08-02-2018 09:54 AM - edited 09-18-2018 01:42 PM
More than 65 million people worldwide need wheelchairs to get around. Yet, information about accessibility isn’t always easy to find.
From sharing photos of wheelchair-friendly entrances to answering questions about accessibility, Local Guides like you can help make life easier for many people by adding this important info on Google Maps. This doesn’t just help people who use wheelchairs, but also helps families with strollers, seniors with walkers, and people on crutches.
Another way you can help is by sharing detailed reviews about the accessibility features of places you go. Now that you can search reviews on Google Maps, be sure to include keywords such as “wheelchair” and “accessible” in your review so people can easily find them.
Here are some tips for writing reviews for people with accessibility needs.
Add specific details about accessibility access outside of the building.
As you make your way through a parking lot, note whether or not there are accessible parking spaces and access aisles. These areas are usually clearly marked with placards, signs, or painted markings on the ground. You may even want to count how many accessible parking spaces you see and add that information to your review.
Does the main entrance of the building have step-free access or a ramp for people who use mobility devices? If not, is there another entrance they can use? Once they get to the entrance, are the doors easy for customers to open? Are they wide enough for people who use wheelchairs?
Keep these questions in mind when you write your review.
Then, look around for accessible features inside the building.
A few things to keep a lookout for include: elevators, wheelchair-accessible seating, and accessible restrooms. They should all be reachable without having to go up or down any stairs.
Places with accessible seating should have enough space for someone in a wheelchair to navigate the room and get situated. Restaurants and bars that only have high tables are not accessible.
Remember: some of the details you’d never think to add to your review can be the most helpful details for someone else.
Consider accessibility features wherever you go. Your reviews can help a wheelchair user comfortably enjoy a concert at a new venue, or book the right hotel for a family trip. Even adding a quick line about accessibility to all your future reviews makes a big difference.
Another example? The doctor’s office. Some patients rely on adjustable medical equipment to get proper care. They can’t easily get on the examination table if it’s at a high, fixed height. So, next time you go in for a check-up, ask your doctor if the office has accessible medical equipment. Then, include that information in your review.
These are just a few of the many things to look out for when writing reviews for people with accessibility needs. But we hope this gets you thinking about ways you can help guide them in your reviews.
Do you often share accessibility info on Google Maps? Have you created a list of accessible places in your area? Tell us in the comments below.