Nov 16, 2022 - Technology

Airbnb makes it easier to find wheelchair-friendly homes

Several of Airbnb's new categories. Image courtesy Airbnb

Several of Airbnb's new categories. Image courtesy Airbnb

Airbnb is making it easier for wheelchair users to search for accessible vacation homes on the platform.

  • "Adapted," which shows listings with features like step-free access, is one of six new search categories the company added Wednesday as part of its Winter 2022 release.

Why it matters: Travel is often overly difficult for wheelchair users and others with reduced mobility — a few stairs can mean the difference between an enjoyable vacation and a ruined trip.

Driving the news: Airbnb hosts who consider their properties wheelchair-friendly can apply to be included in the "Adapted" category.

  • Airbnb then vets each property, in part by working with 3D scanning company Matterport to produce photos, measurements and diagrams of each space, some of which are added to listing pages.
  • Users tapping into the Adapted category can see relevant homes across the world, or zoom in to specific regions.

What they're saying: "It's exciting to show that there are these hosts out there," says Suzanne Edwards, Airbnb's accessibility standards lead and a wheelchair user. "And it's so people don't have to close their minds. They can think big and they can travel to all sorts of places."

Of note: Some of Airbnb's other new categories include "Top of the World" (homes at 10,000 feet) and "Play" (those with basketball courts, game rooms and so on).

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