A Wisconsin Man Is Developing an App to Help Travelers With Disabilities

Sep 24, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

From Ryanair leaving a Paralympian stranded on board for 45 minutes to Jet2 asking a boy with Muscular Dystrophy to prove his disability, the airline and travel industry as a whole have a way to go when it comes to improving experiences for individuals with a disability.

A 23-year-old man from Wisconsin with cerebral palsy wants to make travel easier and more accessible for those with a disability through an app. Gabriel Schlieve, who uses a wheelchair, is one of 56.7 million Americans with a disability. Schlieve spent several weeks in Swaziland developing the “Rebel Traveler’s Guide to the World” app through the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Reciprocal Exchange, The Leader-Telegram reported.

Schlieve has been traveling around the world with his mother Nancy his entire life and said he started thinking about the app back in 2005 after experiencing endless accessibility difficulties. Schlieve has had difficulty accessing buildings, parks and historical monuments, and is often unable to find any information in guidebooks or online to warn him of how inaccessible a place would be, according to The Leader-Telegram.

Schlieve describes the app as the “Foursquare for people with disabilities,” which will provide travelers with all the accessibility information they need. He explained how an app like this would have been helpful during a time when he successfully pulled himself out of his wheelchair and climbed the Great Wall of China, but later discovered a gondola service could’ve assisted him.

To start, the app will have accessibility information about Eau Claire and the Twin Cities and eventually Chicago. Nancy Schlieve says her son has been advocating for people with disabilities for years.

“I think it’s really the people with disabilities who are the most effective advocates and are steering the bus,” she told The Leader-Telegram. “Because other people don’t really know — they’re not experiencing it every day. If you don’t have a connection with someone with a disability, you may empathize but you don’t know how it really is.”

Technology is a major component in improving travel for those with disabilities. Recently, a Japanese tech startup raided $45 million to specifically design an autonomous personal mobility device system to help travelers with disabilities navigate airports.

H/T: The Leader-Telegram

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.