Toronto photographer’s app is remapping accessibility around the world

Maayan Ziv was born with muscular dystrophy which she says has helped her build up a sense of resilience. “People assume that I’m a sweet little girl who has nice dreams,” she says wryly, “watch me kill that assumption.”

A passionate photographer and entrepreneur, she is working to change expectations of how people with disabilities access public spaces. Her app AccessNow uses crowdsourcing to collect and share accessible spots around the city, creating a community that works together ultimately trying to give people the freedom to find ways to do what they want.

As Maayan recounts an experience of wanting to go to a bar with some friends, the frustration in her voice is palpable. “You can literally search for how much the beer’s going to be that night… You can find out anything you want about that place… You can’t find out if it’s accessible.”

In this episode of Common Good, we follow Maayan and her friends on a map mission around Toronto’s Kensington Market to see firsthand how it works, and to meet the people from the community.

“People with disabilities have faced barriers for centuries,” she says, “by the nature of creating a conversation and by just literally doing it and succeeding… There’s a lot you can do.”

Presented by My Giving Moment

Source Vice

Common Good Toronto

This awesome 25-year-old won’t stop until the whole world is accessible
Maayan Ziv is going places. Literally. Brought to you by RBC.

Matilda Miranda, The Loop January 12, 2016

I’s Friday night, and you’ve got dinner plans with friends. The reservations are made, your outfit is on point (if you do say so yourself), and you’re having a remarkably good hair day. Really, the only thing standing between you and a great time is the restaurant’s Yelp rating.

Not so for Maayan Ziv.

Ziv, 25, who was born with muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair to get around, is busy trying to figure out whether or not that amazing, new restaurant has a ramp and if the closest subway station has an elevator. And she’s not just worrying for herself but for others like her as well.

“I spend almost no time thinking about my disability, but I do spend a lot of time figuring out access,” Ziv says. “For me, access is about allowing everybody—regardless of whether they have a disability or not—to be able to access whatever they want and need and have the life that anybody else would have.”

All that thinking led to a pretty revolutionary concept: AccessNow, an interactive tool that uses crowd-sourcing to identify and share accessibility info—are there ramps, elevators, etc.—for locations all around the globe.

With over 2,100 places pinned in 101 cities, AccessNow is well on its way to mapping the world, with its ultimate goal being accessibility for everyone.

“If everything were accessible, I wouldn’t be disabled. I would just go.”

Go get ’em, Maayan.

Source The Loop

Also see
Ryerson graduate creates app to make the world more accessible in Global News
Sisters’ Blog Documents ‘Jerks and Perks’ on “The Disabled Life” in New Mobility
A group of Google employees spent their ‘20% time’ making Google Maps wheelchair-friendly in Business Insider

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