• Calgary Tech Journal
  • Posts
  • Platform launched connecting accessible venues for people with disabilities

Platform launched connecting accessible venues for people with disabilities

Krooshl has expansion plans for other Alberta cities beyond Calgary.

Sean Crump

A Calgary-based company that aims to improve accessibility to city venues has plans to expand to other parts of the province as it gears up for launch.

Included by Design uses digital solutions to solve accessibility and inclusion problems that restrict equal opportunities for a large portion of the population.

In late 2021, it announced the beta launch of its product Krooshl.com, a community map and marketplace that connects accessible restaurants and venues with the people who need them.

Krooshl uses the international standards developed by Universal Access to identify businesses that are accessible—not through a subjective star rating, but a clear, measurable, and repeatable set of standards.

“We created a digital marketplace which allows people to identify accessible venues based on four levels of accessibility certification,” said Included By Design CEO Sean Crump. “What we’re trying to accomplish there is to create ease of community and community interaction and engagement so that people living with disabilities can go out and participate in social events or employment or anything like that like anyone else.”

Crump is also Head Chair/President of Universal Access which is an accessibility improvement firm specializing in helping its clients create equity of access to opportunity by reducing barriers. It helps places address the unique relationship between spatial layout, social inclusion and economic participation.

Krooshl includes restaurants, recreational facilities, and pubs.

Included by Design also provides resources to help businesses train staff and figure out what needs to be done if their spaces lack accessibility features.

Crump said Krooshl currently exists only in Calgary, but there are plans to expand.

“We’re just raising some money right now through a pre-seed investment raise to create the next feature set into Krooshl and we’ll launch that throughout Alberta,” he said.

“We’re working with a few restaurants right now and onboarding them behind the scenes, so as we launch we’ll have a number of different locations.”

Included by Design, which offers a complete suite of accessibility consulting services, started helping clients navigate their accessibility needs in 2021.

“That came from a consulting company I started called Universal Access back in 2016,” said Crump.

“We provide accessibility solutions to help increase the ability for businesses and places to be more inclusive for people with disabilities.”

The company provides its solutions for government buildings, event venues, restaurants, office spaces, and malls.

“Many of us have gone out for food and drink only to find out the venue is not accessible (sometimes even if we called first). So we stay at home. We disconnect from existing friends and remove the opportunities to make new ones. Krooshl works to change this experience for people living with disabilities, their friends, and family,” said the company on its website.

“Armed with this information, you can feel confident that the business you choose to visit can accommodate you or your loved ones’ needs and has taken steps to create a welcoming and inclusive environment.”

Users of Krooshl can preview a venue's physical location before visiting to get the information they require for an enjoyable visit.

Once a venue is certified as barrier-free, its space is added to the Krooshl map.

The listing includes:

  • Key images of the space

  • A highlight of the accessibility components

  • Web, social media, and contact details

The platform also provides businesses with dashboard login credentials where they can edit their venue listing, create event listings, and manage ticketing, registration, and donation procurement.