Blog - Meet "Mobile en Ville"

Meet "Mobile en Ville"
By Flaneurz 6/22/2017 12:30 PM

Mobile en Ville is an association that works on the cities accessibility for people on wheels. It has over 150 members, including 20 who are really motivated and defend the rights of people with reduced mobility, but also skaters of all kind, and cyclists. What motivates them: sensibilize and advise people about handicap and accessibility, but also doing sport all together. "Solidarity sport" can be rides, competitions and challenges where people in wheelchairs are pushed by roller skaters. This is the kind of engaged and diverse partner that Flaneurz is happy to support. How? For every detachable pair of roller skates we sell, we give to Mobile en Ville the amount of money necessary to finance 1km of ride.                                                         

We have met Mathilde Brodel, who is in charge of communication and animation for the association. 

Please tell us a bit more about the story of Mobile en Ville. How did it all start?
The association was created in 1998. At the beginning there were 2 people: a researcher who was passionate about roller skating, and a person in a wheelchair. They realised that they had the same difficulties to move around in the citie: cobblestones, dumpings, badly parked cars, urban obstacles. That is why they decided to roll together to set up a map of Paris accessibility, while doing sport together. Then people got interested in this funny couple, and a group began to grow. That is how Mobile en Ville was born.

How do you do sport together?
We are doing rides together that we like to call "solidarity skating". This word means entertainment but also mutual aid. It corresponds to a state of mind, our state of mind. To say it simply, we have fun, we share and we ride. 

What are your activities?
We work on the cities accessibility on 3 differents approaches. First, we raise awareness about handicap in the private and public sector in order to reach the maximum of people. We make these people experience visual and auditory handicap. Then, we also offer expertise and advices to places that welcome people with disabilities, to help them being in accordance with the accessibility laws. Finally, our association fights for the «living together» idea. Rides, sport challenges, races of 6 to 12 hours… The goal is to share, practice together. And to do so, we are trying to make our in-wheelchair-competitors (pushed by roller skaters) compete with the able-bodied competitors. We maintain the social link through 2 mensual events: a convivial meeting and a themed ride.

© Arnaud Dennery

What are your biggest successes?
One of them is surely the publication of the «Comme sur des roulettes» («as on wheelz») guide. All the streets of Paris have been ranged, measured, mapped and we made out of this a system based on colours indicating the accessibility of the streets and public transport. We also sensibilize 4 000 people about handicap each year. Our biggest successes come with time : within 10 years we have observed and contributed to a real evolution in the accessibility of streets and facilities. We even work each year with Roland Garros and many other groups really motivated about making accessibility for all a reality. We also have our sport challenges that take place every two years.

What are your projects to come?
We just officially launched a new development approach: the formation to handicap. We offer to employees, HR and managers to acquire new skills to integrate better disabled people. (Don’t hesitate to consult their formation here: http://www.mobileenville.org/formation-au-handicap/ !). We also hope to return to our mapping activities, and to continue raise awarness and to advise about the «eliving together» idea. We will participate to the Berlin marathon in September in the «able-bodied» category. We invite you to join us in these events!

Let’s talk about your collaboration with Flaneurz
For each pair of detachable roller skates sold, Flaneurz give us an amount of money necessary to finance one kilometre of ride for a person in a wheelchair. This kind of funds is not enough to ensure our sustainability and we are still looking for generous donators. This type of collaboration is the heart of our job, based on exchange and mutual help. By its support, Flaneurz shares these values with us.

Do you have a message for our readers?
At Mobile en Ville there is no taboo, we listen to each other, we dare doing things. Mobile en Ville is a way of rediscovering urban movement and handicap with fun. Laughs, share, solidarity and even more pace our days. That is why we invite you to come and meet us. We want to make you rediscover solidarity skating, mixity, originality and diversity are the watchwords.