Snowball, a brand new app for disabled people that asks them to review and rate how disability-friendly businesses and services are, has launched today with Paralympians giving it a gold medal.
Created by wheelchair user and co-host of the popular podcast The Grumpy Gits, Simon Sansome, the app allows users to find restaurants, shops, tourist attractions, coffee shops and much more, regardless of where they are in the world. As more places are reviewed and suggested, the app will grow larger and gain more momentum, hence its name, Snowball.
Simon said: “Snowball will have a significant impact in giving people with physical disabilities, mental health issues and learning disabilities successful journeys and great days out.
“In the last few weeks we have seen BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner stranded on a plane at Heathrow, a Guide Dog charity executive asked to leave a supermarket because of his guide dog, and disabled children unable to access playgrounds.
“The app will give people the confidence to socialise with ease as they will be able to see what facilities and venues are available in their immediate location. They will also be able to plan days out, giving people more freedom to access their communities, explore and travel with confidence.”
Paralympians Hannah Cockroft OBE and Aaron Phipps MBE have hailed the app as a “long time coming”, with Hannah saying: “I am repeatedly told that disability access in the UK has improved out of sight, and whilst things are getting better, they are still not accessible. Snowball will change the everyday lives of many disabled people.
“We will no longer have to turn up and pray we can get in, do hours of online research just to find out if we will be able to enter, or phone up and be told a venue is accessible, when it really really isn’t – one step doesn’t make a huge difference, right? Snowball will give people back their time, freedom and independence and create an accessible space for all.”
Aaron added: “Many times when I’m out with friends and family I’ve had to hop out of my chair and hobble around on my bum to get into places. Snowball will give me an accessible world and I won’t have to worry about going out anymore with friends and family because we will all know where we can access thanks to the app.”
Read more from PosAbility: Euan’s Guide Access Survey Results