Innovative Practice 2018 on Accessibility

The playful way to create accessibility maps

AXS Map (pronounced access map) is an accessibility map developed by Jason DaSilva in 2009, which is available as a free application on iPhone and Android, and on the mobile web. The app features a gamification element called AXS Mapathons, whereby teams compete against each other in real time while rating venues in their community on their accessibility. Google is one of the major corporations that supports AXS Map: Through their annual volunteer programme, Google Serve, Google runs AXS Mapathons for AXS Map worldwide. By mid of 2017, ASX Map had 100,000 users in 200 cities.

“As a person with a disability, there was no way to rate and review places on their accessibility. As I look at the growth we have seen since I created the AXS Map, I am reassured that there is a need for this technology not just in my community, but around the world.”

Jason DaSilvaFounder and President of AXS Map
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:The playful way to create accessibility maps
Organisation:AXS Map
Country
of Implementation
United States and Canada

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Users in 2015: 421.
  • Users in 2017: 960.
  • To date, AXS Map has completed nearly 300 AXS Mapathons.
  • AXS Map’s data has expanded to over 600,000 places.
  • Since 2014, AXS Map has recorded more than 114,000 sessions from some 100,000 users – creating over 1.1 million page views.

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Accessible places, such as restaurants, schools, work places, health services, and voting booths, for example, are often hard to find because they are not sufficiently mapped or because existing sources of information are not being continuously updated and developed. In addition, information provided by the venues via the Internet or even on request are often unreliable.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

AXS Map is an accessibility mapping app that uses gamification (tools of online games to inform or teach) to build and enhance access services for persons with disabilities. AXS Mapathon participants are able to sign up on AXS Map for scheduled competitive events or start an AXS Mapathon themselves. Participants can compete for rankings, badges, and various rewards based on the number of reviews they complete in the allotted time.
A screenshot of the map indicating accessbility features of the buildings.
AXS Map works with software programers in Paraguay who have donated their time after winning a hackathon for AXS Map to optimize the tool and build an Application Programming Interface (API). This API allows AXS Map to tap into other accessibility databases around the world, thus expanding AXS Map’s data to over 600,000 locations. This was made possible by the support of a Google Impact Award, given to entrepreneurs who use innovation to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.

OUTLOOK, TRANSFERABILITY AND FUNDING

Because AXS Map uses Google Maps API, all areas on Google Maps can be accessed on AXS Map and can be reviewed or marked to show whether they are accessible or not. Going A map indicating the number of buildings with accessibility features.forward, AXS Map is to be used by the United Nations in developing countries, as confirmed at the recent 10th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Total value of funding amounts to 238,000 US-Dollars, which are used for developing AXS Map 2.0 and general operating expenses for AXS Lab.
A continuous upward usage trend is predicted in view of further planned events promoting AXS Map.Further mapping exercises for the specific needs of youth are also planned to increase the number of places rated with the app.
FACTSHEET

Download factsheet as accessible Word
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VIDEO

Watch Video of the Zero Project Award Ceremony
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LINKS AND FURTHER READING