Accessercise’s app makes it easier for people with disabilities to exercise


Accessercise’s app makes it easier for people with disabilities to exercise -Gudstory

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Ali Jawad is a British Paralympic powerlifting champion, and has a strong belief: “Exercise should be seen as something for everyone, regardless of impairment.”

It’s that belief that led Jawad to team up with his former agent and fellow British athlete Sam Briere to launch Accessorize, a fitness app for people who want to exercise despite their disabilities. The startup was one of the Startup Battlefield 200 group at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023.

In its first onboarding phase, Accessercise asks users about their disabilities, such as missing an upper or lower limb. The next questions ask them about their current level of exercise, and whether they need anyone to assist them.

Accessorize App Screenshot - My Workouts

Image Credit: Entry

The onboarding process is important for what happens next: At Accessorize, every disability is specifically supported.

“If you have a leg, you’ll only see videos that are scientifically validated and relative to you, so they’ve been proven to be safe and help you, and they’ll be demonstrated by someone who has a leg. “There is too,” Brieri told me. “It’s really important not only to be concerned, but also to make sure that we are very specific in our support [of] Each different loss.

focus on empowerment

Since Accessercise focuses on empowerment, it doesn’t come with pre-made routines. Instead, users can choose from existing videos to create their own training plan, Briere said. “You can create your own workouts, you can schedule them [in] Your calendar, you can set reminders, you can filter the exercises based on where you want to train, what muscle groups you want to train, how hard you want to make it and what equipment you have. Tools are available.

To help users stay connected with their training, Accessercise includes social features like sharing and liking comments, as well as groups. These can be around a specific loss or training goal, but can also be geographical.

Accessorize App Screenshot - Social Tab

Image Credit: Entry

Geography is also part of what Briere describes as Accessorize’s third major feature, its Explore section. At the moment, it’s a map of fitness facilities in the UK, with some basic information on their level of accessibility, but the startup plans to add more detail over time, and expand it to more gyms to cater to specific needs. Also used as a push. Account.

According to a recent white paper from the Perkins School for the Blind, 1.3 billion to 1.85 billion people globally are estimated to live with at least one disability. There are many obstacles that prevent them from exercising, but lack of willpower is hardly one of them.

“We know the vast majority of the disability community want to be more active – 81% [do] – And we know that if the opportunity is presented to them, they are twice as likely to take advantage of the opportunity as an able-bodied person. The only real lack was someone willing to provide them with those resources, knowledge and empowerment, so that’s exactly what we did,” Briere said.

The lack of adapted training advice still remains an issue, which is why the startup is partnering with fitness education company Future Fit to help qualify trainers to assist people with disabilities. That’s why Accessercise’s videos are original content; There was no substitute for scientifically valid training.

“For example, during COVID,” Briere said, “if you were able to and you wanted to stay fit during lockdown, you would go to YouTube, type in ‘Joe Wicks,’ or ‘press ups’ or ‘workout. ‘ will type. Or whatever, and there are hundreds of thousands of options. But if you go to YouTube, and type in ‘one leg press up,’ there will be maybe 10 videos, nine of which are filmed by people who Those who are not eligible.

The pandemic played a big role in Accessorize’s origin story. At the time, Jawad was preparing for the Tokyo Paralympics, but it was delayed by a year and he began looking at ways to help the disabled community become more physically active. It also resonated with Briere: a retired professional sailor turned sports agent, he specialized in under-represented sports, with a client roster that included several Paralympians.

When it came to building the app, Briere took advantage of his connections in Ukraine, where he lived for five years and where Accessorize’s third co-founder came from; As a lawyer, she stepped away from her role to care for her mental health. As for Breri, he fled Ukraine as the war escalated, but describes it as a very important part of his life. This is also true for Accessercise: all of its marketing and development is still outsourced to folks in Ukraine.

reach the global stage

Making its content available to Ukrainians for free is also part of Accessercise’s plans, but its business expansion goals are broader and imminent. Its targets include Brazil as well as the UK and other English-speaking countries, including the US later this year.

Brere himself plans to relocate to the US and take the company there. Accessorize also recently said it was on the verge of closing “its first institutional financing round.” In late 2022, it had already received funding from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation of Australia (CPARF).

More funding will help Accessoris expand globally and develop several app sections that are currently marked as upcoming: Nutrition, Shop, Blog, and Podcast. Briere said the startup hopes to launch all of these in the next few months and diversify its revenue sources. Apart from e-commerce revenue from its store, where it will sell customized training items, it also plans to make money through advertising and targeted sponsorships.

In addition to expansion and new features, Accessercise also plans to use its upcoming funding for a “big marketing push” to expand the user base it has acquired. With approximately 2,100 active users before Disrupt and a highly underserved target audience, it still has a lot of room to grow.

The app uses a freemium model, and its subscription costs £11.99 ($14.61) for a month, reducing to £5.41 per month ($6.64) with a 12-month plan.


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