Back in December, Google finally added accessibility details to Maps. It was a long awaited addition, but an extremely welcome one for the more than three million people in the U.S. who require wheelchair accessibility. As we noted at the time, however, the available information still left a lot to be desired. Maps has currently collected accessibility data for almost seven million places, but even with databases like Wheelmap, there were still some pretty big gaps across the country.This week, Google’s l
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Read full article at Source: Google Maps now lets users add wheelchair accessibility details for locations | TechCrunch
For athletes who use a wheelchair, and everyday wheelchair users looking to track their exercise and calories burned, Apple has good news for you. Apple Watch will include manual wheelchair fitness tracking in its free watchOS 3.0 update, to be released later this year.
Apple made the announcement at their annual WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) on June 13, 2016. In watchOS 3, the Activity app will offer a setting for wheelchair users. Wheelchair pushes contribute to all-day calorie goals, the “time to stand” reminder becomes “time to roll,” and dedicated wheelchair-specific workouts are available.With this update, Apple Watch will become the first fitness tracking device for wheelchair users. “We want to make products that serve every walk of life,” Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, said in an interview. “We realized that while it was great for messages on the wrist, we wanted to offer [people with disabilities] the same opportunity to get healthier using Apple Watch.”
Curated by (Lifekludger) read full article at Source: Apple Watch to Offer First Wheelchair Fitness Tracking Feature | The Mighty
Google Maps now has an accessibility feature that tells whether or not a given place is wheelchair friendly. The feature is currently available only in select locations.
Google Maps has been ushering in new features on a regular basis and now the map is aiming to be wheelchair friendly. The maps have picked up a new feature that will tell you whether a particular location is wheelchair friendly or not. One can access this information by tapping on location summary (by tapping on the right arrow mark) and then scrolling down to “Amenities.” Just like the other fields if the place is accessible for folks with wheelchair the check mark next to “Wheelchair accessible entrance” will be marked.
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Read full article at Source: Google Maps will now Earmark Places That are Wheel Chair Friendly
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You don’t really know the meaning of accessibility unless you use a wheelchair or hang out with someone who does. I only started to understand one fall evening while wandering the streets of downtown Montreal with my friend André, in search of a bar or restaurant where he could get his wheelchair through the door.
It took us 45 minutes to find a place, by which time I was feeling quite indignant. How could so many places not bother to make the small ascent to their threshold – usually just one step up from the sidewalk – manageable for people with disabilities? André seemed to take the hassle more calmly, because he had been dealing with it for years.More recently, I went with Omar Lachheb and his girlfriend, Luz, to a Montreal sushi restaurant that we knew had no way of allowing his wheelchair in. But they had brought the solution with them: a wooden ramp, custom-built for that very doorway.
It was one of 20 that Lachheb had arranged to supply to businesses in Montreal since September. A waiter laid down the ramp and voila! – instant accessibility.
Lachheb’s not-for-profit program is called the Community Ramp Project, and its initial goal is to get customized portable ramps around town and into public consciousness. The brightly coloured ramps not only get people in the door, they make visible a problem that’s often easy for the able-bodied to ignore.Laccheb’s approach to most businesses is direct and dramatic. “I knock on the door or the glass, and just wave and say, ‘Hi,’” he said, during a chat in his condo. “I can’t go in, so I have to wait outside.” By the time someone comes out, they know, if they didn’t before, that there’s a problem with the doorway. Rather than complain about it, Lachheb offers them a simple fix, and a clear business motive for doing it.
“Accessibility is a social issue, about equality and dignity for people with disabilities,” he said, “but it’s also about considering people with mobility issues as customers. They have jobs and money to spend. Having a ramp and being accessible is a smart choice for businesses.”
Source: How this portable wooden ramp is changing wheelchair accessibility – The Globe and Mail