Eötvös Loránd University

or ELTE, founded in 1635 is a public research university based in Budapest, Hungary. It is the largest and one of the most prestigious universities in the country. ELTE is also Hungary’s largest scientific establishment with 118 PhD programs at 17 doctoral schools, and also offers 38 bachelor’s programs, 96 master’s programs, and over 50 degree programs in foreign languages.  Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the university among the best 301-400 globally.

university accessibility

ELTE Faculty of Law in the heart of Budapest

University’s Disability Center

is responsible to provide direct and indirect services to any ELTE citizens, including the international students and staff. The aim of the newly estabilished Center is to ensure equal opportunity, accessibility and offer support to domestic and international students/teachers and staff across the University who have a disability or chronical illness which impacts upon their ability to participate fully in university life.

The problem

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The fact that big percentage of the historic university buildings are not, or not entirely accessible by wheelchair is a big concern, even though the situation is getting better every year, thanks to renovations being in accordance with EU policies. New and old faculty buildings are scattered in Budapest, a city of nearly 2 million, so understandably the Disability Center wished to show their campuses’ exact accessibility situation. It was in every party’s best interest to make sure that relevant and up-to-date accessibility information is finally available on a searchable, easy-to-access online platform. Students can look up each facility’s accessibility themselves without the need of contacting the university’s Disability Center.

And this is where Route4U could help:

“the app gives self-sufficiency and the freedom of movement to students in active or electric wheelchairs. It is expanding the limits.”
Krisztina Kovács, ELTE Disability Center

Route4U, the world’s first sidewalk navigation app for wheelchair users

wheelchair navigation route4u

The Route4U app can be set to automatically collect sidewalk information (smoothness, slope and kerb data). Users can even add accessibility info manually to Points of Interest on the map by just a few taps on the screen. This is an extremely fast way to create maps that are truly useful for wheelchair users. Go ahead and try planning a convenient, wheelchair-accessible route on our online map of central Portsmouth, UK.

Our solution to the Problem

We surveyed each and every building defined in the project by ELTE, we talked to the operators and the local staff to make sure every fine detail is included in the facilities’ data sheet. We fine-tuned our database – which is originally based on OpenStreetmap data – to make sure everything is shown correctly on the map. The university buildings are now searchable both in the app and the web-map.

We added entrance, toilet and elevator information, as well as important comments to the buildings, to make sure everyone finds their way without trouble or delay.

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ELTE Buildings as they show up in the search results

Users can conveniently navigate the sidewalks in the surveyed areas (marked with coloured lines on the map). In addition we also surveyed the shortest route between every ELTE building, that are currenty out of the Budapest surveyed area, and the nearest accessible public transport stop. This way our users can safely and reliably get to the city center.

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Convenient route planned from Deák Sq. to an ELTE ÁJTK building

The results

As a result ELTE buildings’ accessibility details are now easy to search and access. In our crowd-sourced app and map, students (or the staff) can add important notes or even obstacles that are immediately noticable by others. ELTE is a large, public university with a growing number of students in wheelchair. Their buildings host numerous public events throughout the year, so not only the students and staff, but also the general public benefits from the product of this project.

Up-to-date accessibility information together with improving infrastructure is key to remaining one of the most progressive and disability friendly universities in Central Europe.

To find out more about our offer for universities, please contact peter.bodo@route4u.org tel.: +36 70 931 83 82


 Testing the University Accessiblity Map with future students

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This is Daniel and Adam. They plan to apply ELTE’s computer science program once they finish high school. We went for a walk together in the Faculty of Informatics, a relatively new ELTE Campus built in central Budapest. The guys used the app to look for routes from the low-floor tram to the accessible entry points of the building (not all of them are).

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Since Route4U is a community tool, users can add useful information about Points of Interest everywhere they go. During our walk, Daniel, Adam and their friend successfully added accessibility info to a couple of cafés and restaurants around the Campus.

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They also added complemenary info, that was important to them, to the Uni building’s data sheet. The guys told us, it’s comforting to know that ELTE already provides a tool to make sure they find their convenient way between and inside Campuses.

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