Development of a Street Corner Accessibility Survey Tool: A Progress Note

Christopher J. DeGroot, EIT and R. Lee Kirby, MD

Dalhousie University and Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4K4


Accessibility to public spaces is a well-recognized facilitator of participation for people with disabilities, especially those who use wheelchairs for mobility. At road intersections, there should be a means to ease the transition from the elevated sidewalk to the road. The little evidence that exists suggests that only a small proportion of intersections meet all of the accessibility criteria they should.


To develop a comprehensive street corner accessibility survey tool.


We reviewed the existing English literature regarding accessibility guidelines and survey tools. We used the results of the literature search to draft a new corner accessibility survey tool, including a rulebook to provide definitions and to instruct users on how to use the tool. We pilot tested the tool on a sample of intersections in Halifax.


Pilot testing revealed that the administration of the tool was generally straight-forward, but that it was time-consuming, required a lot of bending and was potentially dangerous (due to road traffic). Also, we found a number of atypical curb ramps that posed problems.


Although we have moved forward toward our goal of developing a comprehensive survey tool of street corner accessibility, especially from the perspective of content validity, there is further work to be done before we have a tool that is simple to administer and that has excellent measurement properties. Such a tool could be useful means of improving accessibility for wheelchair users.


Wheelchairs, accessibility, curb ramps, participation


We thank Keri DeGroot for her assistance.

Author Contact Information:

R. Lee Kirby, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre Site, 1341 Summer Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4K4, Phone: 1 902-473-1268, E-mail: