Yelp updates app with AI-powered alt-text for photographs and new accessibility identifiers for companies | TechCrunch


Yelp is rolling out an app replace to incorporate extra accessibility identifiers for companies, improved screen-reader experiences, and AI-powered alt-text for photographs.

The corporate stated that from 2020 to 2023, there was a median rise of 40% in searches for “wheelchair accessible” locations. With the brand new replace, the corporate is including eight extra attributes throughout mobility, listening to, and imaginative and prescient to companies to point how they’re being accessible.

Yelp partnered with Incapacity:IN, the American Affiliation of Folks with Disabilities (AAPD), Open to All, and The Arc to outline these attributes.


The corporate is following pointers from the Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to outline accessible parking close to the doorway. Yelp can also be including an ADA-compliant principal entrance attribute that has a ramp or elevators and doesn’t have any steps or stairs at their entrance. Plus, the door ought to have a transparent opening width of at the very least 32 inches when opened at 90 levels.

An ADA-compliant restroom ought to have an accessible path, seize bars, and turning house of at the very least 60 inches in diameter. Companies also can point out that that they don’t have any steps or stairs on the entrance or contained in the premises.

Image Credit: Yelp

Listening to

If companies have at the very least one employees proficient in American Signal Language (ASL) obtainable throughout opening hours, they will add an “ASL Proficient” badge. Plus, eating places and nightlife locations also can point out if one of many TVs reveals closed captions with the content material on the display.

Imaginative and prescient

Eating places and nightlife companies can present if they’ve braille menus obtainable on request. They will additionally present if they’ve digital menu obtainable by a QR code so customers can entry it higher on the gadgets with instruments like display readers.

Customers can simply seek for locations with phrases like “braille menus” or “ASL proficient” to seek for institutions that meet these standards.

Businesses can select accessible attributes
Picture Credit score: Yelp

What’s extra, the corporate can also be including an Accessibility Useful resource Hub to assist companies turn into extra inclusive.

Yelp can also be leveraging giant language fashions (LLMs) to generate alt-text for photographs on the display. This characteristic is rolling out on desktop first, with cross-platform availability deliberate for a future launch. The corporate is making its web site and the app higher fitted to display readers, in addition to enhancing navigation and improved distinction.

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