“LEOs go Wheee” – Mapping activities of the Leo Club Ljubljana

Great news from Ljubljana! The local Leo Club met for a short but effective mapping event in the capital of Slovenia. And as we found out, due to the promising initiative “LEOs go Wheee!” of all Leos in Europe there is more for us to look forward to.

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One and a half hours, seven people, 61 marked locations. That’s the result of the mapping tour of the Leo Club Ljubljana, which took place on June 13th. During their walk through the city, 28 locations were tagged as fully wheelchair-accessible, 14 as limited accessible, and 19 as not wheelchair-accessible.

According to the coordinator of the Leo Club in Slovenia, Marko Oset, the goal for all members of the network is to map as many places as possible and to raise awareness about the existence of Wheelmap locations in their local communities.

The reason: Some of the Slovenian areas are quite poorly populated with places that need to be assessed. Therefore, one of their goals is to add additional points of interest which are currently not shown on Wheelmap.

Much orange due to many “one-step-places”

Tadej Recek, participant of the mapping activities in Ljubljana, describes the situation as follows:

I would say that the biggest problems for wheelchair users in Ljubljana is a large number of “just one”-step places, which could be a bit uncomfortable for people in wheelchairs.

However, what’s the advantages in Ljubljana, it’s that we have wide pavements and streets, and the fact that also the city busses are easily wheelchair accessible so that the wheelchair users can get around the city quite easily.

Wheelmap extract from the centre of Ljubljana

The centre of Ljubljana on Wheelmap after the mapping

The overall impression of Ljubljana is that the main points (i.e. main train & bus station, mayor theatres, all of the tourist attractions) are easily wheelchair accessible. However, if you stray from the main streets in the city, then you encounter a lot of locations, which we have marked as orange. Places which we have marked red, were very few.

During the mapping, we got some strange looks, especially from the owners of different bars, hostels, bell boys in hotels, etc. But when we explained them the purpose of our visit, they were very supportive and were willing to help by supplying additional information about their establishment.

For some of the smaller cities in Slovenia, the Wheelmap was poorly populated. On this point, I would advise all others who are planning to do the mapping, that they themselves include the locations on the map and not just assess the already existing ones.

“LEOs go Wheee!” – mapping events throughout Europe

Considering this successful start and the ambitious goals of the group in Ljubljana, we were even more delighted to hear that this meeting won’t be the last of its kind.

“21 Leo Clubs in Slovenia have confirmed that they will participate in the mapping activities”, explains Tadej the scope of the Slovenian engagement. And even better: “Many clubs will repeat the mapping process in their local cities several times”, he adds.

One might ask, where is the hotbed of this extraordinary motivation? And then we remembered, this is not the first encounter with the Leos! It’s the success of the mapping event of the LEO Club in Helsinki in 2012 which has encouraged the young network of the Lions Club to continue the mapping.

As a consequence for 2014 and 2015, all Leo Clubs of Europe and the Mediterranean agreed on making Wheelmap a high priority project. Using the catchy name “LEOs go Wheee!”, they will continue the crowdsourcing on wheelchair data. “Our motivation and our aim is to raise awareness among young people in Europe about the everyday problems of people in wheelchairs”, Tadej points out.

If you’re interested in organising a mapping event yourself, find some information in the project area and get in touch with us. Grey marks in the whole wide world on Wheelmap are waiting to be coloured.

Posted in Mapping Events
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