On June 19th , the MyAccessible.EU partner, Mapping for Change teamed up with members of the UCL ExCiteS research group, accessibility designer Ross Akin and users of the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation Mobility Centre for a day long workshop. The idea was to co-design a mobile application that could enable users to identify and map barriers to accessibility within the urban realm using Sapelli; a mobile data collection and sharing platform designed with a particular focus on users with little or no prior ICT experience. Sapelli offers pictorial decision trees and icon-driven interfaces as opposed to the forms and check boxes traditionally used in many mobile apps. Continue reading Mapping barriers with Sapelli
The European Commission has launched the fifth ‘Access City Award’, competition. The European Award for Accessible Cities recognises and celebrates cities making strides towards accessibility for people with disabilities and for older people. The Award is given to the city that has successfully and sustainably improved accessibility in fundamental aspects of city living, and that has concrete plans for further improvements. The Award is part of the EU’s wider efforts to create a barrier-free Europe. September 10, 2015 is the deadline for cities with at least 50,000 inhabitants to submit their entries for the award.
The awards will be presented in Brussels by the European Commission on December 3, 2015 the European Day of People with Disabilities. There will be a first, second and third prize, plus four special mentions, one in each of the areas covered by the Award. The press release with more information on the Award can be read here.
Photo credit: Jonas Deister
A unique accessibility verfication tour began on June 5th in Arezzo, Italy. For 15 days the participants will be visiting Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Germany as part of the “Europe Without Barriers” project. Together with experts in the field of accessible tourism participants will be evaluating the facilities and services thoughout the trip. You can follow news of the tour on Twitter under the hashtag #accessibletourism and on the blog of Martyn Sibley.
Every year the city of Elche, Spain holds a “Ramp Day” to call attention to those barriers in the city which make it difficult for people with mobility impairments to get around. Approximately 100 people took take part in this year’s walk which started at the Francesc Canto Social Center, wound its way around the city, and ended at the popular dance club, El Bailongo. Among the participants were representatives of the local political parties who came out to show their support for the city’s residents who use wheelchairs. Continue reading Ramp Day: overcoming barriers
On May 5th, the European protest day for the equality of people with disabilities, the Heidelberg advisory board of people with disabilities organized an event at the world famous tourist attraction, Heidelberg castle. Every year on May 5th, organizations plan activities in order to raise awareness for the needs of people with disabilities. This year, the MyAccessible.EU team from the GIScience group of Heidelberg University took part in the day’s activities by leading a mapping event in the garden of the Heidelberg Castle. Considering that the castle attracts nearly a million visitors per year, the accessibility of this popular tourist attraction is an important factor for many people. Continue reading GIScience maps paths at Heidelberg Castle
Vienna has one of the most advanced open data policies of any European city. The Austrian capital makes a vast array of rich data sets available, reaching far beyond the typical offerings found elsewhere. One of the reasons the Open Government Data Initiative (OGD) in Vienna is so successful is that the data and services which are used within the administrative processes are the same ones provided to the public. In this way Vienna’s public offering of open data incurs only minor extra costs, thereby doing away with the argument of other municipalities that providing open data to the public is too expensive.
“I am not a disabled person, I live in a disabled city”. This insight, voiced by a participant during last weekend’s accessibility mapping party in Elche, Spain, can be applied to many cities in Europe. Although Elche has already done a great deal to improve its accessibility for people with mobility impairments, there is still work to be done. Continue reading Elche, Spain colors in the Wheelmap
February 21 was International Open Data Day; a day when open data enthusiasts around the world gather to write applications using open public data, thereby showing support for and encouraging the adoption of open data policies. Open data is data that is freely available for everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyrights or patents. In Mannheim, the GIScience group of the University of Heidelberg took part in the local Open Data Day. Continue reading Looking for Sidewalks on Open Data Day
University College London is a fairly historic university: the majority of its buildings were constructed during the nineteenth century when step-free access was sadly not high on the agenda. Steps and spiralling staircases characterise the built environment, meaning many areas of campus are completely inaccessible for wheelchair users, and plenty more are very tricky to access. This includes areas that would be fundamental for some people’s areas of study, including the Law library (pictured). Continue reading Try It! Experiencing Accessibility at UCL
Elche, a beautiful, palm-covered city in Spain’s Valencian community, is already one of Europe’s most accessible cities. However, its shops, restaurants, tapas bars and cafés are not yet well represented on OpenStreetMap (OSM), the crowd-sourced mapping platform which forms the basis for the activities of MyAccessible.EU. Continue reading Putting Elche on the (OpenStreet)Map