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Africa Blog


How anyone can make Maps more accessible

This is visual illustrative of 2 people sitting and having a drink. One of them is in a wheel chair

With Google Maps, we want to make it easier to get around, explore and get things done for everyone — and that includes people with disabilities. One way that we make sure our Maps have up-to-date information about details, like if a restaurant has tables suitable for people who use wheelchairs, is through our community of Local Guides. In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’re sharing tips from some of these people about how anyone can contribute to a more accessible world — both on and off of the map.

Make an accessibility checklist for your reviews
When you add a review on Google Maps you can create your own template or accessibility checklist to make sure you have the most helpful details covered.

Tushar Suradkar, a Local Guide from India, created a system that helps him make sure all of his reviews covers the accessibility details he cares about — like if a place has tactile paths for the visually impaired, ramp access, and wheelchair-accessible entrances, restrooms, parking and elevators. Each time he leaves a review, he fills in a self-created template that makes these details clear and noticeable so people looking for this information can spot it.

This is a visual showing Tushar’s accessibility checklist on Google Maps reviews.

Tushar’s accessibility checklist used on Google Maps reviews.

Add accessibility attributes to your business or places you’ve visited
After visiting a place or business, you can help indicate which accessibility features a place has — like whether it has a wheelchair-accessible entrance, wheelchair-accessible restroom, wheelchair-accessible parking — by answering questions about the business on the Google Maps app.

And if you’re a business owner or manager with a verified Business Profile on Google, you can add attributes to your Business Profile on Search and Maps. In addition to existing accessibility attributes, we recently added the assistive hearing loop attribute that indicates if somewhere, like a movie theater or library, has a sound system that is compatible with hearing aids. If attributes aren’t relevant to your business, you have even more ways you can make your business more accessible by using tools such as Live Transcribe, Live Caption, and TalkBack on Android.

This is a visual of accessibility attributes displayed on Google Maps.

Accessibility attributes displayed on Google Maps.

Create lists to curate accessible places on Google MapsAnother way to share local knowledge is by creating public lists on Google Maps. You can make lists of places like accessible museums in your city or the most wheelchair accessible restaurants in your neighborhood.  

Asongfac Lily Rospeen, a Local Guide from the Southwest region of Cameroon, curates lists like her Accessibility Buea list that includes wheelchair accessible banks, hotels, hospitals, bookshops, pharmacies, and supermarkets in her city. 

Spread the word about accessibility
Let others know about all the ways they can contribute to Maps to make it more accessible through attributes, reviews and more. Take inspiration from the Local Guides community.

Emeka Ulor, a Local Guide from Nigeria, has rallied other people to add accessibility data to Google Maps and help make it more inclusive. He started the One Accessibility project, recruiting more than 20 volunteers and hosting more than 100 meet-ups to encourage people to add accessibility information to Google Maps. His reviews include information about wheelchair accessible parking, entrances, restrooms, lighting, Braille and seating to help inform people about the accessibility of their destination.

You can read more about these Local Guides and how others in the community are making Google Maps more accessible on Connect, our blog and forum for Local Guides.