Take a look at some of our favourite apps for wheelchair users below.
When you use a wheelchair, planning your days out can be a bit of a gamble without knowing what access is going to be like.
Wheelmap is available as an app, or you can visit their website here. Places are added and rated by app users, meaning the reviews are reliable and honest.
Almost 600,000 public places are listed on the app worldwide, with up to 300 added each day. A variety of places are included, as anyone can mark almost any point of interest. This ranges from bus stations, restaurants, cinemas and banks through to Government offices.
The useful tags work in an easy to use traffic light system (Green, Amber and Red) and indicate levels of accessibility.
– Green indicates full accessibility – for example, ground level, step-free throughout (or lift access) and accessible toilet facilities if they are available.
– Amber indicates some accessibility – for example, one stage maximum entrance, most of the rooms on ground level.
– Red indicates the place is not accessible at all.
The great thing about Wheelmap is that ratings can be added at any time by any user. Further, as it is not just limited to facilities, its a great tool to enhance everyday life.
For everything a little closer to home, Inclusive Britain is an expansion of the popular Inclusive London app.
Inclusive Britain also lives both as an app and as a website, with the added capability of adding reviews, where you can comment not only on accessibility but on all areas of a service or venue.
Instead of the map functionality of Wheelmap, Inclusive Britain takes the form of a directory, with everything from hotels, healthcare, nature reserves, post offices and tourist attractions. You can search by postcode or by accessible features, making it efficiently concise if there is something in particular you are looking for.
You can send any details to your mobile phone to store for later reference, and you can also take advantage of the Meet Me tool which aids with arranging activities with friends and family.
Pick up Inclusive London or Inclusive Britain on the iTunes App Store or register for the online directory at InclusiveBritain.com.
For iPhone or iPad users, Apple provide a free dictation tool: Apple Dictation. If youre juggling a few things at once, and want to make hands-free notes on the move this is perfect (providing youre connected with mobile data or Wi-Fi).
If you have iPhone 6s or newer, Enhanced Dictation is also available for unlimited dictation. Enabled in System Preferences, the Siri ding will indicate that you can start dictation. This requires no internet connection and text appears in real time. Theres no limit to how much you can dictate and has a startling accuracy level.
If you need quick and easy dictation to communicate or set reminders, without the fuss of apps, Apple capabilities mean that you can simply just ask Siri to save a note or send a message and dictate the text straight into your mic.
Apple Dictation supports 31 languages including English, Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Spanish, and Korean.
The taxi-summoning app Uber now has an option for UberACCESS, created specifically for wheelchair users.
Formerly UberWAV, the app specialises in rear-entry taxis, allowing the wheelchair passenger to be forward-facing. All UberACCESS drivers ensure safety and comfort during the journey, having received Disability Equality Training from Transport for All.
So, all you need is the Uber app, which then allows you to select UberACCESS as an option when requesting a taxi. The beauty of Uber is that the journey is paid via the app, which saves trawling to cashpoints if they are not convenient. All drivers and vehicles are logged and nominated friends or family can track your journeys for additional peace of mind.
For added reassurance, the journey only begins once you and your wheelchair are safely secured in the vehicle, eliminating any worries when it comes to totting up the fare.
UberACCESS operates in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool.