Sunderland firm launches app to help disabled people

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A Wearside business has launched a campaign to improve access for millions of disabled UK people.

A massive awareness drive has been launched for the smartphone app called assist-Mi, which helps to give greater independence to users.

We are on Kickstarter now with an app that works to build the support behind the idea. This has the power to change so many peoples’ lives and we need to build the momentum and ultimately reach our goal to make that happen

Gary McFarlane, co-founder of assist-Mi

The campaign for the disability access app, co-founded by Neil Herron and Gary McFarlane, was launched on the online platform Kickstarter, with celebrity backing including TV sports broadcaster Clare Balding.

Assist-Mi is based on Sunderland Business Innovation Centre.

Co-founder Gary McFarlane, who was born with ArthroGryposis Multiplex Congenita, which causes congenital joint contractures in areas of the body, said: “This has the power to change so many peoples’ lives and we need to build the momentum and ultimately reach our goal to make that happen.”

Neil added: “We want to solve everyday problems and give greater freedom to all that use assist-Mi, leaving more time for living.

“We have had great support from Sunderland City Council and the NE Business Innovation Centre, and we are proud to be putting Sunderland on the digital smart city map, leading the tech revolution and delivering real society benefits.”

Within a day of going on Kickstarter, assist-Mi has nearly hit £3,000, with the aim to raise money to get it into as many places as possible.

•Visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/259266334/assist-mi-the-revolutionary-disability-access-app