Just about five months ago, Airbnb acquired Accomable, a web site listing fully verified, accessible properties that disabled travelers can rent. As with a lot of such acquisitions by large conglomerates, there's always a concern that the mission of the acquired company will soon be obliterated but there are signs that Airbnb is honoring the mission of Accomable with its latest releases.
The short-term lodging company has added new filters so that guests can more easily surface listings with specific features, including step-free entry to rooms, entryways that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, an accessible-height bed, and a bathtub with a shower chair, among others. And we can only think of one person that may have had a strong role in making this happen: Srin Madipalli, co-founder of Accomable who joined Airbnb following his company's acquisition.
According to Srin, who is now the accessibility product and program manager at Airbnb, the new filters demonstrate that the company is “making it easier for everyone to share their adapted homes with travelers with disabilities around the world,” adding that it is Airbnb’s mission to “enable anyone to belong anywhere, regardless of disability.”
Let's keep our fingers crossed that Srin will keep pushing Airbnb in the right direction in order to make finding accessible accommodations just as easy for the disabled community as it is for everyone else.