The Rehabilitation Research Design and Disability Center (R₂D₂) Center has collaborated with the UBICOMP Lab at Marquette University to release the MiniTools apps to the Apple App Store. These apps are AccessRuler, AccessSlope and AccessSound, which are all part of the NIDILRR-funded AccessRatings for Building (ARB) project and can be downloaded on iPhones or iPads. Each app uses the device’s measurement systems to provide data that can be used to generate accessibility information regarding a building, for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.
AccessRuler measures distances for accessibility purposes. This tool uses a Leica Disto Meter that connects to an iPad or iPhone via Bluetooth and automatically imports the measurement from the ruler into the app. The app allows users to add comments, save their measurements to a list within the app and export the measurements through email.
AccessSlope allows users to measure the degrees, percent increase, and vertical: horizontal ratio of any ramp. The four measures comprise the run and cross slopes of the ramp and landing, requiring only 3 seconds to record each measurement. The app depicts the accessibility of a ramp following the measurement on a scale that indicates whether the slope is accessible or not. In addition, users can add comments, save their measurements to a list within the app and export the measurements through email.
AccessSound measures the decibel (dB) level in any room to provide the audio level accessibility. There are 3 sound levels to choose from: quiet, moderate, and loud activity. The measurement is taken on a steady surface to avoid interference and results are presented in two different graphs. The first is an x-y bar graph that illustrates the dB levels recorded over the fifteen samples taken throughout the sample time. The second graph shows the median, maximum, and minimum dB levels taken during the measurement, in comparison to common environmental sounds, in order to indicate the noise level. Users can also add comments to their measurement and save it to a list within the app. Access Sound can store up to 50 measurements and at any point these can be exported into a spread sheet, through email.
All apps are available for 99 cents in the Apple App Store. Be on the lookout for future releases in the app store include AccessTools, a comprehensive building accessibility rating application and AccessLight, a MiniTool app that assesses the accessibility of the lighting in an environment.