Google Maps Just Became More User-Friendly For The Rare Disease Community

According to a story from Digital Trends, Google has recently added an option for wheelchair-accessible routes on its widely popular navigation tool, Google Maps. This option will make the app for more useful for people who are physically disabled.
There are many rare diseases out there, and a lot of them can have severe, life-altering effects. It is not uncommon for many genetic disorders to cause major problems with movement and mobility, which can make day to day tasks a major challenge. Getting around town is one of them, and rare disease patients comprise a significant proportion of the differently-abled population.

Using the wheelchair-accessible routing option is simple. When you want to look for directions, select the public transportation filter. From here, under “options” you will now be able to find wheelchair-accessible routes within the “routes” category. The new feature has been introduced to the majority of major metropolitan areas, which can be some of the toughest places for disabled people to navigate. In the next few months, Google will progressively add more and more of these routes to make the feature useful for as many people as possible.

Google has been working to make Maps a more accommodating option for people with rare disease related disabilities for some time. Last year, the company added a feature that allowed users to investigate the accessibility of public places, which allows handicapped visitors to make the necessary preparations beforehand. In addition, Google’s street view can allow users to examine the outside of buildings before visiting in order to determine accessibility.

The wheelchair-accessibility feature has been in the making since 2016. That year, the company began formulating guidelines that would aid the company in defining accessibility when it came to incorporating the new feature. While adding the wheelchair-accessible route option may seem like only a minor improvement, but it is worth considering that over two million people are dependent upon wheelchairs for their daily mobility in the United States alone. Considering that this feature will be implemented across the world, it has the potential to help millions of people, including thousands of rare disease patients.

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