DOBE Spotlight Series: AbiliTrek
Disability:IN highlights various disability-owned business enterprises (DOBE®s) through the DOBE Spotlight Series. If you’d like more information about Disability:IN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program, please contact Cami@disabilityinorg.
In today’s business world, small businesses and entrepreneurs face high competition. This is certainly evident when diverse suppliers strive to capture the attention and secure contracts with corporate America, as is the case with AbiliTrek. AbiliTrek rises above the rest through a clearly articulated value proposition and leveraging the DOBE certification.
AbiliTrek, a Disability:IN certified disability-owned business enterprise (DOBE), is an innovative search and review platform geared toward bettering the travel experience for people with disabilities.
The idea of AbiliTrek sparked from Founder and CEO Daman Wandke’s own sub–standard travel experiences as a person with Cerebral Palsy. As a frequent traveler, Daman noticed hotel websites did a poor job presenting accessibility options for people with disabilities, so he set out to create a hotel booking platform to match adequate hotel rooms with an individual’s needs. In 2016, Daman decided to put his dream of changing the travel industry to the test by entering the 54-Hour Bellingham Startup Challenge, a Washington State event in which a series of teams compete to turn an idea into a business startup over the course of a weekend. AbiliTrek won that year’s challenge.
AbiliTrek is now an online search and review platform for accessibility of any business. The company takes a person’s accessibility needs into account when offering results, and at the same time provides a stage for the disability community to rate and review the accessibility of any establishment. This service has expanded, allowing people to complete reviews about the accessibility of not just hotels but also restaurants, coffee shops, concert venues, and almost any place someone can trek in the US. Ultimately, the company envisions the platform growing into a wealth of knowledge where travelers with disabilities can find businesses across the country that are accessible to them.
AbiliTrek also offers consulting work in the areas of IT website/app, physical on-site accessibility, speaking/training, secret shopper, and inclusive marketing. Its customized consulting process reflects the notion that accessible is not “one size fits all,” understanding the fact that what one business needs to be accessible, may be different than what another business may need. The company prides itself on providing the knowledge necessary for businesses to be more inclusive and accessible to all people.
According to Daman, being Disability:IN DOBE certified is essential to him as an advocate for people with disability, and as a representation of AbiliTrek’s values. Daman believes DOBE certification has many benefits, including the monthly conference calls, mentoring with someone who is connected, mature, and wise, and the wealth of resources. “The certification has been valuable especially when looking for outsourced partners; we are able to tap into the directory of other disability owned businesses,” he said.
As a certified DOBE and AbiliTrek representative, Daman has had the opportunity to attend the Disability:IN Annual Conference. He finds it “a great venue to connect, promote, understand direction, as well as get feedback and connection to large corporations looking for partners. Very much worth attending!” (Note: Registration is open for the Annual Conference!)
Disability:IN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program was designed to help certified DOBEs advance contract opportunities with corporations as well as government agencies. By having a procurement model based on diversity and inclusion, corporations and DOBEs achieve greater economic self-sufficiency, positive community impact, and strengthen the American economy. For more information about this certification program and others we provide, please contact Cami@disabilityin.org.
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