Google is making it easier for Google Maps users to find information on the accessibility of locations before even leaving home.
The company is allowing users to turn an "Accessible Places" feature within the app that will then display wheelchair accessibility information more obviously within Maps.
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Once enabled, businesses and places of interest that have wheelchair-accessible facilities will be marked clearly with a wheelchair icon and additional information on what's available. This includes whether the location has accessible seating, restroom facilities or wheelchair friendly parking.
This sort of information has been available for a while, but was previously hidden behind and buried in the location's menu.
To use the "Accessible Places" feature you first need to turn it on. Open Google Maps on your phone, click your profile icon, scroll down to settings, then click "accessibility settings" and turn it on there.
You'll then see a wheelchair icon next to any place with accessible features and if you click into the location you'll see more information on what facilities are included.
Google is hoping to not only make it easier for users to find this accessibility information on Google Maps but also hoping that more people will contribute to it as well. Another update is coming to allow iPhone users to more easily add accessibility information alongside their Android counterparts.
Over 120 million users have posted these sorts of contributions to Google Maps in the last few years and the company hopes even more people will get involved to improve the experience for everyone.
Google has a guide on how to add accessibility information if you'd like to help contribute.
This Accessible Places feature is said to be rolling out to users in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Support for other countries will follow soon.