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New App Helps People with Disabilities Review Hotels

July 29, 2016

Jana Younggren calls the app she and her husband, Loren, are launching a “mobile concierge.” But it's not designed for everyone.

The app, b-able, will feature reviews of hotels based on how accessible and comfortable they are for people with disabilities. Hotels will be rated “by handicapped users for handicapped users,” says Younggren, who has Multiple Sclerosis and is confined to a wheelchair.

Younggren and her husband, of Hallock, Minn., decided to launch the service based on their own experiences on vacations. “It’s just been a struggle for us as a family trying to go places,” she says. “We’re trying to remedy that.”

A handicap accessible designation under the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn't always guarantee comfort and ease in mobility, Younggren says. The bed could still be too close to the wall or the stabilizing equipment in the bathroom could be inconveniently placed. “There are times when I've said, ‘I wish someone who’s designing this would sit in a wheelchair,’” she says.

B-able will help people plan their hotel stays, ensuring comfort for anyone with mobility limitations, permanent or temporary.

The Younggrens are working with Myriad Mobile in Fargo to create the app and are launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise money on Aug. 1. For details on how to donate, visit b-ablehotels.com. The app is slated to launch in the spring, Jana Younggren says.