Accessible Sidewalks Project in Valparaiso, Chile
Joaquín Rodriguez is 19 years of age and is currently studying Administration and People Management Engineering. He lives in Quilpué city, in the Valparaíso region, and actively participates in mapping the accessible sidewalks project. Joaquin is visually impaired.
Ever since I heard about the accessible sidewalks project in Valparaiso, I wanted to be a part of it and collaborate, since I like the idea of making progress in terms of accessibility for all people with different types of disabilities to be able to have a better quality of living.
My experience when moving around the streets of Valparaiso and verifying, along with my companion, the status of the street crossings, was excellent and enlightening: I was surprised by the large number of crossings that were not fully accessible, or not accessible at all. During my everyday commute, I really had not paid too much attention to them, as many times people simply helped me cross those crossings that are more complex, and other times I had simply analyzed them from the perspective of my disability only.
In terms of mapping the areas using the digital platform, I hope it will help to make strides towards a total accessibility, so that visually impaired people, like me, can fully participate in this experience. In the meantime, I can certainly say that the method of on-site collaborative mapping has proven to be a major progress in terms of social inclusion and participation for the city.
I hope that more and more people gain interest in collaborating with this project, both people with disabilities and people without them, as only together we can make progress towards achieving more accessible cities.
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