We were inspired by the fact that many of the buildings on our campuses are not particularly accessible. To varying extents, accessibility is not a particularly high college/university administration priority, so we hope that by collecting data from a large number of people on campus there will be increased pressure for admins to make change. One example we found especially helpful was disabledgo.com, which has very detailed information about accessibility at different locations in the UK.
What it does
The app allows users to view and add accessibility information about their campus. They can sign up with their name and the name of the university they attend. We give a brief explanation of what the app does on the information page. The Questions page allows users to answer multiple-choice questions about different aspects of accessibility in buildings or rooms on their campus. The Report page allows users to submit more specific feedback about a location on campus, including a picture. The Read page shows users submitted data about rooms and buildings.
How we built it
We used Ionic for the frontend framework and Firebase with AngularFire2 for the backend.
Challenges we ran into
Firebase and Ionic had some issues working together, and since we weren’t experienced with either, it took a while to work out all the bugs.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of the hard work that our team put in to learn these new skills and come together to make an app that could improve overall awareness of accessibility concerns.
What we learned
We learned how to use Firebase and Ionic—one of our members had minimal experience with both, but the rest of us didn’t, so we basically learned both of these things this weekend.
What's next for Build Access App
We’d like to build in abuse control, so that people can’t spam the app with incorrect information—this would likely take the form of peer moderation and/or “experts” (perhaps people with disabilities) who can verify information. In addition, we’d like to be able to autocomplete building names and room numbers based on previous user input so that information can be more standardized. The number of questions we have on the app is currently very limited and we would like to expand these to become more specific, even down to measurements of door widths. It’s also important to include people for whom we are making things in the development process, so if we were to continue working on the project we would like to include people with disabilities in the development team. We would also like to implement email verification so that people can only post in a campus’ database if they attend the school.