Getting around with a spinal cord injury or any other physical disability can be difficult at times. Many places are not wheelchair-friendly or accommodating of other disabilities requiring mobility aides. Too often those with mobility impairments requiring mobility aides such as wheelchairs end up extremely inconvenienced when they arrive somewhere where they can’t find accessible parking, entrances or bathrooms. Of course you can do your own research on a place in order to find out whether it can accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility aides, but this information isn’t conveniently housed in one place. Thanks to modern smartphones, you can now download apps that will give you necessary information on different places regarding their accessibility as well as additional tips and tools to improve your quality of life. Listed below are some of the best apps for wheelchair users and the physically disabled.
1) iAccess Life – Rating & Review Lifestyle App for the Mobility Impaired
Finding accessible restaurants, hotels, parks & retail stores can be very difficult for wheelchair users or those with a spinal cord injury. Navigating day to day activities without useful and reliable accessibility information can be stressful especially if you’re doing it alone. You may have a hard time knowing whether you will find accessible parking, be able to get in the entrance, or even be able to use the bathroom before you arrive. We are working diligently at iAccess Life to build a platform for the disabled community to share ratings & reviews of their experiences with accessibility in public business and establishments.
At iAccessLife we have developed a lifestyle mobile application that retrieves information from Google maps and allows its users to search for places they plan to visit based on the locations accessibility and we think its one of the very best apps for wheelchair users. We provide our users a platform for their voices to be heard with respect to their experiences with public accessibility. Users can rate and review locations they have visited based on the location’s accessibility based on the parking, seating, entrance and bathroom.
Wheelmate is a free app that can be accessed by wheelchair users all over the world. This is one of the best apps for wheelchair users as it helps users to find parking spaces and restrooms all over. The truth of the matter is, there are drastically fewer parking spaces for the disabled as compared to regular parking spaces.
The app is also available in three languages; English, French, and German which makes it more user-friendly as compared to other apps that are monolingual.
Everyone prefers to get around on their own terms and this app shares the same mission as iAccess Life, to give those with mobility impairments more independence. You can download Wheelmate App for Android here and for iOS here
3) Uber / Lyft
If you are traveling somewhere and don’t have access to your usual methods of transportation we highly recommend using a ride-share app like Uber or Lyft. Calling a regular taxi might be difficulty due to a lack of space for your wheelchair or mobility aide. We recommended that you try to order a wheelchair-friendly ride such as Lyft or Uber. Lyft and Uber give you the option of picking bigger sized vehicles. As a wheelchair user, in general your best option would be to choose the XL. In some select cities you can select a UberAssist or Wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) in the Uber app and accessible vehicle dispatch in the Lyft app.
Traveling in regular cabs may force you to put your wheelchair in the front seat. This may damage either the wheelchair itself or even the cab and equip you with unnecessary expenses. You can download either app in your app store.
4) Mobility Works
For most people, buying a vehicle is like a rite of passage. But for the wheelchair user, getting a car that can properly accommodate your wheelchair may seem like dream. The MobilityWorks app helps you find wheelchair accessible vehicles for sale or to rent if you are on vacation. The app posts photos of the cars so you get the chance to view a vehicle before buying it. If a specific model interests you, you can always go to the showroom for a chance to look further into its features.
Features of wheelchair-accessible vehicles include deployable ramps and scooter lifts. These features ensure that your wheelchair is properly loaded into the vehicle and that no damage occurs to them. Furthermore, the vehicles are usually modified in such a way that there is more space in it as compared to regular vehicles. This will also protect the car from scratches that may be caused by your wheelchair. Download MobilityWorks app here.
5) Shepherd Center – SCI-Ex Fitness App
SCI-Ex is now available from Shepherd Center to help promote exercise in people living with a spinal cord injury. People with a spinal cord injury can achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing exercises shown and described in how-to videos. Users can do these exercises in a gym with the assistance of a trainer or caregiver.
Download the SCI-Ex app and access content by injury level, fitness goal, exercise type (aerobic, muscular strength and endurance, core strength and neuromotor) or exercise routine. Track your progress within app and find other helpful resources. Please be sure to consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
7) Physiotherapy Exercises
Physiotherapy is the act of doing various exercises that enhance mobility. This app is an amazing resource for paraplegics of all degrees, especially those who cannot afford expensive physiotherapy sessions at their local hospitals or healthcare providers. This app allows you to look up exercises that are compatible with your injury. Whether you lack mobility in your back, legs, or any other part of the body, you are bound to find an exercise that suits you.
The app has over 600 types of exercises. If you are the adventurous paraplegic, you can always try out a different exercise every day. But if you would like to stick to one routine, that’s also fine because what really matters is that your body has received its daily dose of exercise.
Coupled with the exercises are well over 1000 images to support the exercises. These images will give you a further understanding of how to perform the exercise. Visualization of the exercise will prevent you from doing an exercise incorrectly and potentially cause yourself further injury. You can download this app from the iOS app store here.
Living with a disability should not stop you from living to the fullest. The above apps are designed to make you independent and enjoy life. Whether its finding accessible restaurants or hotels, finding an accessible bathroom or parking spot, buying/renting an accessible vehicle or taking care into your own hands with exercises designed to for those with physical disabilities we have got you covered. You will be able to travel more, plan ahead, take care of your body and find peace of mind.