Needs finding to assess wayfinding and navigation challenges in individuals with limited mobility

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Schmidt, Kayla
Hakansson, Nils A.
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Schmidt, Kayla. 2022. Needs finding to assess wayfinding and navigation challenges in individuals with limited mobility -- In Proceedings: 18th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University

INTRODUCTION: Personal navigational systems are largely reserved for outdoor travel using GPS technologies on smartphone applications. While smartphones are approaching ubiquity, navigational systems have lacked consideration for people with limited mobility due to disability. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to investigate the needs of users with limited mobility for navigation and wayfinding and to gather their insight into the necessary functionalities of an indoor-outdoor navigation app. This qualitative study intends to answer two main investigative questions; how people with limited mobility are currently navigating, and how can this be improved with a smartphone indoor/outdoor navigation app. METHODS: Ten people (55.5 ± 14.2yrs, 3 male, 7 female) provided informed consent to participate in an individual semi-structured interview. The average onset of their limited mobility was 37.2 ± 21.4yrs, with two participants having more recent onsets of 2 and 5 years. The interviews were conducted in-person or virtually and were subsequently transcribed and analyzed via thematic analysis with a phenomenological approach. RESULTS: Interviews identified common themes categorized by participants' relationships with their environment, with other people, and with their smartphone. These themes highlighted common frustrations expressed by participants as they navigated both known and unknown environments as well as their ideas for the design of a navigational app. CONCLUSION: This work investigated the needs of people with a range of mobility limitations as they navigate through activities of daily living and described some of the design requirements identified by people with limited mobility for use in an indoor-outdoor navigational system.

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Presented to the 18th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 29, 2022
Research completed in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
Wichita State University
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v. 18
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