VIVA and accessibility

A dream remains a dream only if it is not accessible, but the attempt to realize it can become a goal. In this respect, sports are an important metaphor. For example, all of us wish to be a champion at least once in our lives. Rarely, however, will all skiers become downhill champions; in fact, sports have diversified with the fact that athletes’ capabilities correspond to their different targets.

VIVA gives visibility to what was evident: we can all become a champion, at least once, providing we follow certain rules. The most important of these rules is that of learning: a goal remains a goal because it is a journey, a passage. And if we all accept to learn, we can all get there and become champions by measuring ourselves with our peers.

Accessibility helps us get there. Nature must therefore become accessible, in various ways and to all. VIVA supplies all the information required to allow each visitor to choose and reach his/her desired destination in an autonomous way.

Accessibility is a paradigm of fruition. And VIVA is its instrument through active participation.

Our journey is based on experience, providing that it be lived. The imagination is very powerful. Let us remember explorers of the 19th century, such as Charles Darwin, and their journey narratives. Without imagination, man would not have gone to the moon. Nor would he have climbed mountains. The unknown inspires fear and fascination; but it is imagination which pushes us to determine the course to follow.

VIVA respects everyone’s dream and discovery. Emotions can remain as such if they experienced individually, but if they are shared, they are enriched by others’ experiences and emotions.

How VIVA has interpreted the theme of accessibility

Physical elements, such as the orographic structure of the land and the high-altitude locations of certain sites, limit the use to the disabled. VIVA has therefore chosen to ensure “accessibility to information”, i.e. to supply everyone – youngsters, adults, the elderly and the disabled – with complete information on every site, so that the visitor may choose, in an autonomous way and according to his/her own capabilities, a destination and how to get there.

With the help of the Department for the Disabled of the Regional Health Council, an “Accessibility Codification” has been defined, consisting of 11 indicators with values ranging from 0 to 3. The following indicators are:
1. Information to reach the site
2. Simplified and facilitated accessibility from the main roads
3. Reserved parking places (minimum 1 out of 50 or fraction of 50)
4. Accessible restrooms
5. Information panels concerning the trails (type , environment …)
6. Maximum slopes at 8% (recommended not over 5%)
7. Indications of the path’s width (min. 90 cm, preferably 150 cm)
8. Road surface adapted to wheeled vehicles (non-slippery surface)
9. Resting and about-turn areas along the longer paths (approx. every 10 m)
10. Safety and protection of trails
11. Periodic maintenance

This matrix has been applied to more than thirty sites which constitute the network of the regional nature tourism offer.