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How Cities Use Smart Apps to Enhance Accessibility for People of Determination

9 minute read
The People of Determination Empowerment Section of the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched an app that enables citizens to submit complaints, comments and suggestions about the accessibility of public and private buildings at any point of the country. To be referred by the Monitoring Unit to the competent authorities, Including county judicial bodies and local authority administrations. The design of the application took into account the different needs of users, It allowed font size and color contrast to be adjusted, and to convert the written text to audible and display it in Hindi, English and eight other languages.
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To address the accessibility challenges of people of determination, i.e. persons with disabilities, Notable experiments have emerged in Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Canada and America, All of them intersected in that they used smartphone applications to integrate people of determination, Due to its ease of development and deployment, and their low cost.

When governments plan the lives of their citizens, Its services, projects and plans are designed according to the "natural" or "normal" model, But this determination touches the lives, dignity and human rights of all people. It should therefore take the most comprehensive form possible.

Once in a while The process of development is taking place, leaving behind a category that is not devoid of any country, It is the category of people of determination, who face many challenges beyond their surroundings or physical problems. In an attempt to formulate an adequate definition, The World Health Organization states that "the barriers faced by persons with disabilities are factors within a person's environment. Performance is limited – by its absence or presence – and there is a disability. These include aspects such as the inaccessible physical environment, lack of relevant assistive technology (assistive, adaptive and rehabilitation devices), people's negative attitudes towards disability, the absence or inability of services, systems and policies to achieve the participation of all persons with health conditions in all areas of life." These cases appear to varying degrees from country to country, For example, The transportation infrastructure makes it difficult for people of determination to rely on themselves and dispense with the help of their families. Few vehicles are wheelchair-accomodating, for example, or have staircases for people with mobility disabilities.

In 2006, The United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of People of Determination, It obliges signatories to promote, protect and ensure that this group enjoys equality and full rights under the law, which considers accessibility an integral part of public services. The goal pursued by several countries, Each in its own way.

In South Australia, for example, In order to integrate nearly 300,000 people of determination, The Department of Human Services, the Ministry of Innovation and Skills, the Department of Treasury and Finance and Go to Gouve collaborated to launch the state's first Pavli app. which provides a directory of their locations and facilities, It guides users to their destinations once uploaded to a smartphone.

In turn, The People of Determination Empowerment Section of the Indian Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched an app that enables citizens to submit complaints, comments and suggestions about the accessibility of public and private buildings at any point of the country. To be referred by the Monitoring Unit to the competent authorities, Including county judicial bodies and local authority administrations. The design of the application took into account the different needs of users, It allowed font size and color contrast to be adjusted, and to convert the written text to audible and display it in Hindi, English and eight other languages.

As for British Wales, In its innovation, it focused on the hearing impaired, who make up one-sixth of the UK population. They are expected to reach 20% by 2031. They suffer great difficulties in public transport, This is what the Ministry of Transport's £9 million project provided by the UK Research and Innovation Agency to provide trains with a new application that allows passengers connected to the wireless internet to receive announcements and notifications related to the trip directly on their smart devices. In audio or readable format according to their preferences, and in multiple languages. It allows users to see past announcements or just follow their itinerary. The app underwent initial testing for two months before being widely deployed.

Similarly, The Canadian and American experiences focused on the transport sector, Where the Canadian public transport agency Montreal launched an application targeting users of mass transportation, It provides them with an electronic system for booking seats on buses and taxis, They can track their locations, type, plate number, estimated flight time, and expected departure and arrival times. DEWA has been providing special transport services to more than 35,000 people of determination for more than 50 years through 86 minibuses, covering 12% of these services, with a group of taxi service providers accounting for the remaining 88%.

In the American city of New Orleans, The Regional Transport Authority has brought 21 new mass transit vehicles into service, With $13 million in funding from the Federal Transportation Administration, Customers can book their flights on board through a smart application specially designed for this project, which includes low-income people, the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

For these endeavors to succeed, It is necessary to open the way for the target groups to share their opinions and observations, and communicate them to stakeholders for consideration in the design of future services or the upgrading of existing ones, This will help understand the needs of people of determination and design the most appropriate response.

In general, Smart app experiences offer more diverse and effective solutions to use technology to connect with people, change lives, and achieve inclusion, independence and empowerment for different societal groups.

References:

  • https://news.tfw.wales/news/tfw-trials-personal-announcement-service-for-passengers-with-hearing-loss
  • https://www.accessibility.com/blog/lack-of-accessibility-can-create-long-term-impact-on-people-with-disabilities
  • https://www.intelligenttransport.com/transport-news/138916/new-orleans-rta-new-flex-on-demand-pilot/
  • https://cities-today.com/montreal-launches-real-time-tracking-for-paratransit-services/
  • https://www.stm.info/en/paratransit/using-paratransit/reserving-changing-and-cancelling/how-use-sirta
  • https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/govt-launches-app-for-accessibility-feedback/article33975343.ece
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