The International Day of People with Disabilities was last month and I’ve been thinking about inclusivity and how the travelling experience of those guests must be in different parts of the world.
Whether you provide your house rules in Braille for guests with visual impairments or you have added grab bars to the bathroom for people with reduced mobility, I’m really curious to learn more about your experience hosting these guests.
I think it would be interesting to collectively come up with some insights that could help ensure that guests with disabilities are embraced and able to travel more freely.
Have you ever hosted a guest with disabilities? Are you and your home prepared for hosting these guests? If so, do you highlight this in your listing?
@Jennie131 I'm so sorry that happened to you, that's terrible 😣
I think it's really great of you to share that with us, we definitely need to raise more awareness towards invisible disabilities as well.
Also I hope that situation with the guest has been resolved by now, but please let me know if you need any support on this.
It's really interesting what you said about sometimes not being able to comply. Do you find that, even though ideally this shouldn't be an issue, honesty is the best policy when a listing may not be prepared to host guests with disabilities? I'm thinking that being clear about what the place offers is also helpful for these guests, even if just serves the purpose of them knowing that they need to look at other listings.
Thank you. That issue with that guest has been resolved. Now I am dealing with trying to get a retaliatory review removed from another guest, but have been told no twice despite it clearly being retaliatory and untrue. Classic story of "Guest trashes house, Host attempts to charge for damages, Guest refuses to pay the whole thing and then leaves a horrible and false review." But I guess if I want to work with Airbnb I just have to accept that. Next time I will just cut my losses and not ask the guest to pay for damages.
Absolutely honesty and being very clear about what the place can and cannot offer is incredibly important. I know I have been personally disappointed when traveling to find that the place is not as described.
Recently, one of my out of state friends inquired about renting my STR for a week instead of camping as she and her husband usually do for a motorcycle rally. He has health and mobility issues, and camping is just getting too hard for them. While I would love to rent to them, I know my house would not be suitable.
Jennie this is what is going to happen, people can be so callous about disabilities, I have been at times, even though I have a wife with a severe disability.
You do need to spell it out in your listing description that the guest is always your first priority but, recovery from a 'Stroke' (or similar) is time consuming and a little bit of understanding would be appreciated. Let the guest know what to expect beforehand.
I good friend of mine Loui was a wine merchant and a very successful one. One evening he had a stroke, it affected all the left side of his body, his vision and his speech. Luoi was a fighter though Jennie, and by God he worked hard to get his movement and his life back.
Two years later we had dinner with Loui and Giselle and Loui was back running his wine business again.
I said to him..."Gee Loui you have come a long way, what was the hardest part for you"?
He looked me in the eye and with a still slightly distorted speech he said......."The hardest thing was, people thought I was stupid!".....when in conversation others would not talk to him, they would address their comments to someone else, they would treat Loui as though he was an irrelevance!
Jennie I am so sorry you are having to deal with this situation and all I can suggest is make prospective guests aware that you need their help along this journey of life, most are only to pleased to give it if they know what they are dealing with.
All the best.
@Jennie131 , I like to think of mobility and other human characteristic's that are beyond ones choice as Abilities more than Disabilities. Every person is endowed with certain things they are able to do and some not so enabled. Im reminded daily as a gently aging human I have experienced the best and less than that abilities a human could ask for but they are beginning to wane, some faster than others. Things I was once ready, able and willing to tackle, I can no longer or shouldn't due to a couple heart attacks, lots of broken bones (many of which I can still feel), muscles that dont flex as they once did and brain pharts us old farts like to forget we forget. There are things we as hosts can do to help with many of those challenges and all of us if we are luck enough to grow old will have those and more.
Access is good for the goose and the gander and helps everyone get around a little easier and as a friend of mine with two first names Ron Ray (RIP Ron) used to say, "When it takes so little to make so many so happy, why the hell wouldn't you just do it?" , Stay well Jennie
@Liv @John5097 @Melodie-And-John0 @Jennie131 @Robin4
I've mentioned it previously here in CC , One of my most incredible and inspiring Guests was a person who had lost use of most of their vocal chords and had to communicate through writing, images and hand signals.
There's many types of differently enabled people who tend to be referred to as having a disability due to whatever life has challenged them with.
As @Jennie131 has pointed out, there are silent disabilities, or people who have day to day challenges which other people are often unaware of how it may impact on one's life.
It's a little like people who live with Type 1 Diabetes, there's silent different abilities that some just do their best to live with and get on with life.and prefer not to be treated as having a Disability as such.
I've often hosted people who are having or recovering from operations that have impacted on their day to day abilities and love opening my home to such people as they have strengths we can all aspire to learning from.
@Helen427 , so true! We are actually lucky to live during a time when many of the things that would once keep us from meeting and or communicating with someone without certain abilities can now be overcome in so many ways its crazy!. We had a semi long term STR repeat guest who is now a friend from China, Jin Mei couldn't speak any English and we don't speak Chinese, we all had translators in our phones that were nearly as effective as knowing each others language, 10 years ago that wasnt possible.
Back in 1973 when ADA was enacted, so many places and opportunities were not accessible to so many people that were trapped in care homes or possibly their own homes at best, too many have lived miserable lives and died early deaths because their lives were not full in ways that are necessary for humans to thrive and survive. Its sad that still too much Grandfathering and other sub standard accommodations exist in gov and education in the most developed of countries.
My own employer, a somewhat prestigious small private liberal arts university still hasn't successfully made the leap to actual diversity and inclusivity, they pay genuine heartfelt lip service to the lower hanging fruit but haven't put their money where their mouth is yet when it comes to folks that have never in the history of our planet had the chance to be part of a majority population of "Kool Kids" on the block. When we prepare an equal seat at the table for those with the greatest challenges, everyone in between sails will be filled and boats lifted as well.
We need to be gentle and not so harsh to ourselves when judging our own effectiveness as hosts ADA wise. We (unlike my employer and our government agencies) have severely limited budgets and spaces to work with. Logistically speaking, Its the Army we have got not the one we want to deal with so we do what we can and try to do more as we are able. Stay well, JR