The unique Internet project "Accessibility Map", implemented by the "United Country" Foundation for People with Disabilities in conjunction with the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has won the prestigious Runet Award which celebrates advances in technology and the internet. The "Accessibility Map” received the award for the best project in the category of "Health, Entertainment and Leisure". The project launched 500 days before the Paralympic Games in Sochi was up against a number of nominees in the field of sports information, video hosting, translation services and services for young mothers. The award was accepted by Sochi 2014 Ambassador and double Paralympic champion, Olesya Vladykina at the award ceremony in Moscow.
After a tough selection process, the judging panel decided that the solutions used to develop the "Accessibility Map", and its potential attractiveness to users, deserved the award. One of the factors which influenced the jury's decision was the project's social purpose, which was expressed in an eye-catching way, and the whole range of opportunities that the resource opens up in terms of developing a barrier-free environment. Since the project's launch, the number of accessible venues that have been added to the "Accessibility Map", throughout the country, has more than doubled. To date, 1,250 venues in over hundred Russian cities have been added to the map.
The main objective of the project is to help people with disabilities find their local places where they can practice sport in a barrier-free environment. In the long-term, the project is set to host a database of accessible venues, and elements of the barrier-free environment.
The first ever Paralympic Games in Russia's history will serve as a symbol for the development of a new society, free from both barriers and stereotypes. The "Accessibility Map" is going to be one of the most important legacy of the Paralympic Games of 2014.
The President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, emphasized:
"I’m very pleased that our partnership with the "United Country" Foundation for People with Disabilities has been recognized and given such a prestigious award. We hope that, the "Accessibility Map" will be widely endorsed by all Russian internet users. Each day there are new accessible venues being added to the map and we are determined that our efforts to promote the Paralympic venues will be a step towards changing society’s attitudes towards people with disabilities”.
The Sochi 2014 Ambassador Olesya Vladykina commented:
"The main objective of the project's organizers is to move further towards creating a barrier free environment. As we draw closer to the Paralympic Games in Sochi, we have a real chance to get the whole country involved in helping change our society’s attitudes towards people with disabilities. I'm grateful to everyone who is supporting the "Accessibility Map" project, and to everyone who voted for it!"
Notes to the editor
The Internet project by the "United Country" Foundation for People with Disabilities and the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, "Accessibility Map" (www.kartadostupnosti.ru/картадоступности.рф) is being implemented with support from the International Paralympic Committee.
What is unique about the "Accessibility Map" project is that it is the first Russian map of Paralympic sports institutions and barrier-free facilities will be compiled based on data from residents of Russian cities. This means that everyone can support the Paralympic Movement and help change attitudes in this country towards people with disabilities, allowing them to live life to the full, without having to face barriers or stereotypes. The site was developed taking account of accessibility requirements.
The Runet Award is a national award in the field of advanced technologies and the Internet, designed to encourage outstanding achievements by leading companies in the field of information technology and digital communication, state and charitable organizations, business structures, and also individual entrepreneurs, that have had a significant contribution in developing the Russian segment of the Internet (Runet).