23rd November 2020
Tips for Making your Airbnb More Accessible
In New Zealand’s 2013 Disability Survey, they estimated that 14% of the population, or 632,000 people at the time of the survey, were living with a physical disability that limited everyday activities. With such a high number of individuals impacted in this way, it is no surprise why accessibility features are so important when renting out an Airbnb. While it might sound like a big investment to improve accessibility, your home might actually be far more accessible than you think.
Here are five easy ways to increase your Airbnb’s accessibility:
An essential criteria for an accessible Airbnb is that there is a stair-free entrance to your space and that the space itself is single-leveled. If your home has stairs to enter, you could invest in portable ramps so that your home is accessible to those in wheelchairs.
If your Airbnb is an apartment within a building, it is very common that the main entrance has a ramp leading to it or alternatively there may be a separate entrance for wheelchair access. It is worth investigating and making these instructions clear so that your Airbnb is more accessible.
To make an individual with a wheelchair feel more comfortable in your space, it is desirable that all hallways, common areas and bathrooms have wide clearance. Generally, this means that these areas will have enough space for an individual to turn around in their wheelchairs. Typically, this would mean having a clearance of at least 32 inches between the walls and each piece of furniture.
This makes it much easier for less-abled people to get into bed, use the bathroom or move around the kitchen, living and dining areas.
While not essential, grab bars are a great way to provide further support and stability to individuals with wheelchairs who book your Airbnb. They are very helpful in the bathroom particularly where surfaces can be wet and slippery. Installing these into your property can make these individuals feel much safer in your home.
For more information on how to install grab bars, see here.
Easy to reach amenities
An easy change to make in your property is to think about what items are used frequently and then place them in easy to reach, low-height places. For example, avoid placing glasses or plates in over-counter cupboards. If you have an air-conditioner unit, make sure to keep the remote in an easy to reach location also.
It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes unsafe items are often kept on higher shelves to keep them out of reach from children, infants and pets (such as harsh cleaning products, knives and scissors). It may be a good idea to ask individuals in wheelchairs to reach out to you so that you can prepare the property and make these items more accessible if necessary rather than moving them to lower locations permanently.
Communicate with your guests
The final tip is to encourage communication and inquiries from guests who have certain needs and ask them to let you know how you can help them. Those with disabilities do not always have the same requirements as each other so it is important that you understand exactly what they need during their stay so that you can make sure your property is suitable for them.
If you follow the tips above, you will have already made a big step in being more inclusive and welcoming to a wider range of people. Make sure to tick off the accessibility features in Airbnb as this will help you to increase bookings and therefore profitability of your Airbnb also as many hosts are only just learning the importance of an accessible home. Guests with limited mobility will surely thank you for your efforts in accommodating their needs.