AbleTalks Episode 1: Maria Markou

Maria Markou, an international athlete and educator, is the first guest on the AbleTalks podcast, a platform amplifying the voices of people with disabilities by sharing stories of inspiration and resilience. Markou excels in the field of bench press and is one of the two international athletes representing Cyprus in the Paralympic Games. In the podcast, she shares her experience after the car accident that led her to a wheelchair and how she decided to re-enter the world of sports.

Maria confesses that from a young age, she channeled her energy into sports, starting with rhythmic gymnastics and continuing with track and field. After her accident, she decided to re-enter as a Paralympic athlete, realizing that sports require sacrifices, dedication, and determination. Choosing bench press posed a significant challenge, considering the sport’s male-dominated nature. The nickname “Pikkuá” was given to Maria due to her tenacity, symbolizing her defiance against stereotypes and life’s challenges.

The first episode of AbleTalks by Ablebook, featuring Maria Markou, is now available on our YouTube channel. This episode offers the audience the opportunity to learn more about her courageous story and transformative journey. This episode is sponsored by Renaissance Cryo Preservation & Health Care.

Accessible Tourism by Ablebook

On October 25, 2023, the event organized by Ablebook took place at Radisson Blu Larnaka, highlighting the importance of Accessible Tourism in Cyprus and especially the necessity of accessibility for the disabled in the hotel units of Cyprus.

Important topics were presented during the conference, including: Analysis of the challenges facing the hotel sector in terms of accessibility and needs of PWDs and “How Ablebook app contributes to PWD Tourism” by Ablebook CBO Symeon Stylianou.

Presentation of specialized equipment by Mr. Marco Ragno, Export Manager of Ponte Giulio. Presentation of practical experience as a tourist with a disability by Rafaela Miltiadou, Marketing Manager of Altamira Real Estate. The CEO and founder of Ablebook, Andreas Vassiliou, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr. Kostas Koumis, the Mayor of Larnaca, Mr. Andreas Vyras, and the President of PASYXE Larnaca, Mr. Marios Polyviou, delivered greetings at the conference.

The event would not be possible without the generous support of its sponsors, including major sponsor doValue Cyprus, Radisson Blu Hotel, as well as sponsors Ygia Polyclinic Private Hospital, Chooseyourcyprus, BauTech Systems, as well as Reisswolf supporters, Harris Kyriakides Law Firm and Shikkis Bros Ltd.

Event for Accessible Tourism in Cyprus

Ablebook announces the organization of an important conference on the accessibility of PWDs (Persons with Disabilities) in tourism services, especially in the hotel units of Cyprus. The conference will take place on October 25, 2023, at the Radisson Blu Larnaka, with a rich program that will present practical solutions, products and mechanisms aimed at improving the accessibility of hotel services for the disabled. You are also under the auspices of PASYXE.

The aim of this conference is to promote tourism for People with Disabilities and to improve accessibility in general in the field of tourism and culture. Cyprus already offers significant advantages, such as short distances, good climate and safe beaches, making this country ideal for such initiatives.

In the framework of this conference, will be presented:

  1. Ablebook App Special Partnerships and Benefits: Introducing the Ablebook app and the products it offers to improve accessibility.
  2. Challenges of the Hotel Sector and Needs of the Disabled: Analysis of the challenges facing the hotel sector in terms of accessibility and the needs of the disabled.
  3. New Trends in Products for the Disabled in the Sanitary Ware Sector: Presentation of specialized equipment for people with disabilities in the sanitary ware sector by Mr. Marco Ragno Export Manager of Ponte Gulio, exclusive agent Studio Bagno.
  4. Experiential Experiences: Presentation of experiential experience as a disabled tourist by Rafaela Miltiadou, Marketing Manager of Altamira Real Estate.

Ablebook Ltd is one of the innovative companies in Cyprus active in the field of accessibility and social awareness. Through the Ablebook app, it aims to improve the quality of life of People with Disabilities and other vulnerable groups, enabling them to fully participate in society and access social goods.

If you are interested in participating in the event, please fill out the registration form below at Microsoft Forms.

We invite you to participate in our day and contribute to the promotion of accessibility and integration of the disabled in the tourism sector in Cyprus. Together we can create a more open and friendly society for everyone.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their support to make this event happen, our Major sponsor doValue Cyprus, the Radisson Blu Hotel where the event will take place, and the sponsors Polyclinic Health, Choose Your Cyprus and Bautech Systems.

KEBE YOUNG ENTERPRISING – Awarding of Andreas Vasileiou, CEO & Founder of Ablebook

With great joy and pride, we announce the awarding of Andreas Vasileiou, CEO & Founder of Ablebook, by KEBE (Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry) as part of the New Entrepreneurs Awards “YOUNG ENTERPRISING” in the category of “Social Contribution” for the year 2023

The New Entrepreneurs Awards are presented by KEBE in collaboration with the magazine “Thessaloniki Events,” with the aim of promoting and showcasing youth entrepreneurship and integrating young entrepreneurs into a global network, with a focus on merit-based evaluation.

The award ceremony took place under the auspices of the Presidency of Parliament, Mrs. Annita Demetriou, at the administration building of the Hellenic Bank, in the P. Paschalis Hall. This award recognizes the dedicated contribution of Ablebook to the field of social contribution and the creation of a more accessible and inclusive community.

Ablebook started with a vision, the vision of a community where everyone, regardless of difficulties and disabilities, can fully participate in life and enjoy its riches. Through our platform, we provide access to information and services that facilitate the daily lives of people with disabilities.

This award strengthens our determination to continue our work towards realizing our vision. We would like to express our gratitude to our team at Ablebook, our partners, all those who supported us on this journey, and the KEBE committee for selecting us for this award.

Our work continues, and this recognition gives us even more energy and commitment to move forward in the direction of realizing our vision. We sincerely thank you for this honor and look forward to continuing to work for a world that is accessible to all.

“My Love…”

A great song written by a disabled teenage girl, about her teenage love!

With the recent opening of schools, it is the best time to remind children, especially young teenagers, that among them there are also children with disabilities who, however, have the same rights as them and must be respected like everyone else. We must remind them that even these children’s souls can flutter in their first love. Let’s give them a chance to fly high. Love is everywhere…

“My love…” Love, a word on which the foundations of our world rest, a word that is the key to the harmonious coexistence of people in today’s society. A wonderful song with lyrics taken from the soul of a teenage girl, Efi Charalambous, set to music by Stelios Michaelidis, and orchestrated by Giorgos Synnos.

Veronica Jotovic, an autistic girl with an angelic voice, sings, which was also Effie’s personal choice to combine with the dynamic voice of Katy Spiller. The video clip is produced by the renowned photographer and videographer Andreas Tsiartas.

So this song is about love and the teenage love of a girl for a boy. It talks about the “butterflies” in the stomach that every person feels when they fall in love… What can’t be expressed in words, can well be said through the lyrics of a song. Music as a universal language can enchant the ears of a blind man by creating images in his mind, pass through the body of a deaf man as a vibration making him dance to the beat, and become words in the mind of a child who has difficulty speaking, touch the soul of a child with cerebral palsy, remind us what it means to truly love. Can a disabled girl or boy fall in love and fall in love with them? Of course, they can! All people, even those who look or act a little “different” from the rest, have the right to love and be loved.

But the word love is not limited only to romantic love, since love can also be felt by a parent/guardian or therapist for their child and this is reflected in the shine of their eyes, facial expressions, body movements, a caress, a smile, a hug. Love can exist between two very good friends who do not label each other but love truly and selflessly.

Behind the creation of the whole effort is a large group of people (with Stelios Michaelidis as the main initiator and the valuable collaboration of Katy Spiller), who fight every day to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and promote respect for their rights. There are sensitized people who still believe in LOVE. This whole idea came to life thanks to the valuable support of Andrey & Julia Dashin’s Foundation, as well as a host of other sponsors and supporters.

Through the video clip of the song, the contributors want to convey the message that love does not put labels, does not distinguish people, and is an inalienable right of everyone. So it doesn’t matter if some children differ in any way from other children. This does not deprive them of the right to dream, love, fall in love, and grow up to live a normal life always enjoying equal rights and opportunities.


Metropolis Mall of Larnaca has joined the Ablebook App

We are pleased to announce another collaboration.

The Ablebook application begins a new partnership with the Metropolis Mall of Larnaca. An application that will provide all the relevant information and services, around the accessibility of the disabled in the urban centers and in the villages of the periphery of Cyprus. You can find out more information about us by clicking on the link below. (

More specifically, the Ablebook app offers four (4) features.

The first feature is an interactive map that allows users to select the location they want to head to, with more advanced options available. In addition, users can see the available accessibility facilities at each site via photos, as well as navigate to and contact businesses. In addition, users can report problems they face in a particular area by contacting us directly. Finally, in the application, there are over 1000 locations that show their facilities for the Disabled and all public parking spaces for the Disabled in Cyprus.

The second feature of the application is Ablecard. A membership card exclusively for people with disabilities where businesses within the application provide additional benefits to people with disabilities eg discounts.

The third feature of our application is the Kids section. This section provides information on accessible places where children with disabilities can play sports, such as parks, gyms, sports teams/academies, nature trails, and more.

The last available feature of the app is the Ablebook Portal. Through the Ablebook Portal, businesses as well as municipal bodies have the ability to manage their locations in the application, change the content, hours of operation and photos, etc. There is always a check by Ablebook in case of changes to the facilities, that the appropriate specifications are followed.

Our application with its digital services focuses on improving the accessibility of urban services, with the aim of integrating and including people with disabilities in the urban environment and society.

Metropolis Mall has already been designed with disabled access and navigation in the Mall in mind. Since parking spaces are already available near the entrances for people with disabilities, ramps, elevators, and wheelbarrows are available for more effortless movement inside the department store. In addition, there are accessible toilets for people with disabilities. Restaurants also offer vegan options to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. Finally, there are accessible ATMs to make it easier for people with disabilities to withdraw cash.

With our cooperation, we will provide the possibility to the application users who visit the Metropolis Mall to know in which parts of the Shopping Center the necessary accesses for them are located. As well as if they need some help, contacting competent people in the Shopping Center is possible. As a result, everyone can without exception do their shopping and enjoy their coffee or food without obstacles.

In conclusion, the partnership between Ablebook and Metropolis Mall is an important step towards an egalitarian and inclusive society. By providing facilities and services that meet the needs of people with disabilities, Metropolis Mall definitely sets an example for other businesses.

We welcome Leroy Merlin to our family

The collaboration between Ablebook and Leroy Merlin is an important step towards creating a society without exclusion, which meets the needs of people with disabilities. The Ablebook application is a powerful tool that helps businesses, like Leroy Merlin, showcase the services they offer to their customers, making it easier for everyone to access their products and services.

The facilities provided by Leroy Merlin have been designed to ensure smooth access and navigation for people with disabilities in the store. Specifically, parking spaces for people with disabilities are provided near the entrance. Ramps, elevators, and specially designed carts are also available for easier movement. In addition, Leroy Merlin has gone a step further by providing toilets for people with disabilities.

In addition to these facilities, Leroy Merlin has made a conscious effort to offer vegan food, making it easier for people with dietary restrictions.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Ablebook and Leroy Merlin is a commendable effort toward creating a genuinely democratic and inclusive society. By providing facilities and services that meet the needs of people with disabilities, Leroy Merlin sets an example for other businesses to follow. It is encouraging to see businesses taking steps to ensure equal access and opportunities for all.

Free guided tour for people with mobility disabilities in the historic center of Nicosia

The Tourism Development and Promotion Company (ETAP) of the Nicosia Region, in collaboration with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the Nicosia Municipality, are organizing a free guided tour for people with mobility disabilities in the historic center of Nicosia.

The tour will take place on Saturday 3/12 at 10 am, with a meeting point in front of the steps of the old Nicosia City Hall in Eleftherias Square and will last approximately one and a half hours.

The free guided tour will take place in Greek, while those interested are invited to register by calling 22889741 no later than Wednesday 30/11.

This guided tour is implemented as a pilot in Nicosia, while the goal is to establish it in both Greek and English, on a more regular basis.

There will be a limited number of seats.

Charity bazaar from Mck handmade soaps store

For the 5th year, the Mck handmade soaps store will organize a charity bazaar on Sunday, November 27 at 3:30 p.m. in the store. The purpose of the event is to offer financial support to A Dream a Wish thus adding another little stone that will make some children smile. The event will be presented by Vassiliki Hatziadamou, where there will also be an artistic program that will be undertaken by the dance schools Dancing Art, Horokrama and Kangoo Jumps. You will also be sampled by the Karaiskaki Foundation.

We are waiting for you all together to support this move

My life in a wheelchair…

When we hear the word “children” we imagine children running carelessly here and there, their laughter joining the wind. But there are also children, who smile but… have two legs. These children who at a tender age are called to realize that they will not run like other children their age. I was one of them.

So I, like many people with disabilities, had to deal with the difficulties that accompany cerebral palsy. Having been born with a disability, I was forced to “grow up” early. The realization that my legs will never obey me was and is the greatest difficulty for me to this day. Because it is not easy for any person with a mobility disability to grow up in an inaccessible environment, without the necessary infrastructure.

My wheelchair used to be more of a hindrance to me than a helpful tool. The children, my classmates, hated it because it was something strange, foreign and unfamiliar to them. But that’s how I treated it too… as something foreign, “cold” and unapproachable. Until over the years, I realized that I was in an unequal battle with my wheelchair. In an unequal battle with my disability.

Until I was faced with life’s most important dilemma. Would I let my disability limit me or not?

I chose the second one.

I never seemed to let her define me. I was social, cheerful and smiling. Being in a wheelchair, however, has nothing to do with the “look” for us, it’s our “being”!

In recent years I have started to perceive my wheelchair as a tool to achieve my dreams and not as an obstacle to them. I now see my wheelchair as a means to forge real bonds of love, friendship and respect both in my social and professional environment. Now I’m not just Niki in her wheelchair, but Niki who has friends, who studies, who plays sports, who has fun with her wheelchair.

I am Niki who claims her rights and expresses herself freely without embellishment. Niki who talks about her victories as well as her defeats, which we all face every day.

Ultimately, our disability must become our companion and not our enemy! When we understand it, when we know it and accept it, then we can define it and carry it as we want, without it defining us!