U.K. Government Funds Seven Projects to Increase Innovation and Accessibility of Public Transportation

June 2018 – As part of an innovation competition organized by the United Kingdom’s Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and the Department for Transport’s efforts to improve public transit accessibility for all passengers, seven projects have received a share of £600,000 (approximately $789,000). According to a statement by Transport Accessibility Minister Nusrat Ghani, “I am determined to make sure that our railways are accessible to everyone, and that we remove any barriers faced by people with a disability. Everyone deserves the right to travel independently and with confidence. I am delighted that these innovative projects have been picked to improve people’s journeys, and look forward to seeing how they benefit passengers in the years to come.”
The winning projects are: 
• Accessibility Evaluation Survey for Stations (ACCESS): a software that assists accessibility technicians in identifying and managing issues.
• Less Visible Impairments (LVIS): a study which will be conducted on transportation staff to increase awareness of “hidden” disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. 
• Rail4All: an app which will assist transportation personnel in receiving and responding to travel requests from passengers with disabilities. 
• Accessible Journey Pocket Assistant: an electronic travel planner that gives passengers personalized recommendations for their trip. 
• Nodality (navigating transport interchange): a website that will provide passengers with disabilities and their care-takers with exact information on the accessibility features of specific stations. 
• Signly: an app which was developed to assist passengers who use sign language as their primary form of communication. 
• Aubin: an app which was developed to assist passengers with autism that personalizes their trip according to their stated preferences, in an attempt to reduce the anxiety many people associate with travel.
The projects represent some of the U.K. government’s most recent efforts at using novel technologies to increase accessibility and transportation options for all citizens. Mark Applin, co-founder of Signly, stated: “The Signly team are delighted the RSSB have seen the possibilities to improve passenger experience for Deaf passengers who use British Sign Language. The grant funding affords the opportunity to meet Deaf passengers and rail employees and develop simple tools that can make a difference day in, day out.” Mark Phillips, chief executive of RSSB, said: “These ideas will help achieve our aim of improving overall access to the railways for disabled people and contribute to a better, safer railway. We thank everybody who submitted proposals to the competition and look forward to supporting the winning projects.”
The Department for Transport will publish its Inclusive Transport Strategy report later this year. For more information on the winners, please visit: http://www.accessandmobilityprofessional.com/seven-projects-win-government-backing-boost-accessibility-railways/
[Source: Joe Peskett, Access & Mobility Professional]
Date of Publication: 
Wednesday, June 27, 2018


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