An interview translated from Czech online magazine for disabled Isp21.cz.
A able-bodied person has no problem going anywhere at any time. He doesn't need much. In a wheelchair, however, it is different. The basic and essential issue is accessibility. Disway helps to map barrier-free access, which greatly helps disabled travel. Learn how this interesting project works.
How would you characterize the Disway.org project?
Disway is a project managed by the Society for the Support of Disabled Travel with significant support from Good Sailors company. It is a social network for disabled, in fact also for healthy people, especially future travelers who need advice on the accessibility of interesting places. You can find a lot of information on Disway.org/en. We map accessibility around the world. Later, we put it into the map where the can disabled go by himself or with the help of others.
How did you get to this project, Marie?
I got to this project through my own traveling. The founder of Disway.org, Mr. Jiří Maule, had found my blog online and he got interest in what places I explored in the wheelchair and invited me to work for Disway as an ambassador.
Who is your audience you target?
Our targetted group is disabled people, but also healthy people who are simply afraid to go and travel the world. We try to give courage, for example, to older people and show them that traveling and even flying is not just for young people. We travel the world with my mom, who will be 70 in a few years. She likes to tell all, “If I can do it and push my daughter in a wheelchair, you can do it, too. And fear? What are you afraid of… a plane crashing? You are more likely to meet some fool on the road that will knock you down by car or a brick will end up on your head when you pass under a scaffold! ”
I quote: “The project is not supposed to be a map with points and a description of accessibility, but we want personal experiences.”
Can you give more detail on this idea?
Our website is open to all who want to help. We give readers the opportunity to share their own travel experiences, but there are other ways of working together. Simply put, everyone can become our ambassador.
Může na portálu člověk vyhledat lokality jen v České republice nebo i v zahraničí?
Can a person search for places only in the Czech Republic or abroad?
On Disway.org you can find accessible or barrier-free localities not only in the Czech Republic, but worldwide. Our ambassadors and contributors inform the reader about suitable or less suitable barrier-free accommodation, sights, where it is without problems, where to go to a restaurant with elevators or platforms.
Do you cooperate with any organizations?
We cooperate with FA Dopravní in Děčín city, the Prague Wheelchair Organization (on accessibility methodology) and other organizations mapping accessibility. We are connected to several internet portals and share our travel experiences. Learn more at https://www.disway.org/partners
Do you also plan the cooperation to cross borders?
We are looking for local ambassadors and active disabled people who would like to participate in the project. Our network Disway is in Czech and in English. Foreign cooperation is thus possible primarily in the area of counseling, eventually guiding the disabled travelers to popular but more difficult locations. For example, they wrote about us in the Rolling Inspiration for Disabled People in South Africa or on the Spina Bifida Association in the United States. We were also very pleased with the article in English magazine Access4Blues.
Is it possible to support the Disway project?
Yes of course. Disway.org can be supported, you can find everything here: www.disway.org/en
What are your goals or plans with Disway?
“We have big plans. We are preparing a mobile application. We would like to offer tourist guides to interesting areas where we have mapped accessibility thanks Disway users / contributors. Our goal is to expand the travel advice forum, find more foreign ambassadors, improve the website with other interesting sections and cover our map of the world with the most interesting places, ”said Jiří Maule, founder of Disway.