Travelling abroad or taking a day trip can present multiple challenges for people with limited mobility who use a collapsible wheelchair or other type of mobility aid. Luckily, over the past few years, accessibility has improved drastically. Through the development of smartphone apps and the world waking up to the wider needs of society, some of these barriers are beginning to be removed.
We have put together our top 6 apps for travellers with limited mobility, to help you navigate the world and not let anything get in the way of seeking adventure.
1. Passenger Assistance
Passenger Assistance is a mobile app, excellent when you require assistance travelling by train. It allows customers to set up a profile with their impairment whether visible or non visible and add their accessibility needs. When travelling, you are able to request assistance which will be arranged by the train operator and a booking confirmation will be sent to the customer. Whether you use a walking stick or collapsible wheelchair, you can receive the level of assistance you require.
Previously known as DisabledGo, this app is your new go-to when planning a trip. AccessAble allows you to select the place you are interested in visiting and provides a detailed access guide, helping you to understand whether the place will be accessible to you. These guides cover airports, restaurants, hotels, shops, tourist attractions, accessible toilets, universities and more.
3. Flush Toilet Finder
Flush is a toilet finder app which provides you with the ability to search for the nearest toilets around you. The app includes features such as icons to show whether the toilet is wheelchair accessible or if a key is required to access the toilet. Flush can also show if the toilet requires fees to be accessed. Plus, you can give feedback on the toilet facilities used to help others.
4. Blue Badge Parking
The Blue Badge parking app directs those with blue badges to disabled parking spaces so you can easily make your way to your destination in your collapsible wheelchair or other mobility aid. Utlising What3Words, the app provides the exact location of blue badge spaces nearest to you, removing the frustration of driving around aimlessly trying to find a suitable place to park.
5. Google Maps
Already a popular option for navigation, did you know Google Maps now has an ‘accessible places’ feature? Simply switch on the wheelchair accessible setting and your results will match you up with suitable places. Other Google products great for people with limited mobility or dexterity issues include Google Assistant and Google Voice Access. These can both be used to control and command your phone with your voice.
Wheelmap combines a couple of the features of other apps mentioned. Find accessible parking, toilets and tourist attractions all in one place. A traffic light system makes this app especially useful for people with limited mobility using an aid such as a collapsible wheelchair. By flagging places that are only partially wheelchair accessible, you can decide for yourself if it would still be suitable for you, depending on your ability. You can even rate and recommend great places to others. With details on accessibility in 30 countries and available in 32 languages, Wheelmap is a must have app for travel lovers with limited mobility.
7. PRM Assist
PRM Assist is an ancillary service app, targeting accessible travel. The app allows you to make accessible bookings worldwide, holding them all in one place and keeping track of your travel itinerary. It also works out waiting times so you can be prepared for delays and lets you add travel companions.
Traveller Chair have recently partnered with PRM Assist to develop the best version of the app and ensure it is tailored to occasional wheelchair users as well as those with a disability.
Even apps not specifically designed for people with limited mobility will often have accessible options nowadays. Uber, Waze, Trainline and Bus Checker all tailor to people with accessibility needs so be sure to check the settings of your most used apps.
Developing technologies and apps like these ones are helping to make the world a more accessible place, providing newfound freedom and independence to travellers with limited mobility using a full-time wheelchair, occasional collapsible wheelchair or walker.
Don’t let poor mobility obstacles stop you from taking that trip. Going from case to chair in just 30 seconds – Traveller Chair is ‘with you all the way’ from drop off to pick up.