ZSI starts mapping project with local school

7. Okt 2015

How accessible is your neighborhood? Students from local school join 'MyAccessible.EU' mapping project!

Last week ZSI, partner in the MyAccessible.EU project started a mapping project with a local school. During the coming weeks students will go out in groups and explore their surroundings, map accessible places by using two mobile applications, take photographs and pretend to be nosy journalists. But, let’s start from the beginning:

The Educational Centre HTL HAK Ungargasse in Vienna is quite a unique school in Austria for several reasons. The school offers eight different types of education and training for students with and without disabilities. Also a residential facility is attached to the school. Teachers and staff were enthusiastic about the mapping project and besides one group of the residential home also two classes take part in the project now! We held two information sessions last week to introduce the mapping projects, tasks and apps. Also a ‘mapping folder’ was given to each student including an information sheet about the project, a step-by-step guide for the two mobile applications and our MyAccessible.EU, Wheelmap and flyers!
Students will go out on their mapping spree in groups of 3 - 5 people, equipped with their smartphones, cameras, paper maps (in case they are let down by technology) and notepads to capture discussions or comments by shop owners or pedestrians. In analogy to school projects performed by Sozialhelden in Berlin, each member of the group has a different role in order to experience different perspectives and capture different information. The four roles include a researching wheelchair user, an enthusiastic mapper, a creative photographer and a nosy reporter.

Students are using two different mobile apps to map accessibility: Wheelmap to map accessible places, like cafés, supermarkets etc. and the newly developed obstacle tagger to mark and photograph obstacles in the city. Obstacles can include steep inclines, cobble stone streets, walkways with no dropped curbs and much more.

Altogether students have time until the end of October to go out and about in their groups and collect information about accessible places in their surroundings. In the beginning of November there will be a presentation evening at the school where the groups can present their findings and discuss their most funny, bizarre or surprising encounters. In addition to the presentation evening, students are also asked to write up a blog post for the local platform to share their experiences and photographs with a wider public and as a teacher told us it is also a great opportunity for students to practice how to write a blog post. We are already curious what kind of material, in terms of screenshots, photographs, interview notes and maybe even small videos the students will collect and what their experiences during the mapping weeks will be!

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Tags: accessibility, ICT, social innovation

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