Shaw Trust and assist-Mi partnership to deliver improved accessibility

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shaw trust logo


12th September 2016

Today marks the start of a brand new partnership between the national charity Shaw Trust, and the disability access app assist-Mi, to enable revolutionary levels of assistance when clients are navigating their way to appointments at 5 participating Shaw trust offices.

image of a Shaw trust office


Shaw Trust is a national charity providing employment opportunities, skills development training and health and well-being services across the UK, to help people to build their skills, find employment and create brighter futures. The charity provides support to people experiencing unemployment on both the mainstream Work Programme and the Work Choice scheme, a specialist disability employment support programme.


Five Shaw Trust locations are set to be in the pilot. Croydon, Mansfield, Stratford and Worcester are employment focused and between them provide support via the Work Programme and Work Choice Scheme, whilst the Tonbridge branch is part of ‘Live Well Kent’ and is aimed at improving individuals health and wellbeing.

The charity will use the access app to enable greater independence and support for those visitors who may otherwise find it challenging to travel independently. assist-Mi can offer support in accurately locating and navigating to a Shaw Trust branch. It also provides the user with confidence that the support they need will be ready and waiting on arrival, whether that be someone waiting at the front door to greet them, or being met at a car to assist with their bags.

Within office hours, Shaw Trust customers will be able to use the fully accessible assist-Mi app to notify the branches in advance of their arrival, that they are on their way. They can also request any additional assistance they may need, as well as getting directions and accessibility information on their desired destination.

Chief Executive of Shaw Trust, Roy O’Shaughnessy, said:

“assist-Mi is a useful tool to help improve accessibility and give people confidence that their needs will be met. We are delighted to be partnering with the assist-Mi team to help improve the experience of our clients.”

The pilot is set to last for six months and during this time staff of those branches involved will be encouraging clients to use the app if they think it could be of use.

Help us to improve rail travel for people with disabilities

We are inviting you to take part in our focus groups, which will help shape an exciting new project to create an accessible rail travel solution for passengers with disabilities. We know that everyone’s experience of rail travel is very different, from locating accessible stations and obtaining assistance, to using the train amenities, with many finding the experience difficult, stressful and inflexible. We want to hear about your experiences; what do you find challenging when travelling on trains?

The new project is called SMART (Spontaneous Mobile Accessible Rail Travel) and it offers train users the ability to communicate real time with service providers and even request assistance from service providers in advance of arriving. The project will help us to make 24-hour notice and pre-booking trains a thing of the past.

Whatever your experience of using trains, whether you are a regular commuter or very infrequent traveller, disabled user, friend, family or carer - we want to hear from you! Come by and get involved in the discussions around how rail travel for passengers with disabilities can be improved.

We are conducting these focus groups across the UK. Please click on one of the below events to REGISTER (spaces are limited so please reserve your space early to avoid disappointment):

Click here to register for the Coventry focus groupClick here to register for the London focus group Click here to register for the Sunderland focus group







Can’t attend the above dates/locations but still want to get involved? Give us your input by completing our online SURVEY here.

We will be offering snacks, refreshments and assist-Mi goodies to all participants on the day!

Please do spread the word to anyone you think would be interested in getting involved, and if you have any further questions, feel free to email [email protected].


Transport Committee launches inquiry on improving the rail passenger experience

Improving the rail passenger experience inquiry launched

Image of a train station platform

The Transport Committee is conducting a series of inquiries into “the future of rail”. The Committee launches the next in the series on the rail passenger experience.


In 2016 the consumer group Which? conducted a survey of passenger satisfaction over the preceding 12 months. It found that many rail commuters were “getting a raw deal from their train operator”.

There was better news from Transport Focus’s biannual National Rail Passenger Survey, which measures passengers’ satisfaction with their most recent journey. Overall satisfaction levels have increased slightly by this measure, but results vary widely between passengers of different train operating companies and between London, regional and long-distance services.

Read more here

UK funds disabled assistance app for rail journeys

ITS (UK) member assist-Mi has received Government funding to develop and pilot a smartphone application that will help disabled rail passengers to request real time assistance during their journey, the company has announced.

Innovation agency Innovate UK is providing £260,000 for the 18 month ‘SMART’ – Spontaneous Mobile Accessible Rail Travel – project.

The solution aims to put an end to current practices that mean disabled assistance on trains needs to be booked 24 hours in advance, which reduces travel planning flexibility and can cause problems if a service is missed, delayed or cancelled.

Read more -

assist-Mi Wins Award To Develop Revolutionary Smart Rail Travel Solution For Disabled Passengers

assist-Mi are pleased to announce a £260k award of co-funding by the UK’s leading innovation agency Innovate UK, for a project to develop and pilot a revolutionary smartphone app, that will help disabled rail passengers obtain real-time assistance during their journey whilst simplifying the booking experience for both the user and train operators. The app will also offer various incentives and promotions made possible by the involvement of Corethree, the mobile solutions experts.

able mag

SMART – Spontaneous Mobile Accessible Rail Travel – is an 18 month project which will provide a demonstrator and pilot trial for a new and innovative means of enabling disabled persons to request assistance when travelling by train. assist-Mi are partnered in this project by Integrate Systems Engineering Ltd, Corethree Ltd, and Chester-le-Track’. Grand Central Rail will trial the app on their Sunderland to London service.

The project plans to put an end to the current practices that mean that assistance needs to be booked 24 hours in advance, reducing flexibility in travel planning as well as causing severe distress if the train is missed, delayed or cancelled.  In addition, the passenger has to give their requirements each time they book and support for the journey to the departure station or the onward journey from the destination station often isn’t available.

Read More -

Coventry becomes UK’s ‘most accessible city’ for disabled people with new service

assist-Mi allows city residents to communicate specific needs before arriving at destinations, including pubs and restaurants

It is estimated that 270,000 additional carers’ assessments will take place by 2015/16

Coventry is becoming the most accessible city in the country for people with disabilities - thanks to the launch of a “revolutionary” new scheme in the city.

The assist-Mi app, which allows people with disabilities to communicate their specific needs before arriving at a wide range of destinations, has chosen Coventry to become the first city in the country to boast the integrated service.

Coventry residents can use the technology, which was launched in app form last year and is being used by thousands of users already, to communicate their needs with locations ranging - including universities, shops, banks and pubs.



The assist-Mi Black Cab Bringing the #AccessRevolution to the Streets of London.

On Tuesday last week, we went along to Ubiquitous HQ to see the grand unveiling of our Taxi, wrapped in all its assist-Mi glory and meet Vince, our fantastic driver. It was great to finally see our symbol of accessibility, ready to hit the streets of London!

London’s Black Cabs are well respected as the most professional taxi service in the world, but a lesser known fact is that most are fully accessible to those with disabilities. Virtually all Black cabs are equipped with wheelchair ramps and hearing loops, providing a lifeline to those navigating their way around London and that can’t easily use the underground.

People can use cabs to join up their journey easily and efficiently, and with our continued partnership with Gett, Taxis now provide the smart solution to travel in the capital.

We want to use our branded Taxi as a platform to build awareness of issues around accessibility and the opportunities that assist-Mi offers service providers. We don’t just aim to make the journey accessible, we strive to make the venue that the user is visiting accessible too! We know that assistance can be made smarter, transport more connected and London more inclusive – roll on the #AccessRevolution!

A massive thank you to Ubiquitous for their generous support and extremely professional service.


Big splash for assist-Mi as Sandcastle Waterpark becomes the UK’s first visitor attraction to use the ground-breaking app for disabled visitors

Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool will be the first visitor attraction in the country to offer assist-Mi to disabled visitors.

image showing two people enjoying Sandcastle waterpark
According to Sandcastle Waterpark’s Managing Director John Child, the, the assist-Mi app “will make it easier for disabled people to access our facilities and will also make it easier for the Sandcastle to support them.”

“We also support many community initiatives and charities including the Aiming Higher charity with evenings where children and families in similar situations can come and enjoy the Waterpark when it is closed to the public. There are water ambassadors to aid the children in the water so families can relax and be themselves. Sandcastle Waterpark also hold Splash Sessions, which are one to one sessions for children with additional needs, as well as donating an annual pass to the charity so members can visit at any time. The assist-Mi app will ensure that visitors have an easy two-way communication with our team and an unforgettable experience. We hope that we are leading the way and other visitor attractions will follow.”
Gail Leach whose 17 year old disabled daughter, Amy regularly attends Sandcastle Waterpark says: “As a parent with a disabled child I tried the app and it is fantastic and I’m really pleased that Sandcastle Waterpark is the first attraction to deploy assist-Mi. It means that as well as having the access and support information you also have easy to follow directions. The two-way chat and assistance request button is invaluable especially to those visiting new locations for the first time who just need that extra help or reassurance. It is fantastic and going to help Amy enjoy other attractions and experiences once they also sign up.”

assist-Mi to a cab!

assist-Mi and Gett Taxi for disabled travellersImage of black cabs

In another demonstration of smart phones improving accessibility, news of a collaboration between assist-Mi and Gett Taxi, the black cabbies’ riposte to Uber.

assist-Mi helps users contact service providers directly.

assist-Mi is a free smartphone app which uses a combination of “Smart” location-based technologies and two-way messaging to put the user in direct contact with a service provider, so that they can request real-time assistance at the touch of a button. It aims to remove some of the barriers which make it more difficult for disabled people to access goods and services.

The app allows the user to create a personalised profile with their access needs, so that service providers understand what assistance and adjustments will be required, and the user will know that they can arrive at their destination, confident of an accessible welcome.

assist-Me and Gett Taxi have partnered up to make using black cabs easier

The partnership between assist-Mi and Gett will make it easier and more cost-effective for disabled travellers in London to use black cabs.

Gett, a smart phone app for hailing taxis, is offering assist-Mi users a free business account, which gives them a priority five minute booking service; fixed prices for longer journeys; savings of up to 30% on metered fares; and consolidated taxi receipts – very useful if you need to submit claims for Access to Work, for example.

Both assist-Mi and Gett can be downloaded free from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Read more


You may already be aware that tomorrow is the ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ and to celebrate our partnership with Gett, we are able to offer disabled users who sign up to assist-Mi a £30 free first taxi ride with Gett, in addition to all the benefits below, exclusively for assist-Mi users:

  • Access to over 8000 black cabs in London and a further 2000+ throughout the UK.
  • Priority 5 minute booking service.
  • Fixed prices over longer distances with savings of up to 30%
  • Consolidated taxi receipts
Image - £30 Voucher free when you sign up with the code power 2015

The user simply needs to download and open the assist-Mi app and continue to register their interest with Gett Taxi through following the instructions on the promotions tab. By registering interest through assist-Mi, disabled travellers can now use the promotional code POWER2015 to receive £30 off their first Gett ride when registering to pay by Card! Pass this news onto anyone you feel may want to benefit from this promotion.


Download assist-Mi here: for Android and Apple


Why not share your experiences of the day on social media using the hashtag #AccessRevolution or tagging us using or @assistMi.