Google is currently rolling out an update for Google Maps that aims to make it easier for wheelchair users to get information about the accessibility of locations.
By enabling the app's Accessible Places feature, users can benefit from increased visibility of businesses and places of interest on the map that are marked as wheelchair-accessible, including whether a location has accessible seating, restroom facilities, or wheelchair-friendly parking.
The accessibility information has actually been around for a while, hidden deeper in the Maps interface, but Google said it wanted to make it more clear to users that it was available:
People can now turn on an “Accessible Places” feature to have wheelchair accessibility information more prominently displayed in Google Maps. When Accessible Places is switched on, a wheelchair icon will indicate an accessible entrance and you’ll be able to see if a place has accessible seating, restrooms or parking. If it’s confirmed that a place does not have an accessible entrance, we’ll show that information on Maps as well.
Here's how to enable the Accessible Places feature:
- Launch Google Maps on your iOS device.
- Tap your profile icon in the top-right corner.
- Tap Settings.
- Select Accessibility.
- Turn on Accessible Places.
Once that's done, users should see a wheelchair icon next to any place with accessible facilities. Tap a location to see more information.
Google says it's also rolling out an update that allows people using iOS devices to more easily contribute accessibility information. This guide has tips for rating accessibility, in case users aren't sure what counts as being "accessible."