Designing an accessible community

Airbnb is committed to making sure everyone — including people of all abilities — can find and book travel experiences they love. To help achieve that goal, Airbnb has been making a number of improvements that will make our community more open and more accessible to everyone. The work we’ve done so far is just a start. We have more to do and we wanted to provide an update on our current efforts and plans for the future.

First, we want using our website and app to be easy for everyone. To make our product more accessible to people who use assistive technology, we’ve implemented design and engineering guidelines that we rely on as we continue to improve our website and app. The guidelines have already informed our work to provide better support for keyboard navigation, as well as other changes that have improved the legibility and color contrast of text. The guidelines were informed by our collaboration with renowned accessibility consultant SSB BART Group, who are conducting a series of audits to ensure Airbnb’s digital products continue to improve.  

“The changes Airbnb has implemented will enable users with visual impairments to seamlessly access the online and mobile booking platform. SSB BART Group is proud to have partnered with Airbnb on these improvements as well as their ongoing efforts to audit and update their site,” said Tim Springer, CEO of SSB BART Group.

Second, we want to make it easy for people to find a listing that meets their needs. 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. For starters, we are working with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) to develop detailed mobility options that will empower hosts to more accurately describe accessibility features at their listings, and empower guests to more easily filter and find listings with these features. We are currently testing the enhanced listing and filtering for hosts, and expect to release these features within our product later this summer.

Third, we want to ensure everyone in our community is treated fairly. Discrimination against people with disabilities is abhorrent and violates our non-discrimination policy. We are partnering with the CFILC and the California Council of the Blind to educate Airbnb hosts about their responsibility to help hosts accommodate all guests and assistance animals that are necessary because of a disability. 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.

These efforts are just the beginning. At Airbnb, we believe in a world where anyone can belong anywhere. We will continue to do more as we seek to meet our goal of building a community that is open and accessible to everyone.