My friend and I, who are both neurodivergent found a restaurant's environment to be rather overwhelming to our senses because it had a poorly lit, loud and crowded environment. We both wished we knew of this before, when we looked up the restaurant online.
What it does
Our team members came together for our very first hackathon to develop a web application called Comfy.
The goal behind developing Comfy was to provide assistance for people with mental and physical disabilities to determine whether a restaurant’s environment will be suitable to their special needs. When the user visits the website, they will see a map of the area they are in. There is a search bar where the user will type in the name of the restaurant and it will return a list of the possible triggers or red flags for various mental disorders and physical disabilities. Potential triggers that Comfy will identify are harsh lighting, loud music, crowded or not, smoking, and any other things that can overwhelm the senses of people with mental disorders that can result in overstimulation. For people with physical disabilities, the app lists whether the location is wheelchair accessible, if there are stairs or any other hurdles that may cause inconvenience. Users can also submit information to update the system.
The design of the website was thought out very carefully. The font used on the website is OpenDyslexic, which has been specially designed for people with dyslexia. It makes it easy for them to read than a regular font like Times New Roman does. The color scheme of the website employs the use of cool-toned colors that are not too bright or harsh on the eye. Warm colors were left out simply because we wanted to avoid visual over stimulation. The color scheme was also picked keeping in mind the people that suffer from color blindness.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Our knowledge of working with Databases, MySQL, PHP, and APIs was very rudimentary and so working on the application was a challenge since we had to learn first, and THEN implement it.
What we learned
What's next for Comfy
We plan on expanding this project by being more inclusive of other special needs and their potential triggers.