Our Teva colleagues in Russia invited people with limited mobility, and those who care for them, to try out a new online service that provides information about accessibility in Moscow. They spent a day using the Access Map, and shared their impressions.
Teva’s accessibility map is one practical way we are breaking down barriers. An easy-to-use and reliable source of information about an accessible urban environment, the map’s main task is to help people with health limitations plan travel and navigate the city of Moscow more easily.
The service allows users to filter items that meet accessibility parameters for people with mobility challenges, in 13 thematic categories and over 25 sub-categories (health, social support, education, and many others). All of these are reflected on the interactive Access Map of Moscow. Each item has its own entry with a description and information about the accessibility parameters: whether there is a ramp, an elevator, functional amenities or if other assistance is provided. Currently there are over 4,000 items on the map, with continual updates from both Teva and volunteer efforts.
We believe the best people to demonstrate the capabilities of the Teva Access Map are those for whom this service was created.
Olesya Bondarenko is the editor of a website for parents of disabled children, and mother of two daughters: "As the mother of a daughter with limited mobility, it’s very important for me to feel confident when traveling around Moscow. I need to be sure that any place we visit, whether it's a cafe, a park, a bank or a pharmacy, is wheelchair accessible. Previously, I spent a lot of time preparing: calling organizations, determining if ramps are in place ... now the Access Map can provide me with this information at a glance. No less important is the attitude of people at these places. A barrier-free environment begins not only with the technical organization of space, but also with our human relationship to each other."
Sergei Kutovoy is a professional player on the St. Petersburg hockey team: "After my accident, I realized that we have too little time in life to waste on trivialities. Personal dynamics, overcoming stereotypes, health and sports have become my priorities in life, and I want to "infect" others with them. For people with disabilities, the wheelchair accessibility of a city is an important factor in an active lifestyle. Believe me, we also like to walk, communicate with friends, go on dates, go to the movies. And, when we’re able to see in advance where we can go - it really solves a lot of problems. The Access Map gives us this opportunity."
Evgenia Voskoboynikova is a model and TV show host: "For me, an accessible urban environment is freedom. I lead a very active lifestyle, do my homework, work a lot and drive a car, so it's infinitely important for me to live in a city where I don’t need to think about access to infrastructure if I'm in a wheelchair. The Access Map offers a huge number of items that every person needs every day. I'm glad there is a tool that can show people who are limited in movement that our city is open and adapted. And, on the Teva Russia
website there is a Life Assistant - a convenient service that provides information about cultural events in Moscow held in accessible locations."
The urban environment should be accessible and friendly to everyone, regardless of physical abilities. To continue expanding the information on the Access Map, Teva Russia has created a digital space to crowd-source locations and add new functionality for navigating the city. Local partners and interested volunteers were invited to help refresh the Access Map with new items in Moscow and other Russian cities as well.