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Airbnb Makes An Effort to Better Accommodate Individuals Living with Disabilities

Those living with disabilities, whether they be intellectual or physical, face daily challenges that others take for granted. Take, for instance, vacation travel. Vacation travel is supposed to be an easy, pleasant break from everyday life, but for those with disabilities, it can create stress and hardship. Airbnb, which has come under fire for alleged discrimination in this area, is now making intentional efforts to accommodate disabled travelers. Direct Care Innovations shares some of those efforts and what consumers can expect in this post.

Airbnb Makes Effort To Accommodate Those Living With Disabilities

The Rutgers Study Finds Disturbing Differences in Approval Rates for Those with Disabilities

Rutgers University performed a study from June 1 to November 15, 2016. The Professor who launched the study hoped to identify whether discrimination occurred among Airbnb hosts based on race or disability. Unfortunately, the results were disappointing.

The study found that Airbnb hosts denied applicants with disabilities more than those who didn’t mention it. Expressly, those who acknowledged dwarfism, spinal cord injuries, or blindness were prohibited at much higher rates than the general population. Some hosts explained that the rental wasn’t accessible, while others gave no reason. 

Airbnb, which said the accusations were “abhorrent,” unveiled a new policy that went into effect during the study on September 8, 2016. However, the study found no material difference in approvals afterward.

Airbnb Makes Material Changes to Address Alleged Discrimination

For its part, Airbnb recently rolled out changes to its platform that they hope will address the issues the study found. For instance, they now require renters to submit photos proving any accessibility features they claim as part of the verification process. In addition, potential travelers who use the platform can now apply filters to their searches to meet their specific needs. For example, doorways must provide exact measurements if they claim it’s wide enough for a wheelchair. Additional features include:

  • Step-free access.
  • Shower accessibility.
  • Parking accessibility.
  • Mobile hoists.
  • Intense sensory stimuli.
  • Quiet rooms or spaces. 
  • More.

Consumers with Disabilities Gain Confidence in Inventory Claims

Airbnb disclosed that they’ve already approved 25,000 homes worldwide through the new verification process. Now, users can choose 11 filters to drill down to the inventory that best serves their disability. Moreover, they can expect to see more details outlined in the description area of the accommodations. 

In addition to accessibility features, the rental platform added other features. The changes implemented by the rental platform giant are a step in the right direction. They hope that the changes benefit hosts and renters and protect both as well.

Direct Care Innovations Supports an Ever-Expanding Accessible World

At Direct Care Innovations, we provide business management software for caregiving agencies. We help make your business run smoother so you can focus on serving those living with disabilities. Our EVV, payroll, authorization management, and other solutions provide an integrated business management platform for managed healthcare and other agencies in all 50 U.S. states. If you would like to know how we can help you cut costs and achieve compliance, call (855) 344-3729.


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