Google Maps Adds Accessible Places for Wheelchair Users

Find out if the place you’re going is wheelchair accessible

More than 130 million people across the globe use wheelchairs, and even more have trouble using stairs. Knowing what accessibility features a place has will help all of them navigate the world much more easily.

Illustration of people using a stroller, a walker, and a wheelchair

Google Maps just got a new accessibility feature that raises the prominence of accessibility information. You can now turn on “Accessible Places:” and have little wheelchair icons show up to indicate an accessible entrance, seating, restrooms, or parking. If a place doesn’t have an accessible entrance, that information will show up as well.

Behind the scenes: May 21, 2020 was Global Accessibility Awareness Day, making this a perfect time to launch the new initiative. In the U.S. alone, one in five people have some sort of disability, according to the 2010 Census, with roughly 31 million Americans using a wheelchair or having difficulty walking and climbing stairs.

Google Maps: Google claims it has accessibility info for more than 15 million places around the globe, a number that’s doubled since 2017 due to people submitting local information. The iOS update to Google Maps adds a more easy way to contribute, as well, bringing the feature up to par with the Android version.

How to: Make sure your Google Maps app is updated to the latest version, go to your Settings app, tap Accessibility, then turn on Accessible Places. You’ll find it on both iOS and Android app versions.

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