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First city to trial access app for disabled people

Published Thursday, 10 December 2015

More organisations are joining forces in Coventry to test out a new app which gives people with a disability the choice to get assistance and plan on the go when visiting the city.

Assist-Mi
Assist-Mi

The app, called assist-Mi, is free of charge for users and offers comprehensive assistance to people with disabilities who can request assistance when visiting venues in Coventry. It's the first time the app is being trialled in a city. People can download the app and then connect via two way messaging to the venue they plan to visit. 

The member of staff at the organisation will at the same time get a profile of the customer so they understand what their needs are likely to be and anticipate the service users’ arrival. 

Thanh Sinden, from Culture Coventry, believes that signing up to the app reinforced the commitment of the Herbert and the Coventry Transport Museum to making the venues appealing attractions to all visitors. 
She said: "We're delighted to be involved in this project. In an increasingly competitive market this I think that venues like ours need to be make the customer experience as good as it can get. We are happy to be able to support Assist-Mi." 

Elizabeth Flowers, Chair of the Disabled Employees Network, and lead on the app project, said that the app had been tested for a few weeks and now the more wide ranging pilot is underway and will run until January 2016. 
Elizabeth said: “We are formally launching the app and would love colleagues to drop in and see the app working and tell us what they think. We are inviting organisations as well as individual users of the app to the launch so feel free to spread the word!” 
“It helps us all understand more about the importance of accessible venues.” 

We ran a short pre-pilot of the app, one user said it was, “easy to download”. They also added: “It gave me the choice of planning my journey to make my trip into the city smoother and easier and of course it is great that it is free for individuals.” 

The pilot is a partnership with Coventry City Council and Coventry Citizens Advice Bureau. 

Venues that are part of the pilot include the Council House, Coventry University, the Herbert and Citizens’ Advice Bureau. 

Councillor Faye Abbott, Cabinet Member for community development, co-operative and social enterprise said: “I'm delighted the Council is working in partnership with local organisations to deliver this App. The council is committed to enabling visitors to the city have a positive experience and this app is one of the practical ways we can put that commitment into action.” 

Caroline Leighton CEO of Citizens Advice Bureau said: “This app makes the process for people accessing venues more seamless and convenient, increasing confidence. We hope as many people and places use it. Our service is open five days a week offering free, impartial, independent and confidential advice twinned with research and campaigns to improve policies and practices and aims for access for all.” 

Gary McFarlane, Co-Founder and CEO of assist-Mi said: "Assist-Mi is delighted to be working with Coventry City Council and Citizens Advice Bureau, bringing a new way of offering enhanced access to service providers for their disabled customers. I ask for potential users of the app to download assist-Mi and get involved in the pilot." 

For further information download the Assist-Mi service provider leaflet or user leaflet or visit the Assist-Mi website. 

How to download the app 
The Android version is at: 
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.assist_mi.assist_mi&hl=en_GB 

The Apple version is at: 
https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/assist-mi/id667894300?mt=8 

 

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