How Can Hosts Modify Their Property for Wheelchair Access?
Overtime, peer-to-peer accommodation networks have been accused of possible discrimination of people with disabilities. Of a truth, property owners have incorporated modern, advanced technological devices so guests can always have a great experience and general convenience. But to be exact, most of these features cannot be used by guests in a wheelchair – not to their benefits.
In the UK, there are approximately 8.4 million people with a disability, out of which around 1.2 million are wheelchair users. NHS, a body that seeks justice for people with disabilities, argues that property owners do not list enough wheelchair accessible homes. https://www.england.nhs.uk/wheelchair-services/
Airbnb, on the other hand, has made some changes to its platform to make it easier for guests with disabilities to find accommodations that suit their needs. These special features include step-free entry to rooms, wide accesses that can accommodate a wheelchair, and more.
“As a person with disabilities and passionate traveler, I am hugely excited by the changes we’re making at Airbnb”, says Srin Madipalli, Accessibility Product and Program Manager at Airbnb. “With these new features, we are making it easier for everyone to share their adapted homes with travelers with disabilities around the world.” https://press.airbnb.com/airbnb-highlights-new-accessibility-filters-and-features-for-guests-with-disabilities-worldwide/
As a host, have you ever considered meeting the needs of guests in a wheelchair? This is a market that needs focusing on growths and developments, but sadly, it’s often ignored. Well, here are some small tips on how you can modify your property for access to a potential 1.2 million guest market.
An Appropriate Flooring
Let’s have random reasoning: what do you think a person on a wheelchair would feel with a surface not accommodating for his wheelchair…in terms of the motion of course? Horrible experience of course!
Why make things complicated for them when you could have made it simple? Some clues are:
– Use wood flooring, vinyl flooring, or ceramic tiles. Vinyl flooring, for example, is a good choice because it’s easy to maintain and also water-resistant. Movement is smooth and of course, cleaning is easy on them – that’s a plus on your end.
– Use some clear-surfaced carpet and make sure they aligned perfectly – if you would need to use one in the first place. The key is to use something that is slip-resistant but also allows wheels to roll freely. https://www.caregiver-aid.com/best-floor-for-a-wheelchair/
An Easily Accessible, Dedicated Car Parking Space
Medically proven; when guests on the autism spectrum can easily utilize a car parking space, it helps them overcome sensory anxieties. https://www.thezebra.com/traveling-autism/
A practical example: what do you notice at a supermarket when you stop by? As expected…car parking space is prioritized for the needs of different customers. Indicated for convenience – those with a disability badge get the nearest space, then those who have children and then everyone else. Keeping the parking space not farther than 25 meters to the entrance of your property would be a plus to your Airbnb listings for short—staying guests.
Use Wheelchair Ramps, and not Staircase!
Wheelchairs don’t walk on stairs – too many inconveniences if you were considering putting this up at the entrance to your property. Instead, installing fitted wheelchair ramps to the exterior doors is a great plus – since ramps aid easy access for wheelchair guests. Making your property more accessible for wheelchairs guests is key!
Utilize Tech – introduce an Emergency Contact Button
Automated systems have been leveraged in homes to provide remote monitoring and care for guests with disabilities. Examples of which include panic buttons that can be placed near the door front to send an alert for the need of assistance simply by pressing the button. Other examples are smoke and heat sensors, minimum room temperature, among others.
In any reasonable adjustment claim, the focus must be on making life comfortable for your guests – disabled or not.
And so, if you have a free property with tailored needs for this target market and are interested in serviced accommodation services, Pass The Property happily accepts housing designed for wheelchair guests. Feel free to contact us at 0333-301-0787 now to see how we could help you with short-term lettings.