New app launches to allow disabled people to review venue accessibility in the UK
A mix between Trustpilot and TripAdvisor, Access Rating is a new app that enables disabled people to review how accessible venues are across the UK.
Believed to be the first app of its kind, Access Rating features 240,000 bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels and is designed to help disabled people determine how accessible venues are before they visit, using a review/rating system.
Users can score venues out of five for accessibility and they can also write more detailed reviews and submit photos of the venues, if they wish. The app also has a thumbs up/thumbs down feature for users to show whether they agree or disagree with ratings and comments.
Access Rating was launched by three wheelchairs who all understand the anxieties and difficulties surrounding the uncertainty disabled people face on the accessibility of locations when going out and about.
The app was launched by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) alumnus Mark Esho and his business partners Rich Copson, the founder and director of Access Rating, and Jignesh Vaidya, a professional disability access auditor.
Mark hopes Access Rating will help eliminate the access anxiety that disabled people face.
“Whenever I am invited to a bar or restaurant that I’ve not been to before, the first thing I ask is whether it is accessible for me,” he explained. “I know a lot of people who are embarrassed to ask that question and just avoid going altogether.
“We want to make disabled peoples’ lives a lot easier by giving them a voice. We want to save them the time and embarrassment and ultimately, reduce their access anxiety.
“We have first-hand experience of what it is like to go to a venue that is not suitable for people in wheelchairs, so we know what a difference this will make.”
The app will also offer advice, guidance and recommendations for venues to improve their accessibility.
Mark continued: “Having an audit can cost thousands of pounds and smaller businesses often can’t afford it. By offering this service, we hope to make as many venues across the country more access friendly.”
The entrepreneur added that he hopes to provide users with a ‘top 10 most accessible venues’ guide for every town and city within the next year.
Also giving disabled people greater insights into the accessibility of venues, the Cleen app enables individuals to rate the washrooms in any type of venue, such as restaurants, shopping centres and airports. The reviews submitted on the app can be viewed by other Cleen users so that they can see which venues have good – and poor – washroom facilities and make a choice to visit accordingly.
Access Rating is available to download for free now on iOS and Android. For more information, visit www.accessrating.com