Chattii is a dating app with a difference. Designed for people with disabilities but open to everyone, Chattii is building an inclusive community that celebrates love in all its forms.
Co-founder Abbi Brass said the app makes it easier and safer to meet other people with or without a disability for friendship, connection or more.
The disability sector worker and mum of a 12-year-old with a disability came up with the idea after many conversations with people in her community about how hard it was to find love.
As a sales rep for a wheelchair company, Abbi would hear from different clients’ stories about their love life and their disastrous experiences on mainstream platforms like Tinder. Then, she tried to help someone sign up for dating app Bumble and was blown away by the lack of fields to add information about your disability.
A safe place where people can be themselves.
As more people started opening up and sharing their experiences, the idea of building an app to create a safe place where people could be themselves was born.
“We have to start the conversation to destigmatise dating, love and sex for people with disabilities. It’s a generational thing. If we don’t talk, nothing will change. My son is 12. Hopefully, if we have enough conversations, by the time he is old enough, there will be less stigma and more openness,” Abbi said.
Before Chattii, Abbi would never have described herself as tech-minded, so she’s the first to admit developing an app has been a steep learning curve.
But with support from enthusiastic shareholders, close friend Samantha joining as a co-founder and months of development work, Chattii launched their app in 2020.
The Leap in! Crew first met Abbi and the team at the Source Kids Expo in Brisbane earlier this year.
Easy and fun for everyone.
The app makes meeting people fun and easy for people of all ages and abilities…and it doesn’t have to be about dating. Members can create their profiles using prompts and photos instead of writing a bio. There’s space for adding information about your disability if you like and you can choose whether you are looking for friendship, love or something else.
Chattii has loads of built-in features to ensure it’s safe for everyone. The “trusted friend” function is an extra precaution for people who feel they need someone to interpret, read or communicate for them. The settings can be customised and permission withdrawn at any time.
Before you can send someone a private message, the other person needs to accept your message request. Members can’t send or post photos other than their profile photo and there’s a block/report function on every page.
Users can ‘try before they buy’ with the free version that includes four connections. The paid annual subscription offers unlimited connections and access to the “party room” for group conversations. There’s also Dr Sexy, an actual sex therapist, who drops in occasionally to answer questions from the community.
See the human, feel the love.
With a motto, “see the human, feel the love”, Abbi and the team hope Chattii becomes an international platform that opens people’s eyes to a fuller range of human experiences.
And that’s not all. The long-term vision is for Chattii to be run by and employ people with disabilities. Abbi and Samantha interview prospective business partners to ensure they support this mission.
“We asked every single company if they would be prepared to train someone with a disability to take over from them in the future. For those who hesitated, it was ‘see ya later’. For those welcome to the idea, it was ‘let’s do this.’”