Wheel the World helps people with disabilities travel
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May 30, 2022
Wheel the World helps people with disabilities travel

Travel booking site Wheel the World is using crowdsourced data to connect people with disabilities to accessible holiday experiences. Recognising that many accommodation platforms tend to offer limited support and information, it's helping to make tourism more inclusive.

Wheel the World's Accessibility Mapping System, which underpins the site's booking system, was created using crowdsourced data from travellers with disabilities. 'Mappers' collect real-time information across more than 200 data points – including wheelchair access, Braille availability, and inclusive staff training  – to create a list of accessible options. Users, meanwhile, create accessibility profiles that help the platform suggest options that are in line with their travel aspirations. “The profile creation process guides users through a robust set of questions and prompts intended to gauge individuals’ specific accessibility needs, levels of comfort in various hypothetical situations in which mobility may be a challenge,” says founder Alvaro Silberstein.

While there are a billion people living with disabilities worldwide – varying from sensory impairments to mental and physical ones – they’re an overlooked and underserved population. According to a survey of Wheelchair Travel readers, 88% feel that hotels don't provide enough information about accessible room types and features. Wheel the World’s crowdsourced database tackles this problem to help travellers with disabilities feel confident in their holiday decisions. Similarly, Travel Without Limits is offering valuable tips and advice to inspire tourists with access needs. As expectations for inclusivity mount across sectors, hotels, tourism boards, and travel operators may face more pressure to clearly spotlight their accessibility features rather than forcing people with disabilities to rely on third parties.