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One dot at a time

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© CBM India
Jaykumar, Nagarathna and Shivamohan from CBM India are driving the campaign as a part of the wider advocacy work on accessibility

Accessibility is vital for inclusion, participation and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Taking on the challenge of crowd-sourcing a digital map of neighborhoods and public places, CBM India staff has been marking places for accessibility for wheelchairs, walking aids or baby carriages.

The campaign

#MapMyDay is conceived as a worldwide action for accessibility by calling upon citizens to identify public spaces, facilities or buildings and mark them digitally through their internet enabled devices to create a virtual map depicting the status of accessibility. 

Here is a brief summary of the experiences of the team that is a part of the campaign that was kick started across the globe on the World Disability Day 2015 (December 3rd).

The campaign has two key objectives: One to create awareness by connecting people to the issue, leading them towards a simple action in support of accessibility and second to generate a real-time map or public information resource that provides user generated information on accessible places. 

At the center of this campaign is this map http://wheelmap.org/ where the dots are being connected. CBM India team has so far marked 450 places in India. 

The crowd-sourced campaign is designed specifically to map status of wheelchair and walking aid accessibility. The CBM team, however, adds that though wheelchair access is a significant entry point for the campaign and creating awareness, the conversation needs to move towards the broader aspects of accessibility. Accessibility cuts across built environment, processes, systems and services.

An engaging tool

The team has taken an instant liking for the web-enabled tool for its user-friendly interface, needing just a few clicks to audit a place on degrees of accessibility through red, yellow and green colours just like the traffic light coding system.

Mapping accessibility of schools, health centers, market areas and entertainment areas will allow people with disabilities and mobility impairment to plan their movement. 

The team says, they are on a constant lookout for accessibility of an area as they now have a quick and easy means of tagging a place and sharing its accessibility status instantly.

They, however felt, that the application needs to be made accessible for people with vision impairment and to include other accessibility features. 

The team is also optimistic about the long-term value of the public online repository that the campaign and the application is building as there are very limited options for people when they need accurate and user generated information.

With more and more people using the tool and undertaking the mapping exercise, the data and ways in which this information can be used will evolve, the team added.

Synergy for accessibility

The team also felt that the ease and simplicity of the MapMyDay idea can be used for leveraging public action in support of the ongoing Sugamya Bharat Abhiyaan, a flagship campaign by the Indian government.

The campaign targets three separate verticals for achieving universal accessibility namely the built up environment, transportation eco-system and information & communication eco-system.  The team pointed out that one of the highlights of the government’s accessible India campaign is of making a number of public building and instillations accessible, and this could be synergized with the kind of approach the MapMyDay campaign has created.

The team also suggested a proactive audit of all the facilities across the country to extend the mandate of the accessible India campaign to also include private institutions and buildings.

Join the campaign: Ready Set…Map
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