Today’s guest blog is by Neil Taylor from AccessAdvisr, winners of the How can we improve transport in Britain Challenge. Access Advisr is a website that helps you find out, and rate, how accessible different places, and transport networks are. Unlike other sites, Access Advisr doesn’t rely solely upon static audited information, or the ‘official’ information made available by transport system operators. Uniquely, the site enables people to share their advice and experiences (good or bad) on how accessible they find different places and transport networks in the UK.
Since we participated in the GeoVation Challenge focused on ‘How can we improve transport in Britain’, we have continued developing the BETA version of the AccessAdvisr website through a series of projects in Lowestoft, Milton Keynes and Nottingham.
We have also developed a couple of trial smartphone apps, which are available through Google Play and the App Store for Android and iOS devices. Containing a growing amount of existing information from official sources about the access features at different places; the AccessAdvisr app allows you to upload ratings, comments, photographs, videos and reviews of places you visit so they are shared with the community of people using the app. By using the app you benefit from being able to review the ratings and other content that the community of app-users has provided.
The focus of our recent work has been on community engagement – working with local disabled people in different areas of the UK to understand their needs and introduce them to the AccessAdvsir crowd sourcing tools. In March we were on-street in Milton Keynes to raise local awareness of AccessAdvisr as part of the City Council’s Get on Board project. Through this work we have met a number of different individuals and groups of people who experience a wide range of mobility impairments. Their feedback has given us a number of valuable insights into how we can improve the AccessAdvisr tools to make it easier for people to share their ease-of-access experiences and ratings, as well as make them more accessible for people with sight impairments who use assistive screen-reader technologies.
We are currently in the process of recruiting our first in-house software developer, who will work as part of our team to take-on strategic responsibility for the development of AccessAdvisr tools to build on the user-feedback we have received so far. If you are a software developer and think you might be interested in this job, then please check out our advert here. The closing date for applications is Friday 11 April 2014.
AccessAdvisr is also now on Facebook, so you can ‘like’ us to keep up with all the latest project developments, or follow us on twitter @AccessAdvisr