Utilizing Assistive Technology to Remove Communication Barriers in the Public Transportation System for Passengers with Disabilities

The objective of this O&E Grant, which was completed during the reporting period, was to survey disabled and/or elderly bus transit users, as well bus drivers, to identify and assess communication barriers which adversely impact this particular segment of transit users during any part of their transit trip. The survey input was then used to build a technological communication aid targeted for elderly/disabled transit users. In the survey task, input was gathered from a total of 579 elderly/disadvantaged transit users through 31 group sessions, as well as interactive on-line passenger surveys. In addition, a total of 38 drivers from 3 bus transit agencies were surveyed. The most effective communication aid developed was a "tablet-based" application. The App was tested on three subgroups: (1) Transit users who had no previous computer technological experience; (2) Transit users who utilized a regular computer; and (3) Transit users with tablet experience. Most users found that using tablet-based technology was much simpler for them, depending on the muscle tone or dexterity of the participant. Adaptive technology, e.g., a pencil eraser or stylus, proved helpful. In conclusion, those who had never used computer technology of any kind previously, adapted quickly to the ease of the tablet application with a few quick lessons or instructions from one of the facilitators from a hands-on approach. This was particularly noticeable with the agencies hosting senior populations who may not be as tech savvy or may be more fearful of newer electronic technologies.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $50000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    DTRT-G-UTC34

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Center for Transportation Research
    Conference Center Building
    Knoxville, TN  United States  37996-4133
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Center for Transportation Research
    Conference Center Building
    Knoxville, TN  United States  37996-4133
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sawhney, Rapinder

  • Start Date: 20140401
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20150331
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40235

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572493
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Southeastern Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT-G-UTC34
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 8 2015 1:01AM