By: Kevin McGuire
AbleRoad, a company that connects people with accessible places, is a website and app that allows people with disabilities and medical conditions – including those who use a wheelchair or have other mobility, vision, hearing or cognitive disabilities – and their families and caregivers to review any public space or business.
AbleRoad is the most comprehensive website and app available for helping people with disabilities. The company has worked with Yelp, so users can see both the Yelp and AbleRoad ratings for a business on the same screen, with up to 200 results per search. The app allows users to add ratings and upload photos while on location and rate them for many factors relating to ease of access.
Reviews of restaurants, stores, hotels, medical practices and facilities, and more can be shared easily on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The app supports badge ranking of reviewers, and has voice over screen capabilities for people who are blind or low vision. Users can leave detailed reviews for others to read, allowing people with disabilities or their families and friends to research and choose the businesses they want to patronize. AbleRoad is seeking new users around the world to enter reviews in an effort to make the website and app even more comprehensive and useful for people with disabilities.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 56.7 million Americans, or nearly 20% of the population, have some type of disability, making them the largest minority group in the nation. People with disabilities represent $220 billion dollars in discretionary spending power, and more than 25% of American consumers are currently disabled, or have a close friend or family member who is. With the number of Americans over age 65 projected to double by the year 2030, the need for AbleRoad’s services will only increase over time.
McGuire is working to make AbleRoad not only a tool for people with disabilities, but a brand of its own that will one day lend its seal of approval to a variety of products and services marketed toward them. “As a child of a parent who is aging, I’ve found there is no certification program for medical products like walkers and grab bars,” McGuire says. “Taking the rating and reviewing one step further, I would like our website and app to be able to direct people to AbleRoad approved goods, services and contractors.”