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Accessible City Design
June 13, 2018
Melbourne, Australia has held the number one spot for the past several years followed by Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary and Adelaide who have tied for 5th place. After careful analysis, it became apparent that this seemingly diverse and in depth report does not take one critical factor into account: accessibility. As comprehensive as it may be, the report does not examine how livable cities may be for people with disabilities. What exactly has to transpire in order for the lives of people with disabilities to be considered alongside the lives of those without?
June 2, 2018
[VIDEO] Years of advocacy in the disability community along with technological advances have spurred the creation of more products for people with a range of abilities. NewsHour Weekend’s Megan Thompson talks to New York City’s Digital Accessibility Coordinator about the importance of accessible design and tours an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum that highlights these advancements.
December 14, 2017
Many recent technological advancements seem more ominous than optimistic: Alexa eavesdropping on water cooler conversations at work, automation taking our jobs, autonomous vehicles crashing into taco trucks. Or they’re more frivolous than helpful (for example, automated dental floss dispensers). But “Access+Ability,” an exhibition opening Friday at the Cooper Hewitt design museum in Manhattan, fills one with real optimism: It highlights the beneficial ways design and technology are transforming the lives of people with different physical, cognitive and sensory abilities.
November 30, 2017
The roster of Canadian tech startup founders is endless. To shine a light on this emerging community, we have created a list of 20 names from across the country who are helping to define the Canada’s startup narrative on Twitter. With this list, we aimed to highlight a diverse range of voices from coast-to-coast and from ventures of varying sizes. The one unifier: all 20 individuals are using Twitter exceedingly well to grow their business and be part of the conversation worldwide.
November 21, 2017
Local advocates who pushed Uber to up its game on accessibility are urging Lyft, which enters the Toronto market in December, to do the same. “Whether it’s Uber or a competitor, looking hard at accessibility is a vital component for any business,” said Maayan Ziv, founder of accessibility-based tech firm AccessNow. “Regardless of who you are, you should not be restricted from a service.”
November 21, 2017
In the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem sits a ruined citadel called David’s Tower. Fought over by King David himself, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans and Israelis, it’s now a museum spanning 4,000 years of history. But the castle is soon to assume another identity: as home to a startup accelerator specializing in virtual reality.
November 7, 2017
Maayan Ziv has been something of an entrepreneur her entire life. Not necessarily the “develop a product and bring it to market” sort of entrepreneur; more the “see a problem, find a solution” type of entrepreneur. Ziv, 27, was born with muscular dystrophy and has used a wheelchair since she was a child.
November 6, 2017
SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? MZ: In many ways I feel I have been learning to be an entrepreneur since I was very little. From being a young girl with a disability to today. I often have to problem-solve through challenging situations because the reality is that the world just isn’t built for people with disabilities in mind.
October 27, 2017
Maayan Ziv s a photographer turned tech entrepreneur with a creative story to match. From solving her own problems to changing the conversation about accessibility, Maayan is a trailblazer who is unafraid to admit when she doesn’t know something. AccessNow recently won the inaugural #MoveTheDialPITCH competition, winning $10,000 cash on top of mentorship from an experienced panel of judges.
October 24, 2017
Bella Beare has muscular dystrophy and will likely never walk. But recently, she’s learned to roll, and her mother, Jessica Beare, says it’s given Bella a new lease on life. “As soon as you put her in that and she has the freedom of getting around, she just — she lights up,” the mother said Tuesday.
AccessNow receives $10,000 from #MoveTheDial pitch competition
October 23, 2017
This past weekend in Toronto, five women founders pitched to a room of 100 people for the first-ever #MoveTheDial hackathon. In the end, Ziv took the top prize of $10,000 for AccessNow. “Within a very short time, #Movethedial has already created meaningful impact for my journey as a female founder building my first tech company,” said Ziv.
September 27, 2017
As hundreds of athletes with disabilities compete in the Invictus Games this week in Toronto, a push is on to make the city’s businesses more accessible….Maayan Ziv, who has muscular dystrophy, is a champion for furthering accessibility in Toronto. She created a website and app to showcase areas around the world that are accessible — and those that aren’t.
September 1, 2017
Maayan Ziv is a photographer turned entrepreneur who found her passion by working to solve the accessibility challenges she faces in everyday life. Now, she’s an advocate for accessibility in tech through her company, AccessNow. Read on to see her global idea for tech and innovation.
August 17, 2017
The Jetsons promised us flying cars. Star Trek made teleportation seem a graspable dream. And people are still waiting eagerly for Back to the Future’s hoverboards to make their way to sporting goods stores. While many technologies remain elusive, today’s generation of tech savvy change-makers are dreaming up a new era of accessibility with inclusion at its core.
July 8, 2017
One Toronto group is en route to making outdoor trails more accessible. AccessNow is mapping the Pan Am Path to find out how easily people with mobility devices can use the trail. Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an advocacy organization, said that people often forget about lifestyle and recreational activities in the conversation about accessibility.
July 7, 2017
Anthony Lue is a cyclist and Paralympics hopeful, but this summer he is taking on a new project — biking and mapping the 85-kilometre Pan Am Path. Using a streetview camera mounted on an off-road wheelchair, Lue will be photographing and exploring the path in the initiative with AccessNow, Icon Wheelchairs and Google.
July 5, 2017
June 26, 2017
If you’ve been wondering why a section of Toronto’s iconic CN Tower has been covered in a tarp for the past month — wonder no longer. New floor-to-ceiling windows were unveiled on Monday on the lookout level of the tower, offering a better view for everyone, including people who use wheelchairs.
June 19, 2017
As the city seeks to renew its accessibility plan, those who want to eliminate barriers say some Toronto small businesses are putting them up instead of tearing them down. Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an app that finds and rates accessibility of restaurants and stores, recently found out that a place where she used to buy shawarma on Spadina Avenue is no longer barrier free.
August 2, 2017
Not knowing which restaurants, hotels, bars and stores were accessible frustrated Maayan Ziv. So she built an app for that. AppTV’s Richard Harlow speaks to Ziv about AccessNow, which uses crowdsourcing to rate the accessibility of businesses.
Watch the video
June 14, 2017
AccessNow aims to share accessibility information around the world. Search for specific places like a restaurant, hotel or store, or browse the map to see what is nearby with the accessibility features you require. Filter the map by category and tags and find the access that you need now.
Watch the video
May 2, 2017
Overcoming adversity is not for the faint of heart. Maayan Ziv, founder of AccessNow, an app that finds and rates accessible restaurants, stores, hotels, and more worldwide, is working tirelessly to bring accessibility to the forefront of everyone’s minds. “The idea is to actually build an inclusive community where we can all relate to what accessibility means.”
April 11, 2017
There’s an app for everything — almost. Maayan Ziv noticed that while it’s easy to use your phone to figure out when a restaurant is open or what’s on the menu, it was almost impossible to look up whether those places were wheelchair accessible.
April 10, 2017
Show co-created by Ken Dryden celebrates innovative Canadians like Toronto’s Maayan Ziv. Maayan Ziv in Toronto, one of the subjects of the CBC-TV series We Are Canada, has created an app that rates businesses on how accessible they are to handicapped people.
April 7, 2017
Maayan Ziv is a twenty-five-year-old fashion photographer turned accessibility advocate and app developer. Born with muscular dystrophy, Ziv plans to map the world with her app, Access Now, which uses crowdsourcing to pin-point the accessibility status of locations.
April 3, 2017
Maayan Ziv zips around downtown Toronto. She is in a wheelchair, but that doesn’t matter hugely to her, nor that she has a form of muscular dystrophy, nor that she is young, nor that she is tiny. “I’m not thinking small,” says the 25-year-old photographer. “I want to go big.” The only thing that really gets in her way are the stupid little barriers the rest of us don’t think about.
March 8, 2017
AccessNow is mapping as many places around the world as possible and building a community of people passionate about change in the process. AccessNow is all about empowering people with accessibility challenges with access to all the places they want to go…now!
February 15, 2017
Maayan Ziv is a 26-year-old self-taught professional photographer from Toronto, Canada. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television Arts, she went on to pursue a career that focused mainly on black and white emotive portraiture, editorial fashion and gritty street scenes.
December 14, 2016
The Torontonian is the creator of AccessNow: a website—and now an app—that crowdsources the accessibility of everyday places. We talked to Ziv, who uses a wheelchair, about the lightbulb moment behind her idea and finding opportunity and strength through disability.
December 9, 2016
Best Product for Social Good: AccessNow app for iOS
The purpose of AccessNow is simple: provide information about whether restaurants, bars, shops, cultural institutions and other places of business and commerce are accessible to those with physical disabilities.
December 7, 2016
The city of Toronto handed out its 2016 Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards Tuesday evening to activists who are working to break down barriers to equality in the city. “We need to make sure that each person is seen, that their voices are heard, and that each person feels that they have the rights to different spaces in Toronto,” said Ziv, founder of the mobile app AccessNow and winner of the Award for Disability Issues.
November 22, 2016
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.
July 13, 2016
Fast subways, carpool lanes, and a responsive traffic light system are essential for highly mobile cities; and apps like Yelp and Google Maps help users navigate around them. But from a personal perspective, mobility can be a question of whether there is a ramp instead of a staircase leading to your favorite café. Until recently, little existed to help map accessibility for people with disabilities – a fact which catalyzed AccessNow founder Maayan Ziv to action.
June 10, 2016
At the latest TechToronto meetup last week, AccessNow founder Maayan Ziv kicked off her presentation with a photo of a step at an entrance of a business. Ziv, who has muscular dystrophy, summed it up simply: “This sucks, and this could be your business.”
June 8, 2016
AccessNow founder Maayan Ziv, who created a crowdsourced web app that allows users to determine the accessibility of restaurants, cafes, and hotels in their city, has been recognized with a David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility.
June 3, 2016
These days, almost everyone owns a smartphone, and goes about their day swiping through their favourite apps on their way to work and home without a second thought. But what if technology — which is considered a powerful tool for marginalized groups to communicate and express themselves — isn’t designed in a way that includes everyone?
May 2, 2016
Maayan Ziv understanding the struggle to find information on wheelchair accessibility first hand; growing up with spinal muscular atrophy, Ziv says one of the top questions she asks restaurant owners or hotel managers on a regular basis is whether or not a place is wheelchair accessible.
February 28, 2016
It’s a situation countless people with disabilities regularly find themselves facing — one a new app aims to make sure anyone with accessibility issues can avoid. Imagine planning a night out with friends, calling ahead to a restaurant to make sure you have a reservation, and then finding out you can’t get through the front door.
February 5, 2016
People with physical disabilities have a new tool to avoid the frequent frustration of inaccessible buildings. “Imagine going to a location, trying to show up to an event or a job interview, and there’s a step,” says Access Now founder Maayan Ziv, who uses a mobility device. “That’s the situation I’ve been in countless times.”
January 11, 2016
Maayan Ziv is a former graduate of Digital Media with a passion for creating a more accessible world for people who use wheelchairs. At age 25, she may have done just that.“ AccessNow is a mobile app that is using crowd sourcing to collect and share accessibility information all around the world,” said Ziv.
January 2, 2016
L’anxiété et la frustration de ne pas avoir accès à certains commerces ont poussé Maayan Ziv, une photographe professionnelle qui souffre de dystrophie musculaire, à créer l’application pour téléphones intelligents Access Now.
December 3, 2015
December 3rd, 2015 marks the United Nations Enable initiative of International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The theme for this year’s Day is “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities,” and we thought we would ask our friend Maayan Ziv to tell us about her new app, AccessNow.
November 20, 2015
A Toronto woman has created a solution to a problem many of us don’t realize exists. Maayan Ziv is a wheelchair user. She thoroughly researches locations and often calls ahead before visiting them to make sure they are accessible to her. But often, even if she’s been told otherwise, she says there’s some sort of access barrier, “I show up in New York City at the hotel and there’s five steps to the entrance.
October 27, 2015
Ryerson grad Maayan Ziv’s friends moved four garbage cans out of an alley way, kicked aside debris and pried open a heavy gate so that Ziv could access Lou Dawgs’ back patio in her power chair last September. It was her first week in Ryerson’s master of digital media program and she was determined to meet with the rest of her class who had gathered there.
August 11, 2015
Ontario has touted Toronto 2015’s Parapan Am Games as the most accessible games ever, but what do our visiting athletes think? The Star asked para-athletes how the city fares when compared with the barriers they face back home. From widened doorways to the tiny bumps ahead of a blended curb, they credited building designs and social attitudes as two factors that helped them overcome barriers throughout the wider Toronto community. In light of the Games, both residents and those visiting have a new tool at their disposal to report barriers they find in public spaces.