Online Community Manager

Liv_0-1611587447404.png

 

Hello everyone,

 

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?

 

Thanks,

Liv

52 Replies

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Munnsville, NY
Level 10

@Liv , thats OK, Actually, Mel and I have already benefitted from it with or without Guests in need.  Her office was one of the few spaces in the house that hasn't been renovated (like the mechanic with the car that has more issues than good points).  I dont have any pics that show it in the rough but it was super  ugly and the 220 year old Horse Hair Plaster walls were crumbling, not the best to breath or clean up after.   Its so much nicer for us to see and use and I dont have to worry about an urgent trip to the Wasser Closet turning into a collision with a rogue wall of no use!   Stay well, JR

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

@Melodie-And-John0 It's definitely always best to take precautions 😂

I'm glad to hear you're both enjoying the improvements. Looking forward to your next project!

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

@Alexandra316 That's an interesting insight! It seems that your point about being as clear as possible in the listing pictures and description really is key for helping guests with disabilities making informed booking decisions.

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Munnsville, NY
Level 10

Great thread @Liv , We have hosted lots of older individuals in our "Easy Access Studio" that came specifically because of the accommodations.   

 

https://airbnb.com/h/easy-access-suite-at-bearpath-lodging

 

We named it such because I originally built it for my Mom (RIP Wilhelmina) when she lived with us due to being debilitated with Parkinson's and severely mobility limited. 

 

The first leg up assist is having dedicated parking less than 15' from the short (3') and low wheelchair ramp (Less than 8" rise) that eases you to the front door.  Once inside, your only 8' from the studio space which is laid out so that you have lots of space to navigate around the bed, kitchenette, work/ dining table and Electric Lift Comfy Overstuffed Lounge Chair with places to park your walker or Wheelchair, all amenities are easily reached from a chair if necessary.   The Bathroom is a short roll through the recently renovated dining room/ entrance door, through a small office and straight inside the bath space that is equipped with grab bars by the toilet and a step free walk in, sit down spa tub as well as a sink with lots of grab zones to assist standing and transferring from a wheelchair to the other bath fixtures.   

 

Melodie worked decades with Developmentally Disabled Individuals many of which also have minor mobility challenges so we both had our eyes open to some of the challenges disabilities can provide.  We learned much about accommodating and overcoming my moms disabilities, you cant imagine just how bad most stores, eateries and even doctors offices are to navigate, makes my blood boil thinking about it.   When we started Bearpath Lodging, we realized so many STR's in our area were in very old giant homes, they offer a room or a suite at the top of a rickety stairs, at the end of the hall that is nearly impossible for limited mobility folks to navigate or even get to that we decided to maintain the things we did for Mom in the space when we opened it for Airbnb hosting.  Ours is not ADA per-se, to be truly ADA there are a few things that would need to happen that wouldn't be possible to be fully compliant but its very close and folks that need it appreciate it well and tell us that.   

 

A future project will add another ADA bathroom en suite where my office is at this time (that will move).   It will be much more desirable than a trip at night through the dining room and my wife's office.  Because the door is 36" wide, it will be fully ADA, that's still a year or more out but I'm looking forward to it and Melodie is looking forward to getting our downstairs bathroom back , (it is only for guests when we have them).   Melodie and I aren't getting any younger and at some point will likely move into the access suite ourselves and turn our master suite upstairs into another rental.   Seems like a great way to finish the last chapters of the adventure of our lives, in a place we are most comfortable in.   Stay well, JR

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Hey @Melodie-And-John0, thanks a lot for contributing to this thread!

 

I'm really sorry to hear about your mom, it sounds like she was extremely well taken care of though 😊 

It's also amazing to see that you and Melodie made use of things you learnt about disabilities through different experiences and are continually working to make your place more accessible.

 

It's sadly very true what you said about people with disabilities having difficulty navigating places that were not built with them in mind. I think it's really important to have these conversations so we can create more awareness towards the subject. Buildings and streets should be adapted to people, and not the other way around.

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Rapid City, SD
Level 10

As someone with an invisible disability, I would bet any amount of money that any host who has at least 25 stays under their belt HAS hosted a person with a disability. Please remember to recognize that not all disabilities are visible, and not to marginalize those of us with disabilities that can't be easily seen. 

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Munnsville, NY
Level 10

@Jennie131,Interesting you mention that cause Ive made the same argument with folks at our university that don't recognize disabilities unless your someone in a wheelchair, a small percentage to be sure.   Im sure nobody here would marginalize folks with disabilities of any kind purposely, the fact is the only ones we can assist our guests with are the ones we have the ability to accommodate as hosts.  I hope you understand that's not actually as wide a spectrum as ADA addresses. Stay well, JR

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Rapid City, SD
Level 10

Of course I understand that. I have an invisible disability myself, as I said. 🙂 
My biggest point is that as hosts, we cannot assume that someone who is not using mobility assisting equipment does not have a disability. Conversely, I can't expect every host to be able to accommodate my personal needs. The balance can be tricky. 
Thanks for responding! Have a good one! 🙂
 

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jennie131  I'm not sure I understand your point. Are we to just assume that everyone might have an invisible disability?

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Rapid City, SD
Level 10

No. I did not say that at all. 

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jennie131  I know you didn't say that, that's why I asked for clarification as to what you meant. 

 

But I just read your response below about the guest assuming you were drunk, I get it now.

 

 

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Rapid City, SD
Level 10

@Sarah977 Yes, that's what I said. 
Simply be aware that not all disabilities are visible. 
I have been told that I'm not actually disabled because I don't use a wheelchair. I have a friend who was screamed at for parking in a disabled parking space because "You are young and can walk!" She actually uses a cane, and did that day. I have seen discussions on other forums where hosts say things like "I know that wasn't a service dog because the guest didn't look disabled."  I just want to make people aware. 🙂

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jennie131  Thankfully I'm not permanently disabled, but a few years ago I did some serious damage to my back, was in constant pain, and couldn't walk far without even more pain. I wasn't walking with a limp or anything, but if someone assumed I was just acting entitled by parking in a handicapped zone, they would have been wrong.

 

But I have seen abuse of that, as when seeing some 20 year old guy leap out of his vehicle and quite ably and energetically jog into the store. Sometimes its obvious. 

But then again best to stand there and watch before making assumptions- he could be picking up a friend or relative who can't walk far.

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

That's a really good point, @Jennie131! Thank you for bringing it up 😊

I think that different types of disabilities require different adaptations not only in the house itself, but also in the hosting experience as a whole. Communication for instance is something that comes to mind.

 

It'd be great to hear more from your point of view! If there's any insight that you could share that hosts could make use of to make their listings more inclusive, that would be amazing 🌻

Are you also a guest? Do you usually ask inclusivity related questions to hosts before booking? Is there something you wish were easier to find in Airbnbs?

 

Re: Have you ever hosted a person with disabilities?

in
Rapid City, SD
Level 10

Yes, I am a guest on occasion. 
Communication is absolutely the key to all of this. I am 100% responsible for ensuring that my issues are addressed. I do ask questions of hosts that are relevant to my condition, and if the host is unable to accommodate, I simply thank them for their time and move on to another place. 

As a host, I have run into discrimination from a guest before. My issue is neurological, and the guest assumed that my slurred speech and unsteady gait was due to alcohol. After the stay, she created an account (the reservation was under her husband's account) for the purpose of harassing me and demanding a refund because I "showed up drunk." I don't feel compelled to defend myself and disclose the nature of my disability to guests who are caught breaking rules. (they had a party, I knocked on the door and busted it. The stress of the situation kicked off a bout of cataplexy, which temporarily causes muscle weakness and slurred speech.) 
As a host, if a guest asks for an accommodation, I do try to comply. Sometimes I can't. That's ok. 

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