Here at Disability Horizons, we regularly keep an eye out for any new gizmos, gadgets and apps that might help disabled people in their quest for greater independence. As part of our regular “Useful gizmos and gadgets” series, Co-Editor Srin Madipalli invites readers to share their experiences of the new generation of accessibility applications that have recently come on to the market.
I think most, if not all of us with access needs, have a longing for that master mobile application which can tell us quickly and accurately in real time where to find an accessible restaurant, hotel, bar, cafe, station, etc when out and about.
In recent months, I’ve heard about many access apps that are either in development or that have already been released. I have eagerly awaited the opportunity to try them out and my initial hope for this article was to actually review some of the released apps. However, all the access apps I could find were only for the iPhone and were not available for someone like me who uses an Android smartphone.
I am aware of the apps mentioned below. If anyone has any feedback on any of these, or knows of any other access apps please let me know in the comments section.
The London Access App
A London accessibility app designed by My UK Access Limited, which was founded by Daniel Biddle and Tobi Manikin-Collett. According to an article by BBC News, Daniel was originally inspired to create the app after becoming disabled as a result of the injuries that were caused by one of the 7 July 2005 bombs in London.
My DisabledGo London
A London accessibility app designed by DisabledGo, a UK based accessibility organisation that has been producing accessibility guides since 2000.
An accessibility app for Boston and New York City designed by Papa Products Limited, which was developed in partnership with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
A UK-wide accessibility app designed by Direct Enquiries Limited, a company founded in 2003 to provide access and disability consultancy services. These guys have also designed a London specific access app called Inclusive London in partnership with the Greater London Authority.
What do you think?
While it is a little disappointing that all of these apps are not available on Android (even though market research calculates that Android has a 59% share of the smartphone market) and seem to be mainly London/big city centric, I and many Disability Horizons readers would be fascinated to hear of what people think of any of these apps, and if there any others we should all know about.
By Srin Madipalli