Unlocking Hogwarts: A Case Study on School Accessibility

"How do we transform schools to be more accessible for children with mobility disability?"

What it is about

As a visual case study on school accessibility, our web map application demonstrates how school facilities can be transformed to become more accessible for people with mobility disability.
Our goal is to educate non-disabled individuals about the barriers that children with disabilities face with regards to access to education (or lack thereof). In addition, we hope to inspire change-makers to take actions to contribute to making school a better place for current and future generations of people with disability.
Hogwarts, from the book series Harry Potter, serves as our case study school of interest. Though the school exists in a fictional dimension, its global acclaim allows the case study to be universally recognizable and relatable. We hope to thereby garner attention and interest from people who might otherwise neglect accessibility.

How we built it

Based on existing research and guidelines on school accessibility, a selection of facilities were identified to be featured. The spatial data, symbology, and fantasy-style maps were created in ArcGIS Pro, Illustrator, and Photoshop. A web map application was then created using HTML, CSS, and Javascript with React, where user interaction functionality and accessibility information were added.

Challenges we ran into

Our main challenges came from (1) visualizing accessibility for school infrastructure, since there are not many guidelines or standards established, and (2) choosing what information and interactive functionality to include.

What we're proud of

It gives us absolute pleasure to be able to create interactive fantasy maps that also serve meaningful purposes. It has been great fun experimenting with different map and web user interface customizations, and learning how to use different javascript libraries.

What we learned

Learning how to enhance maps using Illustrator and Photoshop has been a highlight. In addition, we learned how to programme and build a web application that serves our purpose, using Javascript together with React.js, as well as Three.js library, which was used to handle the 3D Hogwarts model.

What's next

We encourage further exploration on different cartopgraphic techniques to visualize as well as to compare accessible and inaccessible features. For example, three-dimensional modelling of interior structures would help users better visualize the layout for accessible space and pathways. To further enhance user experience, other forms of animated effects and ambient music could be added. It would be beneficial to build the web application to accommodate for different screen sizes as well.
We also recommend expanding the scope and scale of this accessiblity visualization application to more facilities and infrastructure types, as well as using more existing establishments as case studies. Furthermore, future work should consider incorporating inclusive infrastructure design suggestions for all forms of disability, including visual and hearing impairments. It’d also be useful to create educational materials e.g. story maps supplementary to the application.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design. 2010. Department of Justice, United States. https://www.ada.gov/law-and-regs/design-standards/2010-stds/. Accessed 26 January 2023.
Approved Document M: Access to and Use of Buildings, Volume 2: Buildings other than Dwellings. 2021. Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, United Kingdom. https://www.gov.uk/government/ publications/access-to-and-Use-of-buildings-approved-document-m. Accessed 28 January 2023.
Making Schools Accessible to Children with Disabilities. 2016. Government of India, Samarthyam, and United Nations Children’s Fund. https://www.unicef.org/india/reports/makingschools-accessible-children-disabilities. Accessed 25 January 2023.
Nicole Yeung
Jan Łyczakowski

12th intake
Juliane Cron, M.Sc.
Accessibility, Education, Case Study, Fantasy Map, Web Map
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