Airbnb has just announced their Winter Release for 2022 and it includes some accessible additions

In May, Airbnb launched a new way of searching for properties on their site by categorising them into areas like, beachfront, castles, farms, vineyards, islands, and many more. This allows users to pick a category and just scroll through the properties to get inspiration for their next trip.

It is a wonderfully enjoyable way to discover amazing properties that you would not otherwise come across if you were restricting your searches to one location. Scrolling through pages of amazing, unusual, secluded or eco-friendly homes can be exciting and fun and users can get lost in the imagination of their next trip. However, this is not a luxury afforded to anyone who has mobility or access needs.

Wheelchair users and guests with mobility impairments must use the access filters to ensure they find an accessible home that will cater to their needs, and while Airbnb do have a good selection of filters and stringent processes to ensure the properties are as accessible as they say they are, there has been no other way to search or find inspiration for accessible properties.

Until now.

Airbnb have introduced six new categories to their website and one of those categories is the Adapted category. We spoke to Suzanne Edwards, accessibility standards lead for Airbnb and wheelchair user herself, who passionately spoke about the addition of this category for the disabled community, as she believes it could “revolutionise travel for guests with mobility needs”.

Talking us through the new Adapted category Suzanne highlighted that just one click from the homepage will take guests to the Adapted listings via the universally recognised wheelchair symbol at the top of the page.

Airbnb - Adapted category

This will take you to a tempting mix of wheelchair accessible listings from all over the world, allowing you to scroll through a huge variety of homes all with one thing in common: accessibility. Additional accessibility features have also been added to the world map, allowing users who do not have fine motor skills or who use assistive technology to move around the map using toggle features for zooming and panning across the map.

Airbnb have chosen some amazing adapted homes to be featured in this category, and Suzanne explained how Airbnb committed even further to verify and highlight accessibility information for guests:

“We wanted to go a step further for the homes in this category so we partnered with Matterport who is a leader in 3D space capture and for every single home in the Adapted category we worked with the team at Matterport. They have a team of global technicians and we did 3D scans of all of these homes to verify all of the accessibility features that they had, such as the height of the thresholds or the widths of the doorways, and different features they have in the home.”

The 3D scans also provided them with 2D floorplans that have been added to the main photo set of each of the listings. Listening to their community of disabled travellers Airbnb recognised that floorplans were an important addition for many people to understand the layout of the home and the configuration of where each room was, these floorplans also feature all of the room sizes too.

Other new additions include a focus on making the process easier for hosts to get started renting out their homes using Airbnb Setup. This includes a some thoughtful developments:

  • One-to-one guidance from a Superhost
    When you begin Airbnb Setup, you will be matched with a Superhost for free one-to-one guidance from your first question through to your first guest. You can chat with your Superhost over audio, video, or messaging. They are launching with 1,500 Superhosts in over 80 countries who are dedicated to helping new Hosts get started.
  • An experienced guest for your first booking
    For your first booking, you can choose to welcome an experienced guest who has at least three stays and a good track record on Airbnb.
  • Specialised support from Airbnb
    As a new Host, you get one-tap access to a specially-trained team of Community Support agents. They can help with everything from account issues to getting paid and are available via phone, messaging, or email in over 42 languages.

These new additions will be rolling out across the Airbnb platform this week, so take a look and scroll through that Adapted category to see where your next trip could be.

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