For many of us, smartphones and tablets are an essential part of our daily lives. They have become powerful tools that can help us with many areas such as communications, entertainment, and organization. There is a massive selection of available mobile apps that are contributing to breaking down mobility barriers, and in turn, allow people to live more comfortably and independently.
By Motion Composites - Published July 14th, 2020
For this blog article, we’ve selected four simple apps available on both Google Play and the App Store that can make a great difference in a wheelchair user’s life.
My Wheelchair Guide (MWG)
Developed by the University of Pittsburgh and the United Spinal Association, the MWG app is an interactive guide designed to help new and experienced wheelchair users to make enlightened choices when it comes to their manual wheelchair. Among other things, its features include:
Self-assessment & maintenance checklists
Wheelchair skills videos
Critical health considerations
Although this does not replace the knowledge of a licensed health professional, this application is a very useful complement that helps individuals from assessing their own situations to maintaining their wheelchairs.
Google Maps definitely sets the bar when it comes to world exploration. While the service has greatly evolved over the years to integrate functions such as Street View and transit information, its focus on mobility solutions really took off in the past 5 years.
Since 2018, Google Maps’ wheelchair accessible routes have been rolled out into many cities all over the world. When this option is selected, Google Maps displays a list of possible routes that take mobility needs into consideration. In 2020, Google went a step further when it introduced Accessible Places, a feature that indicates wheelchair accessible entrances as well as seating, restrooms, and parking.
Improve your mental & physical health with an app featuring wheelchair fitness workouts, exercises and nutrition plans. Only available on Android at the moment, this app is a great resource to find a rich array of workout ideas that are designed for wheelchair users. Developed by qualified personal trainers, every exercise is carefully explained, and the workout plans are varied and well designed. There is content for every level from beginner to advanced. To get the most out of your fitness training, the app also features vegan friendly recipes and nutrition plans. With an app like Wheel Fit, no matter what your goal or your level of access to fitness equipment, there’s no excuse to start getting healthier!
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a robust application that allows automation of a wide range of actions related to your mobile device. In other words, it allows us to combine technologies and applications to perform certain predetermined sequences of actions when certain triggers are activated. Through those “recipes” you can set tasks such as sending an automated text message to someone when you leave your home or when you arrive at a specific destination, flashing your lights when you receive email from key people or linking your Google Calendar to your smartwatch to automatically set reminders when you are not meeting preset hours of sleep. Even if applications constantly get easier to automate, IFTTT is a great solution to get the most out of tools that couldn’t work together otherwise.
These apps are only a few alternatives among many other applications that have been developed to improve the lives of people with mobility limitations. Although they are not meant to replace human interactions, they can enhance many aspects of life for wheelchair users. And as voice assistants such as Google Home and Alexa are being adopted by more and more users, the possibilities can only grow in the years to come. What applications and technologies have you been using to improve your daily life? Contact us to let us know and we might share with the Motion Composites community in a follow-up article!
About Motion Composites
Motion Composites has an international reputation as a leader in the design and manufacture of ultralight manual wheelchairs.