Hi! My name is Alexander and I'm 12 years old. I love helping people and I'm excited to tell you about the app I am currently developing called Ability App.
A lot of people ask me how I thought of this app idea. It all started when I saw a man in a wheelchair attempt to open a very heavy door at a sporting goods store. The door didn't have an automatic push button to open the door. As the man struggled to get through the door, I wondered if there was an app that could have told him, before he left his house, about the features available at this and other sporting goods stores around the area. After doing some research, I wasn't able to find any such app. So, I decided that I would create the app to assist disabled people in finding the features at various locations that could meet their needs.
When I was 10, I submitted my idea to Invent Idaho, a non-profit student invention competition, and I won the Best Of Show in the State of Idaho. I then submitted my idea to I Cubed, a National Student Invention Competition, and became the National Grand Champion!
I submitted my app prototype to the AT&T and Imagination Foundation Inventor's Challenge and my app won that international competition.
I also submitted my app prototype to the Discovery 3M Young Scientist's Challenge and won a State Merit Award for my State of Idaho.
My goal is to create an effective app with a database of safe and accurate information that can make the lives of disabled people easier.
Thanks to the generous $25,000 donation from Shutterfly and help from the Ellen DeGeneres team, Ability App is currently being developed! If you would like to become an Accessibility Ambassador, to help populate accessibility information on Ability App, please email me!
Once the specific business, features and/or proximity has been selected, detailed information will be displayed including:
Detailed information about the business selected including business hours, business address and contact info, directions to the business, disability friendly features, customer reviews, ratings, comments, videos and photos can be posted. Business owners can also claim their listing to keep information current and specials can be offered.
If you clicked on the disability friendly job postings, information about the job and employer will be listed.
Search for disability friendly employment opportunities.
The Ability App Home Page Is Listed Above:
On This Page, Users Can Search For Employment, A Specific Service, Features, Disability or Business Type, Check-in To A Business, Write A Review, Post Photos and Videos, View Specials, Login For Customized Features and More. They can also learn about our commitment to safety and accuracy through our verification and certification process.
The Ability App helps people with disabilities find disability friendly employment, service providers and features at specific locations.
Step 1: Home Page
Choose the type of service or business by either selecting the service or use the search bar to type in the service. A voice activated system can be selected if the user doesn't have use of their limbs. The app will also be compatible with eye tracking software- for users who do not have use of their limbs or voice.
Step 2: Services & Features Page
Select specific disability friendly services like grocery delivery, occupational therapy, transportation, mobility, etc. Or you can also select disability friendly features like wheelchair ramps, Braille menus, elevators, etc.
Step 3: Business Listing Page
This page will show you the business listings for your search. It will show the phone #, address, directions, and more. It will also show the disability friendly services and features available in the area selected. Customers can write reviews, upload videos, add comments, share opinions and photos of the business. Business owners can also update their information to keep it current.
According to the World Health Organization, over a billion people, about 15% of the world's population, have some form of disability. Between 110 million and 190 million adults have significant difficulties in functioning. Rates of disability are increasing due to population aging and increases in chronic health conditions, among other causes.
People with disabilities do not have a resource readily available, in one easy to access location, to inform them about the disability friendly features they may or may not find at the places they visit throughout our country or the world, or find safe, reliable services and employment...until now.
The goal of Ability App, once developed, is to improve the lives of all people with disabilities by giving them the resources to make informed decisions. Ability App will help people with disabilities and their caregivers search for specific disability friendly features, services and employment. Disability friendly features at specific locations will be listed like wheelchair ramps, Braille signs and menus, service animal relief locations, assistive technology for the hearing impaired, wheelchair friendly restaurant seating and more. Plus, services like in-home care, grocery delivery, transportation, and occupational therapy. Employment opportunities, specifically for people with disabilities, will also be listed on Ability App.
The app will be free to download on any mobile device and will also be available on the Ability App website.
Visually impaired users, and users without the use of their limbs, will be able to search the app simply by using their voice. Our app will be eye tracking software compatible for those individuals who do not have the use of their limbs or voice.
Alexander Knoll and Ability App have received the following awards:
2016 AT&T and Imagination Foundation Inventor's Challenge Winner
2016 Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge State Merit Winner (Idaho)
2015 Invent Idaho Grand Champion
2015 Invent Idaho Winner
Special Needs Invention Award
2015 I Cubed Grand Champion
Alex Knoll Was The 2015
I-Cubed Grand Champion
For His Ability App Idea.
I-Cubed Is An International Student Invention Competition.
Here are just a few of the disability friendly features that will be listed on the app:
Carl Gipson, AT&T Director of External Affairs, & Alex Knoll at the AT&T and Imagination Foundation's Inventor's Challenge Award Ceremony.
Ability App Won 1st Place In This International Challenge.
Alex Knoll and Beth Brubaker (Founder and Director of Invent Idaho). Alex Was The 2015 Invent Idaho Grand Champion For His Ability App Idea. He Also Won The Special Needs Invention Award For Ability App.
Searches can be refined by selecting specific business type, disability friendly features and services, or by searching by specific disability, A city, state or zip code can also be entered for proximity or you can use a mobile device's GPS.
Here are just a few of the disability friendly features that can be selected:
Automatic front doors, automatic interior doors, Braille menus, Braille signs, complimentary wheelchair, complimentary electric wheelchair, wheelchair friendly aisles, wheelchair friendly counter top heights, disabled restrooms, disabled parking (including the number of parking stalls), elevators, service animal friendly, handrails, hearing aid compatible devices, shopping assistance, sidewalk curb cut, tactile pavement, talking crosswalk system, telecom devices for the deaf or TDD, visual alerting devices, wheelchair seating, wheelchair lift, wheelchair friendly changing rooms, disability friendly transportation options, wheelchair friendly hotel room bed, wheelchair friendly hotel room shower, wheelchair ramp, wheelchair accessible hiking trails, wheelchair accessible parks, beaches and boat launches and much more.
Here are just a few of the disability friendly services that can be selected:
Transportation, individualized support and services, accessible housing, service animals, in-home care, grocery delivery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, mobility solutions, counseling, support services, service animal resources and more.
Searches can also be made for features and services specific to a disability:
ALS, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Spina Bifida, Dyslexia, Vision Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Spinal Cord Injury, Limb Loss, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Brain Injury and many more.
Ability App will also feature disability friendly employment opportunities where employers can post their job openings through accredited agencies.