By Sarah London, Brian Romsek, and Nick Battjes
Supervised by Prof. Yaron Felus, and Carl Shangraw.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was designed to establish guidelines in constructing buildings and companies to help people who have disabilities not be discriminated against. According to the act there has to be a certain amount of handicap parking spaces proportional to the number of regular parking spaces. Also, the route one would take from the handicap parking spaces must meet regulations in terms of ramps, curb cuts, elevations, etc. The act also requires certain type of building doors so that a person with a disability can operate them independently. It also sets the standards for hallway widths and heights of drinking fountains. The ADA is designed with the handicap person in mind; making it easier for someone with a disability to visit or go to places on their own. This act helps fight discrimination against handicap people and was influenced by other acts such as the UFAS or the Uniform Federal Accessibilities Standards.
Ferris State University (FSU) has students and facility members who are disabled as well as visitors who come to see the campus. In addition FSU has a disabilities services department which helps people in whatever way they can.
Surveying Engineering Professors Yaron Felus and Carl Shangraw, with the support of the VP office for Academic Affairs, the College of Technology and the Physical Plant Department have decided to map out the handicap accessibility facilities (parking spaces and their accessibilities to the surrounding buildings) and make sure that Ferris State University fully complies with the ADA and UFAS standards. The project was performed with the help of the SURE325 (Introduction to GIS) class which was divided into groups of two. Each group was assigned a section of Ferris State University’s campus. Each group used aerial photographs, and various mapping techniques (e.g.; handheld GPS) to map and identify accessibility routes and facilities.
Figure 1: SURE325 students mapping a handicapped parking with a handheld GPS.