Yelp says it is dramatically increasing information about accessibility in listings on its site for restaurants and other locations, while also pushing businesses to become more inclusive.

The online business directory and review site said this week that it is adding eight new phrases that users can search for, all aimed at helping people with disabilities find places that meet their needs.

Yelp said it is also making updates to its website to enhance screen-reader navigation, improve color contrast and include alternative text descriptions generated by AI on photos. What’s more, the company is establishing an accessibility resource hub to help business owners learn how to better accommodate people with disabilities.

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The changes being rolled out ahead of Disability Pride Month in July come as Yelp has seen a spike in demand for accessibility information. Between 2020 and 2023, searches for “wheelchair accessible” on the site grew 40%, Akhil Kuduvalli Ramesh, senior vice president of product at Yelp, said in a blog post this week.

“While ‘wheelchair accessible’ is among the most popular attributes on Yelp business pages, we recognize that accessibility needs vary for the more than 42 million Americans with disabilities,” he said. “These new attributes and resources are just part of our ongoing efforts to support the disability community. We look forward to continuing to prioritize this work as we focus on improving and maintaining a platform that empowers and supports individuals of all abilities.”

Yelp worked with the disability organizations Disability:IN, the American Association of People with Disabilities, Open to All and The Arc to make the enhancements.

In addition to “wheelchair accessible,” new search attributes on the site include “accessible parking near entrance,” “ADA-compliant main entrance,” “ADA-compliant restroom” and “no steps or stairs,” which indicates that these impediments are not present at the entrance or inside a business.

Users can also search for “ASL proficient,” signifying that at least one staff member is ASL proficient, or “closed captioning on TVs,” indicating that at least one television at a restaurant, food or nightlife establishment features closed captioning. Other search options include “Braille menus available” and “QR code menus available.”

The new attributes can be seen on business pages by clicking on the “accessibility” section, Yelp said. Business owners can add these details to their listings by editing their “Business Information” section.

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