Caption: Illustration of people with luggage, in a wheelchair, walking with a cane, running, and walking,.
On a trip to London last year, I noticed that while many pubs had wheelchair-accessible entrances, nearly all had restrooms that were up or down a flight of stairs. It struck me: How awful would it be to not have access to a restroom after having a pint?
For anyone with mobility needs, exploring the world means encountering challenges like this. That’s why Google Maps shows accessibility information – so people can find out whether a place they’re going to visit has features like elevators, stair-free entrances, and doorways wide enough for a wheelchair.
This information is powerful, and it helps all kinds of people. Consider those who use walkers or strollers, or the friends and families of anyone with mobility needs.
People have added wheelchair-accessibility details to millions of places. But we can all make a bigger impact. Today, we’re inviting Local Guides to commit to sharing accessibility knowledge on Google Maps. If every Local Guide answers three questions every day for two weeks, we’ll have nearly two billion answers to help everyone navigate the world.
I’m committing to answering at least five questions each day about places I’ve visited. I’m also going to explore more and take note of the world around me. Instead of rushing for the train to get to work, I’m going to walk back a stop to see how many places I pass have wheelchair-accessible entrances. On an upcoming weekend, I’m going to host a meet-up with my friends to explore new parts of Brooklyn, adding accessibility information as we go.
How to answer wheelchair accessibility question on Google Maps
Tap “Answer questions about a place” (Don’t see it? Make sure Location History is turned on.)
Answer as many accessibility questions as you can (use this guide for reference).
You may see other questions as well, until you move on to the next place.
If you have an Android device, you can find places near you that are missing this info and edit these attributes by checking the facts.
Caption: Screenshots of the five wheelchair accessibility questions you may be prompted to answer in Google Maps, with one displayed on a device.
Want to do more?
Join a meet-up, or host one (if you’re a Local Guide Level 3 or higher) to answer accessibility questions with others. Explore a neighborhood, adding info as you go.
When writing a review, point out if a place is set up well for people with mobility issues.
When taking photos of a place, show details that matter most to people who use wheelchairs like the entrance, restroom, and seating.
I hope you’ll join me now and going forward to make the world easier for everyone to navigate. Tell us what you’re doing in a comment and on social with #LocalGuides and #a11y. We can’t wait to see how you make your mark!