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Airbnb introduces new features for differently-abled guests

  • 16 March 2018

Airbnb recently highlighted the release of 21 new accessibility filters across the platform that makes it easier for disabled guests to find accessible travel accommodation worldwide. The new filters allow Airbnb guests to search for listings with specific features, including step-free entry to rooms, entryways that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and more. Previously, guests on Airbnb were only able to search for ‘‘wheelchair accessible’ listings, which did not always meet travellers' individual needs.

The announcement comes as Srin Madipalli, Accessibility Product and Program Manager at Airbnb, continues his work to meet with Airbnb hosts and guests to ensure Airbnb meets their accessibility needs. Last week, after meeting with hosts and guests in Korea, Madipalli joined the Paralympic Torch Relay.

“As a disabled person and passionate traveller, I am hugely excited by the changes we’re making at Airbnb. With these new filters, we are making it easier for everyone to share their adapted homes with disabled travellers around the world. Our mission is to enable anyone to belong anywhere, regardless of disability,” said Madipalli.

The introduction of the new filters is one in a series of steps Airbnb is taking to ensure its community is accessible for everyone. In late 2017, Airbnb 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 disabled travellers with listings that met their needs.

Going forward, Airbnb will be working closely with its community of hosts and guests to ensure the new filters offer information which is as useful and accurate as possible, with the aim to improve and expand the filters to ensure they support as many travellers as possible.

“The introduction of the new accessibility features and filters to all hosts and guests is just the first stage in our journey to improve accessibility at Airbnb,” added Madipalli. “We encourage everyone to use them and send through their feedback.”

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