There has always been a demand for accommodation for people with mobility problems – that’s nothing new – and Airbnb have demonstrated their knowledge of this by acquiring Accomable, a service that introduces less-abled travellers to people who supply accommodation that is ideal for them.
Airbnb has long been in the forefront of campaigns to attempt to ensure that there is no discrimination when it comes to travel accommodation. The company has received a great deal of publicity since the time it revealed that black people were not enjoying the same level of acceptance by their hosts.
The same is true of gay and lesbian travellers – Airbnb made us, as hosts, agree that we would host travellers of all races, all religions, all sexual orientations etc. if we wished to use their services and their website. The majority of hosts agreed. The fact that a few did not was seen by many as an excellent thing – prejudiced hosts have no place in today’s sharing economy.
This awareness from Airbnb has now extended to people who have special or different requirements because of physical limitations. Read what the Accomable website has to say:
Accomable started with a simple mission: to enable anyone to go anywhere. Accomable was founded in the summer of 2015, by Srin Madipalli and Martyn Sibley – two childhood friends with Spinal Muscular Atrophy who have travelled all over the world. Frustrated by the difficulty of finding accessible places to stay and reliable information, Accomable was created to make it easier for everyone to travel, regardless of disability.
Accomable is a UK based company and at time of writing (November 2017) has only just over 500 rental opportunities worldwide. Now that they have merged with Airbnb, we’re hoping that we’ll soon see many more rentals that are suitable for people with disabilities.
People with disabilities or special requirements have previously invariably have had to contact hotels or B & Bs for further details. Even though Airbnb has always included the disabled in its ‘we all belong’ philosophy but until now, the only criteria hosts could provide on the site was ‘wheelchair accessible’.
But this is inadequate. Wheelchair users, just like all human beings, cannot be classified into one major group. Some may be fine with making a few steps to access a non-specialist bathroom or to enter a one-step-up apartment. Others are 100% confined to their chair.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.