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Recent developments in image recognition and “Big Data” offer a method for monitoring the physical accessibility of community environments over time. The stimulus…
Recent developments in image recognition and “Big Data” offer a method for monitoring the physical accessibility of community environments over time. The stimulus characteristics of images showing access features in context are extremely complex, however, and defining access features that are recognizable by humans or machines is a challenging task. Carefully defining access features provides a basis for teaching both humans and machines to recognize those features and to rate the degree of accessibility.
We employed a stage-process to identify access features detectable in images presented by GSV. We created definitions of features, developed a protocol for conducting community observations, and used it to conduct assessments of access images of 14 towns and cities in 9 states and the District of Columbia.
Interobserver agreement averaged 84% on features and 93% on people observed. A combined access score across communities averaged 60%; ranging from 32% to 100%. A scaled “minimum access” score averaged .92; ranging from .59 to 1.0. We observed 158 people, 3 of whom used a mobility device and 13 of whom used other wheeled devices.
Equating these ratings to academic grades suggests that several communities fail to achieve standards of accessibility but do achieve minimal levels of access in their civic cores. Google Street View offers a data source for human observers to assess the accessibility of communities. Researchers should explore the feasibility of using supervised and unsupervised learning to establish machine recognition of access features.
The “New Paradigm” of disability and the International Classification of Function Disability and Health both describe an ecological model of disability that has…
The “New Paradigm” of disability and the International Classification of Function Disability and Health both describe an ecological model of disability that has significantly influenced policy and law, and this model is frequently cited as a background in published research. Given the central role of “the environment” in this ecological model, we asked, what is the status of research on the environment and disability? Specifically, is a scoping review warranted in this area of research?
We conducted a “rapid scan” of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) database for articles reporting studies of the environment – defined as the arranged or built environment. We also scanned Google Scholar to ascertain the frequency of articles that might report research into the environment.
NARIC archived 12,486 items published from January 2007 to June 2012; 530 (4.2%) of which contained the search term “environment.” Of the 530 items, 78 (14.7%) also included the terms architecture space, accessibility, and ICF. Over the same time period, Google Scholar returned 109,000 entries to search terms “disability and environment,” 349 (0.3%) of which also included the terms architecture space, accessibility, and ICF.
This application of a method for rapidly assessing the status of the literature suggests that research into some aspects of the environment and disability may be under-represented. A more complete review, requiring more resources, is warranted.
The Americans with Disabilities Act was established to promote universal access to community environments. Accessibility is not included in established community…
The Americans with Disabilities Act was established to promote universal access to community environments. Accessibility is not included in established community assessment systems, however, and there are few data comparing accessibility across cities. This lack of data hampers public policy, restricts consumer choice, and limits the development of a science of the environment and participation.
We developed a protocol for directly observing accessibility of public places and rated 226 randomly selected businesses in 19 towns in Montana.
Combining accessibility ratings across nine categories of accessibility, Montana’s small cities and towns achieved an overall accessibility rating of 2.66 on a four-point scale; equivalent to a D + using a civil engineering grading framework. Exploratory analyses showed significant relationships between accessibility ratings and community economic variables. Surprisingly, our analyses showed a negative correlation with percent of city residents with disability.
It is feasible to assess accessibility of communities in a standard format. Systematic and longitudinal assessments of the accessibility of community infrastructure can contribute to community planning and development. There is a need to create a program to routinely monitor community environments as they change, integrate the findings into public policy and practice, and use the data as a basis for advancing a science of the environment.
This chapter introduces the tourism–disaster–conflict nexus through a comprehensive review of the contemporary social science literature. After reviewing conceptual…
This chapter introduces the tourism–disaster–conflict nexus through a comprehensive review of the contemporary social science literature. After reviewing conceptual definitions of tourism, disaster and conflict, the chapter explores various axes that link through this nexus. The linkages between tourism and disaster include tourism as a trigger or amplifier of disasters, the impacts of disasters on the tourism industry, tourism as a driver of disaster recovery and disaster risk reduction strategies in the tourism sector. Linkages between tourism and conflict include the idea that tourism can be a force for peace and stability, the niche status of danger zone or dark heritage tourism, the concept of phoenix tourism in post-conflict destination rebranding, tourism and cultural conflicts, and tourism’s conflicts over land and resources. Linkages between disaster and conflict include disasters as triggers or intensifiers of civil conflict, disaster diplomacy and conflict resolution, disaster capitalism, and gender-based violence and intra-household conflict in the wake of disasters. These are some of the conversations that organise this volume, and this introductory chapter ends with a summary of the chapters that follow.