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Google Update: Google Maps Shows Business Accessibility23rd December 2016

Google Maps has been updated to show information about accessibility, telling users whether a business is accessible for wheelchair users and those using mobility aids. 

The update will allow people to click on storefront and public places within the Google Maps app to find out more about accessibility. By looking at the ‘Amenities’ section for the particular location, they will be able to see whether or not it has an accessible entrance. 

The feature is currently not available in all locations, but it is a promising start for people with disabilities who require additional information about accessibility. Google collected the data for this update by adding ‘questions related to accessibility’ to the Local Guides questionnaire earlier on in 2016. 

The business accessibility update was implemented by a group of Google employees using their ’20 percent time’ – that is, the ability for employees to spend 20% of their time working on projects outside the remit of their regular role. Rio Akasaka worked on the feature, saying ‘Accessibility at Google is a big deal… Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’.

Of course, this update is also very positive for accessible businesses as it is now easier for them to communicate with customers about their building’s accessibility. This added clarity is incredibly helpful and makes life easier for everybody – it’s an update from Google Maps that can make a significant difference to both customers and businesses. 



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