article by Helen Campbell, contributor for Ability Chicago Info | Dec 06, 2016
We now live in a world where almost everybody has technology at the end of their fingertips. Whether you are using a smart phone or a tablet, the device that you carry with you every day has the potential to enrich your life; this is particularly true if you are a wheelchair user. Mobile technology is revolutionising our lives, and helping wheelchair users and other disabled people to continue to live as independently as possible. Here is our list of the best five apps that can improve and enhance the lives of wheelchair users:
AXS Maps (Free)
One of the most practical apps available for smart phone users in wheelchairs, AXS maps works well because it is so popular amongst the wheelchair using community. AXS maps allows users to quickly and simply use their GPS to look at their location and find the most accessible places that are closest to them. Users can then rate and share these locations (be their restaurants, libraries or sports facilities), helping users to choose the right hang out for them. This is the one app that every wheelchair user should have on their phone.
Wheelchair Calorimeter ($0.99)
Want to improve your fitness levels and increase your strength, or have you made getting fit and healthy (and maybe losing a few pounds in the process) one of your New Year’s Resolutions? Then the Wheelchair Calorimeter is the perfect app for you. This clever app tells you how many calories you are burning when you are exercising, or simply going about your daily life, in a manual wheelchair. This clever app is customisable with both your weight and the weight of your chair, to ensure your readings are as accurate as possible. It will also track your climb, and is powered by GPS. Suitable for both smart phones and appropriately secured and protected tablets, this app is ideal for motivating you to get out, get fit, and get active.
Although people don’t really like to talk about it, one of the most difficult challenges faced by wheelchair users when they go out in the world is finding somewhere clean and appropriate that they can use the bathroom. Wheelmate is an app that helps to solve that problem: it allows wheelchair users all over the world to quickly locate accessible bathrooms, as well as wheelchair accessible parking spaces. With more than 3,000 locations listed already, this rapidly growing app is only going to get better with age.
Want to test your mobility and complete your daily physiotherapy exercises then log them straight into your phone? This is the perfect app for you. Myotomes is an app that tests neurological motor skills by allowing its users to administer self-examinations that relate to the movement associated with each individual vertebrae. The app is divided into sub categories such as upper limbs, lowers limbs and reflexes, meaning that the entire nervous system is covered by the app. Whilst it isn’t an app most people would use every day, this clever app lists the muscle movement and nerves that are controlled by each vertebra, and quickly and easily allows uses to test, examine, and log their field of movement without the support of a physician.
Access Earth (Free)
Access Earth is a new app that was released earlier this year to critical acclaim, with the intention of becoming the ‘accessible trip advisor’. Much like the popular review site, the aim of the app is to provide a comprehensive user-driven overview of hotels, restaurants, and other leisure arenas, enabling users to quickly ascertain how wheelchair accessible they really are. App users will answer “yes” or “no” questions about key areas of accessibility such as the bathrooms, elevators, stairs. They will also have the option to leave a review of the location based on their experience. The app is growing rapidly, and by downloading it to your phone you will be able to not only find accessibility information fast, you will also be able to share your own experiences in order to enrich the lives of other wheelchair users. A great app, and one we predict will only grow in both popularity and usefulness.
Ty to Helen Campbell for article!