2020 Governor General’s Innovation Award Laureate
About the Innovation:
Ms. Ziv is the founder of AccessNow, a mobile app designed to empower people living with disabilities to live more independently. AccessNow connects people with ratings, insight and information on the accessibility features and status of businesses and experiences in over 30 countries. This innovation, fuelled by a crowdsourced model, engages a global community to contribute to a more inclusive and accessible world. Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan channeled her frustration on the lack of accessibility information into motivation and making a difference. Her inspiration was personal; her impact is huge.
About the Innovator:
Maayan Ziv is an activist, a photographer and an entrepreneur. From a young age, Maayan challenged norms and worked within her community to increase awareness of disability issues and improve accessibility. Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan is a passionate and relentless advocate for creating a more accessible world. In 2015 Maayan launched AccessNow out of the need to solve her own problem. What began as a response to her frustration when trying to navigate inaccessible places, AccessNow soon grew to become a mission-oriented social start-up. Within just a couple years AccessNow has vocalized a movement for inclusion, inviting people of all abilities to contribute to the platform. As CEO of AccessNow, Maayan has created a powerful shift in thinking about the importance of accessibility in our world, from accessible technologies to infrastructure, public policy, media and communications. An influential public speaker who is often in the media, Maayan collaborates with private sector companies as well as government and not-for-profit organizations. She inspires leaders dedicated to raising the profile of accessibility for all. Maayan is a trailblazer for change in her commitment to improving the lives of people of all abilities.