Over the weekend, we joined millions of people around the world in celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd. This day was officially sanctioned by the United Nations in 1992 with the goal of promoting a greater understanding of disability issues and mobilizing support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities. This year, the IDPWD official theme is “transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world.”
At Lazarillo, we are proud to work every day to create new solutions to increase inclusion around the world, helping to advance the mission of breaking barriers for accessibility and building a more equitable world for everyone. Over the last year, we’ve launched projects in countries from the US to Chile to Spain to Qatar, all designed to make life more accessible for people with disabilities. Among the newest of these projects are our recently announced collaborations with Banorte in Mexico and the Santiago Metro System in Chile.
This month, Banorte became the first bank in Mexico to integrate with the Lazarillo app, making their offerings more accessible to people with disabilities. Using the Lazarillo app, blind and visually impaired people will be able to receive information on the GPS locations of Banorte branches and ATMs, as well as news, services and promotions from Banorte. Users will even be able to schedule an appointment at their nearest Banorte branch directly in the Lazarillo app.
Lazarillo CEO and CoFounder René Espinoza couldn’t be more excited about the prospects of the collaboration. “Now Banorte customers will be able to find the nearest branch or ATM and plan their routes in the Lazarillo app, improving their independence. Lazarillo also provides an accessible profile of each branch and ATM accessibility with screen readers, allowing people to bank easily regardless of disabilities.”
Lazarillo has also recently announced our collaboration with the Santiago Metro System in Chile, giving people the ability to find transit times and routes in the Lazarillo app and navigate through transit stations accessibly with audible guidance. This huge project will allow thousands of people with disabilities in Santiago to use public transit accessibly, breaking barriers to transportation and increasing safety and independence.
This is the second project we’ve launched this year involving the mapping of large metro stations, the first being Msheireb Station in Doha, Qatar – the country’s largest metro station! The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is exciting fans around the globe as we speak, and the metro system is more accessible to fans than ever before thanks to Lazarillo!
Back in the US, we’ve been participating in an incredible program called Starta VC – a New York-based accelorator designed to provide opportunities to international startups looking to scale globally. This week, we’ll be demoing our solutions alongside the rest of the startups in the program during Starta’s official Demo Day! You can register for this free in-person event here.
We’ve also continued work on other projects in the U.S, including our massive accessibility project in Detroit. Over the course of the last year, we’ve enhanced maps of multiple neighborhoods throughout the city and integrated with transit agencies including DDOT, Smart, and Q-Line to make public transit more accessible with the Lazarillo app. This solution is nearly finished, and right now we’re offering our community an exciting opportunity to test it – and get paid to do it! If you’re located in or around Detroit and have interest in getting paid to test our solution, register here!
We also have multiple project announcements incoming – so stay tuned in the coming weeks for more exciting news about accessibility!
On behalf of the whole team at Lazarillo, happy International Day of Persons with Disabilities! We couldn’t do the work that we do without our incredible community, and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate each and every one of you!
Lazarillo is an assistive technology startup founded by CEO René Espinoza with the goal of breaking barriers for inclusion with smart technology solutions. Lazarillo has worked with businesses and organizations across the globe to increase accessibility by providing a mapping platform to enhance custom experience. Their partners include hospitals, universities, museums, city governments, smart mobility operators, shopping centers, and more. Lazarillo also offers a mobile app that provides accessible indoor and outdoor wayfinding for people that are blind or visually impaired. The app is free and can be downloaded today on Google Play and the App Store.