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'Everyone should be able to get everywhere': Calgarians launch maps app for those with mobility issues


A new app designed to help Calgarians with disabilities get around the city has launched.

Pedesting, created by locals, assists those with mobility issues as they navigate indoor spaces.

"It helps people find the easiest, safest and most accessible routes in downtown Calgary," co-creator Nabeel Ramji said.

"It really helps people have confidence when they're going out."

Ramji, who has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair.

He believes most Calgarians would be surprised if they knew how inaccessible parts of the city are.

"I will go to a place a day before to do my investigation or call the business owner, just so (I know if) I can get in," he said.

Barriers exist everywhere, from construction closures to high sidewalks to sets of stairs.

The idea of Pedesting is to identify those barriers so people can plan routes well in advance or change direction on the fly.

It currently features floor plans and routes around Arts Commons, Brookfield Place and the Central Library.

More zones in the city -- including post-secondary schools and other office buildings -- will be added in the coming months.

The app also provides data to business owners so they can understand how to become more accessible without changing a building's infrastructure.

Ramji created the app with architect Erin Shilliday.

"I don't like to think that there's two groups, able-bodied and disabled," Shilliday told CTV News.

"I like to think we're all pedestrians."

The duo is hoping those with mobility issues -- and those who are able-bodied -- download Pedesting and provide feedback.

They believe it will be useful when developing the next stages.

"In our own little way, we're trying to democratize that pedestrian space," Shilliday said.

"Everybody should be able to get everywhere, all the time. We're all equal."

To learn more about Pedesting, visit its website. Top Stories

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