Irish startup 'Access Earth' aiming to build global database of accessibility information

The site and app offer a world map with information on whether or not locations fulfill a number of criteria for accessibility

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File photo. Image: Bill Sikes / AP/Press Association Images

An Irish website is aiming to become the "most accessible accessibility information platform" by compiling a global database of information about the accessibility of venues and places.

Access Earth is the brainchild of NUI Maynooth graduate Matt McCann, who has cerebral palsy and uses a walker.

The team behind the app and website says their goal is to "empower people to embark on adventures to new venues and places without having to worry about their destination not being easily accessible".

The site, which is currently in beta, offers a world map with information on whether or not locations fulfill a number of criteria for accessibility - such as whether it has step-free access, a lift, or wheelchair accessible toilet facilities.

Information is available for hotels, bars, restaurants, shops, museums and other facilities. Hundreds of locations in Dublin are already covered, with information for other cities and countries currently in progress.

The team - which currently consists of two full-time members alongside volunteers and friends - is now looking for 'Ambassadors' to help build and add to their global database of accessibility information.

Talking to Mashable, Access Earth's Ryan O'Neill explains that "at the end of the day, accessibility impacts all of us. It might not be yourself, but maybe you have a grandparent and they have trouble with steps".

Matt McCann adds that "you have invisible disabilities like cystic fibrosis, and you don't realize how much trouble walking distance is".

You can access the Access Earth site here.