For the Wheelmap team the year 2019 also marks the start of a new project: TravelAble! We are using our experience with the Wheelmap to create another app that also relies on the local knowledge of users. We want to make accessibility information available that will help to have a good travel experience.

Ausgewiesene Behindertenparkplätze am Bahnhof Attnang-Puchheim

People of all abilities have the right to travel, enrich their lives with experiences on a journey and to see the beauty and variety of nature and culture around the world. What hinders people with disabilities to fully make use of this right is the lack of information available as to whether their desired travel destinations are suitable for their needs. 

That is why we will develop “TravelAble”, a new app that enables travelers of all abilities around the world to contribute and discover detailed information on the accessibility of tourist locations.

For TravelAble we received a grant of 200,000 euros from the Booking Cares Fund, the fund of Booking.com. At the beginning of December 2018 we were in Amsterdam and worked on our roadmap for the project. It will start in January! 

More criteria covering other disabilities

TravelAble builds on the data and technology of our platform Wheelmap.org, which contains more than 900,000 public places and is the world’s largest free database on wheelchair accessibility.

TravelAble will add information for people who have disabilities other than mobility impairments and will focus on places in the tourism sector.

TravelAble – a sustainable App

The innovative, sustainable aspect of TravelAble lies in its crowd-sourced, community-based character: businesses, locals and tourists – with and without disabilities – will encounter each other and together collect and share local accessibility information to contribute to the completeness, relevance and accuracy of accessibility information.

That way, users of the app and the data will be empowered to become “pro-sumers” – producing and consuming information at the same time, creating a data collection that future visitors and local residents with disabilities will benefit from – in the (tourism) economy, in the diversity of their hometown – also after the tourists have left.

Closing the informational gap in tourism

Our overall goal for TravelAble is to create an open data standard and an API, ready to be adopted even by large commercial players in the travel industry.

In this way, we will close the informational gap in the tourism industry and create an atmosphere where people of all abilities feel welcome as guests!

Photos: Andi Weiland | Gesellschaftsbilder.de