1. ITV Report

New accessibility app to launch in Oxford

A volunteer finding out what it's like to use a wheelchair on the streets of Oxford Photo: ITV

A lack of disabled toilets in venues can be a real challenge for people with mobility problems.

But those days could be over thanks to a new app designed to make going out and socialising easier.

The Sociability App, which launches in June, is the creation of Oxford University student Matt Pierri.

The Sociability App is designed to help people with mobility problems Credit: ITV

It lets users report on both good and bad accessibility - at places like cafes, bars and restaurants - for people living with mobility challenges.

The app is the result of the work of Pierri alongside the Oxford Accessibility Project.

Sociability App developer Matt Pierri Credit: ITV

Cities like Oxford are known for their historic architecture.

But for those with access issues, smaller buildings with narrow doorways and steps are a real problem.

When planning a night out, you either end up going to the same places you've always been before because you know there's only a handful of places that seem accessible around you, or you turn up to a new place and try to be adventurous and then all of a sudden there's a step and you feel embarrassed.

– Jay Ruckelhaus
Matt Pierri with Jay Ruckelhaus in Oxford's city centre

Pierri began using a wheelchair after an accident in 2007.

His app will collect information about different venues, hoping to make choosing where to go and what to do, a little easier for people with mobility issues.

Cafes, restaurants, bars, things like that - if you wanted to know whether they have a ramp, or a step at the front, or how wide the doors were, or if there was a disabled bathroom on the inside. So to find that information out now is really difficult, so Sociability is trying to make that really accessible to lots of people who need that information."

– Matt Pierri - Sociability App Developer
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