The Interactive Accessibility Map project aims to create an online, interactive campus map that shows accessible routes through the built environment. The map will be designed to function similar to Google Maps, allowing users to make better-informed decisions when navigating campus, as well as providing information on accessibility services in their destination building.
Read the full project description
Even though the McGill campus has some accessibility features, these are not necessarily apparent to the members of its community nor its visitors. As such, the campus appears to be physically inaccessible and therefore unwelcoming especially those to whom its environment causes barriers, which is contrary to McGill's ethos of being open and connected with its community.
In order to create the map, audits will be performed to gather data on campus accessibility. The project coordinator, who will be specialized in geodata analysis and map creation, will use the data to build out the map with accessibility features. The coordinator will partner with the Campus Planning & Development Office to make sure that the map is compatible with current campus maps and that all data is stored centrally within GIC.
This map and its accessibility features will serve our entire community and will be sustained by a living dataset, iteratively updated and built upon through data collection by applied student research projects, interns, faculty/staff, etc. One of our key objectives is that the user interface and the dataset should be openly available for integration into student projects and research. The intention is to make the tool and its data available to the academic community in order to compile, present and build new data. This way, the tool will be updated and sustained. In addition to responding to the needs of our community by developing an easily- accessible tool, our project could offer a feature where users can report temporary barriers on campus (ex. construction, blocked entrances).
This project could help members of the community to better plan their travels and how to best move around campus, in turn reducing frustration around perceived, and real, physical barriers on campus. Moreover, by helping communicate possible barriers to a wider community, we will make the campus more inclusive. Simultaneously, this would bring forward the complexities of access to those who take accessibility for granted in their day-to-day campus experience: in doing so, this could potentially bring more awareness to the reality of an environment creating barriers to some, increase support to rethink the status quo when making planning and design decisions for the physical campus, potentially guiding development for a more accessible campus as a whole.
Resources from the SPF will be compensate the project coordinator and programmer, as well as purchase materials (server, website, etc.).
Connect with this project
teri.phillips [at] mcgill.ca (Teri Phillips)