On our college campus, the deaf community is vibrant. Instead of letting their disabilities hold them back, they enjoy the same activities that the hearing community does. This perseverance to live life to the fullest despite having a disability inspired us to create AccessibilityBuddy.
What it does
AccessibilityBuddy is a community-based website for those with disabilities to review a destination before they arrive. They can see whether the location has the accessibility resources needed to have a pleasant experience. For example, someone who is hard of hearing could see if their dinner spot has an ASL interpreter present. Our site really is community-based, because all reviews come from fellow people in the disabled community.
How we built it
We built it by first brainstorming what features we wanted the website to have. After this, we started the prototyping process on Figma, complete with a color scheme and movement between frames. We then utilized Wix Velo to build our website. We used a multitude of built-in widgets along with using drag-and-drop elements.
Challenges we ran into
A challenge we ran into was streamlining the organizational process. Wix Velo was a new technology for us, and it was initially a challenge to stray from our usual medium of Repl.it. We were confused on which path to take: should we have a hard-coded backup on Repl.it, or dive into Velo? We decided to take the middle ground: We did both until we trusted our skills in Velo, and continued the project there.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of our attention to detail on this project. Even though we only had only 42 hours to finish this project, our website looks professional and well-thought out. We kept in mind our audience who might be disabled, and strayed away from excessively small text while including high amounts of contrast.
What we learned
We have a new tool under our belt, Wix Velo. It’s a useful tool to create full-fledged projects, but also to quickly visual concepts–bringing an idea from mind to screen. We also learned a lot about time management. While the stereotype of hackathons is for students to spend hours without a blink of sleep, we found that our best and most creative work came from having breaks of listening to acapella and playing Beat Saber.
What's next for AccessibilityBuddy
In future iterations, we want to add adjustable fonts, text to speech, and printing reviews. We also recognize that representation is an invaluable part of any project development, so we would like to involve more members of the disabled community in the development process. In addition, we would like to conduct some user research to implement features that will be truly helpful to the disabled community, according to them.