a map with 3D rendering

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Cool wayfinding initiatives help Portland Community College lead the way in accessibility

To begin, Disability Services inventoried the accessible features for all buildings at all campuses and centers. PCC Web Teamers Gabriel Nagmay and Lydia Rediske then created a plugin–software that can be used with a WordPress website–that allows PCC personnel to add placemarks to maps indicating the accessible features.

Architecture and drafting students, who served as interns on the project, used computer-aided drafting software to generate the floor plans. The Web Team optimized the floor plans to be readable on mobile devices and uploaded the maps, after which the interns added the placemarks.

Sylvania Campus’ maps went live in December 2013, and the remaining campuses and centers were added over the following year. PCC’s Bond Program works with FMS to ensure updated floor plans are supplied to the Web Team, and Disability Services edits and adds placemarks to keep the maps current.

Related: Why students, faculty and alumni are loving this simple campus technology

Now, anyone with a computer or mobile device can go to www.pcc.edu/AccessMap, choose a particular building and a floor, and receive a map that clearly indicates the location of all accessible building features, each with its own text-based description. The maps are keyboard navigable and screen-reader friendly, so the visually impaired can listen to synthesized voice directions. Tactile versions that complement the electronic maps are also available upon request.

“The bottom line is that this collaboration allowed these different groups to work together,” said Parks. “None of us could have done this alone, but together we were able to create something that had not existed before.”

There’s more to this story! This story was originally published on Portland Community College’s blog. Read the full post here.

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