This Valentine’s Day, we’re launching our #AppcessibleDating Campaign.
Let’s face it, dating can be difficult especially if you are disabled. While there are a lot of apps on the market, how many of them are really designed with accessibility at heart?
From better accessibility features to better resources for challenging stigma – we want the apps to give disabled people the best possible experience and chance at finding love.
Why APPcessible love and dating?
There are many reasons that disabled people find dating apps difficult. Some of these could be how to navigate the actual app itself, overload of information, disclosing a disability, understanding social cues or reading the information. Not to mention the reactions from matches.
“I have received strange opening lines. Two that will stick with me for a long time are, “do your lungs work properly?” and “I bet your disability increases attention.” There is a lot of education and normalising of disability that’s required in this space”
What do we want from our dating campaign?
We asked our audience to get in touch with their stories about their experiences of dating with a disability. We were blown away by those who reached out but it became clear there were several common themes throughout the accounts.
“The apps need to realise that they aren’t great for those of us who are neurodiverse. I would love to see a simpler, quieter design and layout. I find opening an app with too much information overwhelming and just want to shut it down.”
Lots of you said that the apps need to normalise disability and make it easier to be more visible on the apps. There needs to be more education and information available.
We reached out to a few of the more popular apps in the hopes of opening a discussion on how they could adapt to be more accessible. Not one answered us. We hope to change this moving forward as we will share our research, stories, videos, app audits and resources.
“I went on a date with a guy to the cinema and at first he was scared to ask me if I wanted to go because obviously, he thought, she can’t see, why would she want to go to the cinema?
“When I tell men that I have a disability, their initial reaction is alright, that’s fine or if youneed to hold my arm that’s fine, they don’t care. So yeah, it’s been quite positive.”
WE WANT YOU
We’re encouraging anyone with a story to comment, DM, tweet, or post using the hashtag #AppcessibleDating. We want all stories – positive or negative or both!
We’ll then take the feedback we’ve received to the dating apps themselves with a list of proposed changes and ways they can better support disabled people with their dating lives.
Follow the dating campaign
Read more about loneliness and disability by visiting our blog