Disabled people are tourists like everybody else
One Page Summary
People with disabilities do not easily know which activities they can do outside of their usual environment, and often feel they are reduced to their handicap. This clearly tends to limit their activity.
The digital tool SumWhere can provide them with different recommendation maps on accessible activities, all of these maps being on a general platform gathering everybody’s areas of interest.
The maps can come from users themselves in a collaborative mode, with as many maps as there are specific needs: person in a wheelchair, with visual impairment, with a small height, with psychological disability, etc. The maps can also come from tourist institutions which may have relevant information, even considering other factors such as the weather conditions, the journey duration, etc.
Maps have no limit in terms of geography (worldwide) and activity type (tourist sites, accommodation, transportation, stores, etc), which allows people to prepare their entire journey. Maps are always up-to-date because users can review activities with mark, assessment of predefined characteristics, comment confined in the theme, private comment to the owner for improvement, and photo.
The fact that SumWhere gathers maps for everyone makes disabled people part of the same world as non-disabled people. By crossing maps (e.g. vegan map), disabled people discover activities not only because these ones are accessible. And they discover territories with other themes compatible with their handicap (testimonies from locals, etc).
Present digital platforms for disabled persons are limited to a type of disability or a type of activity, and they mainly rely on the contributions from users. Considering that people already use plenty of (American) apps and websites in the recommendation domain, their sustainability is therefore uncertain. A multitask platform like SumWhere accumulates the following advantages:
- it is a general platform used all along the year and not only during holidays,
- the business model is coherent, with money coming from businesses, institutions and companies dealing with data,
- it can get users, money and publicity from numerous domains,
- it can evolve with time, by adding maps as technology changes the needs for disabled people (artificial legs, etc).
The platform already exists as an app for Android and Apple smartphones, and a website is being developed. Partnerships have already been made with several tourist institutions and communities, showing that only few changes need to be implemented for each new type of entity.
The solution could have a large impact on the openness of disabled persons to the world, allowing them to explore with confidence all the facets of territories. It could also have an impact on the daily life of people with disabilities, not only by preventing them from being reduced to their handicap, but also by allowing the creation of maps related to sub-communities (sporty disabled persons, etc) or to events (sports, etc). The solution should also have an impact on territories which can get new tourists and feedback from them. And it should have an impact on businesses which get private feedback (comments and profile of customers) to improve their services to disabled people.