In 2008, Brandon Winfield (he/him) was injured in a motocross accident that left him with a thoracic spinal cord injury (paralyzed from the waist down). Only 14 years old at the time, he was faced with the decision to either let this dramatic event stop him from truly living the life he wanted or to turn it into an opportunity to triumph in the face of tragedy – Brandon chose the latter. He continued his love for racing in the form of four wheels, entered sprint kart racing, and won numerous events across the country. As he traveled, he realized that although some places he visited were compliant according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many areas were grandfathered in and never forced to retrofit to accommodate the mobility impaired.
These experiences sparked the idea for iAccess, a mobile app that would allow people with disabilities to rate and review the accessibility of venues such as restaurants, lounges, clubs, and bars. Through his start-up, Brandon, and his co-founder Sayeed Mehrejerdian, aims to empower users to “know before they go” and feel confident making plans with their friends, colleagues, and loved ones.
Since the app’s launch on iOS and Android platforms in April 2019, they have amassed over 4500 unique locations rated in over 45 states and 30 countries. Their work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including CNN, CBS, Hypepotamus, AccessibleGO, SpinalCord.com, Abilities.com, VoyageATL, Medium, Atlanta Business Chronicle and Atlanta Tech Edge. In addition to being an SXSW Social and Culture Alternate Pitch Finalist, the team has participated in Ascend Atlanta, Atlanta Tech Village’s #ItTakesAVillage accelerator program and NPR’s How I Built This Fellowship.
As of today Brandon continues his work on empowering users through iAccess Life, is a board member for The Wheels of Happiness foundation and has been brought in to mentor a new group of minority led startups at the Village.