Eau Claire (WQOW) – One local Eau Claire man is working on an app to help people with disabilities to be able to travel more accessible.
Gabriel Schlieve is 23-years-old, and he has cerebral palsy. So, he holds issues of accessibility close to his heart. Schlieve said even though he needs a wheelchair to help him get around (most of the time), he loves to travel. Schlieve has visited places all around the world like China, Tibet, and even Africa.
During Schlieve’s travels, inspiration struck. So he decided to write a book. he never published the book, but it did lead to an app idea called ‘The Rebel Traveler’s Guide to the World.’
“One of the main purposes of this app, is not only to tell what there is but to hopefully raise awareness and change standards,” said Schlieve. “And get people to look around their world, and to make it a better, more accessible place.”
The app is not available yet and still needs some work. Schlieve said the app would include GPS features. People with disabilities will be able to check out accessibility options at local hotspots. He also said the app would give people with disabilities more confidence in their travels.
“Travel is a great thing, it’s an amazing thing,” said Schlieve. “And I am super grateful that I’ve been able to do it. But I’ve seen so many people, especially people in my situation who have a disability who are just like, ‘I can barely go search my own town let alone travel the world.’ And I think that’s very sad.”
Schlieve said there are a lot of things that can be done to solve issues with accessibility. But he said people need to put in the effort to help.
Schlieve is focusing on Eau Claire, the Twin Cities, and groups in Swaziland, Africa, for collecting data and information. But he hopes to expand to Chicago as well.