Tamas Babinszki reports that he has built a new travel oriented web site that provides information about various points of interest, including hotels, museums and restaurants, from the accessibility perspective of people with disabilities. The CLUEniversal site is organized into a database of clues (Convenient Locations for Universal Enjoyment) contributed directly by users who have firsthand experience visiting the points of interest featured on the site.

Mr. Babinszki writes the following concerning his new project:

I travel quite a bit, and often times I find it very frustrating that when I have a couple of hours between meetings and I plan any activities, I am greatly disappointed, because the sites I visit are not accessible, and I waste the little time I have instead of having done something more interesting. However, you don’t know this until you visit the sites. I could review other sites for user recommendations, but in most of the cases it does not provide enough information for me from the accessibility point of view. For example, a museum can be wonderful, but I would like to know if there is something to touch there or things are behind glass. I would rather pick a less interesting or less famous museum when I know that they have hands-on objects. Also, I’d rather pick a guided tour with many long stops where I have an opportunity to experience the sights, as opposed to a long bus tour where all I have is the tour guide’s explanation, if any.

Therefore, I put together CLUEniversal, a site where people can enter locations, similar to other travel sites. This site, however, is different, because when people enter a new location, they can answer numerous questions about the accessibility of a place. If a restaurant has a Braille menu, if a museum has a guided tour, if the hotel has airport transportation, etc. This way people with disabilities would have a greater chance to find locations which they would enjoy visiting. 

This site, however, is not built for people with disabilities only. It is primarily designed for all, this is what I stand for, this is what CLUE’s mean. CLUEniversal: Convenient Locations for Universal Enjoyment.

People can choose which questions they do or do not want to answer. Also, once a location (CLUE) is entered, visitors have an option to provide general, and accessibility related ratings and comments. 

This site is totally free. I believe people should have access to such information free of charge. It is, however, optional to register, I would like to provide incentives for people who contribute the most to the database, which requires an e-mail address and a user name, and only the user name is publicly available. 

The site is a Beta version. While I have most of the concepts worked out, the database only contains a few items. Also, more categories will be added, together with more questions in order to determine the enjoyment and accessibility level of a location. 

As of now, I’m looking for people who are willing to test the site, provide more locations and offer suggestions on how to make this site a more useful experience for them. 

This new site is in the early beta stage. It holds tremendous potential to make travel much more enjoyable for those of us whom happen to be blind or visually impaired. Let’s all give him a hand by adding the points of interest we visit on a regular basis.