EbD proud to support AccessCity…

There’s eleven days and counting to the second ever Social Innovation Camp. The shortlisted ideas have been announced and the race is on for each team to find the winning combination of geeks and creatives to make their project the champion of champions!

EbD’s Dominic Campbell submitted the shortlisted idea AccessCity and is very excited to be getting involved in the SI Camp experience once more. He just can’t get enough of it!

I’m dead chuffed that this idea has been chosen to take part, as it meets a social need that is very close to my heart. Having been using crutches over the past three years, sadly I am all too familiar with London and its accessibility issues. Over this time, I have given up using the tube (in my mind it no longer exists), as the possibility/unpredictability of having to climb mountains of stairs is enough to put me off. I am now very much a bus fanatic (in the travel sense only may I add), as I feel much more confident about what to expect.

This is only one of the many ways that I have to adapt, so that I can go about my day to day business and I’ve no doubt that a great number of people would identify with this. The feeling that certain parts of London are out of bounds to people who have mobility difficulties can be an isolating experience and extremely frustrating! However, it’s not just people with mobility difficulties that can find London a difficult place to get around. Injuries, carrying heavy shopping/luggage, prams/pushchairs can all add to the uphill struggle during the rush hour.

TfL‘s journey planner makes a commendable effort to provide the public with accessibility information about public transport, unfortunately the theory does not always work in practice. Wouldn’t it be great if this information could be topped up with user generated comments and hints on how to make your journey as hassle-free as possible. Often, it is a case of trial and error to find out what works for you, but this stage could (possibly) be bypassed completely if there was a resource like AccessCity available to help you navigate the transport network with the advice of others.

The lovely thing about AccessCity is that it doesn’t have to be restricted to just travelling around London. Why not extend it to restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, shops etc? And of course over time AccessCity could be rolled out to cover all of the UK and beyond – the possibilities are endless!

I would hope that by increasing general awareness of accessibility issues faced by people, there would be more impetus for the government, organisations and businesses to make the world a more accessible place for everyone! After all as Dame Tanni Grey-Thomson has said:

‘London 2012 is aiming to go further than any previous Host City to ensure that both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are accessible for everyone’.

Go AccessCity! I’ll be rooting for you!

Denise x