Eylül Nejan Seyhan, Gizem Ulukardeşler, İrem Nur Özsevim, Mustafa Kılıç, Tuğçe Akgün (SCPAT)
Within the frameworks of disability and accessibility, this project aims to enable individuals with disabilities to travel without needing any assistance and to participate in public and social life by turning cities accessible for everyone. In this context, an inclusive, sustainable, and participatory mobile application has been designed to solve problems in urban transportation for individuals, with and without disabilities.
When determining the project theme, the NGO design partner was consulted, and the problems faced by wheelchair users regarding transportation in the city and their participation in public life were identified. The most important area of problems preventing the participation of individuals in public space and social life is urban transportation due to its related problems. The internet site named “buradaengellendim.com”, which was created by the Spinal Cord Paralytics Association of Turkey-SCPAT, which is the organisation of our NGO design partner, provides a solution to the problems faced by wheelchair users in this respect. The internet site works as a platform to inform relevant bodies about challenging situations that wheelchair users face during their transportation inside the city -such as sidewalks, parking problems, temporary constructions and certain urban furniture that hamper continuity of transportation- by posting the photographs of the problems and sharing their locations.
This project, conducted within the course of Social Responsibility Practices, was aimed to focus on the problems that individuals with physical disabilities face in urban transportation and to offer equitable participation of every individual in urban life. In this direction, based on the importance of technology in our lives and the active use of navigation applications, it is aimed to design an application that will enable the development and dissemination of the "buradaengellendim.com" website.
The Route for All application is designed to meet all user groups' spatial, social and individual needs. The application is intended not only for a group of users but also for all users to inform them about the obstacles and present the most appropriate route depending on their chronic, temporary or situational needs. In the design process, the intention of creating a participatory app has been emphasized. It is intended to be not only a navigation application that offers a route for the required destination, but also an inclusive act which offers users certain additional features like making a list of and rating the routes that they experienced, and so forth.
DESIGN OF THE INTERFACE:
Users can enter their accessibility needs (chronic, temporary or situational needs) in the “Profile” section of the app and thus the “Routes” and “Discover” sections will be specialized depending on their needs. When users choose their destination from the “Maps” section, they will be suggested the most convenient routes for themselves. The route will include information about previous experiences and recorded routes of other users who have similar needs; thus, users will be able to share their experiences or the challenging situations along the route. The convenience of the route for the type of disability will be shown in different colours, and the thickness of route lines will be in parallel with the frequency of usage of the route. The obstacles on the route will be shown with the “buradaengellendim.com” icon on the “Maps” section and thus their solution will be supported. The suggested routes can be merged with different routes that have previously been used by other users so that new routes can be calculated. The saved routes of users can be based on previous routes which have already been experienced and recorded by themselves or suggested by the app during their transportation. Comments about users’ experiences can be added to the routes that have not been previously experienced, which means that wheelchair users will be able to save and define the obstacles on the route -such as an inappropriate slope of a ramp, steps, obstacles on sidewalks, and so forth- which are not suitable for a wheelchair user. With the "Saved Routes" section, users will be able to save routes that they have used or personally experienced such as home, work, school, so that someone else can use them. Saving the routes and notification of obstacles will decrease the number of problems in urban transportation in one hand, on the other hand, it will offer a kind of basis for municipalities to carry out their work on the accessibility in neighbourhoods.
Thanks to the "Discover" section, which includes the suggestions for barrier-free spaces, routes, activities and preferred locations, it is aimed to contribute to the participation in public and social life. The app can be personalised by storing the "Discover" section's experienced routes into the section of "Saved". In the “Profile” section, the badges are used as a tool to promote the use of these features.
PUBLIC BENEFIT and SUSTAINABILITY:
The designed Route for All application aims at contributing to the improvement of society by way of providing solutions for the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in their participation in public life. The fact that it is integrated with the participatory "buradaengellendim.com" process is crucial in solving issues through updates, ensuring permanent solutions, and enabling sustainability.