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José Agostinho: “Accessibility is crucial in smart cities”

Since we created TOMI until today, we were always looking for ways we could build better solutions for people. Developing our smart city solution into a powerful innovation that can help to transform cities and enhance the life of the citizens and tourists as our top priority.

That’s why creating a forward-thinking way to empower accessibility through TOMI was a great challenge that we embraced happily. Our commitment was to bring all of TOMI’s benefits and features to all citizens, regardless of their physical or cognitive condition.

With the ‘Design for All’ concept in mind, we started to envision an accessible platform for all users, making the experience better for everyone who uses TOMI. For people with disabilities, is a daily problem not being able to access information or services as anyone else.

TOMI is now linking even more people to the city while making cities more accessible: from curated information, means to get around in the city, to smart services such as taking tickets for public entities, everyone has the same opportunity to interact.

Our efforts in evolving TOMI to an even more comprehensive and approachable product for people with disabilities have shown that is fundamental to listen, to learn and to collaborate side-by-side with our users. They share their story with us, what they expect from TOMI and how we can make it better: it is an enriching experience.

 

We have made several tests with different people to improve our solutions, in order to provide an interaction adapted to their needs. We worked with different associations and every day we started to understand much better that this was not only just important but really essential.

 

Smart cities need to develop synergies to be more inclusive for their communities, thinking about society as a whole: everyone deserves the same tools to get informed or to access services.

 

In fact, this is a topic that will become more and more important over the years, because the population is aging very quickly and the life expectancy is increasing. With age comes a higher level of impairment, ill-health or disabilities and it’s essential to enable independence, assure more autonomy for people with disabilities and take action to promote equity in the cities. Accessibility is crucial in smart cities.


We believe that the pathway to true city accessibility needs to include up-to-date and reachable information and services, available to all and adapted to their necessities.


Accessibility in urban solutions is not only possible but indispensable and we’ll continue to research, develop and implement new ways to promote inclusion. This is another big step to a more connected city.


José Agostinho, TOMI WORLD CEO

 

Photography by Maria João Gala/Global Imagens e Fernando Marques