Google Maps now provides users with accessibility information

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Wheelchair users often find themselves isolated due to lack of accessibility information

Google has recently announced that users are now able to add their own accessibility information to popular destinations on their maps including hotels, shops, leisure facilities and more. Interestingly this initiative was undertaken by a team Google employees led by Google Drive product manager Rio Akasaka who decided to take full advantage of Google’s twenty percent policy. In brief this policy encourages Google employees to spend twenty percent of their working hours on personal projects that may benefit the company. The majority of information to date was collected over a period of a year using information from Google’s Local Guides program and there are already over 7 million destinations listed.

Information on Google does currently seem to be aimed more towards wheelchair users than any other need, however this is just the start of a larger database which will increasingly help a wide range of people with various accessibility requirements. You can now see if a location is wheelchair accessible (including lifts, seats, parking and entrances) by clicking on the description and looking under the “amenities” tab – however, the feature is not available for all locations yet. Watch this great video from TheMighty.com to find out how you can contribute with information for the Isle of Wight and surrounding areas.

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