Technology has changed the world we live in. Some would argue for the better, some would say the contrary. If it’s applied for the right things, the impact it has on our society can be powerful, sustaining a movement that affects the masses. Or in this case, the minority.
Countries all over the world are utilizing and applying technology to make the communities we live in more accessible for our disabled population. Disabled persons face challenges every day, and often these are things able-bodied people take for granted. Finding accessible parking is one challenge that many don’t think twice about. The lack of education regarding accessible parking spots and what the well-known handicap sign means leads to abuse of these privileges. A nonprofit organization in Russia called Dislife has figured out a way to minimize the abuse of these spaces by creating a hologram of a disabled person in a wheelchair. The hologram appears in the parking space whenever a vehicle without permits or the appropriate placards attempts to park. Watch the magic of what happens here.
Technology does not have to be as big as the Russian hologram to raise awareness or help the disabled community overcome daily challenges. These are small things that make a huge difference in a disabled person’s life. How can technology help overcome these challenges? Well, as the saying goes, “There’s an app for that.”
Here are three accessible parking mobile apps to help on the next outing or trip, whether that’s to the grocery store or to another country:
Parking Mobility is a free app available on Android devices that reports disabled parking abuse and improves accessibility within the community. When the user sees a vehicle parked illegally, they simply launch the app, take three photos and submit. The app sends this information to the city and they ticket the vehicle owner. Additionally, this app allows the user to mark the location of accessible parking spaces anywhere in the world within 30 seconds. This means that users are able to easily find accessible parking, number of spaces, ramp access details and cost, if applicable.
Blue Badge Parking was originally created as a website that provided detailed disabled parking maps in a centralized, user-friendly database. Now all of this information is available on your Android mobile device in the Google Play store at no cost. Using a device’s GPS, the app tracks the user’s location and identifies the nearest disabled parking space. Don’t forget that if an area doesn’t have enough data, or if the existing information is incorrect, users can simply start adding or revise locations for other app users to easily find.
What makes this app stand out is that users can easily search the locations of accessible spaces by address, zip code or even attraction. When you have identified the desired location, you are able to view the space in a few different ways: street-level view, map and satellite views. If spotty GPS coverage is anticipated, users can even print out the maps (if the phone or tablet supports printing).
Wheelmate has made it its mission to design a free app to make finding clean, accessible toilets and parking spaces easier and more convenient. This app uses a mobile device’s GPS location to search, identify and easily navigate to accessible parking spaces. A unique feature of Wheelmate is its ability for users to add, rate and comment on not only parking spaces, but accessible toilets as well.
What do you think? Would you use any of these wheelchair-accessible parking apps?