Carleton University is launching a new pilot project to help students navigate the university’s network of tunnels.
The Key2Access app uses Bluetooth navigation beacons to send location alerts.
The navigational beacons are at key intersections along the tunnel to guide visually and mobility impaired students along the way. Audio will indicate entrances into buildings, corners, ramps, or accessible washrooms. There are also directional markers along the tunnel.
Dean Mellway is with Carleton’s READ Initiative (Research, Education, Accessibility and Design). He is part of the group launching the pilot project.
He says it will help a lot of students at Carleton. “Students with disabilities especially those with visual impairment study their route with guides, but this will make it so much easier for them and to know when you are off your beaten path.”
Mellway says, “People with a disability where they might lose orientation and concentration, this will help them have a check point.”
The app also alerts people of a possible obstacle such as ramps or stairs.
The pilot project is solely on one area of the tunnels until the end of term. If the test is successful, the hope is to extend the program throughout the whole tunnel system.
Mellway says Carleton is one of the most accessible universities in Canada but the tunnel system was flagged as a challenging area.
He says the community has come a long when it comes to being accessible, but there is still more room to improve. “Big thing is we are seeing is a change in attitude more people with disability are integrating into the community and so more people are aware of that.”
Description from the Developer
Key2Access is the one platform for anyone with a disability to have access to the world around them.
Key2Access provides information about your surroundings while walking but also offers guidance, assistance and information indoors in Key2Access retrofitted buildings. Now, users can simply point and click to open doors, read bulletin boards and much more.
Are you a visually or mobility impaired pedestrian?
Key2Access allows you to wirelessly request pedestrian crossing from the convenience of your own cellphone. No more need to struggle to find and reach for the push button; now pedestrians can simply point and click to cue a traffic response. Additionally, users requiring so will be able to receive on demand auditory responses as well as vibration guided alignment.
We will always send updates for every additional municipality and private institution that gets Key2Access retrofitted. Stay tuned!
Requires iOS 9.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.