AccessFest: Showing Hotels Disability Matters!
£15,000: Our minimum goal to create great guides to AccessFest destinations. With this we will be able to cover London, Brighton, and Edinburgh and share AccessFest’s story with the world. With Fundly, it’s all or nothing so if we don’t reach our minimum, no money will leave your account and AccessFest will not happen : (
£25,000: Help us reach our dream goal! This amount will enable us to add Bath and Bristol to the list of accessible festival destinations. It will also help us develop an android version of our assessment app so that any hotel in the world will be able to create an AccessProfile and start welcoming guests with disabilities.
We’re Yeshwant and Ben and we’re working towards enabling travel for millions of people with disabilities around the World (Click here for a bit more about us: http://www.umoja.in/team-umoja/).
Organising a hotel stay may seem straight-forward, but many people with disabilities face multiple obstacles in finding, researching, choosing, and booking the right room. Our friend Malini, like many of the 1.1 billion people with disabilities globally, spends hours calling up hotels to see if they have access ramps in the lobby or doorways wide enough for her wheelchair to pass through.
Very often the hotel either doesn’t know the answer or simply gets it wrong, meaning that when Malini shows up, the place isn’t accessible for her at all!
Sadly, Malini’s story is not uncommon. Statistics show that 42% of people with disabilities find access related information to be insufficient, unreliable or hard to find. Inaccurate or unspecific access information can mean a total travel disaster, and so sadly many choose to stay home.
Despite accessible travel being an £85 billion market, we’ve found hotels are hesitant to address this segment as accessibility can be a complex subject which is easy to get wrong.
That’s why we need your support to visit these locations, create these AccessGuides, and get persons with disabilities to visit these festivals, ultimately showing hotels that if they invest in detailed and dependable access information, they WILL see the rewards.
Our Solution: UMOJA’s AccessMatch engine
Our solution is a free and easy to use app that any hotel can download, and in 90 mins create a comprehensive access profile of their property. Once a hotel completes its AccessProfile, it seamlessly uploads to our database and gets added to our library of hotels. Travellers can then log on to www.UMOJA.in and easily search for hotels that are accessible to them. Check this video out to see how our AccessMatch engine works: http://bit.ly/1ESXzS6
We’ve tried and tested UMOJA with people with disabilities and industry experts alike (we were invited to present at Destinations for All: Montreal, World accessible travel Summit: http://bit.ly/1mjeyam).
We know UMOJA works, We know UMOJA enables people to find accessible hotels, but we need your support to get more properties on board. Forward thinking brands such as the Taj Hotels, Marriott, Radisson, and a few others are already working with us to address accessibility, but that’s just the start. Help us show hotels that accessibility is worth investing in!
We’re teaming up with our friend & mentor Malini Chib, the chairperson of the ADAPT rights group, author of “One little finger” (detailing living and excelling with Cerebral Palsy), and influence behind the award winning film “Margarita with a Straw”, to prove to the hotel industry that focussing on accessibility is not only the right thing to do ethically, but the smart thing to do financially. Malini brings a huge amount of energy and experience to AccessFest, and we couldn’t do it without her.
The Project: AccessFest
To get hotels on board with accessibility we’re launching the UMOJA AccessFest campaign. We’re creating comprehensive AccessGuides, centered around UMOJA’s detailed hotel profiles, for great festival destinations such as London, Brighton, Bath, Bristol, and Edinburgh. With your help Malini and Ben will travel to each of these destinations to gather lots of fantastic access information about where to stay, eat, how to get around, and how to visit these festivals. We will also develop android and windows versions of our iPad assessment app to enable further scalability. All this will cost under 25,000 pounds! (Check out our budget breakdown here: http://bit.ly/1Ic2b5L).
We’re going to make a film of Malini’s journey to share with the world and make sure the message gets to the festival-loving audience we’re trying to reach. With your help, our guides will enable anyone with a disability to experience some of the UK’s greatest cultural events.
AccessFest is just the start. By showing the hospitality industry that disability can mean business, you can help kickstart a movement that sparks interest in accessibility from hotels across the world.
Thank you, so much, from all of us!