Category Archives: Uncategorized

Discovering Activities for People with Disability in your Local Area

Discovering Activities for People with Disability in your Local Area

Whether you have a disability or mobility limitation, work with people with disabilities or care for someone who has a disability then you know how difficult it can be to find accessible venues and activities for people with disabilities in your local area. If you know what can be accessed, you know what your options are for an activity.

Don’t just go by the newspaper calendars, be proactive

The designers of Out & About recognised two things that were happening in life – the first is that there was a perceived limit of available activities for people with disabilities due to few activities being promoted as accessible, and the second was that more and more people were turning to their smartphones to get directions and to read reviews of venues and activities. The simple brilliance of the Out & About app was to bring these two things together to create an easier way for people with disabilities to navigate their community.

Use technology to make life better

Smartphones are opening opportunities for everyone with their portable access to the Internet and the information that can be shared on it. When it comes to information about finding activities for people with disabilities, it hadn’t been put to good use until now. Previously, reviews of venues and activities may include a graphic symbol that they are declared accessible for people with disabilities, but that never told you the complete story. Having an accessible toilet or a wheelchair ramp can’t make up for stairs up into the bathroom or a door at the top of the ramp that is too narrow. By using the Out & About app you can find out the real details about any listed activities for people with disabilities in your area so you know what to expect.
The community power of the app also means people with disabilities, mobility limitations or their families and carers can make more informed decisions about their day and have the confidence to get out and about in their community. If you find an accessible venue or event is not listed on the app, you can suggest it be included so other users can have access to the information. Users can read reviews left by others to help them make a decision, or contribute a review of their own. Top rating venues receive a highly recommended ribbon.

Getting set up with Out & About

Download and install the app on your mobile device and power it on. You have several different options about how to find the information you need. If you are looking to find activities for people with disabilities in your area, setting the location search to “on” is the best way to go. This acts like a GPS model for accessibility. Venues and activities are logged and marked on your local map along with information about where to park, what accommodation is available and critical details about the specifics of the venue itself. All of this lets you plan your visit better and enjoy your time out.

Watch the ‘How to use the Villa Maria Out & About App‘ video to learn more. For detailed instructions on how to use the Out & About App

Villa Maria is a not-for-profit, values-based organisation providing quality services and life enhancing opportunities for older people and children and adults with a disability, their families and carers.

More about Villa Maria »

Submit a venue

If you know of an upcoming event or a great accessible venue, we’d love to hear from you. For accessibility guidelines click here.

Download

Available for free from
the iPhone App Store.

Available on the App Store

Getting the message Out & About

Getting the Message Out & About

Free App to improve community access for people with disabilities and mobility limitations

More than 2,000 people have downloaded Villa Maria’s innovative free Out & About app for people with disabilities or mobility limitations since it was launched in December, including dozens from Europe, Asia and America.

 

The free app, which enables people with disabilities, mobility limitations and carers to find accessible venues and events, now has more than 1,500 venues and events listed.

 

While many of the venues and events listed are in metropolitan Melbourne, rural and regional local government areas in Victoria and interstate organisations have expressed interest in including venues and events with disability access on the app.

 

It is a free app for iPhone and iPad and Villa Maria is now developing an Android version to make it accessible to all devices. Updates to the app are also planned to improve the user experience.

 

A community-powered platform, it works like TripAdvisor, allowing users to rate, review and suggest. It lists museums, cafes, parks, playgrounds, shops, cinemas, beaches and more. Users can filter venues based on their accessibility features and because it is location based, users can instantly look up events and facilities nearby or use it to plan their day before they leave home.

 

For example the free app lists wheelchair access, disability access, features for people who are visually impaired or hard of hearing, leisure activities for people with disabilities, activities for older people, and more. Users can see if a venue is wheelchair accessible, or they might be looking for disability friendly accommodation.

 

Villa Maria hopes Out & About will grow to become the “go to app” for carers and people with disabilities and mobility limitations. Community members and businesses are encouraged to suggest more venues with disability access features and events offering leisure activities for people with disabilities, for inclusion.

 

Out & About is among a growing number of special needs resources featuring disability services in Melbourne and across the country.

 

But it is not just an app for those with disabilities or special needs. It has a much broader appeal, as the diversity and breadth of the information makes it a useful resource for anyone looking for a venue or event in their area or further afield.
 
 

Watch the ‘How to use the Villa Maria Out & About App‘ video to
learn more. For detailed instructions on how to use the Out &
About App

Villa Maria is a not-for-profit, values-based organisation providing quality services and life enhancing opportunities for older people and children and adults with a disability, their families and carers.

More about Villa Maria »

Submit a venue

If you know of an upcoming event or a great accessible venue, we’d love to hear from you. For accessibility guidelines click here.

Download

Available for free from
the iPhone App Store.

Available on the App Store