Improving Accessibility through Wayfinding Applications

Srigiriraju, Manasi, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Earle, Joshua, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia

Accessibility, in its simplest form, is the practice of making activities, goods, and services easily available to all people, especially to those with disabilities. Many times, what we consider to be routine and simple day-to-day tasks are not always as easy as we believe them to be for individuals with disabilities. For such individuals, these tasks may be particularly demanding and require a considerable amount of effort and adaptation. Therefore, prioritizing accessibility in the design process of these activities, goods, and services with accessibility in mind is essential to ensure that there are no significant barriers to a certain group of people, and that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities. I provide an explanation and analysis of various currently existing wayfinding and navigation apps and technologies. Along with each application’s unique features and functionality, I discuss the impact of the features as well (i.e. software/compatibility, method of data collection, etc.). This helps to identify which features seem to be the most effective, and how wayfinding applications can be improved overall.
As this topic deals with building tools for a specific group, the research methods I used consist of finding, reading, and synthesizing previous literature on this topic. I analyzed previous literature as my main research method, as much of the project is an analysis on existing wayfinding applications– this method of research involves identifying existing applications, finding their building process and features, reading other write-ups, and so on. I focus on the impact on accessibility for individuals with mobility disabilities and how tools can be improved further for them.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
wayfinding, accessibility, accessible, campus
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