Every year there are more smartphone apps designed to make an aspect of living with a disability a little bit easier. Here are three free and useful offerings available from Google Play and the iTunes App Store.
Report Accessible Parking Violators
A GPS-based smartphone app, Parking Mobility puts the power in your hands to report violators parked illegally in accessible spots. It’s easy to use. Just open up the app, click on the plus symbol and click on “report.”
“Once you’re on there, we suggest you take photographs,” says Mack Marsh, project director for Parking Mobility. “Click on front window, the rear of the vehicle showing the license plate, and the vehicle parked in appropriately marked space.” Then click on the violation type, and data is sent to law enforcement. “If you’re in one of our partner communities, it’s reviewed by one of our law enforcement partners and the offender is mailed a ticket.” When the offender gets the ticket, they either pay it or agree to take a class. “And that class is most important, as it changes their behavior,” says Marsh.
If you’re not in a partner area, it’s even more important to use the app so that Parking Mobility can collect the data. “It’s important to help us educate city officials to get them on board with the program,” says Marsh.
Parking Mobility is a nonprofit created by people with disabilities who realized they needed data to prove to their communities that people parking illegally in accessible spots is a huge problem. For more information, visit the website at www.parkingmobility.com.
Find Out Within Minutes if You’re Eligible for Medicaid
The Medicaid Advisory Group, a consulting firm that assists people applying for the government benefit, has created the free Medicaid App, which lets people know within minutes whether they qualify. If a person does not qualify, the app gives them ideas of actions they can take in order to qualify.
“Medicaid is a mess. The qualification process has, over the years, become so complex and stressful that most people I encounter choose not to enroll at all because they don’t even know where to begin,” says Ginalisa Monterroso, CEO and founder of the Medicaid Advisory Group. “You can have a law degree and still get lost in the government bureaucracy. The Medicaid App gives consumers a quick look at whether they may or may not qualify for this government service.”
Twenty years ago Monterroso’s daughter was born with a disability, and the new mom quickly discovered a Byzantine system that continuously denied her daughter benefits for which she was eligible. Seeing a need for health advocates for people like herself, Monterroso founded the Medicaid Advisory Group.
Created by Healthline.com, the free MS Buddy app for smartphones connects people with multiple sclerosis who have similar interests or styles of dealing with the disease.
Every day the program connects you with a new buddy based on the profile you create after downloading the app. It’s up to you whether you want to contact that person or not, and usually the person has an icebreaker question. For instance, today’s connection asked, “How do you explain to your kids that Daddy just doesn’t have the energy to play with you?” This resonates with most people with MS, since fatigue is such a major MS symptom. It’s nice to have a conversation about something affecting both people with MS that many people just can’t understand.
I myself have MS. Days can go by before I open up the app, but when I do, I find myself being emotionally honest with complete strangers, something I cannot be with just anyone in my life since the disease is hard to explain. It is a relief to be able to talk about what is happening to my body, even if it is in the form of text messages to people I will never meet.
The system is encrypted so that HealthLine can’t see what messages people send to each other, but can only record the number of downloads and interactions. Learn more at www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/ms-buddy.