Tech giant, Google has added more accessible options to its map program, the new upgrade makes it possible for users to know the level of accessibility in any area. Google also added a new application called “Action Blocks” which is created to perform routine smartphone tasks like calling a caregiver, putting on the bulbs, switching on/off connected services without moving around the room, this app will take away the stress of moving around for wheelchair users. The Action Blocks app can be used to create a one-touch button to complete actions that may require multiple taps on user’s smartphone.
“It is always difficult for some people with autism to learn and remember steps taken during multiple taps on a smartphone, so we created the Action Block as an accessible virtual assistant to perform tasks like calls, messaging, video playback and easy connection of controlling devices in the home,” Ajit Narayanan, Google’s central accessibility team leader said.
The new Google Maps now has “Accessible Places.” The Accessible Places features is the introduction of wheelchair icon at places with accessible entrance on the map, the icon will help users know if where they are headed is very much accessible or not. The updated map offers information about accessible seating, parking and restrooms.
“With the new map upgrade, users will be able to add and review wheelchair accessibility information. The upgrade will be of immense benefit to wheelchair users, the map will also indicate the lack of accessible entrance at businesses or other destinations,” Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, a software engineer with Google Maps said. “Most especially, during this COVID-19 pandemic, people need to make use of the Google Maps to know where they are going, so that they won’t be stranded outside that pharmacy, grocery or restaurant due to inaccessibility.”
Technology and data are what Google rely upon to promote diversity and inclusion. And with accessibility information for more than 15 million places around the world, the tech giant is not slowing down on its inclusion plan at all.
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