AccessAble: The Disabled Access App
London, and the UK in general, might be one of the world’s most disabled friendly places. But, that doesn’t mean it’s always that easy to get around, especially in London. A new app AccessAble, aims to make information about disabled access in London and the UK much clearer and easier to find
If you’re in a wheelchair, you’re visually impaired, or if you have difficulty climbing stairs or steps, you’ll know that planning your route can sometimes be a headache. In fact, even the term ‘fully accessible’ can be hugely inaccurate on occasion. There is nothing quite as frustrating as needing to visit an accessible toilet only to find it’s not as accessible as they said it was…!
That’s where AccessAble comes in. Finding out about disabled access is now much simpler…
What is AccessAble?
If you have accessibility requirements, you might already have encountered this service before. Previously known as Disabled Go, the website has actually been around since 2000 but has recently been rebranded as AccessAble.
Available both via web browser and iOS and Android apps, AccessAble gives you verified details about the accessibility of public places around the UK. This includes:
- Tourist attractions
- Public toilets
- Libraries, universities and public buildings
- Hotels and restaurants
AccessAble also has information on some public transport such as train stations as well as features like bridges which have disabled access.
Although it doesn’t quite map your route, it does give you clear information about what is available nearby.
How does AccessAble work?
From either the app, or the browser site, you can enter what you’re looking for and your location.
For example, if you’re looking for “toilets” near to Liverpool Street in London, you can see a list of places. The results will display images of what to expect when you get there, any accessibility features such as details about ramp access and tells you how far the location is.
As a disabled person, or someone with disabled access requirements, if you’re going somewhere new it’s always good to know that you can find what you need. AccessAble makes it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for, to plan your trip and take the hassle out of searching for genuinely accessible places.
Is AccessAble accurate?
Although it is a very useful tool, AccessAble isn’t always 100% accurate with the available options. For example, when running a search for accessible toilets in Old Street London, the AccessAble app flagged up the closest option being in Spitalfields Market.
On closer inspection, using different means, there are accessible toilets in Old Street station itself. The same happened with a search for Kings Cross, which flagged up the nearest toilets as being in the British Museum, even though there are accessible toilets in the Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston Station. It also doesn’t seem to take options such as coffee shops or malls into consideration.
But…When looking for an accessible bridge on the South Bank in London, it showed the bridges with ramp and lift access. And if you’re looking for restaurants that are wheelchair accessible, or hotels with disabled access in London or the UK, AccessAble is usually quite accurate.
If you’re heading somewhere new and you need to research the options for disabled access in UK towns and cities, AccessAble is a very useful tool.