Way-Finding: An Overlooked Accessibility Problem!

Hello Internet, let me tell you about this interesting project I’m doing in my design layout class!

My professor asked us to find an accessibility problem that the student body at St. Lawrence College face and solve it! As of now, this project is in the designing stage, but it was the research stage that made this project so interesting.

For the research part, our professor put us in groups with classmates we never worked with. This part scared me the most. I have so many bad group experiences in the past, that I avoid group work like the plague! Luckily, I had an awesome group and we kicked butt! When we were working together, we stayed focussed and on task. We also set goals and kept in frequent contact. Because of these factors, my group was able to be successful.

Anyways, back to the research.

Our topic was way-finding and I thought it wasn’t really a problem at first. We did our research though, we did lots of surveys, but it was the interviews that gave our the most information. As my group got deeper into our research, we discovered that way-finding is a problem that students face daily, but it’s even worse for people who are blind and/or have mobility issues. Their are many barriers that they have to go though just to get to the same place as an average student and many of these barriers can be prevented.

At the end of our research, we discovered that the school map was the biggest contributing factor in way-finding around St. Lawrence College. There is much information that is not legible and it is not readable for someone who is colour blind. This design is not acceptable for a large body of people in a small area! Is way-finding an issue for you?

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