Accessible Travel Travel Series: SCI and Technology
By: Zahra Niazi
How technology is making travel accessible
Calling all adventurers! Join us on a journey of accessible travel and discover how technology is revolutionizing the way people with disabilities explore the world.
Mobile Apps: Planning your next trip? Embrace the power of mobile apps that provide valuable accessibility information. Apps like “AccessNow” and “AccessAble” empower you with detailed insights on wheelchair-friendly restaurants, accessible shops, and tourist attractions.
- AccessAble: Discover comprehensive accessibility details for various venues, including parking, entrances, ramps, and accessible facilities.
- Wheelmap: Find wheelchair accessible restaurants, cafes, toilets, shops, cinemas, parking lots, bus stops and much more.
- AccessNow: Users can search for and contribute accessibility information about various places worldwide, including restaurants, hotels, and stores, offering the ability to filter the map to find the specific access features needed.
Virtual Tours: Can’t make it to your dream destination just yet? Fear not! Platforms like “Google Arts & Culture” bring the world to your fingertips. Explore famous landmarks, iconic museums, and breathtaking attractions through immersive virtual tours.
- Google Arts & Culture: Dive into the virtual realm and experience the wonders of places like the Louvre in Paris, the Great Wall of China, and the Acropolis in Athens.
- Google Earth VR: A virtual reality application by Google for exploring the Earth’s surface in 3D and experiencing virtual tours of landmarks.
- Wanderlust VR: A virtual reality experience that lets users explore stunning destinations and travel the world through immersive 360-degree videos.
Social Media: Let your wanderlust soar by connecting with travel bloggers and influencers who share their accessible adventures. Instagram and YouTube are home to a vibrant community where you can gain inspiration, find accessible travel tips, and even share your own incredible moments.
Navigation: Navigate with confidence using navigation apps that prioritize accessibility. Apps like “Google Maps” and “Moovit” offer accessible routes and real-time updates on public transportation options, ensuring you never miss a beat.
- Google Maps: Accessible routing, transit information, and street view make getting around a breeze.
- Moovit: Find accessible public transportation options, including buses and trains, with real-time updates and detailed accessibility information.
Ride-Sharing Services: Embrace the convenience of accessible transportation options. Companies like Uber and Lyft offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles in many cities, unlocking new horizons for your travels. Say goodbye to transportation barriers!
- Uber WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle): Request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle through the app, enabling you to explore your destination hassle-free.
- Lyft Access Mode: Accessible rides at your fingertips, ensuring smooth and convenient transportation.
Audio Guides: Immerse yourself in the stories of famous landmarks with audio guide apps. Apps like “Detour” provide detailed descriptions and historical context, making cultural and historical sites accessible to all.
- Detour: Enjoy captivating audio tours that narrate the rich history and significance of attractions.
Smart assistants and communication apps: Bridge language barriers and enhance accessibility through the following applications.
- Microsoft Translator: Provides real-time language translation, facilitating communication with locals and fellow travellers.
- Be My Eyes: Connects visually impaired individuals with sighted volunteers who can assist them remotely.
Accessible equipment: From lightweight mobility aids to portable ramps, innovative advancements in accessibility equipment make traveling with ease a reality. Foldable power wheelchairs like the “WHILL Model C” or compact travel ramps like the “EZ-Access Suitcase Ramp” ensure mobility and accessibility in various environments, whether it’s navigating cobblestone streets or accessing public transportation.
At Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, we celebrate the power of technology to enhance the travel experiences of individuals with disabilities. Let’s break barriers, ignite wanderlust, and create a world where accessible adventures are within reach for all. Join us on this incredible journey! #AccessibleTravelTech