Every day, Jason DaSilva experiences firsthand the challenges of traveling around New York City on his motorized scooter. But the Brooklyn-based filmmaker with multiple sclerosis is not sitting back. Instead, DaSilva is leading an initiative called AXS Map to chart big cities with better accessibility information.
For people living with physical disabilities, the project is sort of like a more robust Yelp. Resources like Yelp feature detailed information about restaurants, bars and shopping destinations, but DaSilva found they lacked any information about accessibility. Currently, Yelp only indicates whether a place is wheelchair-accessible with a "yes" or "no" indication.
Using the Google Maps and Google Places APIs, DaSilva helped create the AXS Map platform, which features accessibility information for places to go out to in a city. On the AXS Map desktop or mobile site, click on a place to view accessibility ratings for a local business' entries and bathrooms on a five-star rating system. The concept is based on crowdsourcing by users, so according to DaSilva, the map is not where it needs to be — yet. LikeFoursquare, the more users leave ratings and comments about accessibility, the more useful this platform can be.