Google’s new plan to create more accessible offices
Google #software #engineer
Sasha Blair-Goldensohn takes issues of #accessibility
very personally. The lifelong New Yorker, who was injured when a tree fell on him during a walk through Central Park in 2009, now uses a #wheelchair
to get around, including the company’s office on 8th Avenue in #NewYork,
a massive former Port Authority Building.
The building’s massive floorplates mean 500 or so people can work on each floor, so most employees don’t need to use the stairs much. But when Blair-Goldensohn, now a #paraplegic,
and began working in the #office
again in 2010, he realised accessibility could be improved. Additional automatic door openers and more #ramps,
while not required by building code or law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act ( #ADA),
all of which the building already met, could help himself and other Google #employees
be more mobile, active, and welcome.
During a tour of the 14th floor of the Google office, one of company’s most recently #redesigned #workspaces,
Needles pointed out numerous changes and additions the team had made. Additional automatic door openers have been installed to make it easier to get around the office in a wheelchair. #Podiums
were redesigned in house to accommodate wheelchair access. Differently textured floor mats make it easier for #blind
team members and visitors to navigate. #Braille
wayfinding covers both conference room names and numbers (the team found that meeting invites often had listed just a name or a number, leading to confusion). This signage also corresponds to a responsive tactile map, which includes numerous auditory and sensory clues to help navigation. A series of custom shelves curve down to meet the wall, so there’s more convenient surface area for those using canes to notice their placement.
#Disability #accessforall #google #accessless #careless #accessible #inclusion #accessibleoffices #Equality