Using the unique technology provided by Yelp, a Waltham, MA company has released a mobile app called AbleRoad, which allows people with disabilities of all sorts, whether cognitive, sight, hearing, or mobility issues, to review businesses—everything from stores to restaurants, hotels, and medical practices— based on their accessibility.
Founded in 2004, online city guide Yelp was a natural partner for this app. According to their site, Yelp’s app “helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know.”
The app will allow users to see both AbleRoad and Yelp reviews of these businesses together on the same screen, meaning they can see reviews from Yelp based on the quality of service at these institutions as well as reviews regarding the accessibility for people with disabilities. The company is currently recruiting more users from all over the world in an effort to make the app and corresponding website even more wide-ranging, complete, and useful to people with disabilities.
Founded by Kevin McGuire, who has been in a wheelchair since he was struck by a drunk driver at the age of seven, says the eventual goal of the AbleRoad brand is to move beyond the basic review function and lend the company’s “seal of approval” to other products and services as well. “Taking the rating and reviewing one step further,” McGuire says, “I would like our website and app to be able to direct people to AbleRoad-approved goods, services and contractors.”
Previously McGuire has been an advocate for disability rights and legal reform, founding a company called McGuire Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in compliance with state and federal disability laws, serving clients such as the New England Patriots and Live Nation, among others.
In addition, he has trained more than 25,000 people and lectured widely on the subject of disability compliance, and he’s even been a technical advisor on such films as Born on the Fourth of July. The AbleRoad app is a natural extension of that mission and offers two options for account access: either users can create their own account within the app, or they can connect through their Facebook account for additional social networking access.
The app is currently available for both iOS and Android devices and is free. The video tells you all about the app—and how to get it! If you’ve already got it, let us know how you like it!