To mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18), Airbnb today announces that it has reviewed and confirmed the accuracy of almost 300,000 accessibility features in homes around the world.
Introduced in November 2021, Accessibility Review gives guests the peace of mind that accessibility features added by Hosts, such as a step-free entrance, fixed grab bars or a bath or shower chair, have been reviewed and confirmed by Airbnb agents. This landmark moment means that since Accessibility Review was launched, the number of listings with an accessibility feature on Airbnb has increased by over 450 percent1 to over 140,000 places to stay.
Airbnb began innovating to make travel more accessible in 2018 by expanding from a single “wheelchair accessible” search filter to a more detailed set of search filters for specific accessibility features, including step-free bedroom access and accessible parking spot, allowing guests to search for homes that meet their unique needs. Since then, we’ve continued to innovate, listening to our community and gathering feedback from partners in the disability and accessibility space and have introduced a number of product updates to continue improving the travel experience for guests with accessibility needs.
On top of Accessibility Review, six months ago Airbnb launched the Adapted category, a curated list of spaces that feature verified step-free entry to the home and at least one bedroom and bathroom, plus at least one accessibility feature in the bathroom. The category, which now boasts over 1,100 listings with inventory in all corners of the globe, includes some of the most unique you’ll find in the travel sector – such as a treehouse in Brazil and a houseboat in Florida. Each listing undergoes a 3D scan conducted by leading spatial data company Matterport, which will further confirm features and measurements enabling guests to book with confidence. Matterport also produces a 2D floor plan of the listing, giving guests a better understanding of the listing layout.
In the category’s first four months, Adapted Hosts have earned a total of over $8.2 million2 AUD3 , with the typical4 Adapted Host earning almost $6,000 AUD.
As part of the 2022 Winter Release, Airbnb also implemented new tools to improve accessibility controls, making it easier for guests using assistive technologies like screen readers, keyboard navigation or switch access software to search for listings through maps. And with search filters, guests can easily search for accessibility features in homes to find those listings that meet their needs.
Catherine Powell, Global Head of Hosting at Airbnb, said: “Travel is an incredible way to connect with people and places and we are committed to making it easier for everyone, including those with accessibility needs, to be able to travel freely and with confidence. We are incredibly proud of the progress we have made with the help of our Hosts, guests and our partners in the disability community. There is more work to do and our teams are working tirelessly to onboard even more accessibility-friendly listings and continue improving the travel experience for guests with disabilities and accessibility needs.”
Airbnb has today also revealed the most wishlisted5 listings in the Adapted category:
- Treehouse in Grandview, Texas, US
- Villa in Lake Worth, Florida, US
- Villa in Comporta, Portugal
- Chalet in Nova Scotia, Canada
- Villa in Egeo, Greece
- Log cabin in Bostic, North Carolina, US
- Eco home in Nevada City, California, US
- Cabin in Pilling, Lancashire, England
- Ski studio in Breckenridge, Colorado, US
- Farmhouse in Barga, Tuscany, Italy
Caroline Casey, activist and founder of the Valuable 500, commented: “As we celebrate GAAD, we recognize our strategic partners around the world who are committed to driving accessibility innovation across their platforms. The digital landscape is often a difficult one for people with disabilities to navigate so we commend Airbnb’s leadership and commitment to introduce products and experiences that meet their needs.”
Our Adapted category has allowed those with accessibility needs to travel more easily on Airbnb and this Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Airbnb is delighted to support What Ability in bringing to life one of their respite camps at one of our most wishlisted Adapted listings.
Susan Wheeldon, Airbnb Country Manager Australia and New Zealand
What Ability Founder and Director, Steve Dresler has commented: “We are thrilled to join forces with Airbnb to support our NSW participants. Time away from home is such an integral part of growing up. Not just for the participants but also for their families. At What Ability we believe camps can provide our participants with opportunities and experiences allowing them to thrive and flourish to their full potential, all whilst having fun.
“Airbnb and What Ability have a shared vision of belonging anywhere and I believe this support will encourage more Hosts to accommodate with a focus on accessibility. Together, we can showcase how important properties like this are.”
UK disability advocate and TV presenter Sophie Morgan, who is a wheelchair user, recently listed her home on the platform. Those with homes adapted for travellers with accessibility needs are encouraged to join the growing Host community on Airbnb. As part of the 2022 Winter Release, Airbnb introduced even more AirCover for Hosts and simplified the signup process with Airbnb Setup, connecting prospective Hosts with a local Superhost for 1:1 guidance.
Airbnb is deeply committed to all disability inclusion. In May, Airbnb announced it is the Official Hosting Partner of the Special Olympic World Games 2023 – the world’s largest inclusive sports event – which takes place in Berlin next month. As part of the partnership, Airbnb will provide a dedicated platform for athletes, families and fans to book accommodation in Berlin and will contribute additional funds from each booking, made through the affiliate link, directly to the Special Olympics.
For more information on our continued work to improve accessibility across our product and platform, visit airbnb.com/accessibility.
All homes in this article are intended purely to inspire and illustrate. Airbnb does not recommend or endorse these listings or any other homes on the platform.