#53 of 100 - accessibleGO
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
No. 53 of #100israelistartups is accessibleGO.
Israeli start-up accessibleGO is making travel possible for everyone, no matter the physical disabilities.
accessibleGO is the only full-service accessible travel platform providing search, reviews, and bookings of accessible hotels, cruises, transport and destinations worldwide. With timely insights, comprehensive resources, and a dynamic community, accessibleGO is one of the leading travel resource for planning accessible trips.
The company is unique in that it offers all elements of the travel service, from information through to a fully-integrated booking engine. Most accessible travel sites cover one aspect of travel, usually lacking booking capability, whereas accessibleGO offers everything that people have come to expect on major travel sites such as booking.com and Expedia.
The Inspiration Behind accessibleGO
accessibleGO was inspired by Emma Eljas, the mother of cofounder Miriam Eljas Goldman. Emma was a wheelchair user with multiple sclerosis who never let life's obstacles hold her back from living life to the fullest. Emma served as a commissioner on the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Disability Advisory Commission and helped make regional transportation more accessible. With a wheelchair-lift van, Emma and her family traveled the Bay Area and took advantage of the beauty of the region. While many venues were accessible, countless were not. Even calling in advance, only to be told misinformation by well-intentioned employees, didn’t solve the problems.
Miriam recalls an incident as a teenager where she and her mother went to a local movie theater in San Jose. Over the phone, they were told the theater was completely accessible. Upon arrival, there was a series of steps to enter the actual theater from the lobby. Disheartened, Miriam asked the theater manager how employees could give such incorrect information. The manager, not to be deterred, took a flimsy, cracked ramp made of fractured plywood out of a broom closet and proudly declared the theater accessible. Knowing full well there was no way Emma’s wheelchair plus body weight would make it over the ‘ramp’, Miriam and her mother left the theater, disappointed and frustrated.
Given her firsthand exposure to accessibility issues, Miriam felt compelled to follow in her mother’s footsteps, knowing that a difference could be made simply by the sharing of critical advance information just like on other travel websites where reviews are about the quality of a travel experience, not accessibility.
Miriam Eljas Co-Founder & CEO told us:
"The vision of accessibleGO is to create a platform for travelers with disabilities to access information, share experiences and be inspired to travel the world without obstacles.
People with disabilities experience obstacles when traveling that could have been easily avoided, effectively ruining their trips. This usually revolves around misinformation for inaccessible hotels, attractions, transportation, flights and more. We’re effectively changing that through the power of information and technology, where we have the ability to transform travel for millions of people around the world".