Like Yelp, but for Accessibility

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This guy's rating Lerner 10/10

This guy’s rating Lerner 10/10

It’s easy to take for granted being able to walk up the steps to get wasted in the Heights or visit a friend in an EC Townhouse. Lacey Tompkins, BC ’14, is trying to get others to contribute to AXS Map, with the incentive that you could win a $25 AMEX gift card if you make the pledge before November 18th.

Bwog: What is the pledge?

Lacey: AXS Map NYC  is an NYC based campaign that I am leading to increase the number of reviews on the website, AXS Map. AXS Map is a crowdsourcing-based platform that allows people to rate the accessibility of locations. You can think of it as a Yelp for those with disabilities.

B: How did you come up with the idea?

L: As a wheelchair user, the lack of accessibility information in regard to venues in NYC has always been something I’ve had to deal with. Sites do not often correctly list the accessibility of a location, and if you call a venue, often you’re given incorrect information. For example, a lot of places will have one or two steps and will say on the phone that they are accessible because the, let’s say, waiters are willing to help lift you (but uh, hey I just met you?). So you get there and really can’t get in; this is something that happens often. As an Athena Scholar at Barnard, you have to put on a social action project during your senior year. When I learned about AXS Map, I knew that this was something I definitely wanted to get involved with, as it is a solution to a really important issue that I have always personally faced.

B: What are some local places that aren’t as accessible as they seem?

L: Well, there’s, for example, the Heights, where unless you can fly that’s just impossible. But then there are places like Amigos (RIP Campo) where the first level and entrance are fully accessible, but the back has a step to get up. These are details that most might not think about, but are important for those with any type of physical limitation to know as they make plans.

B: Why is this important, and what’s the big picture here?

L: AXS Map is one of the only resources that accounts for the multifaceted definition of accessibility. It is not a campaign to make venues 100% accessible, but rather a tool to provide people everywhere with accurate information that will make planning and daily navigation an easier task. With participation from everyone, disability or not, AXS Map will become a comprehensive resource that can be of use not only to individuals who directly need it, but also their friends, families, and colleagues.

Someone’s about to win $25 via Shutterstock

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous  

    I lol'ed at the picture caption.

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