Local Guides One Accessibility Project
The Local Guide programme in the last two years has given me the opportunity to explore my community and country; Contributing to local businesses, organizations and individuals who peruse the maps. It's also enabled me to connect with people from different backgrounds, online and offline; More importantly, consolidating on the accessibility cause as part of the initiative to foster inclusiveness around the world.
Nevertheless, further work and support would fast track the quest to attain global inclusiveness.
We want to encourage people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and disabilities, including autistic spectrum disorders, sensory impairment, physical and learning disabilities, to live a normal life. This can be attained by enabling access to everyone, everywhere at every time.
To achieve this goal, we are calling on all Local Guides all over the world to join the One Accessibility project. One Accessibility is dedicated to improving the lives of People with Disabilities (PwD) worldwide by identifying barrier-free buildings, environments and infrastructure.
One Accessibility primary objectives will include mapping places with wheelchair access, auditory facility, Braille and visual signs; advocating for full implementation of accessible policies, talking to decision makers, partnering with stakeholders in our communities and getting our countries to attain the accessible status.
Local Guides are urged to volunteer, at least, once a month to host accessibility meet-ups, create awareness and speak to business owners where there are no accessible trails. The One Accessibility initiative is a follow-up of the Worldwide Accessibility Walk [WAW] in December 2018.
Step 1 - Advocacy
A lot of people are unaware of the challenges people with disability face in our communities. Local Guides can create awareness by organizing orientation for students, colleagues in the office, community leaders, traders in the market, government officials explaining the UN convention and showing them how to remove barriers to public infrastructure. Fill Feedback Form
Step 2 - Data Collection (Mapping)
While we embark on creating an accessible world, we should endeavour to document our activities especially mapping locations with accessibility. Look out for signs at parking lots, entrances, restrooms, elevators, bus terminals, train stations, airports, jetties and other public places. Organizing meet-ups is a sure way to achieve this faster. One Accessibility Map
Step 3 - Activities
One Accessibility activities may include meet-ups, collaboration and others
Meetups- organize, at least one meet-up each month to add places with accessibility on Google Maps. This will help millions using the tool to make informed decision. In one year, that means 12 accessibility events.
Partnership - find a community of PwD (School, Orphanages, NGOs, Government agency) to help understand their peculiar challenges and programmes. Find the best way to assist them achieve a barrier free environment. The information gathered can be sent as a feedback to Local Guides/Google to improve the maps.
Social Media - As part of the awareness Strategy, it will be great to share your activities on social media. People on your timeline will get to know about the differently able, accessibility and may even be motivated to join the cause thereby improving inclusiveness around the world.
Don't forget the #oneaccessibility #localguides hashtags!
Step 4 - Best Practice
It is imperative that before you commence, we should endeavour to learn the appropriate terms, signs and policies around disability in your Country (more posts on this son). The UN Convention and Disability Rights document can also be useful for volunteers. It is advisable to be prepared in order to enlighten the public with facts and figures to win them over.
We have also created a special logo for the project. A blue location marker and a white wheelchair placed inside the marker (created by Megan Coburn )
One Accessibility hopefully would help make the world more accessible to everyone, as we contribute our quota beginning from our communities.
Thank you to all the #WAW hosts, Nigeria Local.Guides and not forgetting @TraciC for the inspiration!
We are also opened to ideas and suggestions on how to make this a success!
Let’s enable accessibility everywhere, for everyone! One Accessibility!!