While using a wheelchair, crutches, prosthetic devices, and/or other mobility devices may make it possible for you to remain mobile, you can still encounter obstacles, especially when you’re going somewhere you’ve never been.
You could be cruising along in your wheelchair and suddenly come upon a length of sand that brings your wheels to a halt. Or you could come upon a set of stairs that you can’t climb while you’re wearing bilateral above-knee prostheses. You may be completely blocked from the place you need to go or have to find another way to get there. And that can be a huge pain.
Access Earth (www.accessearth.com) is an app that allows you to type in the name of the city you are visiting, what you are looking for (maybe a theater or restaurant), and the type of accessibility you need (for example, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms or wide doorways) and then receive information about the place.
Calling a facility you plan to visit to find out about its accessibility in advance may be helpful but might not always be enough. Even though an employee at a stadium, theater, or other venue may tell you that it is accessible because it has bathrooms with wide doors and wheelchair-accessible stalls, the staff member may not realize that a person in a wheelchair can’t get up the stairs to the facility. Oops!
Because Access Earth is based on user experience and ratings, the app can provide additional information about the venue and help ensure that it is accessible or at least prepare you for any potential obstacles.
When it comes to accessibility, the more advance information you have, the better.