Cultural Infusion, a national not-for-profit arts and cultural organisation with a mission to build global harmony through intercultural understanding, has been dedicated to promoting diversity in the arts since 2002.
This year, they received a $50,000 grant from Telematics, which has played a pivotal role in their journey to developing the Inclusion Atlas platform. This groundbreaking resource rates public spaces based on their inclusiveness and accessibility.
Cost of exclusion
Exclusion costs the Australian economy a staggering $45 billion annually, contributes to feelings of isolation and loneliness, diminishes productivity and reduces community engagement. The Inclusion Atlas project seeks to reduce this burden, leveraging technology to empower people of all abilities and cultures.
The Inclusion Atlas platform, available both online and as a mobile app, offers two key features. First, it provides essential information to diverse-ability individuals, enabling their participation in physical spaces. Simultaneously, it connects with venue managers and business owners, encouraging and facilitating the implementation of accessibility upgrades.
Inclusion Atlas gathers user-generated content and integrates the Google Maps API. Location information helps users find, rate, and review venues based on their accessibility. From tattoo parlours to concert halls to fire stations, all manner of venues can be viewed and reviewed on the Atlas.
Expanding the beneficiary base
Using the Telematics grant, Cultural Infusion has broadened the scope of Inclusion Atlas. Originally, focused on individuals with disabilities, the platform's beneficiaries now encompass people from diverse backgrounds, including those with religious, physical, neurological, cultural, or social considerations.
Inclusion Atlas made its beta release in November 2022, undergoing focus groups testing for functionality, usability and accessibility. While more user and business engagement is needed for comprehensive feedback, early responses from the community have been overwhelmingly positive.
The CEO and founder of Cultural Infusion, Peter Mousaferiadis, said:
The Telematics Trust funding has enabled us to build our platform into what we had only hoped it could become. Through their support, we have built and launched our app, Inclusion Atlas, which rates public spaces based on how inclusive and accessible they are. The importance of inclusivity and accessibility for all is something that is too often overlooked in day-to-day life, and we are so thankful that Telematics has helped us to highlight the importance of this and help make our world safer and more inclusive.
Outcomes and Aspirations
The impact of Inclusion Atlas is already visible, with outcomes including increased access to learning technologies for children with disabilities, improved societal participation, heightened awareness among business owners and government agencies, and enhanced community understanding of accessibility requirements.
Moving forward, Inclusion Atlas aspires to grow its user base, engage with community-benefiting clients, and form partnerships with community-benefiting clients, NGOs and governmental organisations. Its user-generated content and innovative approach promise to foster more accessible and inclusive spaces for everyone. The Telematics grant has played a crucial role, enabling Cultural Infusion to make significant strides toward a more inclusive and harmonious society.