Potentiate Social Inclusion through Detecting Illegal Parking in Places for Disabled People

Potentiate Social Inclusion through Detecting Illegal Parking in Places for Disabled People

Carlos Carvalho (Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Viana do Castelo, Portugal) and Sara Paiva (ARC4DigiT - Applied Research Centre for Digital Transformation, Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSC.2018070103


This article describes how social responsibility and social inclusion are matters that are on the agenda world-wide. Social exclusion exists at various levels and in this article, the authors address the illegal parking at places reserved for disabled people. They developed a prototype that allows, through a backend, a camera and a smartphone, to geo-reference parking spaces for disabled people in an entity (such as a school, shopping mall or any parking lot) and be advised when someone parks in that place and did not have a parking license. This required the development of a backend and a system that allows it to notify the appropriate responder whenever an illegal parking takes place. To detect parked cars, the authors use an IP Camera that captures photos every 3 minutes and send it to a cron job to be processed with the OpenALPR API that can recognize Portuguese, Spanish, Swiss, and French license plates. From this present framework, all tests allowed the authors to conclude the best location for cameras and the adjustments that were needed to avoid false positives.
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1. Introduction

Social responsibility and social inclusion are matters that are on the agenda world-wide. Social responsibility is being embraced by a growing number of institutions and individuals with the goal to act and think of solutions that society will benefit with. Society is composed by heterogeneous people, considering sex, ages, race, disabilities, etc. Each person is different from another and can have different needs and suffer from different social exclusions. According to Appleton-Dyer and Field (Appleton-Dyer & Field, 2014), social exclusion can be of four types - political, economic, cultural and social - and is defined by Levitas (Levitas et al., 2007) as the lack or denial of resources, rights, goods and services, and the inability to participate in the normal relationships and activities, available to most people in a society, whether in economic, social, cultural or political arenas. It affects both the quality of life of individuals and the equity and cohesion of society. Social exclusion and inclusion are firmly present in the European government policy, as well as having increasingly wide currency outside the European Union (EU). Since the Lisbon Summit in 2000, the promotion of social inclusion and social cohesion have been central strategic goals of the EU and member states are now required to produce biennial National Action Plans for Social Inclusion (Pantazis, Gordon, & Levitas, 2006) to address four main objectives:

  • Facilitating participation in employment and access by all to resources, rights, goods and services;

  • Preventing the risks of exclusion;

  • Helping the most vulnerable;

  • Mobilizing all relevant bodies in overcoming exclusion.

Addressing the third objective, we focus on the group of disabled people, which is approximately of 13% in Europe (according to European Household Community Panel survey, conducted in 1996 for Eurostat in 14 EU member states (Comission, 2002)) and approximately of 15% of the world population, estimated in 2011 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank (Islam, 2015). Disability can be of several types such as autism, hearing loss and deafness, memory loss, vision loss and blindness, speech and language disorders, physical disabilities, among so others. Appleton-Dyer and Field present some key drivers that lead to social exclusion of disabled people and some are mental models that foster exclusionary attitudes and practice, discrimination and bullying, accessibility and transport technological supports, lack of integrative practice, neighborhood unfriendliness, expectations of capability over-protection and sheltering, individual health and functioning, self-confidence personal safety and security social/practical skills. All these key drivers lead to poorer health and wellbeing, lower educational attainment, less social and community participation, less economic participation, higher rates of poverty, and increased dependency.

Of all these areas, we chose transport and parking to work on and promote social inclusion. One of the problems that exist in parking is related to illegal parking in spaces reserved for disabled people. We developed a system that acts as a prototype and proof of concept of a way to deal and solve this problem. We present two main contributions: 1) a system architecture to implement such a solution and 2) address the issue of falsification which is one of the main problems in this type of scenario. In the next section, we will detail this aspect. It is relevant to say this work falls in a broader project, being carried in Management and Technological School of the Viana do Castelo Polytechnic Institute in the scope of social responsibility, which is called Inclusive School, has several intervention areas (such as Tourism, Computer Science, Food Engineering, Civil Engineering, Graphical Computing, among others) and works with several social institutions to help them developing solutions for real problems they have. All these projects are developed with students, who play an important and fundamental role in this project, as teachers can transmit them important knowledge regarding social responsibility.

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