Around the world, nearly 40% of physical entities are inaccessible to those with disabilities -- this greatly threatens their lifestyle and independency. Hence, I wanted to create an application that would empower people with disabilities and assist them in their day-to-day life - this is where MapAbility was born.

Connection to Theme

MapAbility is entirely related to the theme of Synaptic Hacks. Oftentimes, those with disabilities also experience neurological conditions (for example, Autism, ADHD, ODD, Down Syndrome, etc.) To maximize their psychological and neurological welfare, these individuals often require certain accommodations - for example, sound-dampening rooms, anti-sensory-overload design, and physical accessibility. However, nearly 40% of physical entities lack these accommodations, threatening the welfare of these individuals

However, through MapAbility, these issues are resolved, as inaccessible locations (or those without proper accommodations) are preemptively reported. Holistically, both Synaptic Hacks and MapAbility focus on the fields of neuroscience and psychology and seek to maximize the welfare of those with disabilities.

Features + What MapAbility Does

MapAbility is a web application fostering dialogue and action on inaccessible locations, thus promoting social change and empowering students w/ disabilities. In other words, it allows people to report and discuss inaccessible locations, upon which local authorities can take action and resolve the inaccessibility. This greatly assist those with disabilities as the accessibility issues that inhibit their independence and lifestyle are now being preemptively resolved through MapAbility.

How We Built It

MapAbility was built with a variety of different programming languages including but not limited to, HTML, CSS, CSS3, Java, and JavaScript. We also utilized other programming tools including Notepad++ and Atom. MapAbility also utilizes various APIs (for example, a geolocation API to allow for the location-based accessibility system).

Challenges Encountered

One of the biggest challenges we ran into was ensuring the proper implementation of a location-based service -- using a geolocation API, MapAbility was able to address this issue.

In addition, we wanted to find a way to allow for people to report the accessibility of roads and sidewalks, which students with disabilities often use. Our initial approach didn't allow for this but we soon added a new feature (seen in the video) which allows for this!

What's Next for MapAbility

MapAbility would like to continue to grow its initiative - we'd like to add additional features (for example, expanding beyond simply physical accessibility to digital accessibility). Hence, receiving award recognition at Synaptic Hacks would provide us with the early traction that we need to continue to grow our venture!

Thank you for taking the time to read our submission!

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