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Wheelchair users face a variety of disability-related inequities in the built environment. The primary challenge is that current legislation for relieving disability inequities focuses on design guidelines and less so in monitoring their discomfort. While there is literature about monitoring wheelchair users, there is little available data regarding wheelchair user discomfort across the built environment. Therefore, we create a transformative approach to measure a wheelchair user’s personal comfort (WheelCom) using open-source solutions, allowing more citizens to engage in the inequity challenge. To demonstrate, we lectured our approach to local high school students to develop WheelCom. Subsequently, actual wheelchair users measured their personal environment by installing the developed WheelCom on their wheelchairs. The measurement was conducted around a university campus. Our results show a clear pattern of unhealthy air quality (PM2.5) right after a sharp acceleration change (bump on seat). In addition, the spots flagged for discomfort by wheelchair users line up with more intense levels of acceleration. Further, this indicates that wheelchair users suffered from not only their uncomfortable seating conditions but also unhealthy air quality because of infrastructure failures.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.