"Ready for Accessibility"

"Ready for Accessibility": CEDOS Network for accessible Municipalities and Enterprises

Graz, AustriaGraz
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

"Ready for Accessibility" is a long-lasting network of 80 municipalities and enterprises in Styria who want to create accessible facilities and services. The network members learn from experts, how to change their environment in order to establish the pre-conditions for the participation of disabled and elderly people in society. They get support from the project experts when ever they need and improve their knowledge concerning accessibility.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

2 billion of all people over the world are disabled. Most of them live excluded, because those people who have the power to rule the conditions for inclusion in municipalities and in enterprises are not aware of the needs for accessibility and do not have the requested know-how to create accessible environment or accessible Information. There is a big lack of serious information about the accessibility conditions of facilities in municipalities and enterprises. But such information is necessary to allow disabled people to decide whether they will be able use a Service or to participate an event or not.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The project is adressed to municipalities and enterprises, inviting them to increase accessiblity of their environment, services and products step by step. First step is the ceremonial admission into the network where majors and managers sign their committment for sustainable change. Secondly they will be provided with an analysis-software which allows them to check their premises, products, services, events, information materials and websites in terms of accessibility. The software was developped by the CEDOS experts of atempo and contains the criteria of norms as well as the expertise of disabled people. In addition the network members attend workshops to improve their know-how, share their experiences and get practical support.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

When enterprises and municipalities become members of the network "Ready for Accessibility" this incorporation is celebrated in a formal ceremony attended by the governor himself. Every citizen and every employee so can get the message: My municipality/my enterprise is aware of the needs of people with disabilities! For action and sustainable change every citizen and employee of the network members has access to the network workshops. There they learn about the needs of different disabled people and how to use the database to check their facilities. CEDOS network experts support the members to create accessible services and premises or to publish easy to understand information. For example: http://www.steirische-regionen-fuer-alle.at.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The project is spread out by a Social Franchise Model. atempo gathered 11 Social Franchise Partners in Germany and Austria up to now. They delivered more than 2500 analysis, workshops, consultations and accessible products. At the end of 2016 atempo wants to coordinate 30 Social Franchise Partners. They will serve 1.000 municipalities and enterprises as members of the Network "Ready for Accessibility" and train more than 10.000 people every year within the network workshops. The Franchise Partners will create 160 work places for people with learning and physical disabilities as experts.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The particular items of this project are: 1) The sustainable involvement of enterprises and municipalities, because they commit themselves to be a member of the CEDOS Network "Ready for Accessibility" and go step by step in contrary to singular activities. 2) The database and workshops for the members of the network which allow to improve their accessibility-knowledge in contrary of raising awareness only. 3) The inclusive working teams which are successful because their members show, that people with disabilities can work as experts and deliver valuable knowledge for social development.


atempo has app. 80 employees. For this project experts for physical accessibility, easy to read information, accessible ICT, architecture, accessible media and programming of databases are employed, most of them full-time. The team is inclusive: People with and without disabilities are working together. Therefore the project creates working-places for people with disabilities as experts. They do the workshops and trainings and professional analysis and show that way the power and potential of disabled people. Project growing is managed by the Social Franchise-System; experienced experts of our team train the employees of our partners and coach them if needed. Some of the Partners now are ready to implement this Network in their Regions, for example in Baden-Württemberg where a Group of municipalities around the Bodensee started in January 2014.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Network of 80 municipalities and enterprises
Visit website
Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

social enterprise

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name






Twitter URL
Organization Name

Network of 80 municipalities and enterprises

Total Number of Full-Time Employees

about 800

Lead Contact First Name

majors of the municiapalities

Lead Contact Last Name

majors of the municipalities





Twitter URL
Facebook URL
Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, STE, Graz

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact


Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet, Last mile distribution: Entries in this category focus on solutions that enable the physical delivery of life-changing services to people with restricted mobility or restricted access (senior people, people with disability, remote or difficult areas, etc.), Job Creation: Entries in this category create new jobs for people away from the labor market.

What awards or honors has the project received?

TRIGOS 2011 (nominated), SEA 2012 (nominated), Austrian Franchise Award 2013, B2B Diversity Best Practise 2011

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

-Partner category 1:
-Type of partner
-Short description
80 municipalities in Austria in rural and urban areas, some of them are cities, others small villages, some are in tourism regions, some in industrialised regions.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project
Changing the Environment and public Services step by step in order to support inclusive life of disabled and elderly People.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project
Commitment for policy Change towards inclusion and Investment (financial and social Investment) in supporting an inclusive society.
-Partner Category 2: enterprises
-Type of partners
-Short description sentence
120 enterprises - mainly provider of touristic Services
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation Project
Partner Enterprises are keen to increase their business by better meeting the needs and desires of people with disabilities.
-Key contributions in the co-creation Project
Partners open their enterprises for professional accessibility evaluation and publish their results for users. For example on the Website http://http://www.cedos.at/de/Analysen-und-Ergebnisse/

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

Up to now 80 municipalities in Styria step by step create appropiate basic conditions for inclusion. The project involves more than 1 million citizens, employees and visitors.
More than 150 offers for cultural and social participation are well prepared for disabled people. They have been comprehensively checked and are presented on different public websites. Therefore those 37% of disabled people in Austria and Germany who would travel for Holidays, but until now could not do so because of a lack of offers, now are able to search the web for suitable offers corresponding with their individual needs. They enjoy accessible hotels, restaurants, leisure activities and facilities for the daily life and a welcoming attitude.
As accessibility cannot be reached by one quick activity, the long-lasting network membership approach makes the big difference to singular measures and campaigns.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Businesses, Regional government, Other.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

When municipalities or enterprises become a member of the Network "Ready for Accessibility" they pay a membership fee. In the first year the fee is higher (E 1.900), because new members need much more training and support, then they pay from E 300 a year up to E 1.000.
Currently there are about 80 members which allows to finance the basic workshops, support and database activities without any funds. Therefore scaling up the network is Social Business.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

When Austria signed the UN Convention on the rights of disabled people in 2008 most of the municipalities and enterprises did not know anything about the duties and benefits of this milestone for an inclusive society.
On the other hand municipalities and enterprises have a lot of duties to manage in different meanings. So not everybody can become an expert for accessibility. We recognised, that a simple checking tool could support non-professionals to analyse their facilities time-efficiently and properly. This was the moment for the database-idea.
Furthermore we reflected, how we could ensure, that municipalities and enterprises keep to accessibility and created the network approach and membership as a solution for sustainability.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

Political decision-making is a very slow-going process. Therefore a project aimed to change policies has to have perseverance and sufficient ressources. To solve the problem of a good balance between effort and impact we searched for a model of long-lasting cooperation. Once you have convinced them to co-create, the membership-model showed up as a good frame for sustainable implementation.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

The co-creation is based on a membership in the network "Ready for Accessibility". The representatives of the municipalities and enterprises join the network in an official ceremony to testify their willingness to co-create within the project.
They finance the network activities and the network tools (database, advice, workshops) by an annual membership fee.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

The Project leads with the Vision of the benefit of an inclusive society instead of enforcement. Therefore employees as well citizens feel motivated to change their attitude and to increase their know-how and actively contribute to create accessible processes, services and environment. Within the participation in the Network they feel encouraged to act as real changemakers in their community.

How did you find out about this competition?

Ashoka Austria