Disabled access

in
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Level 5
15,220 Views

I am both a host and a guest.  I find it incredibly difficult to find truly accessible accommodation.    When listing, owners tend to tick the box "Wheelchair access" if they think a wheelchair can get through the back door.   I'm not sure what we are supposed to do once we are there, if we can't get into the bathroom, toilet, or even the bedroom!   I feel that the listing should have a separate set of questions for hosts that want to claim that they are wheelchair friendly.   There are so many disabilities, thus a large variety of needs for different people.  If all the facts are presented then a person can decide if they can or can't manage.   It doesn't have to be perfect but there are important issues. - Are the doorways wide enough to take a wheelchair? can the wheelchair access the toilet area? is there a handle for support to transfer to the toilet? is the shower accessible (wet floor, support handles, non slip flooring)? can a wheelchair move to the side of the bed so a guest can transfer from the chair to the bed?  If this information was presented to me, (and other disabled travellers) we could make an informed decision rather than having to ask the same questions over and over again.  Pictures showing the facilities also help hugely.

p.s. - I'm proud to say that our place (New Zealand - Kaikoura - Redbarn Studio) is fully accessible.

Lynda

 

77 Replies

Re: Disabled access

in
Berlin, DE
Level 10

@Lynda18 exactly!!  A host ticking a box for disability access should lead them into another sub menu with additional questions and measurements requests.  Hopefully a moderator sees this and passes it on!

Re: Disabled access

in
Kaikoura, New Zealand
Level 5

I've given it more thought and for me at least, the following options would be helpful for me to decide if I can carry on with a reservation or not.  

It could be an option to have more tick boxes including options such as

  • Width of entrance door,
  • Width of internal doors
  • wet floor shower,
  • handles in normal shower,
  • support handle beside toilet
  • Wheelchair access to toilet
  • main bed has wheelchair access
  • Beds in spare room have wheelchair access.  

How do you alert a moderator?   23% of our population is disabled so surely some consideration should be taken to ensure that they have as good a time with Airbnb as we give our other guests.

Re: Disabled access

in
Oldcastle, Ireland
Level 1

Dear Lynda and others 

 

I think this is an important debate and well done for raising the issue. Ultimately the problem with 'informal' economic sectors such as airbnb is that services are outside the scope of state (or sector) regulation regarding rights of persons with disability (not unlike the saga of Airbnb & anti-discrimination legal frameworks).

 

While a system whereby hosts list facilities they offer dimensions etc, would be an improvement, ultimately this is an area that should not be let to self-definition (in many cases by people that are not experds in the area & fortunate not to have to experience daily mobility challenges.)

 

The Airbnb 'non-discrimination guidlines' guidelines say (among other things) "hosts may not:

  • Decline a guest based on any actual or perceived disability. ..... "

Arguably hosts with properties that are not adequate to receive people with disability SHOULD decline!

 

Ultimately what is needed is that hosts be categorised according to the relevant national standards (National Accessible Scheme (UK )  Tourisme et Handicaps (France) Danish Accessibility Label (Denmark) Mindeststandards (Germany) and here in Ireland the Irish Tourist Board's 'Validated Accessibility Scheme' VAS.

 

 

ps similar issues arise wth other disabilities, visually empaired etc where there is less formal regulation and standards in the accommodation sector.

Re: Disabled access

in
France
Level 1

Thanks for listing. this is very important points.

I am the menmer of french association Tourism and Handicap. I am certificated state evaluater for lebel of Tourism and Handicap in Paris area.

This thred is quite interesing.

Re: Disabled access

in
Byron Bay, Australia
Level 1

yes ,! that is what we are looking for!!!   when is it gonna happen??

Re: Disabled access

Level 1

I have been traveling for the last 2 decades with a disabled SO and I can tell you, it will take the same "event" (i.e. lawsuit on accessiblity access) as with Uber before AirBnb will make significant changes to ensure that hosts that ticked "wheelchair accessible" option means that their property is INDEED wheelchair accessible.

 

I remember back in late 90's - ealy 2000's, major travel sites (Travelocity, Expedia, etc.) did not even have an option to search for accessible hotel. Today, it's right there.

 

It is very frustating to arrive at the host property, thousands of miles away from your home and after long hours of flight, and you find out you cannot even get into the building (stairs, etc.) or the bathroom (door not wide enough, etc.).

 

The best recommendation I can give today is to contact the host that ticked "wheelchair accessible" option to CONFIRM that they HAVE the following:

 

1). NO stairs into the building or your room

2). The WIDTH of the doors (front, bathroom and your room) can accomodate xx inches/cm (based on your wheelchair width)

3). The bathroom can accomodate your ENTIRE wheelchair (width and length) that you can close the bathroom door

Re: Disabled access

in
Australia
Level 2

Dear Charles,

 

My name is Sara. I am an academic who is studying Airbnb. We have recently written a book on Airbnb which contains a chapter specifically about travelers with disabilities. In this chapter, we would love to include a quote of yours, because we feel that it gives such a good description of the challenges some travelers face. I am writing to ask your permission to use the following quote of yours in the book: “It is very frustrating to arrive at the host property, thousands of miles away from your home and after long hours of flight, and you find out you cannot even get into the building (stairs, etc.) or the bathroom (door not wide enough, etc.).”  Of course, we will link back to your post, so it is clear that these are your words, not ours.

 

Can you please let me know if you give your permission for us to use that direct quote in our book.

 

Thanks a lot for considering my request, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes

Sara

Re: Disabled access

in
Lafayette, CA
Level 1

@Sara586 wrote:

Dear Charles,

 

My name is Sara. I am an academic who is studying Airbnb. We have recently written a book on Airbnb which contains a chapter specifically about travelers with disabilities. In this chapter, we would love to include a quote of yours, because we feel that it gives such a good description of the challenges some travelers face. I am writing to ask your permission to use the following quote of yours in the book: “It is very frustrating to arrive at the host property, thousands of miles away from your home and after long hours of flight, and you find out you cannot even get into the building (stairs, etc.) or the bathroom (door not wide enough, etc.).”  Of course, we will link back to your post, so it is clear that these are your words, not ours.

 

Can you please let me know if you give your permission for us to use that direct quote in our book.

 

Thanks a lot for considering my request, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes

Sara


 

Re: Disabled access

in
Lafayette, CA
Level 1

Yes you can use my quote I am currently requesting a refund. Not listed as disability friendly. Difficult access to front door, living room to much furniture and throw rugs creating a trip factor, kitchen door blocked by table making access to deck impossible, bathroom door to narrow for walker. We stayed one night and moved to a place in Fort Bragg that accomadated my walker. Any assistance with getting an appropriate refund would be appreciated, I paid for one month in advance $4300 and have asked host for $3000 refund which is more than fair. Reservation was canceled and request for refund was sent to Airbnb and host. Host has referred me to Airbnb and I have not had a response from Airbnb. Thanks Charlotte Annett 

Re: Disabled access

in
Australia
Level 2

Thanks a lot, Charlotte!

Can we get in touch with you if we have some additional questions? As part of our research we are keen to come up with constructive recommendations for Airbnb on how they can improve things for people with any kind of special requirements. Your input would be extremely valuable to our work. 

Thanks in advance for considering my request.

Best wishes

Sara

Re: Disabled access

in
Arlington, VA
Level 2

Just listed my place as accessible. I have the ramp entrance, doorway width, roll-in shower, etc. Airbnb does have link to ADA requirements. It's an education thing -- people think they're accessible if they're on the ground floor or elevator building. Went to a listing with a handicapped family member that was ground floor. But there was step up and then down in the entrance, nothing to grab near the toilet, etc. We ended up leaving half the group there and went to a hotel.

Re: Disabled access

in
Richmond, VA
Level 1

Hey Diane! I am urgently trying to find an accessible home for my mothers birthday September 1-3. She has ALS & This will be her first birthday fully wheelchair reliant, she is depressed and feels

hopeful. I would LOVE to show her that she can still travel eloquently. Please tell me your property is still available?   Thank you 

Re: Disabled access

in
Richmond, VA
Level 1

Elegantly*

Re: Disabled access

in
Arlington, VA
Level 2

Oh dear, sorry I have not been active on the forum lately and missed your message. For future reference, my listing is "Private Queen Suite, Park Free! Kitchenette, Deck" in Arlington.

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