Siny Joseph, economics professor at K-State Polytechnic, is part of a research project that recently received a major boost from the National Science Foundation.
The project, aimed at improving location-based services for people with disabilities, was awarded a more than $1.1 million grant. Joseph is a co-principal investigator on the project and joins professors from Texas A&M University and Wichita State University, as well as researchers from the Envision Research Institute and the city of Wichita.
The grant, which was awarded for three years by the NSF’s Smart and Connected Communities program, allows the team to design, develop, test and evaluate a system accessed through a smartphone app called CityGuide. The concept of CityGuide builds upon GPS services, providing important way-finding capabilities for people with disabilities that currently do not exist. The three main areas the team plans on exploring are emergency evacuation from indoor environments, remote assistance from a caregiver or family member, and navigation of transit systems.
“My background in engineering and economics has helped me appreciate the potential impact of assistive and accessible technologies on people with disabilities,” Joseph said. “I am truly honored to be a part of a team that is addressing societal issues and has the potential to make a change for communities.”
Joseph’s role in the research project will be focused on conducting an economic analysis of the way-finding system with sustainability implications for communities as well as an assessment of the economic impacts of the system. She also will include a K-State Polytechnic undergraduate student on the project who will assist in collecting data for economic analysis.