Frustrated by Lack of Accessibility Info for People with Disabilities, this Brave Founder Took the Matter into Her Own Hands
Think of your favorite bar. Picture the entrance, the bathrooms, the layout. Could you get around in it in a wheelchair? How about the menu? Could you read it if your vision was impaired? Never thought about it? Most of us haven’t.
But many of our peers are faced with questions of accessibility on a daily basis.
Imagine going on a date with someone you really like. Now imagine having to worry whether or not you can get inside the bar by yourself. Or worrying if your wheelchair can fit into the bathroom stalls. For most of us, the first thought would be to just look it up online. There’s an app for that, right?
As AccessNow founder Maayan Ziv quickly learned, that wasn’t an option – not until she made it one. Long frustrated with the lack of such basic information being readily available, the longtime accessibility activist decided to make it available herself.
In 2015 the Toronto-based photographer launched AccessNow, an online platform that offers accessibility information on specific locations. What makes the project even more inspirational is that it utilizes the power of crowdsourcing.
— Maayan Ziv (@maayanziv) November 8, 2017
Crowdsourcing the information offered through the award-winning app, AccessNow provides the option for anybody to add accessibility information on a specific location worldwide. So, with a few swipes and pings any of us can expand AccessNow’s offerings. Users can then select a location directly on a map and apply filters or look up accessible locations from around the world, allowing a user to locate the nearest accessible bathroom or an accessible restaurant for a night out.
22,248 Locations already mapped across 34 countries
To date, AccessNow has mapped 22,248 locations in 34 countries providing vital information on accessibility to countless individuals.
The app also makes the opportunity for everyday fun more easily available to everybody – like grabbing a drink with a friend in a neighborhood bar, or picking up take-out from that new place that just opened down the block. And surely, we could all do with more fun in our lives.
— Maayan Ziv (@maayanziv) November 22, 2017