[Cancelled] Making Campus Easier to Navigate with Accessible Navigation Technology



  • Mike May, Chief Evangelist, GoodMaps
  • Leslie Johnson, Assistant Director, Assistive Technology, Michigan State University

Session Details

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


New blind students often receive only basic orientation and mobility. This is likely not to be repeated each semester when their class schedule and navigation changes. Some apps address rough outdoor navigation. GoodMaps offers an accurate campus indoor/outdoor experience where installed. Learn about apps that provide this essential wayfinding service so students can navigate confidently and independently throughout their college journey. Experience a live demo of indoor navigation by Mike May.


Imagine you are a freshman on campus, and you have no idea where your classes are, with indoor/outdoor wayfinding a student can navigate from their dorm, to their classroom and to the student activities center with ease, even indoors if mapped. By enabling campus access, colleges can quickly onboard new students and faculty to campus, welcome students across the ability spectrum, streamline campus visits/tours, and make the campus experience more accessible and inviting to everyone.

The latest advancements in indoor navigation and mapping technologies aim to address the day-to -day indoor wayfinding challenges faced by individuals with visual impairments. Since most campuses are designed for those with vision, both the indoor and outdoor environments generally contain a well-organized set of printed or icon-based signs to aid in navigation. Print signage is, of course, not accessible to people with severe visual impairments or blindness. Fortunately, the outdoor limitations of visual impairments have been significantly reduced by the development of accessible GPS devices starting in 2000 and by the introduction of several accessible iPhone and Android apps in the past few years. Unfortunately, GPS signals are blocked inside buildings, such as airports, sports arenas, colleges and universities, leaving people who are blind or visually impaired virtually no independent options or resources for indoor navigation.

With the new GoodMaps LiDAR/camera technology, orientation and navigation positioning is as good as a couple feet. By providing the navigation experience for a niche group of blind or visually impaired individuals, the advantages can benefit other disabilities, students, staff and visitors to campus.

Watch as Mike May conducts a live demo of indoor navigation at the Sheraton. Attendees can join demo groups and test the navigation for themselves and see how useful the wayfinding technology can be when going into an unfamiliar place.


  1. Campus accessible navigation can improve all student's college experience.
  2. Without assistive navigation tech it can be very difficult for students who are blind to navigate college.
  3. Witness a live demonstration of how an indoor navigation app can make navigating the indoors easier.

Disability Areas

All Areas, Vision

Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Mike May

Michael May Bio

Mike May is Chief Evangelist for Good Maps, Inc., a pedestrian navigation company with an emphasis on accessible navigation for people who are blind or visually impaired including indoor navigation. He was previously Executive Director of the Workforce Innovation Center at Envision in Wichita Kansas, CEO of the Lighthouse for the Blind in Seattle and CEO/Founder of Sendero Group, makers of accessible navigation products.

Mike May has been a pioneer in new product and business development since 1980. He worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as a Political Risk Analyst, for the Bank of California in automating wire transfers and cash machines and for TRW starting a new business area. Mike’s start-up ventures have included developing the world’s first and only Laser Turntable, inventing a portable heating cushion for sports and medical applications and starting 2 companies in adaptive technology.

Mike May has a Masters’ degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Coker College, SC.

Mike has met five Presidents including President Obama and several of his cabinet members to discuss national initiatives on adaptive technology. He was a member of the White House delegation to the 2010 Paralympics and has been inducted into the US Association of the Blind Hall of Fame for his skiing exploits including the downhill speed skiing record for a totally blind person of 65 MPH. He is the subject of the best selling book Crashing Through by, Robert Kurson with a movie in the works.

For more information about Mike May, go to http://www.GoodMaps.com or http://www.CrashingThrough.com

Leslie Johnson

Leslie Johnson is the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) Assistant Director, leading the Assistive Technology Center at Michigan State University. She has been at RCPD since February 2016. In her role at RCPD, Leslie works with MSU students and staff with disabilities to assess their needs for technology, determine assistive technology solutions, provide assistive technology training and support, as well as staying on top of technology trends and bringing innovative technology to MSU. Leslie also serves on several committees at MSU that focus on advancing accessibility and growing awareness to make MSU accessible for all. Leslie believes technology is an important tool for all, but even more so for people with disabilities. Assistive Technology empowers people with disabilities and maximizes ability and opportunity for full inclusion in education, work, and overall life success.