Luis Ignacio Quintana

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico
Fellow Since 2015

Citation

This profile was prepared when Luis Ignacio Quintana was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2015.
The New Idea
Todo Accesible is working to create a true culture of inclusion for persons with disabilities. Luis Quintana believes that physical access is a key to, but only the beginning of, a new culture of inclusion. He empowers people with disabilities to use their consumer power to raise the bar for accessibility and inclusion, while working with businesses to provide them with the tools to become truly inclusive. Luis’s solution addresses infrastructure challenges through physical improvements, and also addresses the need for social and cultural understanding and integration.

Starting with the space itself, Luis’s team consults on plans for new buildings and evaluates existing structures for their accessibility. The evaluations are conducted by a team of people with disabilities, in order to test not just legal conformity, but real access. Luis’s standards of accessibility go beyond just the physical nature of the building. In order to complete the intervention in a space with meaningful cultural change, Todo Accesible conducts sensitization workshops. These workshops are conducted by people with disability and are tailored to the individual needs of different types of businesses. The workshops are filmed, and management is trained to replicate them in response to any staff turnover. After this process, buildings which are truly accessible for all types of disability and whose staff have been trained through the workshops are recognized with Todo Accesible’s “Distinctive A,” an accessibility indicator that goes beyond the government standards and considers a myriad of types of disabilities. Luis’s website, Todo Accesible.com, provides a directory of the inclusivity of spaces across Mexico, ranging from corporations to bars and hotels. By providing ratings and commentary on a variety of spaces, the directory enables those with disabilities to use their consumer power to choose accessible spaces and generate change.

Luis’s goal is to create a Mexico where accessibility leads naturally to inclusion. His method identifies and aligns the incentives for all actors involved. Aside from benefitting persons with disabilities themselves, the workshops resolve uncertainties about the correct way to interact with the disabled, and they also help companies see the business and tax benefits of catering to differently-abled clientele. Luis works with employers to integrate hiring employees with disability into their normal employment cycles, and is well-positioned to respond to the landmark legislation which will in 2015 make accessibility a requirement for all businesses with over 50 employees. With the added pressure of the online directory and increased consumer conscience, Luis is working toward a culture where businesses that do not move to become inclusive will face social pressure to do so. Through all these efforts Luis is building a radical shift in Mexico’s culture of disability and access.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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