The Commented Walk Method as a Way of Highlighting Precise Daily Mobility Difficulties - A Case Study Focusing on Cognitive or Mental Diseases

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The French Act of 11 February 2005 on equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of people with disabilities highlights the need "for people with disabilities or reduced mobility" to have access to the complete mobility chain of the transport system. This law was initially planned to apply from 2015. Many efforts have been made to improve life for those with physical, visual and, to a lesser extent, hearing impairments. But there is a lot of room for improvement in situations regarding psychological, cognitive and mental impairment. This is largely due to a lack of knowledge on the difficulties experienced by the above when they travel. The national quantitative surveys including the Disabilities Dependency survey conducted by INSEE in 2008, questioned a range of people experiencing daily mobility difficulties linked to a disability. However, they did not give precise details of these difficulties. A qualitative methodology called 'commented walks' (Thibaud, 2001) is employed by urbanists to investigate the quality of the urban environment using videos. This paper will show how this method is also useful to complete quantitative approaches and to point out the difficulties encountered by people with disabilities in the urban space. The main recommendations from this research are:need for a coherent and foolproof continuity of informational systems (staking, numbering of buildings in the street, bus destination displays.)necessity to minimize the 'affordances' (Gibson, 1977) that might become highly disruptive cognitive attractors (Chevrier, Juguet, 2003) (i.e. advertising, illuminated signs that divert the focus of attention.).need for a simplification and systematization of the cognitive procedures required to reach a destination.need for staff training: human assistance remains essential and can't be replaced by any automatons. The videos resulting from the 'commented walk' methodology are important, firstly to explore the difficulties experienced, then to inform the necessary authorities and finally to feed into training programs designed for logistic officers or bus drivers.




Meissonnier, J., & Dejoux, V. (2016). The Commented Walk Method as a Way of Highlighting Precise Daily Mobility Difficulties - A Case Study Focusing on Cognitive or Mental Diseases. In Transportation Research Procedia (Vol. 14, pp. 4403–4409). Elsevier B.V.

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