Friday, March 27, 2015

A Man with MS creates a Yelp for people with Disabilities

I use Yelp ALL the time. Since my husband and I found out about the app about 5 years ago, we've used it to find some of our favorite pizza places and yummy family run places to eat while we're traveling. We have also used Yelp to find places that are dog-friendly, so we can bring our dog, Buster. The app is limited in searching for dog-friendly places, because if anyone mentions "dog" in a review (i.e. "that hot dog was awesome!"), it shows up on the results.

This week, an article made its way around Facebook about a man with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) created a Yelp like app for people with disabilities. I hadn't thought about how hard it would be to search a crowd sourced review site for accessible businesses, but I imagine it's a million times harder than searching for a place that allows dog on their patio.

Jason Da Silva, is a film maker, who was diagnosed with MS when he was 25, created AXS Map v2 with his wife to help individuals with disabilities. AXS Map v2 is a crowd sourced application that rates buildings on how accessible they are. Not only does this app rate businesses on accessibility for those individuals with physical disabilities that affect their mobility, but also those with visual or auditory disabilities. Jason hopes that the app can help everyone with disabilities with their accessibility needs.

Jason also wanted the app to be easily accessed by everyone, and for the review process to be easy and non-laborious to the users. In searching for "Pizza" in my area, it brought up a pizza place with address, phone number, website and a link to Google Reviews. Below this basic information, there is an easy way to rate, with pictures and a simple rating system. The user can rate the entry way, how many steps to enter, the bathroom accessibility, and whether or not the business is spacious, quiet and well lit. There are also ratings for a second entry, the parking accessibility and if guide dogs are allowed. This app is new, so there were no reviews on the restaurant I clicked on, but with knowledge and word of mouth, an app like this could become popular and hugely beneficial for individuals with disabilities.

To view this article, written by Jay Cassano, which includes videos about the app, go here.
You can also view the reviews online at the AXS MAP.

If you would like to download AXS Map v2 (free, iPhone/iPad), please show your support by clicking here:


Shelly is definitely getting used to the warm weather in CA!

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