Putting the Power back in Power chair: An Accessibility Story

The blue-and-white handicap sign does not mean much anymore, places claim that they are handicapped accessible by state and government regulation or because they have a ramp, but the accessibility, and ease-of-use make it very uncomfortable to use thus they are truely not a handicap friendly environment.  So the Social justice application I’m interested I am analyzing is called AXS Map. AXS map is available on Desktop, Apple Apps store, as well as Android marketplace is “new media technology to engage, empower, and connect the disability community Through the AXS Map app and website, users are invited to search for businesses that have accessible features such as accessible entrances or accessible washrooms.”(Apple App Store).

The AXSmap app is a social justice app that addresses the lack of information about handicapped accessible Spaces.  This application allows users to provide information about the handicapped accessible places they know conveniently placed in one location. This benefits the Community who is handicap with a rating system and penalizes the businesses that are not handicap accessible. The application uses a rating system that judges entryways and bathrooms on ease of use. However a plus is that its not only marketed to the handicap community, those who are pregnant and need additional assistance, parents with strollers and small children, even the older community who use assistive walking apparatuses, this app was deigned with everyone in mind.

The design of AXSmaps is interesting from its related apps that use a map layout system. In the Light and Luckin reading it refers to a type of technology called TEL which is technology-enhanced learning, and Light and Luckin  go further to explain there’s two ways to use this type of technology TEL. TEL  or Technology-enhanced learning  can be used  to “recognize and address everyone’s differences, including the needs and desires of minority groups” (Light and Luckin 5) or on the other hand “it can be used to enable more people to communicate, socialize, join in debates and play a greater role in society” (Light and Luckin 5). AXSmaps uses the second purpose, it allows users to view, add, rate and comment on content. This Application reminds me of a cliché by the people for the people. This Application places responsibility on the user “AXSmaps is powered by you, the more you review the better it gets”. (youtube)

Reading about this application I was curious so I downloaded my own personal device I found that lagged but it was very easy to use, it was a relief that he did not ask me to make an account to login or sign-up I was able to use it anonymously.  In addition it did not asked me to use my location services for the app work so I cannot be tracked by the local law enforcement like in the suit that invloves law enforcement officials in Sarasota, Florida so for privacy I give a five out of five.  How ever for the accessibility it only caters to the visually paired,  I did not see an option for inverting colors zooming content or read aloud text like apps like Learning Braille, Sign Smith ASL Essential, or icomm so there’s a flaw. However the concept of the app it’s a four out of five in my book because it identifies the problem that is not being addressed.

Work cited

Light, A., & Luckin, R. (2008). Designing for Social Justice: People, Technology, Learning. Futurelab.

AXSMapTV (2015, March 8). Introducing AXS Map! (w/ captions) [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Chta29jjXQ

AXS Lab. (2014). When I Walk Inc. (Version 2.3) [Mobile application software]. Retrieved from http://itunes.apple.com


One thought on “Putting the Power back in Power chair: An Accessibility Story

  1. While this app is not perfect, I think that it has a lot of potential. The AXS Map application and website are great because of what it can do; allow those who need handicap accessible places to find, rate, and share them with others. However, the app/website’s biggest flaw is that its information is gathered by random people, and the user has to trust that what they say is true. Then again, that’s how a lot of popular and successful applications are. I liked that it did not require your location, but is that an option?
    Overall, I think that AXS Map is great and can definitely help those who need it and I hope that people are honest when they submit their information. I thought the content of your essay was good, but it was a little tough to read at times because of the grammar.

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