Development of Route Accessibility Index to Support Wayfinding for People with Disabilities
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.
KeywordsPathway 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.
- 2.Tolerico, M.: Investigation of the Mobility Characteristics and Activity Levels of Manual Wheelchair Users in Two Real World Environments. Rehabilitation Science and Technology. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (2006)Google Scholar
- 3.Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 42 U.S.C.A Chapter 126 (1990)Google Scholar
- 4.Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) 36 480 CFR Chapter 11 (2010)Google Scholar
- 5.Access Board. Section-by-section Analysis. http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/streets-sidewalks/public-rights-of-way/proposed-rights-of-way-guidelines/section-by-section-analysis
- 6.Brown, D.: San Diego sidewalks need improvement, group says (2014). http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/sep/17/san-diego-sidewalks-need-improvement-group-says/ Accessed 16 Oct 2014
- 7.Beneficial Designs. Public rights of way assessment process. http://beneficialdesigns.com/products/trail-and-sidewalk-assessment-equipment-software/prowap. Accessed 8 Jan 2014
- 8.Frackelton, A., et al.: Measuring walkability: development of an automated sidewalk quality assessment tool. Suburban Sustain. 1(1), Article 4 (2013)Google Scholar
- 9.Sinagra, E., et al.: Development and characterization of Pathway Measurement Tool (PathMeT). In: Transportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers (2014)Google Scholar
- 12.Duvall, J., et al.: Development of surface roughness standards for pathways used by wheelchairs. In: Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2387, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, DC, pp. 149–156 (2013)Google Scholar
- 13.Duvall, J., et al.: Proposed surface roughness standard for pathways used by wheelchairs. In: Transportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers (2014)Google Scholar
- 14.Kasemsuppakorn, P., Karimi, H.A.: Data requirements and spatial database for personalized wheelchair navigation. In: 2nd International Convention on Rehbilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, 13–15 May 2008Google Scholar
- 16.Karimi, H.A., Dias, M.B., Pearlman, J., Zimmerman, G.: Wayfinding and navigation for people with disabilities using social navigation networks. Trans. Collaborative Comput. 14(2), e5 (2014)Google Scholar