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Crowdsourcing accessibility

492. Euan MacDonald
493. Kiki MacDonald

Two siblings from Edinburgh set up a disabled access review website and app to inspire and help disabled people visit new places.

Brother and sister Euan and Kiki MacDonald launched Euan’s Guide in 2013. Euan is a powerchair user and the pair found they were spending lots of time making enquiries about access at places they wanted to go. Realising that they could not be alone in their search for disabled access information, they created Euan’s Guide, a digital charity that is helping to open up towns and cities to disabled people everywhere.

Euan’s Guide sponsored Disabled Access Day on 12 March 2016. Venues across the country put on events to encourage disabled people to visit them, and disabled people were encouraged to try somewhere new.

In 2003, Euan was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and became a wheelchair user six years later. Finding a lack of disabled access information available, Euan realised that he couldn’t be alone in his search and knew other disabled people and their family and friends would be able to recommend accessible places. He created the site with Kiki in 2013 to give disabled people a stronger voice to provide feedback and help venues and places improve their facilities.

Euan’s Guide aims to remove the fear of the unknown by providing information about disabled access in places across the UK. Their site works by offering reviews of venues such as bars, hotels, restaurants, cinemas and tourist attractions – all written by people with access requirements. The community of hundreds of volunteers that write the reviews are the cornerstone of Euan’s Guide and its success.

Reviewers rate the accessibility of the venues and describe how user friendly they are based on their personal experiences and share this on the site. There are currently over 3000 reviewed on the site, mainly in the UK but with some international content.

A number of high profile celebrities have endorsed Euan’s Guide, including Stephen Hawking, J.K. Rowling and Ian Rankin. As well as the website, Euan and Kiki have also launched an app that allows users to find accessible locations while they are on the move.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Euan and Kiki have created a fantastic initiative to help disabled people share information on the accessibility of public venues. I hope Euan’s Guide will help more and more disabled people – and that the venues reviewed will act on any feedback they receive. I am delighted to recognise Euan and Kiki for their service to others by making them both Points of Light.”

Euan and Kiki said:

“Our goal at Euan’s Guide is to share the world’s disabled access information and for it to inspire new journeys and experiences across the UK and further afield. We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of the progress being made and it is testimony to the hard work by the Euan’s Guide team of staff and volunteers. We’d like to thank all of the many Euan’s Guide reviewers who share their views on accessibility and help other disabled people find great places to visit.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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