Rate wheelchair access wherever you goFeb 25 02:44
If you ask me, one of the biggest stresses of using a wheelchair is accessibility - whether I want to know if the new Indian place in the old part of town has a ramp, or if a certain bus stop on a trip to London is accessible, finding accurate REAL-TIME information on accessibility isn’t easy. It’ always a gamble - sometimes a website will have out of date information, or even worse, a place’s idea of what they consider "accessible" can be a total joke.
It is in my opinion that the only truly accurate information you can find on accessibility comes from the mouth of babes, ie., from other actual wheelchair-users. That is why Raul Krauthausen, a German with Brittle Bone Disease, created the Wheelmap app, the latest wheelchair accessibility app to hit the scene.
The app’s data is user-inputted, with people who use the app adding and commenting on accessibility wherever they visit. Krauthausen believes this method not only ensure accuracy, but will greatly enhance the amount of information on accessibility. As someone who’s struggled with accessibility, “I want to remain flexible and not be dependent on when a driving service has time to pick me up,” Krauthausen tells the Associated Press, he knows all too well just how finally making it to where you’re going, and finding its not accessible, can really ruin your day.
But what if people enter inaccurate information either mistakenly, or even worse, on purpose? Krauthausen is betting, and I agree with him on this this, that most people wouldn’t bother with spamming a wheelchair accessibility app. Pretty lame spamming rights if you ask me. At the end of the day, Krauthausen envisions his free app being used in cities worldwide.
Accessibility on Wheelmap is illustrated by a color-coded flag system: Green = completely accessible, yellow = partially accessible (makes you wonder), and red = not accessible. The Wheelmap app is for iOS devices is in English, German, and Japanese, and is still in its trial (beta) version. Details on 30,000 locations have already been added, and approximately 300 new user ratings are added each day.
To download, visit Wheelmap.org.
Post a comment about this blog!
1. wheelchair | Mar 07 11:40
I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I'll love to read your next post too.
2. Tiffiny | Mar 08 01:38
Thanks wheelchair dude :)
3. Janice Kent | Apr 16 09:11
Thanks so much for posting this. We have a new showroom about to open with Adaptible clothing for wheelchair users and my goal before the opening has been to canvas area stores and see who's facility/shop/store would be accessible to our clients. If a client was looking for a restaurant for lunch, I already know of one with excellent food but I CAN'T recommend it as there is no washroom on the main floor and no elevator. So I need to get busy and find another restaurants that are completely accessible with no other barriers! On the other hand, knowing that more wheelchair users will be shopping in this area, may encourage storeowners to make necessary improvements to their store, and as they do, they too will be added to Wheelmap.org. Thanks again! Janice for "Izzy and team", IZ Adaptive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
4. Terri | May 05 05:11
This looks like a great idea! I just loaded the app into my iPad, but unfortunately it seems to be a Europen program. Looks like there's a lot of work still needed. I'd love to see the app get seriously major coverage, including from the MS Society, United Spinal, New Mobility and many more so this can be a useful tool world-wide.
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.