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Common Good

This Toronto Photographer’s App Is Remapping Accessibility Around the World

Photographer Maayan Ziv has developed an app that uses crowdsourcing to collect and share accessible spots around the city, giving mobility-challenged people the freedom to find ways to do what they want.

VICE Staff

VICE Staff

Maayan Ziv was born with muscular dystrophy which she says has helped her build up a sense of resilience. "People assume that I'm a sweet little girl who has nice dreams," she says wryly, "watch me kill that assumption." A passionate photographer and entrepreneur, she is working to change expectations of how people with disabilities access public spaces. Her app AccessNow uses crowdsourcing to collect and share accessible spots around the city, creating a community that works together ultimately trying to give people the freedom to find ways to do what they want.

As Maayan recounts an experience of wanting to go to a bar with some friends, the frustration in her voice is palpable. "You can literally search for how much the beer's going to be that night... You can find out anything you want about that place... You can't find out if it's accessible."

In this episode of Common Good, we follow Maayan and her friends on a map mission around Toronto's Kensington Market to see firsthand how it works, and to meet the people from the community.

"People with disabilities have faced barriers for centuries," she says, "by the nature of creating a conversation and by just literally doing it and succeeding... There's a lot you can do."

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