Tech is breaking accessibility barriers in transport — here's how


According to WHO, people with disabilities represent 16% of the world population. They also find transportation 15 times more challenging than non-disabled individuals. But for mobility to truly be sustainable, it has to go beyond reducing emissions; it has to be inclusive and cater for every member of society.

To this end, technology represents a beacon of hope as much as an invaluable tool. To find out more about its role in enabling universally accessible transportation, I spoke with Jonathan Chacón Barbero, Senior Accessibility Software Engineer at Cabify.

“Technology helps us overcome our limits.

Chacón Barbero joined the ride-hailing scaleup in 2019 and is the person behind the accessibility menu of its app. He has led a multi-year-long career in the design and development of accessible applications, and has worked as an accessibility consultant and lecturer. He is also amongst the few blind software engineers in Europe.

“The first time I got a personal computer as a child, it was love at first sight,” Chacón Barbero says. “That’s when I decided I wanted to be a computer scientist.”At the age of five he built his first software programme, and at the age of nine, he decided to focus on hardware.

Chacón Barbero could see with his right eye until he was 15 years old, at which point he fully lost his vision, leading him to work on software instead.

Jonathan Chacon Barbero