RNIB React Newcastle officially launched on 11 March 2009

Newcastle City Council, in partnership with the RNIB, Nexus and other local stakeholder organisations, have worked together to develop a scheme called React.

Couple in Northumberland Street. Lady holding REACT fob.React is a talking sign system that helps people who are blind or partially sighted navigate their way around the city centre. The concept is simple but effective. Speaker units are set up on a chosen route. Users carry a small fob device which triggers the unit to speak when within an eight to ten metre range. The messages help the user to confirm their location and orientate themselves with their surroundings.

The messages give directions to the eye clinic located at the Royal Victoria hospital (RVI). They also offer directions to other parts of the city including both Northumbria and Newcastle University. There is also the potential for the units to have a second message offering, for example, tourist information and messages in an additional language.

Newcastle is one of a number of towns and cities to offer RNIB React installations. Other locations include:

  • Bolton
  • Brighton
  • Leeds
  • Lewisham
  • Liverpool
  • Milton Keynes
  • Newbury
  • Portsmouth   
  • South Shields
  • First ScotRail

Fobs can be used at any location.

Newcastle’s City Centre Scheme

Lady in Northumberland Street holding REACT fobCurrently, Newcastle has forty React units installed throughout the city. There are 17 units located on Northumberland Street, Percy Street, Blackett Street and St. Thomas Street.  A further 5 units can be found within Haymarket Metro station and 15 at Monument Metro Station and there are also 3 units at the Royal Victoria Hospital leading to the eye clinic.

Where can I get a fob?

Fobs will be available for daily hire, please note that although fobs are free to hire, a refundable deposit of £20 will be required. The locations are:

Central Arcade Tourist Information Centre
E-mail: tourist.info@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 2778000

Newcastle Shopmobility, Eldon Garden Shopping Centre
E-mail: Shopmobility@newcastle.gov.uk
Phone: 0191 2616176

Civic Centre Customer Service desk
Phone: 0191 2328520

Nexus Travel Shop (Contact Abrehe Zemichael)
E-mail: Abrehe.zemichael@nexus.org.uk
Phone: 0191 2033426

Fobs may also be available to hire on a longer basis. For more information please contact one of the following:

Community Health and Social Care Direct
Phone: 0191 2788377

Guide Dogs
E-mail: Tyneside@guidedogs.org.uk
Phone:0845 3727423

Newcastle Disability Forum
E-mail: enquiries@ndf.org.uk
Phone: 0191 285 4556

E-mail: info@nsbp.co.uk
Phone: 0191 2327292

How to buy a fob

Fobs can also be purchased directly from RNIB. Fobs cost around £25.00 plus VAT. Please contact the Business Development Team on 01733 375345 or e-mail: busdev@rnib.org.uk

For further information on React please phone Accessible Services on 0191 277 7529 or e-mail: disabilityequality@newcastle.gov.uk

Page last updated: 
12 December 2017
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