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Harrison Cole. (2020). Accessible Mitigation Planning: Tactile Hazard Map Design and Evaluation. In Amanda Hughes, Fiona McNeill, & Christopher W. Zobel (Eds.), ISCRAM 2020 Conference Proceedings – 17th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 1031–1037). Blacksburg, VA (USA): Virginia Tech.
Abstract: While creating a community hazard mitigation plan (HMP) has become recognized as a key component of successful disaster management, significant portions of the process are often inaccessible to people with vision disabilities. Maps in particular are often large, visually dense documents that are printed on two-dimensional paper, or distributed via PDF with no alternate text. For people with profound low vision or who are blind, alternative media is required. The research discussed here proposes that tactile maps may present an accessible and cost-effective medium for representing geospatial data relevant to the hazard mitigation planning process. Using flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a starting point, this paper proposes an evaluatory framework for transcribing conventional maps into tactile documents, as well as characterizing users' experiences using them for mitigation planning, directions for future research and generalizing the process for applications in other domains.