• Tuesday, May 24, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Access Rating App helps the disabled to rate different venues in the UK

Founders of the Access Rating App (from L to R) Mark Esho, Richard Copson, and Jignesh Vaidya,

By: Pramod Thomas

By Pramod Thomas

AN APP offering information about access at venues for people with mobility issues has been launched by a group of disabled people from Leicester.

The Access Rating App was unveiled in February by Jignesh Vaidya, Mark Esho and Richard Copson. It has around 500 users and has received more than 2,000 ratings so far.

Vaidya said: “After many evenings sharing our experiences, we had the perfect collective experience to help others locate accessible venues – such as our local pub – so we could get together for our weekly pint of beer. Our idea was to take the concept of the ‘hygiene rating’ commonly seen on many restaurants and create an ‘access rating’ to help reduce customers’ anxieties.

“We wanted to provide a user-led app that enabled the community to have a voice so businesses could get real-time feedback on how they could improve accessibility.”

Users can download the app to their smart device and rate venues ranging from restaurants, bars, to hotels.

There are more than 13 million disabled people in the UK of whom 1.2 million are either permanent or temporary wheelchair users.

The spending power of disabled people and their household is estimated to be worth £249 billion and businesses are missing out on approximately £2 billion a month by ignoring the needs of disabled people, according to a survey by the Purple Pound.

As many as 75 per cent of disabled people and their families have walked away from a UK business because of poor accessibility or customer service, Vaidya said.

“The Access Rating App will provide a collation of access reviews from real users on more than 100,000 hotels, bars and restaurants in the UK, eventually expanding to the music and sports arenas. From the collation of this data on the app, we can educate businesses on the merits of inclusion and improving the accessibility of their venues. Users can submit disabled access reviews/ratings or search for accessible venues nearby using geolocation technology in a fast and user-friendly manner,” said Esho.

“Our audience is being built through our social media group. We have begun access awareness campaigns, social isolation initiatives and building strong relationships with the people all over the UK from all backgrounds within both the disabled and able-bodied community.”

The group aim to have 100,000 users and reviews on the app by the end of 2021.

Eastern Eye

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