Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Company helping improve accessibility for people with disabilities

Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Company helping improve accessibility for people with disabilities

PITTSBURGH — Cities are improving accessibility for people with disabilities, but it’s hard to know where improvements are needed when there’s no database of where the sidewalks are.

That’s where a start-up that formed at Pitt comes in. It’s called pathVu.

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You might see Eric Sinagra walking around town, pushing what looks like a dog stroller with no dog inside. Instead, it holds the equipment to map out sidewalks and bring to light hazards on the sidewalks for people with disabilities.

The start-up has roots beyond its six-year existence.

“My passion for this area comes from Nick, who’s my brother and partner in crime and director of technology in the company,” said Eric Sinagra, founder of pathVu.

Since Nick uses a wheelchair to get around, his perspective is highly valuable.

“For me personally, it’s always about the unknown aspect,” said Nick Sinagra, pathVu’s director of technology. “You don’t know if this is going to be the best way, or if this sidewalk is too steep.”

Cities across the country are using the data that the Sinagra brothers collect to help with infrastructure improvements. And the brothers are testing out their newest addition, an interactive app that creates the easiest route via sidewalk and lets users report hazards.

“A lot of people with disabilities are going to use this and that means a lot to me,” said Nick.

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