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
Want to do more?
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!
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