Introducing Love is Blind, a new dating app that strives to offer a space for disabled people to connect with one another.
The app is being developed created by Andrew Kranichfeld, a visually impaired man from Westchester who was sick of trying to navigate his way through other dating apps that clearly weren’t designed for people like him.
“A lot of [dating apps] out there are not fully accessible for blind people,” Kranichfeld tells the Rye City Review. “There are certain things that aren’t labeled correctly for screen reader [software].”
Before building Love is Blind, Kranichfeld had tried Bumble (“I couldn’t use it at all,” he says) and Tinder, where he says people weren’t very friendly about his disability (“[I would get] all kinds of reactions from anger to confusion”).
Andrew Gurza, a gay activist with cerebral palsy and host of the podcast “Disability After Dark,” says dating when you have a disability is already a challenge. Throw being LGBTQ into the mix and it can be nearly impossible.
“Disability and sexuality [are] still so taboo,” Gurza explains. “It’s still so taboo that nobody wants to talk about it.”
Gurza continues, “The things [disabled people] face online is just blatant ableism. [Users who’re] behind a keyboard, or behind a screen, feel a lot more comfortable to say inappropriate things.”
In a recent episode of his podcast titled “Gimps on Grindr,” Gurza discusses being disabled on the popular hookup app. He says he constantly receives jeers and rejections because of his cerebral palsy.
“When people say [hurtful] stuff to me and type those things online, when I’m simply trying to connect with somebody, it’s one of the most painful things I’ve experienced.”
Which is precisely why an app like Love Is Blind is so necessary.
Kranichfeld’s business partner, Jaime Urteaga, explains: “There’s a definite need, a definite problem to solve. [Kranichfeld’s] experienced it, I think a lot of other people have experienced it, too. The more people hear about it, the more they become aware this is an issue.”
Love Is Blind will be a place for both disabled and non-disabled people to be open about their dating preferences free from judgment.
“I want [users] to pre-select who [they’re] willing to date,” Kranichfeld explains. “Then [they] wouldn’t match with anyone outside of those subcategories of people.”
It will offer more detailed profiles than your usual hookup app, including things like videos and photo captions. Kranichfeld says he’s trying to get as much feedback from the disabled community as possible to ensure the app’s success.
Love Is Blind is currently in its first phase. It has a landing page, LoveisBlindapp.com, where people are encouraged to sign up for the newsletter, as well as social media pages. Kranichfeld hopes to launch it by April 2018.
h/t: Rye City Review