Valley man starts rating site for accessibility of restaurants, venues

If Arizona wants to be the place where people vacation and spend their money, we can't leave anyone out. So a Valley man created a website for people with mobility challenges to tell them where they'll be taken care of, and where they shouldn't even bother.

If you, a friend or maybe a parent have some trouble getting around, you can go to this site and see whether the restaurant or movie theater you had in mind is 'Brett Approved.'

"I used to travel a lot for work and about 80 percent of the time I would get to where I'm going and there wouldn't be a roll-in shower," said Brett Heising. So, he left the corporate world and launched brettapproved.com last summer. Now they have more than 250 reviews in 15 states.

"Really, at its core, it's all about buying power," Heising said. "People in chairs or people with physical disabilities spend $13.6 billion annually on travel and entertainment."

So what does Heising look for? Take U.S. Airways Center, for example.

"They know people in chairs are just like everyone else, we just sit down more," Heising said. He said they score high on his 1-10 scale because they have good parking, signage, seating and staff.

Across the street, Arrogant Butcher scores well, too.

"Even when these tables are full there's a ton of room," Heising said.

If a hotel, venue, or restaurant scores low, Heising said he's not suggesting you stay away - just be prepared. But he said some establishments have already taken notice.

"The hoteliers or restaurateurs may think the solve is going to cost a lot of money and typically it doesn't, usually it's one thing here or there that makes a huge difference," Heising said.

He said his goal is to make Arizona, and the rest of the world, as accessible to everyone as possible.

"It's obviously going to be more challenging, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't go out and experience the world like everyone else," Heising said.

Copyright 2015 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.