Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Wheelmap - Worldwide Information on wheelchair accessible locations

8 Dec 2015Do you worry when you leave the house that where you're going won't be accessible?

Wheelmap is a free online map that stores information on wheelchair accessibility, worldwide. It was created with the goal of allowing people to easily share and access information about the accessibility of public places.
Since 2010 more than 450,000 entries have been added to the map, making it an extensive collection of information about wheelchair accessible locations.

Using Wheelmap's colour system it's easy to rate the accessibility of public places. A user can assess a location on two categories.

How easy it was to move around the location.
  • A green symbol indicates - Accessibility. All areas of an accessible venue can be accessed without using stairs.

  • An orange symbol indicates - Limited Accessibility. Areas of limited accessibility have a maximum of one step at the entrance with a height no greater than 7cm, and all important rooms/areas have to be accessible without using steps.

  • A red symbol indicates - No Accessibility. Areas of no accessibility have either multiple steps or most rooms/areas require the use of steps to access them.

  • A grey symbol indicates that no users have rated the location.

How accessible the toilets were.
  • A green symbol indicates the doors were wide enough, there was enough floor space to move around, the toilet was at wheelchair height and there were hand rails.

  • A red symbol indicates the toilet was not accessible.

In addition to the coloured labels, users can also leave comments or upload photos to provide further description of the locations accessibility.

Wheelmap has a lot of awareness in Europe, but it looks like it's been slow to take off in Australia. When I looked around the map of Australia I found a lot of places listed. But I found fewer and fewer places rated by users the further away I went from the state capitals.

This is why I thought it would be a good idea to share and make others aware of the maps existence. I doubt many people here know of its existence. I didn't until I read about it in a news article from the UK. The more people that decide to get involved and submit their experiences of which places are and aren't accessible. The more useable the map will become for everyone.

If you're interested in checking out Wheelmap for yourself it's available free online and via smartphone apps on iPhone and Android.

Wheelmap website
iPhone app
Android app

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