Planning a vacation is not always easy, but can be so much harder for individuals with mobility issues. A Irish startup is tackling the problem head on- they have created an app that seeks to make travel easier for individuals with disabilities.
Access Earth helps people find accessible locations around the world, allowing users to search type of location (hotel, restaurant, things to do, etc.) and find out detailed information regarding some of the information often overlooked by businesses. According to the company, 1.6 billion people require accessible tourism. The creator of the app knows firsthand how dramatic of an effect poorly labeled hotels and other locations can have on travel.
Matt McCann, who has cerebral palsy, realized the need for such an app after booking what he thought was an accessible hotel room, only to arrive to find stairs leading up to the hotel. To make matters worse, once he was able to conquer the stairs despite using a rolling walker, the walker was unable to fit in the hotel room.
McCann has made it his mission to prevent others from having to experience the same frustration, and hopes to make his app the TripAdvisor for those with disabilities.
The great part of the Access Earth app is that it is a user-generated app, meaning members of the general public are able to add locations and information on accessibility for various spots both in their home neighborhoods and while traveling. This unique use of crowdsourcing uses a series of questions to find out what level of accessibility exists at virtually any location. It is currently in BETA testing and can be downloaded soon.
This #Irish startup wants to be a #Google #Maps for people w/ disabilities | @Access_Earth https://t.co/a7GbLUS6oF pic.twitter.com/4ZZ1u0Msnx
— Malcolm Isaacs (@MalcolmIsaacs) March 25, 2016
Since the app is based out of Ireland, there are many great locations already listed on the app, particularly in Dublin and in other parts of the country.
Have you ever encountered issues with accessibility while traveling to Ireland or other places? How will this app help you? Let us know!