Towards a framework for detecting temporary obstacles and their impact on mobility for diversely disabled users


While walking around a city, the temporary obstacles present on the sidewalk barely register in most people’s minds. The reality for people with disabilities is quite diff erent, whether it’s a scooter left in the way, crowds that refuse to budge or construction work loud enough to trigger somatic eff ects. While detecting permanent obstacles (e.g. wheelchair-inaccessible areas) is a relatively easy thing, detecting and addressing temporary obstacles is very diffi cult. The objective of this paper is to propose some fi rst elements to build a framework aiming at detecting temporary obstacles for diversely disabled users. We point out several scientifi c and technical obstacles that pave the way to reach our goal and highlight the limits of existing approaches. We insist on three signifi cant obstacles to overcome: incomplete models of the envi- ronment, limited availability of good quality data, and absence of tailored algorithms. Taking inspiration from percolation theory, we propose some leads to solve the fi rst two problems mentioned.

24th HCI International Conference, HCII 2022