Last summer, Kathleen Cail and Nestor Melnyk were awarded a grant by People’s Liberty from the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Foundation to create Access Cincinnati, an online resource providing accessibility information on restaurants and bars to families with strollers, veterans, seniors and other individuals with mobility issues.
After many, many hours of research, they are launching AccessCincinnati.org, and are marking the occasion with a party TONIGHT at 6 pm at Taft’s Ale House (1429 Race Street; Cincinnati, Ohio 45202). The party will include free appetizers, information about the reviews and website, and a presentation of the first official Access Cincinnati window cling.
For Kathleen and Nestor this project is of personal significance as they are both parents who have children with developmental disabilities and aging parents. “We created the site to make it easier for anyone with children in strollers or with mobility issues to find an accessible venue, feel welcome and confident they can patronize a restaurant or bar without problems entering or being seated,” said Kathleen. “We hope the site encourages restaurants and bars to consider accessibility beyond ADA requirements because it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good for business.”
Approximately 13% of Cincinnati residents are senior citizens and just over 12% of Hamilton County’s population has a disability. Cincinnati also hosts large conventions with Veterans, seniors and people with disabilities such as the National Veterans’ Wheelchair Games with 600 athletes visiting our city in July.
More than 65 citizens helped crowd source the information. Currently, there are approximately 150 reviews out of about 225 potential bars and restaurants, most in Downtown, OTR, and The Banks. To keep this information up-to-date, more crowd sourcing is needed. Cincinnatians are asked to visit www.accesscincinnati.org and sign up to receive their mobile survey to crowd source additional venues around the city, including other neighborhoods like Walnut Hills, Price Hill, Clifton, Avondale and Northside.
The Access Cincinnati mobile site provides information on Entrance, Space, and Restrooms. Restaurant and bar owners, that have been reviewed, will receive the Access Cincinnati window cling, providing potential customers passing by, with the information they need to decide whether a location meets their unique needs, before trying to enter.
“We want everyone to feel welcomed in our city and we want to provide information that can help individuals make their own decisions about where to spend their money and have a good time,” said Nestor.
Kathleen Cail and Nestor Melnyk need your help in making our downtown and Over-the-Rhine a more livable, welcoming community for everyone. If you live, work or frequent that area, this volunteer opportunity will only be a few hours commitment but will have a very important impact not only to the vibrancy of the region, but also to those who want to enjoy time together.
Kathleen and Nestor received a grant from People’s Liberty for their project, called Access Cincinnati. The goal is to create an online resource providing accessibility information on restaurants and bars to families with strollers, veterans, seniors, and individuals with mobility issues. Having that information easily available will allow people to make decisions where they will be spending time and spending money enjoying our great city.
There are over 250 establishments to survey, which is how you can help!
Their ACCESS Cincinnati Launch Party is Tuesday, August 31, 2016, at 6pm, at People’s Liberty, 1805 Elm St. (on the corner of W. Elder, across from Findley Market). There you will learn more, meet other great people, receive your ACCESS Cincinnati cards and a list of 4 to 6 establishments to survey.
Can’t make the Launch Party? You can still volunteer! Just register here.
What you need to know (provided by Kathleen):
Q: How long will the survey take do complete?
A: Probably 10 minutes maximum. There are only about 12 questions/observations which you will be asked to answer/make, for each bar/restaurant on your list. Every question is multiple choice.
Q: Do I have to eat or drink in these places?
A: No. Only if you want to. Some places you can just walk right in. Others will have a Host/Hostess and you can just let them know who you are and what you are doing. DCI & OTR Chamber have been informed of this and should have informed their members.
Q: Where will this information be stored?
A: We will post this on our mobile website, accesscincinnati.org (which is under construction now).
Q: Are we the accessibility police?
A: No. There are no accessibility police. We are looking at whether a place is visitable? Is there a level entrance (including a stepped entrance where a portable ramp is provided), are there accessible bathrooms, and can I move around easily inside the venue? No tape measures needed!
Q: What if I can’t make the Launch Party, but still want to complete the surveys, what do I do?
A: Call or email me and I will provide you everything you need. 513.604.2070, firstname.lastname@example.org