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8th European e-Accessibility Forum
User-driven e-Accessibility

31/03/2014, 09:00 - 18:00 - Registration from 8:30
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie - Universcience - Paris

  Version française
Printable version

e-Accessibility as a driver of social innovation: the case of Jaccede.com

Damien BIRAMBEAU (Paris)

Speaker's information

Damien Birambeau

Damien BIRAMBEAU has been in a wheelchair since the age of 12. He is founder and CEO of Jaccede.com, a non-profit organisation started in 2006. For the past 3 years Jaccede has been developped as a mobile application.



For 30 years I have been using an electric wheelchair and bearing the consequences of limited accessibility and the isolation and marginalization that this brings with it.

It was when I went on a trip to Berkeley, California, in 1993 that I first became aware of how much easier life became when everything is accessible. Rather than asking "Where can I go?" I was able to ask “Where do I want to go?". Meeting people and having a social life was finally an option.

Once I got back to Paris I realised that I wasn’t the only one to confront access barriers, but that these barriers varied according to different types of disability. For example, as far as I’m concerned, a street level restaurant with a wide entrance is sufficiently accessible. For a friend, it may be inconceivable to go to a restaurant if the toilets are inaccessible. For others, physical access may not a problem, providing there is a menu in Braille.

So I realised that it was very important to have access to very detailed information on the degree of accessibility of a given business, and leave it up to each individual to decide whether it is accessible or not.

On this basis, in 2006 we launched the first collaborative guide to accessible places available on www.jaccede.com. This was followed in 2010 by the release of the Jaccede mobile application on iPhone and Android. This application allows each user to have an answer to a fundamental question: based on my level of mobility, which places can I access?

As digital accessibility grows, ignorance and indifference are shrinking. The same can be said for the built environment. Indeed, if accessibility is fully taken into account on Web and mobile platforms, people can access information or services needed regardless of their disability. If accessible information or services reference physical locations, it goes without saying that the accessibility of these physical locations should be communicated. This is why today Jaccede proposes that physical accessibility and e-Accessibility join forces on attraction-based platforms.

Imagine a visually impaired person who looks up an address on a site such as Cityvox. If e-Accessibility has been taken into account, this person would be able to access a description of Versailles, but unless details on physical accessibility features such as guiding devices, Braile buttons and voice announcements in elevators, this person may not consider visiting in person.

To remedy this situation, Jaccede.com has adopted a unique approach.

Since 2006, details on the accessibility of public buildings are available on Jaccede.com.

To date, access details for over 30 000 places have been provided by our community of contributors, the Jaccedeurs. At present, this information is visible on our website, on our mobile application and recently via the 118 000.fr website (number two after the yellow pages). Our information is also available via the SFR GPS. All this is possible thanks to our API which enables the exchange of data between platforms.

If we can ensure that our technology becomes standard, there are all manner of possibilities for the future:

On the Expedia site, I could make sure that the hotel where I plan to stay has a walk-in shower; a blind person booking a table via Lafourchette.com could double-check whether there is a Braille menu; on Allocine.com a person with a hearing impairment could check whether a cinema has an induction loop. It wouldn’t be necessary to be familiar with Jaccede.com in order to know whether an institution is sufficiently accessible. Looking for an accessible GP, school or business in the yellow pages or on Google Maps could be equally straightforward.

In conclusion, as far as I am concerned, digital accessibility and physical accessibility go hand in hand when attempting to facilitate access for and to all.

video of the presentation by Damien Birambeau (in French)

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