Founder and CEO, AccessNow
When we invest in accessibility, informed by lived experiences of disability, we create more inclusive experiences for all.
Seven years ago, out of the sheer frustration of navigating a largely inaccessible world in my wheelchair, I launched AccessNow as a personal solution to my own problem. AccessNow is a mobile app and platform sharing information about the accessibility of places all around the world in order to empower people with and without disabilities. Our community is discovering parks, trails, hotels, stores, restaurants, and more with a variety of accessibility features that meets people’s needs and prioritizes freedom of choice.
Today, AccessNow shares information about places in 107 countries around the world. All this has only been possible due to the power of people with disabilities, friends, allies, family members, businesses, and governments all working together to share information about access everywhere.
Fundamentally, when we invest in the awareness, understanding, and implementation of accessibility, we create more inclusive, welcoming, and inviting experiences for all.
Accessibility is a key driver for innovation. I’ve learned this in my own life through the development of AccessNow. But I’ve also been able to learn from the community of thousands of people with disabilities all over the world who share their experiences through our platform.
As we look forward, I am hopeful that collectively we are learning about the true value that the disability lens has to offer all aspects of our lives. From better workplaces, healthier collaborative relationships, more intuitive and human-centred products, and more accessible, flexible services and experiences. Leaning into the power, resilience, and creativity that the disability community has to offer can unlock tremendous potential.