Publication
CHI 2019
Conference paper

Airport accessibility and navigation assistance for people with visual impairments

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Abstract

People with visual impairments often have to rely on the assistance of sighted guides in airports, which prevents them from having an independent travel experience. In order to learn about their perspectives on current airport accessibility, we conducted two focus groups that discussed their needs and experiences in-depth, as well as the potential role of assistive technologies. We found that independent navigation is a main challenge and severely impacts their overall experience. As a result, we equipped an airport with a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon-based navigation system and performed a real-world study where users navigated routes relevant for their travel experience. We found that despite the challenging environment participants were able to complete their itinerary independently, presenting none to few navigation errors and reasonable timings. This study presents the frst systematic evaluation posing BLE technology as a strong approach to increase the independence of visually impaired people in airports.

Date

02 May 2019

Publication

CHI 2019

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