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A day on the road to Cannes !

Sorry for not having written the summary of the day yesterday, I was exhausted. I woke up at 6.30 AM yesterday. I had to drop some posters at the Deloitte Digital Studio for a workshop and I took the road at 8.00 AM to arrive at 9.00 PM in Cannes, a long drive of more than 11 hours. Why I did not take the plane?! I would just say for the freedom that I need.

I live in Woluwé St Lambert and before getting to the highway, I passed by a small street when I saw this hand-made ramp. I was already in the subject of the week: making our world more accessible and creating better life experiences and freedom to everyone. This picture touched me because making our world more accessible takes time. It starts with little things, little intentions that you do with your hand and with your heart.

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On this nice feeling, I took the road. Along the way, I decided to take the opportunity to empathise with disable people: How easy / difficult the road should be for people with disabilities? What should be their experience on the road? Is it easy to go by car to the South of France? It was the first time that I asked myself this question while travelling. And it turned to be very insightful.

After almost 100km, I did a first stop, in Belgium. Amazing: the toilets are at the first floor, with small stairs and a mechanism to insert money to get access to the toilet. This mechanism was so small, it was just spacious enough for me to enter. Imagine someone with a wheelchair.

After 400km, I did a second stop, In France this time. Second stop, doors of the highway shop are big enough to enter the place, but there is no automatic mechanism to open the door so you need to rely on people to open it, which would be very difficult to handle for people in wheelchair. This time, toilets are on the first floor and quite accessible.

After 800km, I did a third stop. Just before exiting the highway, I realized that there is a sign to indicate that the era is accessible for people with disabilities. Though, I started thinking about how difficult stopping by car should be for people with disabilities. I took 5 to 10 minutes for each stop, but I don’t think that people in a wheelchair would take the same time to find a good spot, find a parking place, go out of the car, entering the shop either to go to the toilet or to buy something on the road, etc. All of these are little steps that are part of our implicit experiences… But not for the 50 million people in a wheelchair. They need to think about it because we don’t think about this for them when we design our services, cities, shops, etc. How can we improve the experiences they have in their everyday life? How can we better design for inclusion? http://heartsinmotion.eu/ That is a question that we are raising and why we are proud to be at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity to make some noise.

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Happy to see that program looks great. And accessibility for people in wheelchair is quite interesting at first sight….

Stay tuned….

Cheers,
Saky