Summer travel time is here and… there’s an app for that!

The following are some apps that can help travelers with disabilities smooth the way.

Google Maps (iOS and Android) has an option for “wheelchair access” To access the “wheelchair accessible” routes, type your desired destination into Google Maps. Tap “Directions” then select the public transportation icon. Then tap “Options” and under the Routes section, you’ll find “wheelchair accessible” as a new route type.

Crowd-sourced apps such as AccessEarth will tell you how a business rates on everything from barrier-free entrances, to wheelchair-height tables and accessible restrooms.

Aaron Preece of the American Foundation for the Blind suggests these for people with visual impairments:

Indoor navigation using low-energy Bluetooth beacons has also become popular. Some examples of apps using this technology:

Brettapproved: More than 15,000 travelers use Brettapproved and share accessible information and tips worldwide.    This travel and entertainment website helps people with a physical disability or mobility challenge travel with confidence. Community members share all the relevant accessibility-focused information that is needed in order to travel without worrying about basic things. Users can see which hotels and restaurants cater for travelers with disabilities, among other things. There are also accessible travel experts who can help you plan your trip.

eSight  This breakthrough device helps people with low vision see better. The eSight electronic glasses contain a small, high speed camera which captures everything the user looks at. The live video stream is immediately sent to a computer which processes every pixel. The image is then transformed in a way that can be enhanced, zoomed or used with color contrast in real-time.

Antenna: We are innovative story-makers and creative technologists devoted to visitor-first experiences. We make audio tours, mobile apps, multimedia guides, podcasts, interactives, and unrivalled story-driven content for the museum, cultural and travel sectors.

NotNav and NowNav GPS Accessibility: GPS for the Blind. NotNav and NowNav GPS Accessibility is a simple GPS system that announces nearest street address and compass heading — including crosswalks, crossroads, and any other user-defined feature. It even includes turn-by-turn directions in an easy-to-use tech tool. NotNav and NowNav GPS Accessibility operates by voice and can be adjusted for language and accent to meet most linguistic needs. A single, one-time-pay package includes a wealth of features to make this a solid choice for visually-impaired GPS requirements. Available for Android users.

 

Wheel Mate : Find wheelchair-accessible toilets and parking space. Finding accessible facilities can often be challenging in the urban environment. Here is an app to help you out. In particular, this app assists individuals to locate accessible parking and bathrooms when they’re on the move.

Additional Web Resources:

ADA.gov – Americans with Disabilities Act Information

AARP.org – Travel Tips for Seniors

ACB.org – Traveling While Blind

AutismSpeaks.org – Traveling with Autism

TSA.gov – General Disability Travel Security Information

NAD.org – Travel Tips for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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