The app assisting disabled festival-goers in Edinburgh
“Probably one of the most stress-free visits I have had to an unfamiliar place due to them introducing themselves to me and not my dog, and asking if I needed a guide.” This is how one Welcome app user felt after her recent visit to an Edinburgh venue with her assistance dog. The app, created by our friends at Neatebox, is assisting disabled people in Edinburgh as they visit venues around the city, and we love reading about the experiences of Euan’s Guide reviewers afterwards!
For instance, if you are struck by a shortbread craving in between festival shows, you could use the Welcome app to let the artisan bakers at Pinnies & Poppy Seeds know you’re on your way. In doing so, you can help them prepare for your visit and make the experience easier for yourself if you have specific access requirements that you’d like them to know about.
“I used Neatebox Welcome App and Jennifer knew I was coming and would need a seat. On arrival, a chair had been provided in front of the counter and Jennifer gave me a description of all the shortbread. The entrance is accessible and the door was open on my arrival. It’s a small shop with a desire to help and wonderful shortbread.” If you also fancy a wee bit of shortbread, this reviewer recommends you try the lavender and cinnamon one!
It’s not just artisan bakers that are using the app; for the first time, as part of its efforts to become more accessible, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has adopted Welcome app technology to make collecting tickets and navigating the busy High Street easier for disabled festival-goers. The app lets disabled people make box office teams aware of their access requirements before they go to collect tickets. It’s also possible to add tips on how Fringe staff and volunteers can help you!
It works by sending a visit request to Fringe teams at a specific location with an overview of your requirements. You can make this request as far as two weeks in advance, knowing that your requirements will be met upon arrival with a friendly welcome. Currently, the Fringe venues using the app are the Fringe Shop, Fringe Box Office, Virgin Money Half Price Hut, Fringe Central and the Mobiloo Changing Places facility on the corner of Windmill Street and Chapel Street.
Mid-festival, from the 13th – 27th August, there will also be Fringe volunteers assisting Welcome app users on the High Street! You can request assistance from the Fringe Archways at either end of the street to any event stage you like. There’s a handy list of all the other places using the app around Edinburgh here.
Use Welcome and Euan’s Guide to win an iPad Mini!
Neatebox are running a competition to encourage people to try the Welcome app and leave reviews of their experience on Euan’s Guide. The more feedback that is left, the more likely it is that venues will improve their customer service and awareness of access requirements. For every review that you write after visiting a venue with the Welcome app, you’ll get an entry to the prize draw! The winner of the iPad Mini will be announced on October 1st 2018.