Visually impaired wheelchair user Emma Purcell tells us how AccessAble helps her to live an independant life with multiple impairments.
For many disabled people, we have multiple impairments that need various accessibility requirements.
In my case, I’m a full-time wheelchair user and registered blind. Therefore, not only do I need wheelchair access to places but also audio description and audio format information.
Due to my complex needs, I cannot use a white cane or guide dog like most blind and visually impaired people. Instead I rely on my memory to locate things or have a sighted person drive my powered wheelchair.
Finding wheelchair access with sight loss
Luckily AccessAble can provide the information I need to find out if a public place or venue has the access facilities I require.
For example, I cannot see whether there are ramps or lifts in a venue. But with the AccessAble app, I can search for the Detailed Access Guide of that specific venue, which will then tell me if there are ramps and lifts available and where they are located. I can then tell the sighted person who is with me where the wheelchair access is located if we are in an unfamiliar place.
Locating specific areas or departments in a public place
Another great use for the AccessAble App is locating specific areas and departments in a public place. I cannot read signs or maps at all so heavily rely on online information.
This was particularly handy for me a few months ago when I went for a scan at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire hospital. I was accompanied by a carer who wasn’t familiarwith this hospital. So I decided to take some initiative and find the hospital’s access guide on the AccessAble app.
I found the access guide for ‘X-Ray and CT Scanner’ department, which provides information that it is “located on Level B of the main hospital building” and goes on with detailed directions - as you can see in this screenshot.
It’s like having an audio described sat-nav for disabled pedestrians!
Accessibility features on the AccessAble App
Finally, I just want to add how accessible the App is for people with sight loss. I use an iPhone and use Voiceover to read the text, type and select options. Plus, I can use it with Colour Invert too.