Rendez-Vous Avec Himani

Name: Himani Prajapati

Role: Graduate Research Assistant

1) Where are you from and where do you study?  
I am from Ahmedabad, India. I am doing PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of British Columbia   

2)  What motivates you to make the world more accessible?  
My background in Physiotherapy have always been inspiration for me to understand what accessibility means and finding the ways in which accessibility could be encourage. I feel it is very important topic to consider because improving accessibility motivates people to get more involved in the work or activity they do, thus enhances the participation.   

3)  In a short and simple language, describe your research project or the project you are working on.  
Currently I am working on Transportation facilities/barriers in airlines for people with disabilities. 

4)  What is your hidden talent and greatest quality?  
My hidden talent is drawing although since a long time I have never drawn anything.   

5)  What is the best way to make you smile?   
Listening Music! 

6)  What do you like to do in your free time?  
I like to take walk surrounded by nature! I also like to play badminton during my free time.   

7)  What place in the world do you dream of visiting?  
There are so many, but visiting Germany is my dream.   

8)  What’s the best book you’ve read or movie you’ve seen that inspired you?  
Movie – Theory of Everything   

9)  If you could have dinner with a known researcher/scientist/clinician/person who would it be and why ?   
I would like to have dinner with : author Deepak Chopra. He advocates on alternative medicine and ways to take care of psychological health.  

Partner Update: Adaptavie

Adaptavie logo

Since 1980, Adaptavie’s mission has been to prevent, maintain, improve and promote the physical and mental well-being as well as the autonomy of people living with functional limitations. 

The support of evidence, the expertise of researchers and collaborations with the various actors in the field allow us to offer better quality services to our members which promote their social inclusion. 

Several projects are underway as part of the pan-Canadian MAP (Mobility, Access, Participation). Here are two examples : 

Access to community services for people with disabilities or loss of autonomy since the COVID-19 pandemic: an action research-type study. This collaboration helps us to improve the accessibility of our services. 

We are also involved in a project on mobility assistance technologies and social obstacles to urban mobility for people with motor disabilities in Quebec City with Dr. Normand Boucher and Dr. Mir Abolfazl. 

This emerging technology will allow our members, as well as other citizens living with functional limitations, to make more use of active transport such as, for example, riding in a wheelchair and living more in a situation of social inclusion. 

This collaboration is dear to us and we hope to be able to take advantage of all these advances for the benefit of people living with functional limitations. 

Rendez-Vous Avec Maxime

Name: Maxime Kiki

Role: Graduate Research Assistant

1) Where are you from, and where did you study?   
I am Gbètogo Maxime KIKI. I was born in Benin in West Africa, where I studied at the University of Abomey-Calavi. I studied there, among other things, psychology, economics, and especially physiotherapy. I also practiced the profession of physiotherapist (Physiotherapist in my country) for about ten years before deciding to continue in research. 

2) What motivates you to make the world more accessible? 
I was educated in an atmosphere where only fraternity and mutual aid can exist, and injustice is the real enemy to be fought at all costs. I think that these moral values that can be sourced from my education and my origins motivate me both in my research and in life. I dream of a world where balance is possible, and everyone can feel quite happy in their environment and what they do. For me, no one can live happily alone; we must help others to achieve their goal as much as possible.  

3) In simple language, describe your research project/the project in which you are collaborating.   
Public transport is essential to facilitate the social participation and integration of older people with disabilities or loss of mobility.  But many elderly people with disabilities or loss of autonomy do not use it. A training approach could improve the use of public transport. The Public Transport Network (RTC) has created the integrated mobility support service (SAMI). The project’s objectives are to explore the experiences of PAIPAS with SAMI and evaluate the influences of SAMI on confidence, mobility and satisfaction. 

Methodology:  
Quote: a mixed estimate will be followed with the use of qualitative and quantitative methods. An advisory committee is set up to monitor the smooth running of the project.  

Participants: We will recruit ten elderly people with disabilities or loss of autonomy aged 55 and over living in Quebec City. They must be able to move with or without mobility aids and without mental disorders and COVID19. They will be recruited by convenience sampling (ARTERE association, TCC, residences for seniors). 

Procedure and evaluation: Evaluations will be carried out two weeks before and after said training and then three and six months after taking the training. Confidence will be measured using a visual analog scale, mobility via the life space assessment, satisfaction by the Canadian occupation performance measure and the travel satisfaction scale. Finally, from semi-structured qualitative interviews will be conducted immediately after the training and then three and six months later. 

Analysis: Descriptive statistics will be produced on the basis of quantitative data (averages, standard deviations, frequencies, percentages). The qualitative interviews will be transcribed and coded from the NVivo software. A thematic analysis will be carried out based on the codes according to the human development model-disability production process (MDH-PPH). An exploration of emerging themes will be carried out according to the socio-demographic data collected. 

Non-parametric longitudinal analyses will be carried out in order to search for the differences for each participant before and after the SAMI training with regard to the use of public transport, the feeling of personal efficiency and mobility (p=0.05). The SPSS/R software will be used.  

4) What are your hidden talent and your greatest quality?  
I like to write poetry verses. I think the greatest quality remains altruism.  

5) What is the best way to make yourself smile?   
I like unpacking gifts; the value of the gift does not matter to me, but gently unpacking the packaging and opening the cardboard gives me nothing but happiness and therefore makes me smile every time. 

6) What do you like to do during your hobbies?   
Late my mother had almost no daughter, and so she got us used to cooking and loving the stoves. So I love to cook, but mostly African dishes. I also like to garden and read a good novel at the beach with my feet immersed in the sea sand, rocked and caressed from time to time by the seawater.  

7) What place in the world do you dream of visiting?   
I wish I could visit the Forbidden City in Beijing. I am fascinated by the richness of its history and the beauty of the places. 

8) Which book you have read or movie you have watched that has inspired/marked you the most?   
By far, the Bible is my favourite book that has inspired me the most and that inspires me again and again. This is the book that never gives me the same understanding every time I read the same line at two different times. In my opinion, it is the most important book ever written. It is an eyewitness testimony of historical events of such magnitude that they literally shaped the world in which we live. 

On the movie side, I was impressed by “men of honour” by George Tillman Jr. The true story of Carl Brashear, the first African-American to join the Navy as a scuba diver. I have watched it almost thirty times; the main actor deeply embodies all those I believe in. Indeed, I think that with a lot of rigour, courage, determination, patience, a grain of tenacity and a little help and luck, a man is able to any. 

Partner Update: Silver Harbour Senior’s Activity Centre

Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre is located in North Vancouver and is a gathering place for local older adults.  The Centre offers more than 60 different seniors programs and services, including activities supporting physical health and wellbeing, nutrition, cognitive and mental health, lifelong learning, artistic creativity, and much more; we are also a community partner in the MAP Partnership. 

Our participation in MAP has focused on the very practical work of recruiting older adults to various MAP projects, such as neighbourhood walkability audits with a mobility, hearing and/or dementia focus.  More broadly, however, our participation in this partnership has helped ensure the effectiveness, applicability, and usefulness of academic research in community, which in turn facilitates the improved quality of life, participation, and inclusion of seniors with disabilities and mobility limitations in community. 

MAP Project Spotlight: Cycle Lane Infrastructure Project

By: Janice Chan and Jessie Hall

Photo by Rasmus Gerdin on Unsplash

Do you enjoy cycling? Using Vancouver’s cycle lane networks? We certainly do, but have you ever wondered who else can benefit from cycling infrastructure? The organization, Bicycle Dutch, asked the same question and explored how people with disabilities use a variety of mobility devices, legally, on cycle paths in the Netherlands. Mobility scooters in the Netherlands are able to access the extensive cycle networks at speeds of 30 km/hour and pedestrian walkways at speeds of 6 km/h. These Dutch laws adapt the mobility scooter speeds to the general speeds of other road users. This allows people who use adaptive equipment a greater degree of freedom when it comes to transportation1.

Now that we know who else benefits from cycling infrastructure internationally, it begs the question of whether the same degree of access and freedoms are held here. The answer? No. The City of Victoria has recently asked the province to officially allow electric-powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters to operate in city bike lanes. Sidewalk use can not only be inconvenient but even dangerous. In a Times article2, Peter Foran testifies as to how he fell out of his power wheelchair while riding on an uneven sidewalk resulting in a broken hip. The focus of this movement is to improve accessibility for people with disabilities and mobility challenges with the intent of expanding transportation options for those using motorized scooters and wheelchairs, much akin to the options present in the mentioned Dutch infrastructure2.

This is where we come in! The Mobility, Access, Participation Partnership (MAP) has a new and exciting project. The Cycle Lane Infrastructure project explores the mobility experiences of wheeled device users and cyclists who use urban pathways. Currently in Metro Vancouver, people who use wheeled mobility devices like wheelchairs, mobility scooters and power wheelchairs are not officially allowed to use cycle lanes. However, many mobility device users encounter challenges using sidewalks because of cracked pavement, missing curb cuts, and obstructions. A possible alternative for these users? Cycle lanes!

We spoke with Tyrone Scales, a doctoral student involved with the Cycle Lane Infrastructure project, about why this research is meaningful to him:

 “This research for me is important on both a professional and personal level. I have worked with disabled people who use wheeled mobility devices and have a partner that utilizes a power wheelchair. I have watched people navigate sidewalks in disrepair or nonexistence to get around and witnessed positive and negative interactions when they prefer or require using a means other than a sidewalk. While not allowed to use cycle lanes officially in British Columbia, mobility device users and other pedestrians are permitted to use the roadway by the Motor Vehicle Act when a reasonably passable sidewalk is not present. I am interested in observing how this project can provide an opportunity to examine why users may have preferences in how they engage with cycling infrastructure when such obstructions are present as well as better inform how to improve the safety and linkages of these infrastructures for both mobility device and other users.” Tyrone Scales

As cities incorporate sustainable means of transportation into urban development, inclusive and universal designs must be maintained to help ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. To improve these transportation networks and accessibility, the Cycle Lane project will collaborate with members of the disability community, cyclists, and city officials in Vancouver and Burnaby. Through the exploration of the experiences of both wheeled device users and cyclists, we hope to improve existing urban pathways, advise future policies, steer future research, and inform the general public about urban pathways.


If you are interested in learning more about adaptive equipment and cycle lane use internationally, see the following links!


References

1https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/who-else-benefits-from-the-dutch-cycling-infrastructure/https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/who-else-benefits-from-the-dutch-cycling-infrastructure/


2https://www.timescolonist.com/local-news/victoria-wants-motorized-wheelchairs-mobility-scooters-to-be-able-to-use-bike-lanes-4692927

The pandemic highlights the importance of walkable and wheelable neighbourhoods

MAP research team members from Simon Fraser University published an article in The Conversation about COVID-19 and Walkable Wheelable Neighborhoods. Read the story below:

English: https://theconversation.com/the-pandemic-highlights-the-importance-of-walkable-and-wheelable-neighbourhoods-165204

French:

Inclusive MAP Podcast

The MAP (Mobility, Access, and Participation) partnership welcomes you to Inclusive MAP, a podcast about its areas of interest, projects, goals, and the communities it collaborates with. Here you can find episodes exploring topics related to the MAP project team—the researchers, municipal and community partners, and community members—and our areas of focus—social accessibility, transportation, and navigation—available in English and French. Hosted by students and alumni Research Assistants from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and Université Laval, Inclusive MAP invites you on a deep dive to get an up-close-and-personal look into the labs, our communities, what we’ve learned, and the personalities behind the research.  

Podcast coming soon!