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Month: November 2017

Google Maps gets new crowdsourcing feature to improve accessibility

Google is continuing its initial efforts to provide accessibility features to Google Maps for wheelchair users by introducing crowdsourcing features. This allows Maps users to add accessibility information on their favourite places.

In a recent article written by Claudia.Cahalanefor AbilityNet, it is explained that “Google is asking the public – in particular its ‘local guides’ – to add accessibility information to Google Maps. It’s hoping that visitors to restaurants, theatres, offices and lots of other venues, will add info on whether entrances, toilets and spaces are suitable for wheelchair users.”

While wheelchair users are the primary group to benefit from the new feature, users of the Maps app can add other information such as whether or not a venue is noisy which is also likely to be helpful for people with a hearing impairment.

To add your accessibility information on an Android device:

  1. Open the Google Maps app
  2. Select the Settings icon in the top-left corner or swipe left-to-right
  3. Select Contributions
  4. Select Accessibility

The inclusion of the feature marks a significant expansion of the wheelchair maps accessibility information which was previously limited to Maps users in the United States.