A few days ago, in Rome took place the launch of “No Barriere”, the app developed by the Luca Coscioni Association to improve the urban spaces accessibility, for the disabled citizens, but not just for them.
The app principle of operation is easy:
- First, download the app on your smartphone (it’s available for free both for IOS and Android devices) or use the web browser version and create your user profile adding name, surname, e-mail address and phone number, or using your Google of Facebook existing account.
- Activating the Position services and using your smartphone camera, you can take a picture of an architectonical barrier (or pick it from the gallery of your device) and, through the “Invia una segnalazione” (“Send a warning”) area, send it to the system, that will add it to the Warnings map, available on the app itself. Moreover, from the same area, you can send a pre-filled e-mail message to your municipality, to demand the barrier removal.
- In the Warnings map, the existing architectonical barriers are marked in red, while green is used for those that have been removed already.
The app goal isn’t simply to map all the existing architectonical barriers, but also (and above all), ensure that local administrations do something to remove them.
Even though the current law about architectonical barriers dates back to 1986, and, in theory, all the local administrations have arranged the so-called PEBAs (Plans for the Removal of Architectonical Barriers), everyone can see that, too frequently, accessing public and private buildings, but also streets and common spaces, is impossible for people with a motoric or sensory disability. It happens due to the existence of architectonical barriers, or, in many cases, the realization of measures that aren’t adequate to guarantee the accessibility to all the people.
Since, when thinking about “disabled people”, people usually tend to think about people moving on wheelchairs. Hence (in theory), it would be enough to put a ramp here and there to remove the obstacles. But, for many disabled people, the ramp itself is an architectonical barrier, especially if it’s too steep or has no handrail available (for people walking with crutches or sticks) or signal for blind and deaf people.
Therefore, this app is more than welcome, if it will effectively contribute to improve the life of the whole community, thanks to the contribution of all citizens. Since a city without architectonical barriers is a more accessible, and better, place for everyone.