“I am not a disabled person, I live in a disabled city”.
This insight, voiced by a participant during an 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.
So, in order to inventorize the status quo of the historic city center’s accessibility, and to raise awareness for the need for improvement, the local partners of MyAccessible.EU (a EU project Wheelmap is a part of) sent out invitations for a mapping party.
City residents getting active
The city council of Elche and the Polibienestar Institute of the University of Valencia invited the city’s residents to take part in the event and fifteen enthusiastic participants, seven of them wheelchair users, turned up despite the threatening rain clouds. Some of the participants were representatives of Spanish disability rights organisations such as “Sin límites” and FRATER.
Visible Results on Wheelmap
At the beginning of the day Elche’s section of the Wheelmap showed almost only grey places of interest. As you can see, at the end of the day the map section had turned into a colorful mix of green, red, yellow and grey markers as more than 100 places were marked that day by the busy mappers.