver
- If you still don't find the signal, you may have
taken a few steps after the signal disappeared.
Continue straight ahead for a short distance,
looking for your destination or listening for
- If you still have not found the signal, retrace
your steps to where you last heard the
- STOP, SEARCH, and FACE THE CENTER
- Tilt or lift the receiver up to confirm that you
are under a sign.
- If you don't find the signal, keep going straight
a little farther.
- If you don't find your destination or another helpful message,
retrace your steps.
Tips for using the Talking Signs system
Using the Talking Signs system successfully
does take some practice, so be patient with
yourself. Work at your own pace and master
- Be sure you search only when you are standing
- Hold the receiver flat while both searching
- Stop to search often, because signals can be
- Search slowly.
- In dangerous situations such as on stairs or
escalators, or while crossing a street, let the
receiver hang from the neck strap.
- Make sure you find both edges of the signal.
You can't find the middle of something if you
haven't found both edges of it!
- Facing the center of the signal is extremely
important. Do not begin to move toward a signal
before you have centered it. If you just walk toward a
clear signal without facing the exact center of the
signal field, you may need to stop and adjust your
direction many times.
- Listen while you walk toward a signal to
make sure you are continuing in the correct
direction. Hold the button down, but don't
search from side to side.
- Listen when you have no signal, but stop and
- Get the whole message! Messages may start
in the middlelike turning on the radio in the
middle of a song.
- A message may give you directions like
"Passageway to elevators and restrooms."
This means you must keep going,
remembering there may or may not be another
sign at the destination.
- Recognize reflections. An unclear message
could be a reflection. Messages are
transmitted using infrared light, which may
reflect oft of a nearby surface opposite the
The real signal will be clear. It could be behind
- Remember that if you pass under a sign,
you've already gotten the information it had for
you; it is no longer relevant. Continue in the
same direction you were traveling and look for
your destination or for other messages.
- There will be times when you don't have any
relevant message or any message at all, so
use your other skills. Just keep listening,
stopping occasionally to search.
- lf you're having problems, reread these
-SEARCH for a Talking Sign signal.
-FACE THE CENTER of the signal.
-LISTEN while walking toward the signal
-When you lose a signal
As a user of the Talking Signs system you are on
a new frontier. We welcome your comments.
Revised:Thursday, 06-Dec-2012 12:34:50 EST
Copyright © 2012 Talking Signs, Inc.
812 North Boulevard -- Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Voice: (800) 339-0117 (toll free)
FAX: (225) 344-2811
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