Let’s be honest here. If you or someone you know has a disability and uses a wheelchair or mobility aides getting around places like Sydney is a challenge and I should know – having a disability and using either a wheelchair or other walking aides can be a challenge around places like Sydney everyday.
During International Day of Persons with a Disability (IDPD), Google has released a blog note, advising how a Googler who is in a wheelchair is working to make Google Maps much easier to use for those who might use a wheelchair or mobility aides.
The blog post introduces Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, a Google software engineer for Google Maps, who uses a wheelchair around one of the biggest and busiest city in the world, New York City. It explains and shows how he and other Googlers who collaborate and ally themselves with Local Guides in Maps, are looking to help improve Google Maps disability features and mapping of cities and regional areas to better help those with disabilities get around these area with more ease and less frustration.
By working with these people and answering questions like “Does this place have a wheelchair accessible entrance,” Local Guides help people with mobility impairments decide where to go. It’s with this information that the Google Maps team have been able to provide crowd sourced accessibility information for more than 50 million places on Google Maps
You can watch a video which briefly explains Sasha’s story and the work he is doing to make Google Maps much easier for those with a disability:
Personally, I welcome any improvements to providing better, easier wheelchair accessible information in Google Maps. I tend to use Google Maps a lot around not only Sydney’s CBD but also out in the western and south western suburbs along with interstate and regional cities around Australia. Any improvement to this kind of information is a bonus and possibly a lifesaver.