An innovation team consisting of students from National Chiao Tung University, National Cheng Kung University, Feng Chia University, and Chang Gung University, together with three students with disabilities from Fu Jen Catholic University, National Open University, and St. John’s University, developed the UCAT (University Campus Accessmap Taiwan) GO map for accessible public transportation transfers.
Based on UCAT established by the Department of Students Affairs and Special Education (Ministry of Education) as well as open data published by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and Ministry of the Interior, this map serves as a wheelchair version of Google Maps, offering information on accessible transfers to 53 campuses of 24 universities through high-speed railway, railway, rapid transit, and bus. Launching the map before the new semester started, the team hoped to benefit fellow students with disabilities and call for everyone’s input to include all universities in Taiwan on the map.
The convenors of the innovative team are Jui-chia Hsieh, a project assistant in the Graduate Institute of Architecture at National Chiao Tung University, and Si-chi Chen, a student in the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Information at Feng Chia University. The idea started in May, and the project ended in August; they have learned a lot from the collaboration students with disabilities and become more empathetic with these students’ challenges and needs. Over the three months, the team members collected more than 30,000 pieces of data from the open databases, established a platform by integrating these data with the UCAT and Google Maps, and designed unique, easy-to-read marks to indicate seven different types of transfer information.
Professor David Tseng, the Vice President for General Affairs at National Chiao Tung University, suggested that the university’s Graduate Institute of Architecture has been working with the Department of Students Affairs and Special Education (Ministry of Education) on the Project of Accessible Campus Environment Survey and Student Training and UCAT since 2018. Available for all computer and smartphone users with an Internet connection, UCAT enables users to browse photos of different places to determine whether a particular location is accessible to their needs.