This report was funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC; grant number 1327), a program of the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University (PSU) and a U.S. Department of Transportation university transportation center.
In this report we discuss to-date findings of a project that aimed at assessing individual and environmental affordances in the context of human pedestrian wayfinding of visually impaired, blind, and deafblind travelers in public spaces. Our project afforded collaboration, co-design, and co-creation of knowledge between the investigators, partners at the American Printing House of the Blind and GoodMaps, the Portland State University Digital City Testbed Center, and members of the disability community. The objective of the project was to better understand how different wayfinding aids, that is, wayfinding apps, tactile maps, and verbal route descriptions, are employed by visually impaired, blind, and deafblind travelers. On that account, we examined individual wayfinding behavior and experiences of visually impaired travelers who were tasked with the completion of a set of unfamiliar outdoor/indoor routes on the campus of Portland State University. Our methodology incorporated both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the efficacy of wayfinding behavior, in general, and specifically route completion performance across a set of three routes and wayfinding aids. We expect that the insights garnered from our project drive forward the development of standards and innovation in mobile wayfinding in relation to best practices for technology-mediated pedestrian wayfinding of visually impaired, blind, and deafblind travelers in public spaces.
Swobodzinski, Martin, Parker, Amy T., Schaller, Elizabeth, and Snow, Denise. Pedestrian wayfinding under consideration of visual impairment, blindness, and deafblindness: A mixed-method investigation into individual experiences and supporting elements. NITC-RR-1327. Portland, OR: Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC), 2022. https://doi.org/10.15760/trec.282