An Accessible Air Quality Index

AQI-Final-color study

Our initial plan seemed straightforward: since the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (SRCAA) pulled their air quality data from AirNow, we were to utilize an existing widget provided by AirNow to display AQI data and forecasts on SRCAA’s website. While the widgets were easy to implement and informative, we soon discovered that they suffered from a huge shortcoming. The widgets were not ADA-accessible to those that may be visually impaired due to a lack of contrast between the colors that they used.

As a result, we found ourselves faced with a major challenge and moral decision: do we sacrifice convenience, or accessibility? At Rhizome, one of our core values is that we “Navigate with a strong Moral Compass”. This means that when the perfect answer doesn’t exist, we take it upon ourselves to flex our creative muscle and build a solution that works for everyone. So, that’s what we did!