Oxford Accessibility Project

IT Innovation Challenges

Student project led by Matthew Pierri and Andres Noe.

2018 round

See also the OAP College Access Guide and the OAP website. Videos created by the project can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL6Ca_TKXtK3wvJ-J49ymvA

For more information, please contact innovation@it.ox.ac.uk


The University of Oxford is old. Full of heritage buildings and cobbled streets, it is also particularly inaccessible for wheelchair users and people with disabilities more broadly. In 2016, we started the Oxford Accessibility Project (OAP) to change this. We’re mapping Oxford’s colleges and social venues to produce the first free, online accessibility guide of its kind.

To facilitate this, we are building a mobile app and online platform. Our app will allow smartphone users to easily photograph, measure and detail the accessibility features of Oxford’s colleges, community spaces and social venues. This information will be rich, detailed and accurate. It will be geo-tagged, clearly labelled and available on an online platform that builds on existing information sources, such as the University Access Guide and https://maps.ox.ac.uk. Ultimately, we see this information being absorbed into the native interface of mainstream map platforms, such as Google Maps, via a custom-built API.

By spreading accessibility information, we’re empowering wheelchair users to proactively engage with the built environment and facilitating greater social participation. We’re helping people with disabilities to navigate Oxford with greater confidence and purpose.

Supporting the OAP mapping app is an opportunity for the University of Oxford to become a global leader in improving campus accessibility and empowering people with disabilities towards greater social participation. Beyond improving the availability of accessibility information, we are also raising awareness of the pressing need for better access in Oxford and elsewhere, as well as breaking down stereotypes and myths around disability.

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