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
Campinas, Brazil
Level 1

We are proud to say the same : our place (Campinas vilinha em Joaquim Egídio casa azul) is fully accessible.

Re: Disabled access

in
Monash, Australia
Level 2

Hi My wife and I are building a 2BR unit accoring to the (Queensland)  Silver Level Livable Housing Guidelines relating to diabled access.  Wide doorways, wide carport, ramps - no sills, wide turning spaces in kitchen etc.  We intend listing this in AirBNB.  How much information in the front page writeup about the accessability design features do people want to see?  I know there is a checklist, but information up front is important.

 

Dave  

Re: Disabled access

in
Australia
Level 2

Dear Lynda,

 

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 few of your quotes from this forum, because we feel that they give such a good description of the challenges some travelers face. Your quotes also illustrate very nicely how much more needs to be done to make sure accommodation of all kinds is truly accessible to everyone.

 

I am writing to ask your permission to use the following quotes of yours in the book:

    

“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!”

 

“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”.

 

"I’m proud to say that our place … is fully accessible."

 

Of course, the quotes 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 those direct quotes in our book.

 

And please let me know if you have any other questions.

 

Thank you very much for considering my request.

 

Best wishes

Sara

Re: Disabled access

in
Memphis, TN
Level 3

Hi, all, from someone who uses a wheelchair & has travelled, there should be something under "filters" that designates a home as either  #1- "100 % Wheelchair Accessible/ADA Compliant:

One-level home with  level entry, wide doorways & hallways, all appliances are accessible including front-load washer & dryer; bedrooms are set up with room to reach closet and both sides of bed as well as transfer room to bed; bathrooms are wheelchair accessible with access to shower/tub, shower chairs are provided and they have raised toilets; special doorknobs(yes, even those)...etc. Pictures would be required showing all accessible features. Trust me- this accomodation in the U.S. would be rare. 

#2- "Wheelchair Friendly"- majority of the house is wheelchair-friendly. Homeowner can edit home description to say what features may be challenging ( like I did for my listing). 

There are also many business professionals who are disabled and this extra filter would help them, too.

Airbnb needs to add this filter to make it easier for us wheelchair users to find accomodations that would suit us. 

 

  

 

Re: Disabled access

in
Wood Islands, Canada
Level 2

Yes. Having developed three FULLY accessible units on PEI, Canada, I can attest to the need to plan in all those things. Having done so, it is very difficult to find a way to reach those who are looking for such facilities!

 

Re: Disabled access

in
Buckhorn, Canada
Level 1

Hi! My husband is disabled as a result of a stroke he suffered 15 years ago. I am his caregiver. We both love to travel. I was very interested in what everyone had to say about "accessible" accommodation offered through airbnb. I just came across the following article that I thought you all would find most interesting: https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/16/airbnb-buys-accomable-a-specialist-in-travel-listings-for-disabled...

 

I checked this out to see what is offered and, believe me, if pictures tell a thousand words, these accommodations are ALL wheelchair accessible. Check it out! It could make a huge difference in your life.

 

My husband and I certainly intend to take advantage of Accomable.com when we travel to Europe next year.

 

Good luck to all!

Re: Disabled access

in
Memphis, TN
Level 3

Thank you for this information! Will Airbnb send out secret disability police to see if rentals marked as accessible really are what they claim to be? LOL! I saw a listing that said accessible that had a flight of stairs to the front door! Another one had a step to get in. Accessible is "wheelchair" accessible. 

Re: Disabled access

in
Wood Islands, Canada
Level 2

Disgusting isn't it!

 

Re: Disabled access

in
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 2

I am really struggling to find accomadation.

For my partner who has MS.

We are looking to find an AirB&B home that could accomadate my partner.

He need a 5 bedroom accomadation as he has a carer too.

Disabled shower chair with roll in shower.

I have been looking and they say they have this and that but when you look the home is not suitable.

Any tips would be greatly received

Kind Regards

Andrea ****

Re: Disabled access

in
Mount Barker, Australia
Level 10

@Andrea1546

My wife is in the latter stages of MS.....she has had it since 1976 and she can no longer walk unaided! MS is a b*stard of a disease, it strikes in so many different ways and Andrea, l have to tell you, when (as a partner and carer) they have lost their sight and you have to wipe someones backside when they go to the toilet you have to feel, how much more personal dignity does one person have to lose in this life!!! 

I have set my listing up so that is friendly to Disabled guests, because l sure do know what it is to be disabled! In my 'Amenities' section of my listing I listed all the disabled features I have in my listing, but guess what! Of my 50 'Amenties' Airbnb have removed all those that refer to 'disabled friendly' .......from 50 amenities I posted I now have 37!

Don't blame the hosts Andrea, we do our bit and list according to our situation and experience. It is the clowns in San Francisco who choose to belittle what we offer and do that need the critisicism!

 

Cheers.....Rob

Re: Disabled access

in
Memphis, TN
Level 3

@Andrea0. Go to accomable. (Add the .com). this UK company specializes in rentals like Airbnb (who just bought this co., btw) that are disability friendly. I think you'll find alot of rentals in europe. 

Re: Disabled access

in
Wood Islands, Canada
Level 2

I expected dramatic changes with the acqkuisition, but I haven't seen much evidence yet. Other than making the accessibility items more specific, they have done nothing to make them easier to search.

Re: Disabled access

in
Memphis, TN
Level 3

John Sage is in a whchair & he has a company in the U.S. that hosts trips for disabled folks. He's been all over Europe, etc & shows his trips on YouTube. I think it's Sage Travels. Think you should check out his web site. 

Re: Disabled access

Level 2

Just wondered if you found accommodation? My nephew is coming from Canada to spend Christmas with us but I might have to cancel his visit as I can’t find an accessible B&B with a wet room 

We live near Pulborough West Sussex 

Re: Disabled access

in
Memphis, TN
Level 3

@Rebecca709Hi, is there a hotel nearby that has an accessible bathroom? I have a guest coming to stay at my rental and the shower has a small step. I called him and discussed at length what my bathrooms are like. He decided to ask his friends who are travelling with him to help him get his special shower chair in to the shower. All they have to do is tilt his chair backward to get over he step and he's in the shower. Sometimes there are workarounds. Maybe your nephew doesn't need an elaborate wetroom, and with help he can use your facilities. The key to this whole "disabled access" thing is to have a discussion with the disabled person. I use a wheelchair so the conversation is easy for me. I like to tell folks that my wheelchair is just a different mode of transportation- it is not me. Don't ever be afraid to have conversations about what a disabled person can do mobility-wise. 

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