Nathan Anderson Disability

A social enterprise to make New Zealand 100% accessible

9 June Jun 2017 1521 09 June 2017
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It’s called Be.Accessible and it has the vision to make the world a place where every person has the opportunity to reach their true potential. Since its foundation, in 2011, the social enterprise has mobilized hundreds of businesses, public spaces, infrastructures, workers and employees.

Be.Accessible is a New Zealand social enterprise with the vision to make the country 100% accessible to everyone: a country where every person has the opportunity to reach their own potential. Be.Accessible is also a movement inviting organisations and businesses to get together to turn the world into a place where every person, every building and community is really accessible. Since its foundation, in 2011, Be.Accessible has mobilized businesses, public spaces, infrastructures, workers and employees to reach that final goal.

The New Zealand social enterprise is working with hundreds of businesses to help them change. “We are also creating a new innovation lab and an investment fund that will catalyse new access innovations for the 21st century, we are now positioning New Zealand to be the centre of access innovations globally”, says Minnie Baragwanath, founder and CEO of Be.Accessible, in an interview with Pioneers Post.

MInnie Baragwanath will be one of the speakers at the Social Enterprise World Forum, that will take place in New Zealand from the 27th to the 29th of September 2017. “Hopefully, it will be a springboard so in the next couple of years we will see that government policy has changed, that there are amazing new projects, that we’ve moved forward.”

Be.Accessible has created, professionalising the expertise and the knowledge regarding accessibility, a consultancy model for organizations and the government on how to become more accessible.

The dream of Be.Accessible is to make the country accessible to 20% of New Zealanders who have a disability. Both elderly people and parents with strollers have needs in terms of accessibility: the project is not only targeted at people with disabilities but it also deals with accessibility in general.

“At Be.Accessible we take a holistic approach, we believe that true accessibility is only possible when the physical, social and personal aspects of life are addressed together”, says Minnie B. on the website of the social enterprise.
As for the physical aspects, by creating a physical environment that will enable everyone to enjoy and share all that New Zealand has to offer. At social level the idea is to inspire everyone to think differently about access in order to raise the hopes and dreams of everyone.

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