Dating apps can be a way to get to know the basics about someone before meeting them in person, but living with a disability or chronic illness and sharing why you can't do certain things can be difficult to explain online.
“I had a lot of ableist experiences with people telling me that I shouldn't have children in case my conditions were hereditary and people's families not accepting me because of my health conditions,” said Jacqueline Child.
After several experiences like this, Child, and her sister Alexa Child, set out to change the narrative.
They recently launched a dating app called Dateability, an all-inclusive platform that lets users share on their profile if they have a disability or chronic condition.
”Dating apps have been around for over a decade now, and they’ve had their time. They’ve had the opportunity to be more inclusive of the disability and chronically ill communities, and they haven’t,” said Alexa Child, co-creator of the app.
There are options for everything from food allergies to being in a wheelchair.
The terms are broad because the sisters say the idea isn’t to display all the deepest details about a diagnosis but rather connect people who can relate to each other.
“You don’t always have to talk about the horrible things about your disability,” said Jacqueline Child. “I hate to make my life around the worst part of it. So it’s really just a good icebreaker and a conversation starter.”
“So able-bodied and non-disabled people are welcome to join as long as they share the values and have understanding and empathy for the disability and chronically ill communities,” said Alexa Child.
Those values are also something they hope can carry over into everyday conversations. Dateability is free to download.