Last month was Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which focuses on access and inclusion for people living with disabilities and impairments across the world.
This year, to celebrate GAAD, we profiled the incredible work of WheelEasy. In one mobile-friendly site, WheelEasy provides information on wheelchair-accessible locations around Sydney for you to view easily.
WheelEasy was born from the lived experience of husband-and-wife team Max Burt and Justine O’Brien after Max was involved in an accident that resulted in him living with paraplegia. At its core, the WheelEasy founders believe that leisure activities should be made available to everyone.
Hear from Max on what WheelEasy is and why it’s such an important project:
In our land of the ‘fair go’, you would think we all have a basic right of access. But many people are still isolated and excluded. They get stuck, give up, and stay in. And it’s all their friends and family who get stuck too. Many of them can’t lead the life together that lots of people take for granted.
The biggest problem for anyone with mobility needs isn’t just physical access but a lack of access information.
The problem? At the moment, 9 out of 10 people find access information hard to find. It’s scattered all over the web, it’s buried on different sites, it’s often not up-to-date, it can be inaccurate, or sometimes it’s not available at all. Mobility impaired people and their families and friends can spend hours searching for the information they need, making many phone calls, just to go for a simple day or evening out together.
So we’ve built the WheelEasy Access Information web app. We launched it in Sydney and now plan to take it Australia wide.
It’s a sort of Tripadvisor for access. A one-stop shop that brings together all access information into one place.
No more researching beforehand – it’s designed for your mobile, so you can see what’s nearby you, be spontaneous and change your mind, just like everyone else.
Most importantly, we’ll grow the site by crowdsourcing the information, asking everyone to share what they find out about access, creating a community of people who share the same access needs.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day seems like the perfect time to begin growing our community.
Please share the news about our new web app with everyone you know who might find out helpful.
Head to the WheelEasy website https://wheeleasy.org/ and start researching what’s accessible near you today.