Online Program

Inclusion of People with Disabilities: Using Signs to Increase the Opportunity of Designated Van Accessible Parking Spaces

Sunday, November 1, 2015

E Zhang, M.Ed. M.A., Department of Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas, Research and Training Center on Independent Living, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Glen White, M.S., M.A., Ph.D., Department of Applied Behavioral Science, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Designated van accessible parking spaces are often occupied by non-ramp or lift equipped vehicles (NRLEV) with accessible parking permits. This causes inconvenience, safety concerns, and reduced opportunity of parking spaces for ramp or lift equipped vehicles (RLEV).  The researcher conducted a focus group study with RLEV users and a brief interview study with NRLEV users to validate if this was a problem worth addressing. The researchers then conducted a multiple baseline across settings single subject design to examine a differential comparison between the standard van sign versus intervention signs (pictorial representation of a ramp-equipped van plus messages) to determine which is more effective to signal NRLEV users not to park in designated van accessible spaces.  The study was composed of two phases, a single subject design to compare the effects of the different intervention signs during phase 1, and a reversal design to test and validate the most effective intervention sign effects during phase 2.  The results based on observations showed that the interventions signs could moderately reduce the chances of NRLEV users parking in the designated van accessible parking spaces. The researchers also discussed implications of these research findings and recommended changes in state and national accessible parking policies based on the discussion with the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns and with KU law school.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Environmental health sciences
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the parking problem ramp or lift equipped vehicle users experience with the designated van accessible parking spaces being taken by non-ramp or lift equipped vehicles with accessible parking permits. Explain the factors that led to the parking problem, such as the confusion with the current van accessible parking sign, the configuration of the accessible parking spaces, no history of consequences for NRLEV users taking the designated van accessible parking spaces, etc. Demonstrate one approach to address the parking problem by using more salient van accessible parking signs with new pictorial and text messaging. Analyze the variables associated with the parking problem and propose corresponding policy changes regarding accessible parking.

Keyword(s): Accessibility, Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student of Department of Applied Behavioral Science and also a graduate research assistant at the Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas. I have been involved with several projects regarding people with disabilities, such as advocacy skills training for postsecondary education accommodation, van accessible parking, etc.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.