Although sometimes required by law in certain jurisdictions, not all establishments have facilities that cater to or at least assist people with disabilities. And that’s not even counting areas that may not be cut out for some disabilities, like long-winding stairs or uneven terrain. Nothing can be more frustrating, not to mention disheartening, than arriving at a place only to discover how inaccessible it s. It is nearly impossible for one organization or company, even for Google, to keep track of all that information, which is why the search giant is now tapping all Google Maps users to at least help people prepare better.
From parking slots to specially marked sections to wheelchair ramps, accessibility is unfortunately inconsistent. Some buildings and establishments, some don’t. And not always through any fault of their own. While part of the problem can be partially fixed by more strictly imposing regulations, sometimes the only real weapon people with disabilities have is preparation.
For example, why go to a restaurant that you know doesn’t have facilities to make your already difficult life any easier? Why torture yourself by going to this tourist spot that you know will be impossible to reach? The problem is that sometimes you really don’t know until you get there. Google Maps, however, might know.
Google is putting out a call not only to Local Guides but every Google Maps user on Android to help annotate or correct places with the right establishment ratings. You can, for example, note whether a certain building has wheelchair accessible entrances, seating, or elevators.
This way, any Google Maps user on desktop or mobile will be able to see the ratings under the location’s business listing. This way, you or your family and friends can know beforehand what to expect and to make changes as needed.