Airbnb has transformed how we travel through the provision of cheaper accommodation alternatives. This unique feature has given more people the confidence to travel as they are now able to get something within their budget. In May of this year, they opened up the arena for persons with disabilities to enjoy the same privileges. As per their press release, they now have an additional 21 filters that persons with disabilities can use to get the perfect place to spend their vacation.
Some of the filters include ramps, entryways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and a seamless flow between rooms with no steps. Though there was previously a filter for wheelchair access, it became evident from reviews that this as the only filter did not fulfill their needs when it comes to getting around the place of stay. The person behind these changes is Srin Madipalli, Airbnb’s Accessibility Product and Program Manager. It comes after the company acquired a start-up known as Accomable based in London that specifically paired travelers with disabilities to properties that met their needs. The developments were made in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers and California Council of the Blind.
The passion for traveling cuts across despite the body a person was born in or what changes took place after. With these changes, travel is no longer a privilege but something everyone, even with a modest budget, can do. Apart from providing an alternative place to stay, Airbnb is in the business of connecting people around the globe. They have purposed to make their services available even in countries and locations that typically constitute as a tourist destination though worth the visit.
These enhancements are welcome as persons with disabilities can become part of the global community that rallies behind travel as a lifestyle. It makes it all inclusive and is not much to ask. It’s not a matter of preference; like the aluminum fascia installation being a specific color. It is about access for all. Therefore, to keep the momentum, Airbnb will be working with hosts globally and guests as well to ensure that listings are accurate and inclusive.
If you’re keen to try out the feature, remember to give feedback so that you can help fellow travelers with disabilities to get what’s best for them. Friends and family of those with disabilities should do the same.