This group is using a 360-camera to map Toronto's accessibility on the Pan Am Path
AccessNow would like to map parks throughout Ontario next.
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For Maayan Ziv, accessibility means a lot more than the availability of ramps to get into a government building or restaurant.
The 27-year-old founder of the social enterprise AccessNow, who uses a wheelchair, has turned her attention to accessibility for trails and parks.
"When we talk about accessibility, often we forget about recreational activities," she said.
"People should think of recreational areas as inclusive spaces."
Over the past few days Ziv and project suporters Anthony Lue and Jeff Adams have mapped accessibility on the 85-km Pan Am Path that runs from one side of the city to the other, in collaboration with Google Maps and wheelchair company Icon Wheelchairs. Using a modified mountain bike wheelchair with a mounted 360-degree camera, the project captures the path from all angles.
Zivsays that considering accessibility on trail systems is difficult. Some access points might not be accessible, others might not be clearly marked, and because of the natural environment there may be sudden changes in the steepness of the ground.
She's happy with the Pan Am Path results.
"So far it's been pretty good," she says of the route's accessibility, praising its consistent curb cuts, nice paving and relatively level grade. AccessNow has so far assessed the western portion of the Pan Am Path, and will complete the eastern portion over the next two days.
Mapping the Pan Am Path for the first time with a 360-degree camera will allow people who use mobility devices to better assess their own comfort level and whether the level of accessibility is right for them, Ziv added.
Although this project isn't yet complete, she's already thinking of the next one–she'd like to map the accessibility of parks throughout Ontario, or even Canada.