More than 30 Wheelmap ambassadors are involved around the world in order to promote Wheelmap.org and raise public awareness for wheelchair accessibility. The team of Wheelmap recently started an ambassador training program to introduce volunteers to all activities attached to the ambassador role. Joining in and getting started is possible at any time.
At the moment there are 30 ambassadors active for Wheelmap.org in different parts of the world: in Germany, Austria, UK, Greece, Turkey, Canada, USA.
What are Wheelmap Ambassadors?
Wheelmap ambassadors are committed to promoting the use of Wheelmap in their region, neighbourhood and network towards friends, families, colleagues, the media and the public authorities to raise awareness for accessibility and inclusion. 80 percent of ambassadors use a wheelchair in their everyday’s lives. The others have been experiencing the challenges for mobility impaired people through the eyes of their partners, families or their jobs.
What are Wheelmap ambassadors doing?
The Wheelmap ambassadors raise awareness for Wheelmap in their private and professional networks, talk to public authorities about accessibility, attract the interest of the local press to spread the word about the mapping tool and motivate people in their network to get active themselves.
They do so by using the full range of activities that Wheelmap.org is supporting: mapping the public locations in their hometown, organize group mapping events in order to collect accessibility data in a quick efficient way and draw attention to the use of “mobile ramps” – an easy solution that makes places accessible by bridging the step at the entrance.
Since February 2018, ambassadors have the opportunity to take part in a simple training program to get to know more on the backgrounds, functionalities and campaigning strategies of Wheelmap.org and become real “Wheelmap experts”. With the help of a series of e-mails, the ambassadors get an idea on the range of possible activities they can use for their activists’ impact and learn the basics. The goal is to create their individual groundwork they feel safe upon when representing and explaining the Wheelmap principles to private people, journalists and politician.
What is the Wheelmap ambassador program?
The ambassador program lasts 2-5 months, depending on the time of the person participating. He or she will be introduced to key wheelmap facts, learn to use the app, engage in appropriate communication and public relations through social media, will be taught how to prepare and conduct a mapping event with a group, and learn how to promote mobile ramps. Each ambassador receives a small package of flyers, handouts and stickers to help them with their activities.
At the end of the training, the volunteer will receive a little certificate as confirmation for their engagement. Afterwards, the ambassadors decide if they want to continue and which activities they want to focus on in future. Because one person is good at communicating with the press and authorities and an enthusiastic networker, the other may be highly skilled in technological things and likes to teach others how to use the Wheelmap during mapping events.
How can you participate and become an ambassador yourself?
If you are interested in getting active as ambassador, you can register by filling in the form on the Ambassador website. Afterwards, Svenja, the community manager of Wheelmap.org, will contact you about the details and your individual commitment and invite you to the Facebook group called “Wheelmap Ambassador Network”.
Photo: Andi Weiland | Sozialhelden.de, 2017