Airbnb has announced the release of 21 new accessibility filters across the platform that make it easier for guests with disabilities to find accessible travel accommodation worldwide. The new filters allow Airbnb guests to search for listings with specific features, including step-free entry to rooms, entryways that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and more. Previously, guests on Airbnb were only able to search for ‘‘wheelchair accessible’ listings, which did not always meet travelers’ individual needs.
The announcement comes as Srin Madipalli, Accessibility Product and Program Manager at Airbnb, continues his work to meet with Airbnb hosts and guests to ensure Airbnb meets their accessibility needs. Last week, after meeting with hosts and guests in Korea, Madipalli joined the Paralympic Torch Relay.
The introduction of the new filters is one in a series of steps Airbnb is taking to ensure its community is accessible for everyone. In 2017, Airbnb started collaborating with the California Council of the Blind, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers and National Council on Independent Living to develop the accessibility filters, and to improve and clarify its accessibility policies. In late 2017, Airbnb also acquired Accomable, the London-based accessible travel startup founded in 2015 by Srin Madipalli and Martyn Sibley – two friends with Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the UK. Accomable linked travelers with disabilities with listings that met their needs.
Going forward, Airbnb will be working closely with its community of hosts and guests to ensure the new filters offer information which is as useful and accurate as possible, with the aim to improve and expand the filters to ensure they support as many travelers as possible.
“The introduction of the new accessibility features and filters to all hosts and guests is just the first stage in our journey to improve accessibility at Airbnb,” added Madipalli. “We encourage everyone to use them and send through their feedback.”
Airbnb’s new Accessibility features and filters allow guests to search for listings with some or all of the following features:
Entering the home
Well lit path to entrance
Flat path to front door
Wide hallways Hallways at least 36″ (90cm) wide.
Elevators If needed, contact hosts about the width.
Wide clearance to bed
Roll-in shower with chair
Bathtub with shower chair
Wide clearance to shower, toilet
Fixed grab bars for shower, toilet
Handheld shower head
Disabled parking spot: There is a city-approved parking spot or a parking space at least 8ft (2.4m) wide.