Discrimination of any kind on the Airbnb platform, including on the basis of ability, is abhorrent and a violation of our anti-discrimination policy. Last month, we offered an update about some of our work to support travelers with disabilities. Today, we want everyone to know more about what we’re doing to ensure the Airbnb community is open and accessible to everyone:
Policies to support every traveler.
Last year, we conducted a review of all aspects of our platform to determine how we can fight discrimination, including discrimination against people with disabilities. Based on this review, we implemented a series of changes including, but not limited to:
- The Open Doors Policy. If anyone believes that have been discriminated against because they have a disability, our customer service team will ensure they have a place to stay.
- Every Airbnb user must sign our community commitment that states: “We believe that no matter who you are, where you are from, or where you travel, you should be able to belong in the Airbnb community. By joining this community, you commit to treat all fellow members of this community, regardless of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or age, with respect, and without judgment or bias.”
- A new policy that makes clear that hosts are generally required to accept guests who have assistance animals. Assistance animals are not the same as pets and serve a crucial function for their owner.
- Our customer service team is trained to handle complaints about discrimination. If a guest were to report a host who made discriminatory comments related to the guest’s disability, our customer service team would remove the host from Airbnb’s platform, per our non-discrimination policy.
A team committed to fighting bias.
Airbnb has a permanent team of engineers, data scientists, researchers, and designers whose sole purpose is to advance belonging and inclusion and to root out bias, including bias against people with disabilities. As a part of our anti-discrimination task force, we have a cross-functional working group to focus specifically on disabilities, led by our global head of diversity and belonging.
Educating our hosts.
Most Airbnb hosts are sharing the home in which they live and may not have experience accommodating people with disabilities. We are working with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) and the California Council of the Blind (CCB) to make product changes to better match host and guest needs and expectations. We are also working with the CFILC and CCB to educate Airbnb hosts about how they can best help accommodate guests with a wide range of disabilities and accessibility needs, and their assistance animals. These education efforts include the creation of a new Frequently Asked Questions page and a reminder to hosts that assistance animals are not considered pets.
We are also developing additional host education materials that will help hosts accurately determine whether they have accessible features in their home.
Better information for guests.
Hosts already can indicate whether their listing is accessible or whether it has unique features that might not work for everyone. We are working to improve these tools by creating new filters that help guests identify whether a listing will meet their needs. We are testing these filters now and plan to release them this summer.
Partnering with experts.
Since 2016, Airbnb has partnered with a wide range of experts and organizations to help combat discrimination on our platform and help make our community open and accessible to everyone. Partners include:
- California Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Since February 2017, we have been working together to develop detailed mobility options that will empower hosts to more accurately describe accessibility features at their listings.
- California Council of the Blind – Since February 2017, we have been working together to educate Airbnb hosts about their responsibility to help hosts accommodate all guests and assistance animals that are necessary because of a disability.
- SSB BART Group – Renowned accessibility consultant that has help to make our product more accessible to people who use assistive technology.
Our work is ongoing and we will continue to work with everyone who shares our goal of making the Airbnb community more open and accessible.