One of the ways tech has historically fallen short is including people who aren't able-bodied, have physical difficulties or chronic illnesses. A new app from a national disability organisation is a shining example of how it can be done.
AccessAble, previously known as DisabledGo, was created back in 2000 by Dr Gregory Burke, who found that getting around in a wheelchair was made significantly harder by the total lack of useful information on venues' websites. He launched a website to collate accessibility information, which blossomed into a community of 1.5 million people sharing information and intel on good venues for people with accessibility needs.
The organisation has now launched an app to make finding accessible places easier on the go.
Disability blogger Lucy Wood explains the need for the app:
"For disabled people, finding the practical stuff is vital – can I get in, can I use the toilet! Very few venues have this much detail online, this is why the AccessAble App is so exciting. Being able to get the level of detailed information that I need on an app in my pocket, knowing I can trust it, means I can get this information quickly and takes away the need to plan. It is a revolutionary step forward for disabled people in the UK, and I can’t wait to go on my next adventure!"
AccessAble includes tens of thousands of locations across the UK and Ireland, which have all been personally visited by a surveyor to make sure the information is complete and up-to-date. There are step-by-step descriptions of the exact experience you'll have at the location, plus photos and tips, like whether you'll need a RADAR key for the loo.
Anna Nelson, Executive Director of AccessAble, comments:
"This App is all about getting detailed, reliable information to the 20 million + people in the UK with accessibility requirements. We want people to be able to use the App while they are out, filtering by the accessibility requirements that are important, to find the places that work for them. Growing up as a carer I spent hours ringing up and asking about accessibility, nothing was spontaneous and we were nearly always disappointed when we arrived. This App is a practical solution to that very real problem."