Google Maps now says if an establishment is wheelchair accesible

The trusty Google feature enables people with disabilities to see if places have accessible entrances.

© Roman Boed at Flickr

Google Maps has included the new feature under the ‘Amenities’ tab to display if businesses are wheelchair-friendly, all thanks to the employees who devoted their spare time to this project.

Employees who created this feature used their “20 percent time”, a policy by Google which allows them to use 20 percent of their time to develop projects that are not necessarily related to their actual roles. In fact, Gmail and Google News are in existence because of this 20 percent time program.

According to Business Insider, Rio Akasaka, product manager of Google Drive, has been using his 20 percent by exploring and innovating features that have to do with accessibility.

In an interview with Business Insider, Akasaka said: “Accessibility at Google is a big deal. But it’s often facilitated by whether or not there’s a legal requirement or some sort of requirement we need to adhere to.”

During the past year, Akasaka and 10 other employees have devoted their 20 percent to explore new accessibility features for the tech giant. Google Maps gets the accessibility information from the Local Guides community feature in which members input about certain places.

To read the original story, click here.


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