It should soon become easier for people with disabilities to use Airbnb’s services. Airbnb is working to improve its accessibility by acquiring Accomable. Accomable is essentially a more accessible version of Airbnb. It offered listings for places to stay that showed relevant information for people with disabilities.
Accomable will soon be “winding down its business,” according to TechCrunch. Instead it will be working to make Airbnb more accessible for people. Airbnb is a hugely popular website and app that lets people list their homes for people to stay in. People who don’t necessarily want to stay in a hotel while they travel can instead search for listings of homes they can stay in during trips. Before Airbnb’s new move toward accessibility, people searching through listings could only see whether a place was wheelchair accessible.
Now Airbnb is including the option to search for things like step-free room entry and listings for places with doorways wide enough for wheelchairs to go through, according to CNET. Accomable will also be moving its accessibility-focused listings over to Airbnb, and Airbnb will be working to make its website more accessible for people with visual impairment.
All of these moves make it clear that Airbnb hopes to build a bigger client base and do better for people with disabilities. Airbnb has more than four million listings, and they’ve had more than 2.5 million guests stay through their service. But moving away from their lackluster offerings in the area of accessibility may make it more possible for people with disabilities to actually take a second look at Airbnb.
Airbnb’s website already has the new accessibility search options added, and they’ll be coming to their apps soon. Importantly, Airbnb has suggested that this is just the beginning. They note that the changes they’re making are important, but that there’s still more to do and it’s just the “start of an ongoing conversation.” If all goes well, people with disabilities will soon be able to take advantage of Airbnb’s services and feel confident in the listings they choose.