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Team Hackcessible, advised by UW CSE, heading to the finals of Seattle’s Hack the Commute competition

UW Hackcessible Team

Left to right: Anat Caspi with students Reagan Middlebrook, Veronika Sipeeva, Allie Deford and Nick Bolten

Hackcessible – a team of students advised by UW CSE professor Alan Borning and Anat Caspi, director of the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology – will be one of three groups competing at Seattle City Hall this Wednesday in the championship round of Hack the Commute.

The students, who hail from Electrical Engineering, Human Centered Design & Engineering, and UW Tacoma’s Computer Science & Systems program, developed an app called AccessMap that enables users to plan their route in Seattle based on their individual accessibility needs. AccessMap provides information about changes in elevation, the presence of curb ramps and other data designed to assist people with mobility concerns, such as those in wheelchairs, to navigate the city.

The team used a combination of publicly available and user-submitted data, designing the app to enable people to report obstacles and verify information that is contributed by others.

Alan Borning

Alan Borning

“I’m really impressed with the work this team put in,” said Caspi, noting that the students talked to a lot of people to identify what’s missing from the publicly available data that would be helpful if incorporated into the app. “In one instance, they found a gentleman who keeps information about the location of elevators in his head.”

“We see this as an opportunity to collaborate with the city to make its information more useful to everyone.”

Check out the live app here.

Learn more about Hack the Commute here.

Register for free to see Hackcessible in action at Wednesday’s championship event here.