THE Scottish founders of a website dubbed the ‘Tripadvisor for the disabled community’ have hailed the success of their site as it begins to go global.
Created by Edinburgh siblings Euan and Kiki MacDonald, Euan’s Guide, is a disabled access review website aiming to remove the fear of the unknown for those with disabilities.
An online resource for disabled people looking to explore pubs, restaurants and venues in their area, the website provides detailed accessibility information as well as reviews and recommendations sent in by users.
When father of two, Euan became wheelchair bound six years ago due to Motor Nuerone Disease (MND), he was left frustrated that to discover if a venue was accessible he had to visit it himself.
Fed up with writing down reviews of the Capital’s venues, in 2013 the brother and sister team set up Euan’s Guide.
Now into its third year of operation, Euan’s Guide employs seven people and has over 3,600 venues across the UK listed and is currently expanding its offerings to other countries, with reviews already available for European destinations and further afield.
The charity has scooped a multitude of awards since its inception and attracted glowing endorsements from the likes of JK Rowling whose mum had MS and Professor Stephen Hawking, who, like Euan, also has MND.
“We created Euan’s Guide because we wanted to hear from other disabled people about their experiences of disabled access, “ said co-founder Euan MacDonald.
He added: “We wanted to discover new places based on the recommendations of others, knowing that we could go because someone else with similar access requirements had been before us and loved it.
“Now, we’ve had more recommendations than we could have possibly imagined, and for all kinds of places!
“People are using the guide the way we hoped it would be used, to discover new places and know what the disabled access would be like before going.”
The free service provided by Euan’s Guide - which is now available as a mobile app - is funded by private donations, grants and the MacDonald family themselves.
“When we started we really didn’t know how much demand there would be” said Kiki MacDonald.
She continued: “ There was no resource like this out there for disabled people.”
The duo believe their site has already made venues around the country more aware of the importance of accessibility but admit more can still me done.
Mr MacDonald said: “There is still quite a lot of room for improvement in the world of accessibility – all of the reviews on Euan’s Guide would be five star otherwise!
“Venues can make a big difference by simply sharing information about their disabled access so that disabled people know what to expect before visiting.”
- Euan MacDonald will take part in a digital media meetup for charities at a free event in Edinburgh tomorrow.