The Barrier-Free Map version 2.0
Steps towards making a barrier free world
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The Barrier-Free Map, a map specially designed for the convenience of the disabled, has recently released its version 2.0. First planned by the Hanyang University Social Innovation Center and the students of the Hanyang University Disabled Student Association (HUDSA), the map has been upgraded from the first version by widening its range and including the districts outside of school.
According to Lee Jeong-in (School of Business, 2nd year), the current vice-president of the HUDSA, the Barrier-Free Map Project was first started with the purpose of creating a map that provides valuable information to the disabled, especially within the campus of Hanyang University. The team consisted of mainly nine students, with eight being the members of the HUDSA and Kim Chan-joo (Department of Architectural Engineering, 1st year) who received recommendations from such members.
The nine students first focused upon the whereabouts within campus, checking the existence of features such as the doors, toilets, and parking spaces that are provided for the use of the disabled. Collaborating with the Seoul Map Company ‘Tagging,’ they succeeded in making the prototype of the Barrier-Free Map 1.0, which marks such valuable information additional to the current campus map of Hayang University. Version 2.0 takes off from this particular stage adding information that covers the districts of Wangsimni and several subway stations within Seoul.
Receiving support from the SK Happiness Foundation, the second version of the map was completed this year, adding information of such features within the stores of the Wangsimni district. The team also investigated the subway stations of Sindorim, Seokgye, Oksu, and Yaksu, finding the most convenient transfer gates for the disabled users. All relevant information was gathered personally by the team members, visiting all the transfer gates and stores both on and off campus. (click to view the map of Hanyang University Campus and Wangsimni; click to view the Seoul Metro Map for the Disabled)
Lee Tan (School of Business, 3rd year), the former president of the HUDSA, said that they had many difficulties when collecting the needed information, as the road pavement was not suitable for those who use a wheelchair. Having to make the map with a small number of team members within a limited time was also a difficulty that the team had to face during the production process. Lee also added that he was surprised at the fact that most places did not provide even the most basic features that are required for disabled users.
With the second version having recently been finished, both Lee Jeong-in and Lee Tan have stated that this is not the end of the Barrier-Free Map. They have demonstrated their hopes toward the map being improved and extended towards national districts, coming to the aid of a wider pool of users. When asked of future plans, Lee Jeong-in answered, “we hope that the map does not end in simply notifying the difficulties that many people have within their everyday lives but actually leads to an actual improvement within the facilities. The most ideal plan is to make a completely barrier-free world that does not require such specially designed maps.”
Choi Seo-yong firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
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