BRIDGE- An app that bridges the divide between teens with disabilities and those who would like to get involved.

Shruthi S., Maria C., Anisha G., Meghana C., Hannah L.

BRIDGE is a phone application that aims to provide teens with resources necessary to interact with their peers with disabilities. The app provides tips for teens and resources, location-based events they can get involved in, and a chat feature to socialize with others. With these components, BRIDGE provides a safe place for teens to communicate with one another, make lifelong friends, find ways to get involved, and access the many resources available to them, all in one simple mobile app.

Nowadays, too many teens are socialized to turn a blind eye or walk away when meeting their peers with disabilities. This instinct creates a barrier that separates teens. Although the divide is not intentional, teens are often unaware of the toll that their actions have. While many teens want to change the social norm, they lack the knowledge of the resources that are available for them to get involved.

The idea behind BRIDGE is simple: to bridge the gap between teens with disabilities and those who want to get involved but do not know how. BRIDGE hopes to break the social barrier and the preconceived notion that people with disabilities need to be treated differently. Using the power of a strong community, BRIDGE strives to encourage teens to get involved in the special needs field and form lifelong relationships so that, in the near future, the isolated feeling that some kids with disabilities experience is decimated and that the gap BRIDGED!

The app does this in three ways:
1) Tips and etiquette for teens to follow
2) Location-based events for teens to get involved
3) A chat for teens to socialize with one another

We started with MIT App Inventor to create our app. Unfortunately, this did not work out and we quickly needed a solution. We decided on Swift for iOS apps, and used Xcode. This was a new language to most of us, as only one member of our group worked with it before, and we relied on a lot of resources to help. In the end, we overcame this challenge and got the app to work!

"It’s an interesting and ambitious idea... I want to see if this works!"

BRIDGE has been created by five of us at Girls Who Code UIC Chicago. Each one of us has come into GWC with minimal coding experience, with different ambitions, but have bonded well over the weeks in this process. Here’ s a word about each of us.

Hi! I am Shruthi and I’m a junior. I enjoy swimming, reading and coding.

Hi, I’m Maria, and prior to GWC, I never coded. I am a junior in high school and live in Chicago!

My name is Anisha Gondesi and I am sixteen years old. I am a junior and I enjoy computer programming.

Hi, I’m Meghana and I’m a senior. When I’m not studying you can find me reading or building robots!

I’m Hannah and I’m a junior. When I’m not at school or studying, you can find me playing soccer, participating in Best Buddies, or hanging out with friends!

For questions & comments, please contact us at bridge.smash@gmail.com.

This project was made by Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program students at UIC - Ada Lovelace.