CfDC Minutes — August 5, 2015

Attending: Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (serving as Council Chair in Jack Bernard's absence); Janet Keller; Bonnie Dede, Sharon Pederson; Lloyd Shelton; Patricia F. Anderson; Russ Ellis; Darlene Nichols; Joni Smith; Brandon Werner; Seong Hee Yoon.

Introductions were made.

It was mentioned that Stanford does a fine job with its accessibility map.

Jim’s Accessibility Mapping Update

Three Links:

Use cases (from brainstorming doc above)

  1. Wheelchair user,seeking entrance to a particular building
  2. Event or meeting organizer,selecting accessible meeting spaces both on- and off-campus
  3. Passerby,noticing damage or broken access to entrance,construction changes,or other barriers/changes/surprises to expected access, and wants to report
  4. Show me a list of public spaces near me that have the best and worst accessibility
  5. Describe accessibility barriers between me and designated location


Company was founded by filmmaker Jason DaSilva in 2009 after he lost mobility due to MS. Jason created a website and mobile apps to support accessibility mapping, saying the ultimate goal is building a barrier-­free world.

AXS Map provides guidance about the number of stars to assign based on various factors observable by reviewers.

AXS Map uses the Google Places database, which includes businesses, public locations, organizations, etc. Some campus locations may be hard to find.

Locations may have crowd­sourced accessibility ratings for the entryway and restrooms. AXS Map provides an easy way to add reviews using simple rating scales. Reviewers are invited to note number of steps, noise levels, access for guide dogs, and other factors.

Users of AXS Map have incentive to add reviewss. Also, the company promotes the idea of a “mapathon,” in which teams of people work together or compete to map accessibility for an area. A mapathon can be organized as a fundraiser for a local charity with pledges per review.

The reviews and data are owned by AXS Map, but they are available through the website and apps.

The PDF handout focuses on AXS Map, a website and mobile app (available for Android and iOS devices), because that was the newest and most promising information.

In the meeting we discussed the use cases from the brainstorming document, and we found that AXS Map could help us immediately with all but one of the use cases.

The AXS Map website is not as accessible as we would like. It was developed with a focus on reduced mobility, and it seems that not enough priority has yet been given to people with other needs. Brandon Werner and Jane Berliss-Vincent will evaluate how well the website works for people with low/no vision.

We compared AXS Map with Ushihidi’s CrowdMap, an open-source crowd-mapping tool. CrowdMap might have some advantages, but it would be more costly and time consuming to get functionality comparable to AXS Map. We would need to develop our own website and mobile app based on CrowdMap, and we'd need to provide servers to host it. Among the advantages of that would be that we might have easier access to the data, and we could make decisions about what data to collect.

Patricia proposed that everyone with an Android or iOS mobile device get AXS Map from their app store (it's free) and try it out. Those without a compatible smart phone or tablet can use the website ( to look up places and add reviews. Council members expressed support for that proposal.

We should all try out AXS Map for looking up information and writing accessibility reviews of local businesses and campus buildings. We're asking people to share their experiences. Maybe we could create a google doc to collect comments.

Patricia also suggested that we explore the idea of having a Mapathon when students return in observance of the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Council members expressed support for that idea as well.

Patricia’s Report


GOAL: Accessible map showing access information & issues for Ann Arbor and Campus


SI students, access mapping Ushahidi crowdsourced mapping

typical accessible map directions

  • assume travel on street
  • don't include how to get into building / amenities
  • spurred by interest/need of an individual (may not include needed information for other types of disabilities)
  • no sustainability plan, then to fail after a few years.

Stanford Examples

Suggestion: Ask Joyojeet Pal to make enquiries while he is visiting Stanford?


  • 1) Test AXS Map
  • 2) Create local tool using open source tools such as Ushahidi & CrowdMap


  • Based on Google Maps
  • free, has API, but not open source
  • already has established user base in Ann Arbor, but we don't know who they are
  • lower costs for starting to use
  • already includes data/design features for many of our use cases
  • no guarantee of data import/export functions
  • smartphone capable (iOS, Android)
  • English, German
  • some accessibility issues with website and apps
  • responsive to error reports



  • Based on Open Street Map
  • open source
  • open access
  • customizable
  • good data import / export
  • works well on mobile
  • supports crisis and disaster planning / preparation / response
  • SMS capable
  • would mean we'd have to develop from scratch
  • would require more funding & staff to create custom app
  • existing and active developer community
  • 25 languages available
  • some accessibility issues with website and apps



Campus ADA25 event

AXS Map accessible map mapathon?


Cornell Model Transition Project:

report on meeting that took place two weeks ago (announced by Michelle)

  • transitions
  • focus on workforce
  • MiRehabServices
  • "I'm living proof these programs are effective"
  • support
  • transitional support to ensure success
  • voc rehab / high school
  • "earning, learning, living"
  • no national / statewide model existed
  • mediators in transition outcomes
  • post secondary goals
  • career development activities
  • in school work experience
  • paid work experience
  • "deep partnerships"
  • no single driver of transition outcomes

"if you want to teach kids what work is about, have them work" start goals in middle school, as young as possible socioeconomics

peer support ? nope, didn't mention it

kids from lower SES did better


Active Minds (representatives will be at the next Council meeting (September 2nd); panel discussion by Active Minds for Investing in Ability Month

Heartiest congratulations to our own Lloyd Shelton, both for completing his SSW degree and for immediately thereafter finding a position in our own SSD (Services for Students with Disabilities). YAY, Lloyd!!! Good job, SSD!!!