Many routing application providers can give a detailed route from start point to destination— except for any non-motorized, pedestrian leg of a journey! The OpenSidewalks project addresses the fact that most cities lack open, consistently formatted, readily available, sidewalk data that supports routing for non-motor travel. As a result of the data crowdsourced by the OpenSidewalks project, we can furnish applications like AccessMap (found at accessmap.io).
Read more about OpenSidewalks here.
Accessmap.io provides customized accessible sidewalk and footpath routing directions based on your personal ability profile. This can benefit anyone, but is particularly designed to address the informational needs of people with mobility limitations.
Read more about AccessMap here
Universal Collaborative Play
Play is for everyone! The Universal Playgroup creates opportunities for team play and access to open-source inclusive design for all. The Universal Playgroup started as a re-imagining of a work and play space that is intended for all abilities. An all-abilities space was crucial because the physical play space directly impacts how quickly and efficiently participants of all abilities can immerse in team-play. The Universal Playgroup team consists of experienced educators, students and researchers. We design play scenarios that integrate technology in ambient ways to promote team work, and to elevate people, not assistive technology, in the interaction. Our play technology is designed to support everyone’s participation rather than isolate users from the team experience.
iDesign Lab engages a community of practice in open source technology design, build, and use. Co-designing empowers everyone. The iDesign Lab is a setting where people of all abilities, caregivers and therapists learn to modify, design and create customized assistive devices and cultivates a 'maker' culture among participants. We form multidisciplinary teams to identify access barriers individuals face in their everyday life, and respond to these inequities by co-designing innovative, low-cost access solutions. Our students take our designed-for-one solutions and generalize designs, promoting inclusive design on a broader scale.
Apple products use the same gesture vocabulary for input. Certainly, unifying gestures across devices helps their adoption. However, in the context of a population with hugely variable abilities, achieving broad or general impact requires the adaptation or customization of input gestures for each individual. As a first step, we aim to make touchscreens truly accessible to populations with involuntary motion, such as Cerebral Palsy patients or elderly individuals with essential tremors. We are building a system that learns and recognizes both intended and unintended multi-touch gestures. By recognizing the latter, we can customize accessibility for individuals exhibiting involuntary movements.
The TACcess DIY Switch Accessibility Kit
The TACcess Kit is designed as an easy-to-use starter kit for a wide range of accessibility projects focusing on the home as a sandbox for interactive switch-accessible play. Kit recipients can use the TACcess Kit to turn many battery-operated toys into switch-adapted toys. They can learn how to create customized interactive surfaces by turning almost any material into a sensor. The kit assumes no knowledge of circuits or electronics. Intended users are design students, caregivers of individuals with limited mobility and motivated high school students.
Next Gen Augmentative Communication
Augmentative communication devices are traditionally speech generating devices through which the actor uses input devices to construct speech. These devices are typically devoid of any context related to a user's position, geographical location, scene understanding, etc. With the recent additions of cameras, global positioning sensors and fast computing power in mobile devices, we can make the augmentative communication experience more immersive while removing one level of friction between user and machine. This work will result in a new paradigm for people with speech disabilities to interact with augmentative speech devices. We are developing an innovative tool to enhance communication devices by immersing the device in the speaker's environment, resulting in context-informed augmentative communication.