Access is designed to help all travelers understand the conditions at the destinations and places they wish to visit. This will facilitate access for all by providing the critical information needed to answer the question “Can I Go There”? The templates provided below are available free for download for you to use to describe conditions at any site – and to ask the owners and managers to use to link the key information to their sites for all to use.
At least 20% of all travelers have mobility issues related to disability, injury, fitness or travel with children. These travelers are typically very challenged to obtain information on accessibility appropriate to their needs in advance of their travels. What if every traveler could easily obtain enough accessibility information online to decide for themselves, given their own limits and capacities, whether a site or accommodation is suitable for them to visit? While some types of information are made available, such as wheelchair access, this information is only useful to a small subset of travelers. Accessibility certifications have been developed to address this concern, but these programs are typically expensive for enterprises to pursue and are not available in many countries. A much simpler information set can fill this important gap.
Sustainable Travel International and Tourisk Inc. have developed, in collaboration with many challenged travelers and their organizations, an information product designed to address these challenges for travelers. iAccess is a new open source initiative which will mobilize online travel agents and other internet providers to be catalysts for sharing commonly needed information about accessibility to travelers before they book their trips. Rather than an enforceable standard, which may require a property or attraction to make major changes or pay for certification, we are creating a simple globally applicable and informed data set, along with templates for different types of travel and tourism services that describe potential barriers and the level of access available.
How Will iAccess Work?
iAccess will not require an onerous process or professional validation. A full summary of access conditions will be available for the template if filled in for any site, property or attraction. And made available on the site to which it is attached. Based on our experience, a majority of the information will be easily obtained by the service provider. Accountability for accurate and honest information will be undertaken by travelers, and those who misrepresent the level of accessibility will be dropped from the system. The system can also serve as a portal to other useful information for travelers, such as certifications or information about available services to help those with challenges. Anyone can use the tested templates and append them to their own site, post them to travel sites and or to map sites. All information is subject to validation by the users and is expected to be dated and updated annually.
How Can I Get Involved?
Your comments and suggestions will help us to ensure that the iAccess information standard is relevant and practical for tourism destinations, enterprises, and travelers worldwide.
We have secured preliminary interest from major mapping and travel sites and are urging them to link the data from enterprises and sites using iAccess. We are now seeking more partners to collaborate with, to bring this initiative to scale, and to ensure its success with major providers.
Please use the templates below and share them so challenged travelers can take advantage of sites where their capacities will permit them to visit and enjoy. Every traveler benefits from the ability to easily obtain information on access conditions in advance to avoid unwanted barriers or surprises.
The pages can be filled as forms and saved, then emailed or appended to your website or printed and filled manually.
Templates Available for Download
You can download individual templates/factsheets by clicking on specific topics and saving them to your own computer. If you are able to use fillable PdF forms, you can use these to portray the conditions at your location, attraction or enterprise and link them electronically to sites or maps. You can also use the Word versions to fill and attach to any site. When typing select “insert” on your keyboard to retain the format of the factsheet. If your computer cannot insert in the yes/no circles, we suggest you make Yes or No boldface. By saving and linking a filled in factsheet to your own website, or emailing it to current or potential clients you will be able to provide basic access information to all. Users can just leave blank any sections which are not applicable to them. Feel free to share the empty factsheets/templates with others who may wish to use them. You can also turn Word versions into PDF forms after filling them in to retain content.