Google Maps Enhances Accessibility with New Features for Users with Disability

The image is a portrait of Laetitia smiling towards the camera. She has vibrant pink hair with hints of her natural dark color at the roots. She's wearing glasses and a grey sweater with a Nordic blue and white pattern, layered over a black top. The background is a neutral, textured wall that provides a nice contrast to her colorful hair. Her expression is friendly and welcoming.

By Laetitia L. Thompson, Senior Digital Content Editor at the Centre for Accessibility, Australia

In a significant move toward enhanced accessibility, Google Maps introduces new features designed to simplify navigation for users with disability. These updates include wheelchair-accessible walking routes and Live View improvements tailored for users who are blind or with low vision. A notable addition is the introduction of an identity attribute label for disabled-owned businesses, represented by a distinctive blue and yellow icon on Maps and Search business pages.

Collaborating with members of the disability community, including LaVant Consulting and Google’s internal Disability Alliance Employee Resource Group, Google aims to facilitate the discovery and support of disabled-owned businesses and community spaces. Users can now easily identify and navigate to these establishments, aligning with broader efforts to highlight and empower marginalised communities.

To enhance user experience, Google also allows individuals to request exclusively wheelchair-accessible walking routes, displaying stair-free alternatives when this preference is activated in route settings. These advancements reflect Google’s ongoing commitment to accessibility and inclusivity across its platforms.

To find out more, read Mashable’s article on Google Maps.