Posted on Friday October 11, 2019
Many companies are started when there is a need to find a better way. Meegan Winters was a teacher and assistant principal for 15 years working with people with autism and hearing from families how difficult it was to go out in public not knowing what to expect at different destinations. Then, almost four years ago, she lost her best friend Jessica as a result of a lifelong battle with Muscular Dystrophy inspiring her to start a company called Able Eyes .
This easy to use and interactive website is designed to help people with both physical and “invisible disabilities” (autism, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, etc.). Visitors will enjoy a novel and unique approach to accessing the community. The website hosts virtual tours of public areas such as restaurants, schools, doctor’s offices, rehab centers, shopping centers, etc. It allows people of all abilities to actually see and interact with different public places and check out accessibility options right from the comfort of home which can decrease anxiety and allow people to plan accordingly even before going there.
Able Eyes is a free and valuable resource. Visitors just enter a zip code to access the virtual tours in his/her area of choice. This simple tool can help people feel more comfortable and confident while promoting community involvement, independence and awareness.
Currently, 26% of the population has a disability and of that 26%, most are ” invisible .” At this point there are limited accommodations in place for people with invisible disabilities to access the community. Able Eyes provides a viable option in a unique form of assistance.
A parent recently shared her testimonial on the importance of Able Eyes, “As a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I understand how critically important Able Eyes is. At home, before we go anywhere, we have to research photos, maps, and layouts online of every new place we are planning to go. There is no choice. Either we prepare ourselves for what we are about to encounter, or we don’t go.”