Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

Crowd-sourced reviews on 1,000 sites across Egypt

Helm (Dream) is a non-profit organization based in Cairo, Egypt, that aims to promote the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. In 2015, Helm developed a mobile phone application and website called Entaleq. Both display the accessibility of over 1,000 venues across Egypt through crowd-sourced reviews; and the service is complemented by an expert consulting service for companies that wish to improve their accessibility. More than 1,000 people with disabilities are using Entaleq regularly.

“Thanks to Entaleq, if I want to go to a supermarket or a café, I have access on the location’s level of accessibility. I can know beforehand if it has an elevator, a ramp, an accessible toilet, parking.”

Omar HeshamRecent graduate of the Faculty of Commerce, Ain Shams University
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Access for All
Organisation:Helm Foundation
Country
of Implementation
Egypt

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Over 1,000 users of the Entaleq app.
  • Over 1,000 sites reviewed for their accessibility.
  • Over 140 venues have made accessibility modifications.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

There is a lack of information in Egypt on which venues support which accessibility features. While Egypt does have accessibility standards and building codes relating to accessibility they are not uniformly implemented or effectively enforced, leading to difficulty in independent movement around the City.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The Entaleq application was developed in partnership with the Vodafone Egypt Foundation as a funding partner and Microsoft as a technology partner, and is available on Android and IOS smartphones. The app allows persons with physical disabilities, hearing impairments, and visual impairments to search for venues such as shops, restaurants, and public offices that provide the accessibility A person on a wheelchair accessing a ramp.features that they require. Users can request a venue to be added, after which the Helm team reviews the venue and uploads it to the app, if approved. Other Entaleq users can then provide their own reviews and comments. Since its introduction in 2015, over 1,000 people have downloaded the app and over 700 venues have been reviewed, primarily in Cairo.
Entaleq is complemented by Helm Inclusive Consulting, a social enterprise working alongside Helm and created by the Helm founders. Organizations can request help of Helm experts who conduct reviews of venues and who then provide advice and a detailed accessibility report on designing more inclusive solutions. To date, over 140 venues have implemented accessibility modifications such as ramps, Braille menus, and accessible bathrooms.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

Since 2015 the use of Entaleq has continue to grow and now includes sites beyond Greater Cairo, most notably in the tourist areas of Luxor and Hurghada. Helm is also planning a A man on a wheelchair using a path with accessibility features.new update that will allow users to add venues themselves by answering a set of questions related to the accessibility of the venue.
The app is financed through grants and sponsorships. However, as traffic increases the app will move towards becoming self-sustaining with income based on commercial advertising. The consultancy service is already self-sustaining by charging for its assessments and reporting. Helm has also developed policies and procedures to allow replication of the app in other cities across Egypt; and there has been international interest in the model from Australia, China, and Jordan.
FACTSHEET

Download factsheet as accessible Word
download

VIDEO

Watch Video of the Zero Project Award Ceremony
download