Technology Blog #8 – Crowd Sourcing Accessibility
FREE: Available on Android & iOS platforms
An App Review by Daniel Fuster
Person Centered Quality Facilitator, Arc of Westchester
The idea of social networking isn’t limited to services like Facebook and Twitter. There are many other ways in which a person can interact with other users. Many of us have heard of the GPS app called “Waze”. This handy little app uses a social networking platform that permits users to enter information about travel routes and share that data with other people. This includes anything from traffic in real time to locations of police speed traps. My friends use it all the time and I can tell you this, it has saved them on many occasions.
Now, I am not here to talk about GPS apps. When I was assigned to find mobile apps designed for people with I/DD, I found countless apps that cover this area. There was one app which I found interesting and I think that it is great. The app is called “It’s Accessible.”
If you go on the internet and type in “It’s Accessible App” you will find a link from the official app store. The description says it was born from the need to find and share places (bars, restaurants, hotels, parking, etc.) that are accessible to people with mobility difficulties. With the cooperation of its members, they are able to build a collaborative resource that discovers social, leisure and tourism areas.
Now, you might be thinking “What was that ‘Waze’ thing in the beginning of this article all about?” Well, here is why:
When you open the app, you will find a map like this one. Here is a screenshot that was taken by somebody who uses the app. On the map are a series of icons. Each of these icons means something. These are business and office locations. Like Waze, users have the ability to enter information about each location. This information tells the user whether these locations are accessible. The locations are then given a rating for their accessibility.
It is geared to as many disabilities as possible. These range from ramps for people with physical disabilities, to audio assistance for individuals with hearing impairments.