Airbnb regularly organises host meet ups to provide information about the latest developments in home sharing, and to give hosts the chance to exchange ideas with one another.
On 18 February 2019, Airbnb invited hosts in Berlin and representatives of local social organisations to an event to discuss the important issue of accessibility. The aim of the meeting was to inform hosts in Berlin about the Airbnb Accessibility Team’s work. At this event, among other things, hosts learnt how to describe their accommodation in such a way that guests know before booking whether the accommodation is accessible for them.
The event began with a brief introduction by the Airbnb Community Team about the impetus behind the creation of the Airbnb Accessibility Team. This was followed by a presentation of the latest changes to Airbnb relating to accessibility. Among other changes, hosts can now identify the barrier-free features of their accommodation via the filter function. You can find the relevant filters in your profile by following these steps: Listings → Your Listing → Amenities (Edit) → Accessibility (Edit).
Brittany Dejean, a member of the Airbnb Accessibility Team joined the event to raise awareness among Airbnb hosts about the very specific needs of people with accessibility requirements and how we as a community can help meet them.
- Raul Krauthausen from Sozialhelden e.V. presented the Wheelmap that he co-developed. This map helps users find wheelchair-accessible venues and shops worldwide.
- Jessica Schroeder has travelled to many places around the world. She shared a few anecdotes about one of her favourite destinations, India, and her experiences as a blind woman travelling. Jessica also spoke on behalf of the NGO NoisyVision at the event. Together with Dario, NoisyVision offers an Airbnb experience entitled Touch Berlin, where visitors explore Berlin while blindfolded. All proceeds go to NoisyVision.
- Jenny Bießmann talks about her experiences travelling with a wheelchair in her blog Jenny unterwegs. In Kenya, for example, locals were creative and built ad hoc ramps where there were none so that she could be mobile. Jenny works in Berlin as a peer counsellor at aktiv und selbstbestimmt e.V., where she advises people with disabilities, including issues related to travel.
Photos: Eric Birnbaum