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Location Networking Aims To Help Disabled People Connect

A free smartphone app that can help disabled and other diverse communities find and connect with people from within their own and other groups, and request social support, has been launched in the UK.

MiFinder combines elements of social networking platforms with GPS satellite location, allowing users to engage and potentially meet with people nearby them who share similar interests. The app has a range of potential uses – including dating – but is unusual in promoting its use for social support, its owner says.

Users create a profile on the app and can choose to input personal information, including whether they consider themselves disabled. Users then write a short description of why they are using the app – for dating, to make new friends, or to find social support if they feel isolated – and the kind of people they hope to connect with. The app then shows where other MiFinder users with similar profiles are located, including those who may be in the same area at the same time. Users can switch off their precise location if they do not feel comfortable disclosing it to others.

MiFinder founder and CEO Gabriel Saclain told E-Access Bulletin that he hopes that eventually, if enough users join, the app will provide a unique means of engagement for people who may be isolated and lack the opportunity to meet others near where they live.

“I did know of other location-based apps which were much more focused on dating and things like that, but I felt there was a need for something which was much more community-focused, that allows people to get to know other people in real-time, using GPS”, Saclain said.

As well as allowing users to build up social connections and engage with similar communities nearby, MiFinder will be developed to give support groups – such as organisations that offer support to disabled people, for example – a real-time presence, so that users can find out what assistance is available in their local area via the GPS element of the app, he said.

Short link to MiFinder:
http://bit.ly/ZAdfnj

Full link to MiFinder:
http://www.mifinderapp.com/page/mifinder/8/

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