Dateability Is The First Dating App Designed For The Disabled Community

Online Dating

Sisters Create Dateability, the First Dating App for People With Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities 

Chloë Hylkema

Written by: Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema loves using her writing skills to tell stories that matter. Her time as an English student at Emory University molded her into a detailed writer with a knack for the relatable. Chloë is familiar with what it means to date in the modern age, and she endeavors to write material that is both truthful and helpful. She has previously worked as lead campaign writer for an animal advocacy group and now brings her passion for engaging and actionable content to DatingAdvice.com.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!

The Short Version: If the online dating scene wants to be as inclusive and accessible as it can be, it has some work to do. A newer addition to online dating apps, Dateability is a force that is leading to impactful change in the industry. Dateability was founded by sisters Jacqueline and Alexa Child and is the first dating app for individuals with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Jacqueline and Alexa talked to us about Dateability’s founding story and delved into the app’s extensive features. They told us why accessibility and inclusivity matter when it comes to digital dating and why they’re so passionate about Dateability’s mission to fight against ableism. 

Dating apps are often framed as an equitable approach to dating. In theory, any person with a phone and internet connection can download a dating app, become a member, and eventually make matches they’re excited about. If you’ve ever been on a dating app or site, you know the reality isn’t as straightforward.

Online daters aren’t immune to the prejudices and biases that touch all sorts of social interactions, and online dating isn’t nearly as accessible or equitable as it should and could be. Many communities and segments of the population have been excluded from online dating as it is, but members of these communities are working diligently to change this.

Among these trailblazers are Jacqueline Child and her sister, Alexa. The sisters are the co-founders and co-CEOS of Dateability, the first-ever dating app developed for singles with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Jacqueline and Alexa talked to us about the story behind Dateability and what they’re hoping to provide for disabled singles.

“As a disabled woman, I experienced a lot of discrimination and ableism on the mainstream apps,” Jacqueline said. “People would ghost me or be blatantly discriminating and say awful things. And this went on for years before I figured there has to be a better way to date for people with disabilities.”

Alexa & Jacqueline Saw a Big Problem in the Dating Scene

When Jacqueline went looking for a better option for online dating, she found herself disappointed. “I had Googled disabled dating apps because I figured there had to be one out there,” she said. “And there never was anything.”

Jacqueline underwent a medical procedure in October 2021, and after this, she said she got serious about making a dating app for people with disabilities. “When I had to get this life-changing procedure, I was really scared of how that would affect my dating life even more,” she said. “Alexa suggested that we make our own dating app if there wasn’t one already.”

alexa and jacqueline founders of datebaility
Alexa and Jacqueline created a better online dating option for singles with disabilities.

Jacqueline said the decision she and Alexa made may have been an impulsive one, but soon, the two were overwhelmed with the level of need the community showed. “We didn’t know just how many people were affected by the discrimination in the dating space,” Jacqueline said. “But we learned pretty quick.”

Dateability was born out of Jacqueline’s desire for a better dating experience for herself and other people with disabilities. Ensuring users don’t encounter harassment, ableism, or offensive language is the bare minimum, so Jacqueline wanted Datebaility’s features to go beyond fostering this base level of safety.

“Accessibility is a big part of what we do,” Jacqueline said. “Creating an accessible space, both in terms of inclusivity with the culture and with the technology, has been important to us from the beginning.” Dateability launched a year and a half ago, and Alexa reported the app already has nearly 20,000 users. 

Dateability Makes Meaningful Connections

Dateability has considered accessibility in every corner of the app. “Starting with the profile verification feature, we spent hours thinking of accessible poses,” Jacqueline told us. “Also, we thought of ways that users could verify if none of our poses were accessible.”

Jacqueline continued, “That’s the thing about accessibility. It’s absolutely not a one-size-fits-all deal. We’re always adjusting and creating new features because we really want everyone to be able to use it.” 

dateability app features
Dateability makes online dating simple.

Dateability welcomes people with physical, intellectual, and psychiatric disabilities — as well as able-bodied individuals — to join the platform. Datebilaity welcomes daters of many backgrounds and identities and aims to celebrate the diversity of every fuser. LGBTQ+ daters are welcome on Dateability, and the app’s features cater to different orientations and identities.

Dateability profiles allow users to add information about their physical characteristics, political affiliation, hobbies, education, and other standard dating app info. The app also has a section called “Dateability Deets,” where users can add information about their disability if they choose.

As with other dating apps, users can browse profiles, make matches, and connect through chat. Alexa told us that even though Dateability has been around for less than two years, the team has already heard about success stories and happy couples who met through the app.

Accessibility in Digital Dating

Dateability is still in its youth as a dating app, and while this comes with its challenges, Jacqueline and Alexa both said there’s a big upside. They’re continually responding to new needs as the user base grows, and they can respond to requests for better access to features as they’re made. 

Dateability is designed for singles with disabilities by a team that understands why it’s so important for communities to have spaces where they can date free from ableism. Dateability’s accessible features are part of what makes it a top pick for individuals with disabilities, but accessibility shouldn’t be a feature you can only find on apps made for disabled people.

dateability dating app
Dateability is working to make accessibility the standard.

If something is accessible, it means a person with a disability is afforded the same opportunity as a person without a disability to engage with it. Even more simply, when something is accessible, it was made with everyone in mind, not just a narrow portion of the population. Accessibility shouldn’t be a luxury —it’s a right.

“We’re really trying to break those stigmas and stereotypes,” Jacqueline said. “For years, the world was telling me I was unlovable or unworthy, and it really took a long time for me to break that and turn a corner. It took so long to feel confident in myself and not be ashamed. We’ve seen the best of people on Dateability, and it’s really beautiful.”