SmartCity 360 2016, SmartCity 360 2015: Smart City 360° pp 104-112 | Cite as

Development of Route Accessibility Index to Support Wayfinding for People with Disabilities

  • Jonathan A. DuvallEmail author
  • Jonathan L. Pearlman
  • Hassan A. Karimi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 166)


Wayfinding is a common task routinely performed by people traveling between unfamiliar locations, but can be a challenge for people with disabilities. In order to be able to travel safely and comfortably, people with physical disabilities depend on the accessibility of the built environment. It is through these accessibility elements that people who use wheelchairs can find their ways in unfamiliar environments. When used by people with disabilities, wayfinding and navigation services must contain accessibility data and support functions to utilize this data. However, while there are standards, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines, upon which accessibility data can be based or derived, currently there is no automated metric for evaluating the level of accessibility for pathways. To fill this gap, this paper proposes a Route Accessibility Index as a metric for evaluating a pathway’s accessibility and discusses its value in a wayfinding case study.


Pathway Sidewalk Wayfinding Accessibility Disability 



This project was partially funded by the United States Access Board (grants H133E070024 & H133N110011), the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and the Brick Industry Association. The authors of this paper would like to thank the Department of Veterans Affairs for the use of its facilities in conducting this research. The contents of this paper do not represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

Conflict of Interest. Two of the authors of this paper (Pearlman & Duvall) have equity in, and sit on the Scientific Advisory Board of a company that has licensed the PathMeT technology and evaluates and maps pedestrian pathways for accessibility.


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan A. Duvall
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jonathan L. Pearlman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hassan A. Karimi
    • 3
  1. 1.Human Engineering Research Laboratory, Department of Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare SystemPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Rehabilitation Science and TechnologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Geoinformatics Laboratory, School of Information SciencesUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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