How we get from one place to another can have a big impact on our lives. Conjure up the feeling of sitting in a hot car, stuck in gridlock, and compare it to taking a short bike ride to work or to meet a friend.
Researcher Victoria Fast looks at how spatial data can improve routing for people with disabilities
People need easy access to work and to essential services to live decent, independent lives. Cities need Universal Basic Mobility. It’s a human right.
Curb cuts first hit the streets in 1945 to help make it easier for people in wheelchairs to get around in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since then, they’ve found dozens of other potential uses, not only in helping people with wheelchairs around the world but also all manner of cyclists, scooter riders, stroller-pushers, and people who prefer to carry suitcases with rollers.
They are too old to drive safely or cannot see well enough or otherwise have sound reason to fear climbing behind the wheel of a car. For them, a future when vehicles drive themselves promises unprecedented freedom.
UB’s IDeA Center received a $600,000 grant to test two new types of securement systems for public transportation riders who use a wheeled mobility device.
Manual wheelchair drivers often experience reduced mobility in winter snow and slush; Wheelblades address this problem. Wheelblades are small skiis that attach to the front wheels of a manual wheelchair. Their wide contact surface distributes the wheelchair driver’s pressure evenly over the ground, preventing the small front wheels from sinking into the snow. Wheelblades are quickly and easily clipped over a wheelchair’s small front wheels, and due to their small size and weight they are easy to carry around once you reach your destination. Wheelblades can also be attached to the small front wheels of baby strollers to help parents push their little ones through the snow.
When visiting Florida earlier this year, Parisian Charlotte de Vilmorin — who has been in a wheelchair her entire life — was desperately searching for a car adapted for people with disabilities.
She finally found one, but soon discovered how expensive it was to rent — for 10 days, it cost her approximately $1,000.
Blog post on WordPress by Ian Ford
Sept 3, 2013
Accessibility has historically been focused on creating more inclusive products and spaces for people with mobility disabilities. However in recent years there has been more of a focus on how to address sensory issues (i.e. Deaf Space.) We recently came across this fascinating blog post by Ian Ford, who lays out some of the guiding principles he believes are necessary for “autistic space.”
Ford talks about 5 levels of accessibility, movement/ getting there, sense/ being there, architecture/orienting oneself, communication and agency/autonomy. Ford argues that the Americans with Disabilities act deals primarily with the first level of movement, being able to physically access all necessary parts of a space.
The level of “sense/being there” requires a space that is free of loud noises, bright lights and bold patterns and textures which can create sensory overload and hinder someone’s ability to “be there” in the space comfortably. Ford also discusses some of the ways that architectural spaces can be designed to support “orientation,” even without requiring users to read written language. “Communication” features can help users understand and make themselves understood in a space, and may include descriptions that explain how to use that space. “Agency and autonomy” can be supported by service and programming considerations. The blog post is worth a read. What do you think, how often do we consider “deep accessibility” that goes further than issues of mobility and movement/getting there?
The Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards is a contest that promotes the development of apps designed specifically to improve the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. The program is supported and co-organized by AGE Platform Europe, the European network of around 160 organisations of and for people aged 50+, and the European Disability Forum (EDF), an NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.