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.

google maps wheelchair accessibility
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:

  1. Launch Google Maps on your iOS device.
  2. Tap your profile icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Select Accessibility.
  5. 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."

Top Rated Comments

sorgo Avatar
10 months ago
“Rolling out” ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
martyjmclean Avatar
10 months ago
I was going to say "For how accessible Apple is, I'm surprised they haven't beat Google in this"... but then I remembered they need accurate maps to start with.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Moyapilot Avatar
10 months ago
In Canada, GoogleMaps is far far ahead in accuracy and intuitiveness. I have given apple maps numerous chances but it just doesn’t cut the mustard and doesn’t have that AI to it that makes GMaps such a pleasure to use. I like the fact that there is an alternative, but really its a one horse race at this point.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Agit21 Avatar
10 months ago
Meanwhile Apple Maps continues to be garbage here in Europe (sry I mean outside the USA).
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Futurix Avatar
10 months ago

In my region (Western Europe) Apple Maps is as accurate as Google Maps. But it’s missing a lot of POI. So wheelchair friendly places are indeed not their highest priority as the places themselves are missing.

The most infuriating thing about Apple Maps is that a search doesn’t take the current location of the user into account, so it happily sends you across the ocean if it can’t find the POI in the neighbourhood. I get Apple wants to make their products secure and private but come on!
That's a rather wide assumption on your part - I'm also in Western Europe and Apple Maps are awful here. I have to switch to satellite mode at all times to get a decent view of the area (and wonderful iOS app for Maps does not remember the satellite mode settings, so I have to do it again and again).

And yeah, searching for local supermarket used to send me to New Zealand...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
martyjmclean Avatar
10 months ago

meh. I’m actually surprised this is NOT on by default.

really dumb that anyone could locate a restaurant or business or government location, then share that or to meet someone you know that needs accessibility only to find out before meeting to get a message another cannot attend due to In-accessibility. It kind of shows arrogance on googles part not to make this default.
How much arrogance does it show on Apple's part, that they do not even have this feature? ;)


Probably depends on where you reside, to me Apple Maps does a better job than GMaps, I've had more problems with GMaps sending me the wrong direction than with Apple Maps.
So, it all depends on location...here it's fine.
Maybe Apple Maps is decent in California, US—but it isn't good in NSW, Australia (even in a big city like Sydney)—or anywhere in the UK or Europe where I've tried it.

Streets are missing, unnecessarily complicated routes, turn-by-turn navigation is either too slow or contradicts what the map shows and points of interest are lacking.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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