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A game-changing booking website designed to help 1bn people with a disability enjoy accessible accommodation that can suit their specific needs and allow them to travel worry-free

Project description

An online booking system for accessible accommodation

Disabilities affect approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide, with their families or caregivers sharing the responsibility of ensuring their safety and comfort in various situations. When people with disabilities are travelling, they need to access places with specific equipment (devices for wheelchairs, material in Braille, etc.). However, the information about suitable facilities for disabled people is neither easily accessible nor reliable. The EU-funded Handiscover project aims to provide a booking system that helps people with disabilities to easily identify accessible accommodation that suits their specific needs and allows them to travel independently. It will also develop an Accessibility Management system for the industry to use to manage their accessibility data. Thanks to this project, it is expected that Europe will become a leading player in accessibility data.

Objective

The UN estimates there are over 1bn persons with disabilities worldwide, as well as 2bn people such as spouses, children and caregivers that are directly affected by disability. This group, representing almost a third of the population, can face serious issues when travelling, with inaccessible environments leading to inconveniences or sometimes even embarrassing or humiliating situations.

Due to the specificity of each condition, people with special needs require highly detailed information on facilities when travelling. For instance, someone in a regular wheelchair travelling with a companion won’t have any issues in getting over one step. However, someone in a motorised wheelchair travelling alone would face a more serious situation and would probably need to be lifted by untrained staff to get over the hurdle. Existing travel booking systems don’t give users any guarantees on accessibility, with mainstream websites (Booking.com Airbnb) providing only basic or inaccurate information.

With a mission to overcome these limitations, we developed Handiscover, the world’s first inclusive booking system that helps people with a disability to identify accessible accommodation that suits their specific needs and allows them to travel worry-free.

Whilst we have a prototype at TRL7, we need to refine, demonstrate and scale up to meet the demand we have seen and to maximise the impact of our solution. Specifically, we need a more automated and wide-ranging system that can account for any form of disability, generate accessibility knowledge amongst hotel staff and better manage hotel accessibility details.

By commercialising our solution, we will generate invaluable accessibility data, support the participation into society and in the economy of people with a disability and their families, and generate a cumulative revenue of €37m and 74 new jobs by 2026. Our solution will position Europe as an active player in the currently US-centric Online Travel Agency market.

Call for proposal

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020

See other projects for this call

Sub call

H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020-3

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Coordinator

HANDISCOVER SWEDEN AB
Net EU contribution
€ 1 616 387,50
Address
Troentorpsvagen 108
269 91 Bastad
Sweden

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Södra Sverige Sydsverige Skåne län
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Other funding
€ 692 737,50