The Pleasant Information is a collaboration between TELUS and Day by day Hive. Collectively, we’re creating an area for necessary, feel-good neighborhood tales to be instructed, the place Canadians can immerse themselves in uplifting information and articles that includes neighborhood leaders giving again throughout a time after we all want it most.
Written for Day by day Hive by Caleigh Alleyne, a Toronto-based journalist and media guide.
Regardless of the modifications in infrastructure and concrete planning initiatives, for Maayan Ziv, and numerous others around the globe nonetheless query if the vacation spot or route is accessible.
“The truth is that the world continues to be very inaccessible to individuals with disabilities,” shared Ziv, “determining which areas are accessible from ones that aren’t can truthfully generally really feel like a full-time job in new areas.”
To resolve that downside, Ziv developed AccessNow — a mobile-friendly app that shares crowd-sourced accessibility info around the globe.
“I’d say that, on common, it takes somebody with a incapacity who wants a type of accessibility, at the very least twice, if no more time to search out the solutions that they’re searching for. If I’m going to plan a visit, earlier than this app, it will have taken me hours, upon hours upon hours, simply to search out primary info, which could not be correct,” Ziv instructed us.
However because the launch of AccessNow, the time it takes to reside in an accessible manner has been diminished.
Thus far, the digital neighborhood has presently shared info in over 30 nations accessibly info offering info and marking non-accessible locations with pink pins, and accessible places with inexperienced. Use and contribution to the app have unfold by way of phrase of mouth, with “the neighborhood rallying collectively to unravel our personal downside on right here,” remarked Ziv.
“It has develop into simpler to go and do issues, as a substitute of spending all of my time researching and planning,” shared Ziv.
“Now, I can choose up the app, discover the place to go and never have to consider it an excessive amount of. As an individual who likes to be impartial, likes to be spontaneous, the app has been useful to have the power to make choices shortly or share info in order that another person can have the identical expertise.”
“I used to be launched to AccessNow earlier than I turned disabled, and she or he opened my eyes to the accessibility issues that disabled face day by day,” shared Kelcie Miller-Anderson, who met Ziv at an acceleration program in Toronto geared in the direction of start-ups.
“Assembly Maayan turned out to be the best surprising reward as just some years later I turned a wheelchair consumer myself and no longer solely had this utterly modified view on what incapacity was and a task mannequin who made the transition much less scary, however I additionally had the data and instruments that AccessNow offered which made my first journeys out in my chair a lot simpler.”
Ziv hopes to create an consciousness of accessibility past the incapacity neighborhood by way of the AccessNow app.
“One of many greatest challenges has been attending to that degree of consciousness the place individuals understand that really accessibility advantages everybody. And that once you watch a video, and there are captions on it, that’s a type of accessibility, or the power to earn a living from home, and be a part of a gathering nearly, that’s a type of accessibility.”
Ziv has additionally seen that among the well being and security precautions put into place due to the pandemic have had a constructive influence on bettering accessibility in public areas.
“There’s been an enormous push recently to transform computerized buttons to a touchless possibility the place you wave your hand as contactless movement detection is an elevated type of accessibility.”
Probably the most fascinating and rewarding experiences for Ziv is when she visits somebody new, opens the app and realizes that another person has already shared info.
Earlier than the pandemic, Ziv was in Tel Aviv when she got here throughout an accessible restaurant on the seashore that had already been rated.
“For me, it was like a kind of like, wow, moments. I’ve been constructing this platform and spending all my waking hours rallying the neighborhood and attempting to construct consciousness concerning the significance of accessibility. And abruptly, right here I used to be midway around the globe seeing info sharing taking place on a platform that I got here up with by myself. That was actually wonderful.”
This summer time, working in partnership with the Trans Canada Path and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, AccessNow has helped to map out 13 sections on the Nice Path which are accessible from coast to coast.
Accessible trails on that listing embody elements of the Waterfront Path in Toronto, the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, and the Bow River Pathway in Calgary.
This mission has sparked Ziv’s curiosity in exploring Canada additional and has Banff Nationwide Park excessive on her journey listing when it’s secure to take action.
“I can’t wait to discover, map, and share accessible trails this summer time,” shared AccessNow app consumer Miller-Anderson, “and who is aware of perhaps sooner or later I’ll deal with your complete path!”