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New Travel App Designed to Help Travelers with Disabilities

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 2/6/2019 Alex Temblador
Wheelchair user in a hotel room: Wheelchair-user sleeping in a hotel room. (photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / vadimguzhva ) © Getty Images Wheelchair-user sleeping in a hotel room. (photo via iStock / Getty Images Plus / vadimguzhva )

While there are summits like TravelAbility intent on improving the experiences of travelers with disabilities, and even programs within cruise ships, like Silverseas' accessible shore excursions, there are tons of areas in the travel industry that fail miserably when it comes to making their spaces accessible for all travelers.

A new mobile app is intent on helping travelers with disabilities to take control and know which places around the world are actually accessible and which ones are not.

Called Access Earth, the app works like TripAdvisor, allowing users to rate hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions based on their accessibility for people with mobility disabilities.

Founder, Matt McCann created the app after he had a bad experience at a hotel which claimed to be accessible, but upon arrival, McCann couldn’t even fit his wheelchair through the entrance. With his app, he’s hoping travelers with disabilities can help each other out.

After downloading the app, Access Earth users answer a series of yes and no questions that determine the accessibility of a place. The questions will relate to the accessibility of location's bathrooms, stairs, elevators, the width of doorways and even ask if it is step-free.

The app also offers the ability to leave a review, so people can offer further explanation on their experience that the yes or no questions may not cover.

Users can use the app to rates hotels, restaurants, and attractions worldwide, starting in their own city if they like. According to the website, Access Earth will soon allow travelers to book an accessible hotel or restaurant through the app, too.

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