One of our SLP colleagues, Alyson Hendry, recently shared a new app, Roll Mobility, with us that helps people with mobility issues find accessible spaces. The app is developed by a growing Denver-based group and it has a global reach. For people in wheelchairs, accessibility is an everywhere, everyday issue.
What are Accessibility Apps?
Let’s start by talking about what accessibility is. Briefly put, accessibility means that products, services, and facilities are created, built, or modified so that they can be used by people of all abilities. This requires specific consideration of the needs of people with disabilities. There are numerous considerations, including visual inputs, auditory inputs, and for those with mobility issues, the ability to maneuver spaces. That’s what we’re focusing on in this blog.
Here’s another definition of accessibility from the Freedom Showers blog:
“Accessibility refers to the design and provision of environments, products, and services that can be accessed and used by individuals of diverse abilities and disabilities.”
Another way we can think about this is the elimination of barriers so that everyone can independently utilize a space. This isn’t just a nice idea, it’s a legal requirement.
Laws relating to Accessibility
Accessibility is both a civil right as well as a federal law.
According to the Offices for Civil Rights (OCR):
“Accessible” means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability.
Many People are Impacted by Mobility Issues
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 12.1% of Adults in the United States have mobility issues. Mobility issues are more common in the adult population than the pediatric population. Per Dr. Lisa Iozzoni and colleagues, about 10% of the United States population reports having some mobility issues. That’s one in 10 people impacted by mobility issues that include the basics, such as finding accessible restrooms, and so much more.
Accessibility is more than just bathrooms and parking spaces
While bathrooms and parking spaces are very important, people with mobility issues need more information than that as they plan excursions, visits to doctors, attendance at community events, and so much more. They need information about the accessibility of nature trails, restaurants, businesses, and public spaces. And this becomes even more important as children with disabilities transition to adulthood and need futures planning. The Roll Mobility accessibility app uses a community-driven approach that allows users to rate all of these all over the world so that fellow app users can get current information to help them make decisions.
Community-Driven Approaches for Accurate Accessibility Information
The beauty of a community-driven approach is that it allows for up-to-date accessibility information provided by those who experience mobility issues. The more users on the accessibility apps, the more robust the information is that is available to people with mobility issues. Let’s help spread the word about apps like these. Here is a link to an informational page that you can post in your facility to let people know about this specific accessibility app. It also includes a QR code so they can easily scan and access the free app.
This poster you can hang in your facility.
What is Roll Mobility?
Roll Mobility is a free, community-driven accessibility tool designed to make life easier for people who use wheelchairs or have mobility issues. The accessibility app provides reliable information on the accessibility of restaurants, public spaces, businesses, trails, and parking spaces.
With Roll Mobility, you can easily find and share detailed information on features such as wheelchair ramps, elevators, and accessible restrooms.
If a business/location you’ve visited is not yet listed- just follow the simple questions and leave your first review!
Download the app now and start exploring the world around you with ease
Learn more at www.rollmobility.com
Please consider sharing this free app with your community, other special educators and therapists in your network, as well as clients, friends and family members who may benefit from this resource.
Below you will find flyers and written copy to share with families and colleagues. You are welcome and encouraged to put a flyer up in your clinic as well!
Here’s how you can access Roll Mobility
Here’s how the rating system works.
Other Related Accessibility Apps for Individuals with Mobility Issues
Roll Mobility isn’t the only accessibility app available to provide people with mobility issues with accessibility information. Here are a few others that we found that are similar.
Wheelmap helps people find accessible places and rate them using a traffic light system of green (step-free access), orange (partially accessible) and red (not accessible)
AccessNow is another similar app with the goal of connecting people with mobility issues to inclusive places. It also has a platform for people to rate places on accessibility.
Wheelmate is another free app that provides an instant overview of the nearest wheelchair-friendly toilets and parking spaces on an interactive map. Like the other apps mentioned here, it is powered by wheelchair users who add and verify locations themselves.
IAccessLife is another accessibility app that allows users to rate, review, and research the accessibility of places. It includes ratings for restaurants, hotels, concert venues, and sporting arenas.
It’s cool to see technology being used to make the lives of individuals with disabilities easier. Spread the word and make an impact on the lives of people with mobility issues.