Inside Google's Award-Winning Accessibility Discovery Centre

Google's commitment to accessibility and inclusion took a leap forward in December 2022 when it opened its Accessibility Discovery Centre (ADC) in London. Since then the ADC has served as a hub for innovation, research, and collaboration in the field of accessibility - and has welcomed 3000+ visitors from organisations worldwide. In April 2024, the ADC won the Global Disability Inclusion Award at the Disability Smart Awards, confirming its status as a beacon of accessibility excellence. 

Learn more about the Accessibility Discovery Centre

Screen showing the Google search engineWe're running a free webinar from the ADC in June to learn more about the ADC and its impact inside and outside Google.

This blog sets the scene for that webinar by exploring the ADC’s role in promoting accessibility in technology through collaboration and innovation, led by Google's accessibility champion Christopher Patnoe. 

What is Google's Accessibility Discovery Centre (ADC)? 

Google's ADC is a physical space located at Kings Cross, London dedicated to understanding the diverse needs of disabled people, conducting innovative research, and showcasing transformative assistive technologies.

Much more than a showcase for Google products, the ADC provides a platform for collaboration and a way of connecting people with many different roles from organisations in every sector.

As well as offering tours it also hosts events such as a round table event with AbilityNet and Deque. This is a key part of the focus on partnership and highlights Google's commitment to supporting collective progress in accessibility. 

Who leads Google’s Accessibility Discovery Centre in London? 

Group of people in front of Google’s London Office entrance: left-to-right: Mark Walker – AbilityNet, Heather Hepburn – SkyScanner, Matthew Johnston – Thoughtworks, Steve Harris – Deque, Lee Crooks – KPMG, Preety Kumar – Deque, Arnaud Ramgoolam – KPMG, Bryn Anderson – Sainsbury’s, Ron Beenen – Deque, David Musson – LSEG, Adi Latif – AbilityNet, Ronise Nepomuceno – BT, and Matthew Luken – Deque.Driving the ADC in London is Christopher Patnoe, Google's Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion.

At AbilityNet’s TechShare Pro 2023, Christopher spoke to Mark Walker about the development of the ADC. 

Christopher and his team ensure Google's Accessibility Discovery Centre stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity. 

Christopher shared that the ADC “provides an opportunity for people to contribute to something better than themselves, using the skills of what they have," highlighting the collaborative and inclusive nature of the ADC, where individuals from various backgrounds can contribute to creating a more accessible world. 

The team supporting the ADC in London has grown to support the success of the Centre and Google is now expanding the network of Centres worldwide.

As Christopher says, “Other sites in Google around the world are in the process of building similar Accessibility Discovery Centres... to tell the stories of how accessibility can be useful.” 

You can view the whole interview in this recording from TechShare Pro 2023.

Join us live from the ADC

We're proud to say that our free webinar on 5 June will come LIVE from inside the Google Accessibility Discovery Centre.

Christopher will be joined by Ashley Peacock, who leads AbilityNet's Inclusive User Research services.

As well as touring the ADC they will talk about why the ADC exists, how it operates, and the impact it is having on inclusive user research.

They'll also be answering questions posed by the live audience.

Register for the webinar

Learn more about Inclusive User Research