The National Science Foundation's Convergence Acclerator program funds the team led by Vinod Namboodiri for a Phase 1 award within its Track H: Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The project is titled "Towards a Community-Driven Framework for the Creation and Impact Analysis of Digital Accessibility Maps with Persons with Disabilities". It will develope digital accessibility maps for persons with disabilities through an innovative combination of crowdsourcing and robotic data collection. The team is comprised of academic collaborators from WSU, KSU, and Georgia Tech, and industrial partners InnovatorsBox and IT Creative Labs. 

Vinod Namboodiri invited to be a panelist at the Accessible Technology for All workshop hosted by the Computing Research Association. Workshop overview goes as follows:

"For decades the computing research community has been focused on building faster, smarter, and smaller devices. We have succeeded. Wearable technology, smart phones, laptops are all products of very successful research and development. The problem is that we have not stopped to consider the impact of our advancements on the design of products and devices and if they are usable by people with disabilities. Or the problem that could be created if we attempt to address one aspect of accessibility at the expense of another. Accessibility for all is critical if we want to have a positive impact on all communities. " 

Ajay Abraham presents the team's (WSU, KSU, TAMU, Envision) work at NSF S&CC PI Meeting in DC.

Ajay at SCC PI meeting


ACCESS Lab will be part of the NSF TAPD-INTO STEM Alliance to mentor student with disabilities in STEM fields as part of the Midwest Hub.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Convergence Accelerator program has selected a team led by PI Namboodiri to organize a workshop on the theme "Accelerating Disability Inclusion in Workplaces through Technology". More details on workshop can be found here. This project has been later expanded to become a NSF Convergence Accelerator as Track H: Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Smart and Connected Communities program awards a three year project (2020 - 2023) to continue the CityGuide project that began with a planning grant in 2017. This grant is led by the ACCESS Lab in close collaboration with other researchers from WSU, K-State, Texas A & M, and the Envision Research Institute in addition to the City of Wichita.


GuideBeacon from ACCESS Lab featured in the Solving for X = Accessibility series at the Ulrich Museum of Art. GuideBeacon was used to provide accessibile exploration of museum exhibits. 


Ali Cheraghi graduates with a Ph.D. and joins Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Naveen Ravindran graduates with an M.S. and joins Net Pay Advance as a Software Engineer.


The paper  SafeExit4All: An Inclusive Indoor Emergency Evacuation System for People With Disabilities receives the Intuit Best Technical Paper nomination at W4A in San Francisco; only three papers got this honor. The SafeExit4All system enables people with disabilities to safely evacuate buildings in emergency scenarios.


Access Lab presents the GuideCall system at the Tenon Web Accessibility challenge at W4A in San Francisco. GuideCall is a smartphone app that blind or visually impaired individuals can use to make a video call to a trusted group of acquaintances for remote assistance. Follow the video at this link to see a demonstration of GuideCall.



User navigating the ERI fcility using GuideBeacon

Envision Research Institute (ERI) on the third floor of the Envision heaquarters building at 610 N Main St., Wichita becomes the first facility to have a permanent installation of the GuideBeacon accessible indoor navigation and wayfinding application. GuideBeacon is part of the broad CityGuide suite of location-based services being developed as part of the National Science Foundation funded effort


ACCESS Lab becomes a partner of AccessComputingThe Alliance for Access to Computing Careers (AccessComputing) helps students with disabilities successfully pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in computing fields, and works to increase the capacity of postsecondary institutions and other organizations to fully include students with disabilities in computing courses and programs.

NetCPS REU students present work at NCUR 2018NetCPS REU students Adwaya, David, and Max present their work on outdoor wayfinding for people with visual impairments at the National Council of Undergraduate Research (NCUR)  symposium in Washington D.C.




NPR's VisionKeepers podcast on ACCESS Lab's research on accessible wayfinding

Vinod appears in a VisionKeepers podcast on NPR with host Dan Bärham talking about the importance of developing wayfinding solutions for people with disabilities



Testing of wayfinding solutionsREU 2018 Wayfinding Test REU 2018 Wayfinding Test

 NetCPS NSF REU students visit ACCESS Lab  and design and test  navigation  apps for those with visual impairments






Middle School AT camp

 Envision's summer Level-Up Assistive Technology camp for middle school kids visits ACCESS Lab for  demo of wayfinding apps








Vinod Wallace Award 2018        Vinod receives the Wallace Excellence in Research Award for 2018 


CityGuide booth at Smart Cities Expo





 Ali and Vinod present CityGuide at the 2018 US Ignite/Smart Cities Expo Booth and on stage in Kansas City