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Mobility Matters: 2018 Transportation and Wayfinding Summit

9:00 am - 4:00 pm PST, March 09, 2018   |   Organized by: Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) and PSU Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC)


Date/Time: March 9, 2018 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Location: Portland State University, Portland, OR

Description: This one-day summit is co-hosted by Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) and Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education

Learn about the latest approaches and technologies to access transportation systems for diverse members of our community, especially people with visual impairments. With effective wayfinding technologies and community partnerships, innovations support all people in accessing transportation and connecting with the community. Learn more from our experts on travel planning, wayfinding, and designing systems that support access for all people.

After this workshop you will be able to:

  • Describe recent innovations that support wayfinding and travel for individuals with visual impairments 

  • Identify important considerations in community design that include individuals with visual impairments and other disabilities 

  • Identify innovations in universal transportation design 

  • Share conversations that lead to solutions for wayfinding and access 

  • Contribute to a shared blueprint for community-based solutions to transportation


  • General Admission (Early Bird - ends Feb 1): $75

  • General Admission (Regular - Feb 2 - March 1): $100

  • Discounted Admission for PSU Students: $25

  • See the program and register here

Event Time
Breakfast 8:00 am - 8:30 am PST, March 09, 2018
Welcome from the GSE and TREC—The Importance of Community Partnerships and Regional Presence 8:30 am - 9:00 am PST, March 09, 2018
Human Wayfinding Technologies, Accessible Pedestrian Signals and Acoustics for Travel Supports—Dr. Robert Wall Emerson 9:00 am - 10:15 am PST, March 09, 2018
Q&A Dialogues 10:15 am - 10:45 am PST, March 09, 2018
Break 10:45 am - 11:00 am PST, March 09, 2018
Human Wayfinding Innovations and Community Design—Dr. Robert Wall Emerson 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PST, March 09, 2018
Lunch (provided) 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PST, March 09, 2018
Outreach and Innovations that Benefit Diverse Communities: Universal Planning Design Metrics for Success—Panel TBA 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm PST, March 09, 2018
Q&A Dialogues 2:30 pm - 2:45 pm PST, March 09, 2018
Round table discussions 2:45 pm - 3:30 pm PST, March 09, 2018
Come together; share group findings 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm PST, March 09, 2018
Dr. robert wall emerson

Dr. Robert Wall Emerson

Dr. Robert Wall Emerson is a professor in the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University and is a lead researcher in the field of orientation and mobility. He received his PhD in Orientation and Mobility from Vanderbilt University in 1999. He has published and presented hundreds of articles on his research of transportation mobility issues for the visually impaired.

Dr. Wall Emerson collaborated with Daniel Ashmead at Vanderbilt on how sound is used by blind people to guide navigation to develop models explaining commonly observed perceptual problems for blind people, such as why they often veer into an open space to their left or right.

He was part of a large multisite NEI/NIH project, headed by Richard Long, spanning 10 years that investigated many aspects of access to complex intersections. Results have had far-reaching impacts on urban design. Roundabout designers incorporate the findings into newer designs and this has impacted national policy on audible pedestrian signals.

Dr. Wall Emerson has spent over a decade investigating biomechanical processes associated with long cane use by people who are blind, most recently in collaboration with Dae Shik Kim. They have gathered the most thorough database of biomechanical trials on people who are blind, which will, once fully analyzed, define biomechanics of long cane use for the field of Orientation and Mobility.

With colleagues from blindness, mechanical engineering, and auto manufacturing, Dr. Wall Emerson has investigated how hybrid and electric vehicles impact street crossing decisions of blind people. This work has influenced development of national policies.


PSU Fourth Avenue building (FAB) Rooms 2500A-B

1900 SW 4th Ave

Portland, OR US

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