New app to help disabled visitors access the Parliament is launched at Holyrood

15.07.2019

An app which allows disabled visitors to personalise the assistance they need has been launched at the Scottish Parliament today.

The ‘Welcome’ Customer Service Assistance app by Edinburgh-based Neatebox allows disabled people to set up a personal profile and request assistance in advance from facilities and venues which recognise the app, which now includes the Scottish Parliament.

The Parliament is then notified of the request and receives advice to aid the interaction with visitors depending on their needs. Using beacon technology placed around the building, the Parliament is notified when the visitor requiring assistance has arrived at the Parliament allowing us to provide a personalised service that is tailored to the individual.

The app complements the work that the Parliament has already done to ensure that it is open and accessible to all, including a range of access facilities, from portable seating, wheelchairs for loan and audio / multi-media tour handsets in a variety of languages, including BSL.

The Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Ken Macintosh MSP said:

“The Scottish Parliament is proud to be recognised as a five-star visitor attraction in Scotland and we are always looking at new ways to ensure that everyone, regardless of their needs, can visit Holyrood and have a positive experience. 

“We are pleased to introduce the new “Welcome” app which will enable us to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of our visitors who need additional assistance. 
“As a Parliament that always strives to be open and accessible it’s vital we continue to find new and innovative ways to reach out to communities and to break down the barriers that prevent people from accessing their Parliament.”

Gavin Neate, CEO of Neatebox said:

“As a Scottish company, we could not be more proud to be bringing this revolutionary system to our own Parliament building first.  For too long disabled people have been placed in a position of needing to declare a disability and then hoping that staff members will have the experience needed to support them.  All this changes with the Welcome app and we could not be more excited for the future of equality and inclusion and our systems roll out across the globe”.

Background
The app is available on both iOS and Android devices and can be found at “Welcome By Neatebox”.

An overview of how Welcome works: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYj4BKCy9ZQ&t=59s

 

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