Finding the ways to make wayfinding work

Handouts Media

Presented at 8:00am in Windsor on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.



  • Kaela Parks, Portland Comm. College
  • Michael Cantino, Accessibility Specialist, Portland Community College

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Online maps, tactile maps, written directions, beacons, and 3D campus models are all approaches used at Portland Community college. In this session we will share what we have learned in the process of making our campus map and path of travel information more accessible and usable for those with different needs and preferences.


This session will provide a description of several different complementary approaches to wayfinding. 1) Online maps that use placemarks to provide text based descriptions of the location for accessible building features 2) Tactile maps created with swell paper or braille embossing 3) Narrative written directions 4) Beacons (not installed site-wide but done as a proof as concept in one location) 5) 3D printed campus models


  1. No single wayfinding solution or approach will work for all users - complementary approaches are needed
  2. End user testing is critical - at all stages
  3. Collaboration and shared responsibility make solutions more sustainable

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Alternate Format, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Kaela Parks

Kaela Parks, Ed.D . is the Director of Accessible Ed & Disability Resources at Portland Community College. She is a former Co-Chair of the AHEAD Standing Committee on Technology, a past Chair of the NASPA Disability Knowledge Community, and a past President of ORAHEAD. She was lead trainer for a FIPSE demonstration project aimed at supporting adjunct faculty on rural campuses in the implementation of Universal Design, and was co-editor of the publication titled "Beyond the ADA:Proactive Policy and Practice for Higher Education." She frequently offers trainings and presentations on a variety of disability and accessibility related topics.

Michael Cantino

Michael Cantino worked in K-12 special education for 11 years before coming to Portland Community College in 2017. During that time, he specialized in supporting students with behavioral challenges, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and students with visual impairments. Michael is a Library of Congress certified braille transcriber and is skilled in the production of tactile graphics and 3D models for visually impaired learners. At PCC, Michael provides a broad range of supports for students experiencing disabilities, with a focus on assistive technology, alternative formats, and in-class supports. In addition to his work at Portland Community College, Michael is also a Research Assistant at Portland State University where he is studying the use of interactive 3D models to support visually impaired learners.