Audible ASU Maps for Wayfinding
The Audible ASU Maps for Wayfinding Project initiated in Fall 2021 is focused on solving the problem of navigation on campus for visually impaired students. Currently, there are no existing solutions at ASU that allow visually impaired students to navigate around campus safely while preserving their individual lifestyles and daily flexibility that we often take for granted. We share our objective with our community partner, Peter Fisher, who is the Accessibility Compliance Coordinator at ASU and who has been working on accessible design for over two decades. The closest possible solution that is functional at the moment are the DART vehicles responsible for transporting individuals to and from their classes temporarily (in case of injuries/other issues). Technology such as Google Maps is more focused on driving directions, rather than providing accurate information for walking. Also, it has a much larger scope that will not allow for specific, important details for a visually impaired user.
Our team aims to create a navigation system for the ASU Tempe campus based on the original interactive map, that will aid visually impaired students to navigate the campus. Features such as detailed descriptions and exploration of the map allows visually impaired students to be better prepared or familiarized with the campus and more independent. We have made progress in researching existing solutions, communicating with related organizations, educating ourselves about the possible problems faced by our target audience, and creating a prototype. We intend to continue to develop this precursor by making it dynamic based on location, providing detailed and precise explanations of the environment around the user.