Map4Accessibility aims to develop a Pan-European accessibility mapping app which provides information on the accessibility of public spaces. The project will engage higher education students by combining community engagement and academic coursework, preparation and reflection via service learning. In such a way the students will learn through active engagement and work on a community-identified concern.
- Promote and increase service-learning, community engagement and strengthen civic skills among higher education students by offering academic credits for students’ involvement in the project activities,
- Gather and share best practices and expertise on digital and physical accessibility for universities and cities at large,
- Design a pan-European accessibility mapping tool based on an existing Portuguese application which provides information on the accessibility of public spaces,
- Promote the inclusive education agenda – including, but not limited to, higher education institution,
- Influence both higher academic and a variety of other institutions to improve accessibility on multiple levels.
Map4Accessibility aims to raise awareness of accessibility issues among HEI students, foster their civic engagement, support social inclusion and the creation of more physically and digitally accessible European institutions and cities.
The project will:
Increase higher education universities’ (project partners and beyond) staff awareness and understanding of digital, physical, and social barriers faced by people with accessibility constraints and provide tools they can apply for systemic change for better accessibility and to promote the inclusive education agenda
Impact on People with Disabilities and Restrained Mobility
All 5 barriers for accessibility to people with disabilities or restrained mobility will be tackled within the project in one way or another:
- Attitudinal – all project activities aim to raise awareness on issues related to accessibility disability and address multiple stakeholders,
- Organisational or systemic – HEIs will be directly involved,
- Physical (architectural),
- Information or communications,
- Technology-related ones will be addressed by the project.
Impact on HEI Students
- Raise awareness, heighten the understanding, social acceptance, and ownership of shared values among HEI student cohorts previously unaware or less aware of the impact accessibility restriction are having on vulnerable groups,
- Empower students to act as change agents to positively improve their environment in terms of physical and digital accessibility,
- Increase in the civic responsibility and social and personal growth of HEI students which gain first-hand experience and co-generate solutions for digital and physical accessibility obstacles via mapping exercises thus promoting equality, diversity, and non-discrimination in the HEI setting.
Impact on HEI Staff
- Gain theoretical knowledge on service learning and mapping methodologies,
- Apply an innovative methodology in their respective HEIs – service learning, community and accessibility mapping,
- Gain access to practical tools for contributing to create a more inclusive and accessible digital and physical environment within campuses and in local city environments,
- Build stronger student-teacher connections.
Impact on Other Stakeholders
The long-term aim of the mapping website and app will be to incentivise HEIs and cities towards introducing accessibility strategies both in terms of the built environment and public spaces, transport and related infrastructures, information, and communication, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and public facilities and services but also legally binding accessibility standards and accessibility standards in the built environment which go beyond the legal norms.
Impact on Participating Organisations
Due to the project’s multidimensionality partner organisations will benefit from increased awareness of the issues targeted, knowledge in an area in which they are not experts and an increased knowledge skillset are regards the activities they would be undertaking in the project.
What will be the results?
The following results will be achieved:
- 4 Universities in 4 countries – Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, and Portugal – and their student organisations will be engaged in at least 20 distinct organised academic recognised Service-Learning Community Mapping Activities – exploratory walks, urban mapping walks, mapping parties – engaging 380 students or other stakeholders,
- 12 Multiplier events would be organised engaging more than 473 stakeholders,
- 181 HEI students or stakeholders with disabilities to be direct participants in the project activities,
- More than 2500 stakeholders will be made aware of the project and its results,
- 5 Project Results will be released and all of them will be open access and available on the project’s website and distributed via own and partners’ networks: