Inclusion Atlas is showing where people of all identities can be safe, happy and accommodated. | HerCanberra

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Inclusion Atlas is showing where people of all identities can be safe, happy and accommodated.

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Naarm/Melbourne-based inclusion champion Lana Perello is on a mission.

Lana wants every community to have access to information on how and where locations and businesses best accommodate their needs.

She is keen for Canberrans to join her and the other community members on the quest by rating their own experience of inclusion at venues around the city.

The Project and Partnership Coordinator of Inclusion Atlas, Lana has helped develop a mobile app which lets people find, rate and review venues and public spaces based on how accessible and inclusive they are.

Community groups which are often marginalised and socially excluded include people with disabilities, people from any culture, including those with linguistic, religious and secular aspects, neurodiverse people, diverse age groups, LGBTQIA+, breastfeeding or baby care-giving people, those with dietary requirements and those with service animals.

Lana Perello wants Inclusion Atlas to make life easier and happier for all.

Inclusion Atlas works by collecting user-generated content through a rating system so people can share their experiences by uploading photos and providing feedback. Review categories range from accessible parking to LGBTQIA+ friendly spaces, to changing-table availability and more.

Inclusion Atlas also has a second function supporting business owners to improve their practices—both those starting out with little idea of how to be more inclusive and those who want to raise the bar.

Venue owners are guided by direct feedback from their clientele and communities to collaborate and communicate in a respectful dialogue that moves the issue forward.

According to Lana, it is an educational process.

“We operate under a ‘no name, no blame, no shame’ ethos. Giving businesses an opportunity to show that they are listening to every one of their customers can demonstrate meaningful change in the pursuit of fair and equitable customer service, as well as supporting the community that their business operates within. By adopting this model, Inclusion Atlas is setting the standard for the way businesses and communities interact, where the needs and lived experiences of both users and business owners alike are recognised and reinforced, creating positive exchanges.”

For Lana, “Inclusion is important to me because there have been many times in my own life and loved ones’ lives when we’ve been excluded from places because of the lack of accommodations for all members of the community. This lack has resulted in people avoiding certain spaces because of issues of safety, accessibility and bigotry. What is deemed as ‘societal normalcy’ creates difficulties for too many people. Statistically there is a large portion of our communities affected by lack of inclusive spaces.”

During the app’s market testing phase, the team found “93.5 per cent of people with a disability tried to find information about accessibility of venues before visiting, and unsurprisingly, retailers who had a positive attitude towards disability were reported to provide more positive customer experiences. All our research highlighted that a more equitable society would greatly benefit both the user and businesses in many factors. What sets us apart from other venue rating platforms like GoogleMaps, TripAdvisor, Zomato and others, is that they lack specificity, which is what Inclusion Atlas offers. For example, flashing lights, which can trigger seizures in some people, are not listed within the rating system of any other current platform.”

Inclusion Atlas was released last November, and is currently in the beta phase with plans to be a global resource. “We’ve garnered a highly positive reaction from community members who believe that our platform has the capacity to influence change toward creating more inclusive and accessible communities. Our user base is growing every day,” says Lana.

Which is where Canberra comes in. Inclusion Atlas needs some locals to kick-start its information platform.

All you need to do is download the app and start rating local businesses.

The app features an easy process requiring you to simply tap in your experiences whenever you’re out and about and take a photo or two or to spread the word to those in your life who may have been excluded from public spaces in the past for whatever reason.

As a grassroots community platform, Inclusion Atlas is still operating on a small scale, but hopes to include more accessibility features, such as translating the app into different languages and having different modified versions to support those with vision, physical and motor, hearing and learning considerations.

You can check out the website here, download the free app here or email Lana directly with inquiries at and you can also watch a demonstration video on how to use the app here.

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