Airbnb to check accessibility information by photos
Airbnb booking service introduced new ways to improve accuracy of accessibility information for guests with access needs. Last year Airbnb released new accessibility filters across the platform that make it easier for guests with disabilities to find accessible travel accommodation which fit their needs worldwide. To provide guests with clearer accessibility information and enhance the booking experience for guests with accessibility needs, the service now requires hosts to supply photos of their listing’s accessibility features.
“To better serve our guests, and ensure our hosts can display their home’s accessibility with confidence, we now require hosts to upload photos of any accessibility features they select for their listing. These images will be showcased in a dedicated accessibility section on the listing page, so guests can evaluate whether a home suits their needs, - Airbnb explained. - We’ve designed this new process for hosts to be simple and straightforward, with easy tips on how to take and upload clear photos. Hosts can also refer to airbnb.com/accessibility for more information”
Srin Madipalli, Airbnb’s Accessibility Product and Program Manager:
“As a passionate traveler with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, I know how valuable an image can be when evaluating whether a home will be suitable for me. We have been working closely with our community, and conducted numerous focus groups with people with disabilities, to develop this new measure, as part of our ongoing global efforts to improve accessibility across the platform. We want to encourage as many hosts as possible to showcase their home’s accessibility and sharing photos will help them do this.”
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.
Andrew Imparato, Executive Director, Association of University Centers on Disabilities:
“We welcome this move from Airbnb to improve the accuracy of accessibility information for travelers with disabilities. Photos can be really valuable when assessing if a property will be right for your needs. We look forward to seeing Airbnb continue to improve accessibility across the platform.”