Now that the summer sun is peeking out of the clouds and Memorial Day is around the corner, it’s time to plan a weekend getaway! If you’re looking for an accessible place to stay over the holiday, Airbnb is now offering new features to meet your needs.
Earlier this spring, the company introduced 21 new accessibility filters across its platform to allow guests with disabilities to more easily find accessible travel accommodations worldwide.
More options for accessibility features
Previously, the platform enabled users to search only for wheelchair-accessible listings, which did not always meet travelers’ individual needs. With the new filters, they can zero in on more specific features across six categories: entering the home, getting around, bedroom, bathroom, common areas and parking.
Guests can search for listings with some or all of the following features:
- Well-lit entrances
- Step-free access
- Wide doorways or hallways (at least 36 inches wide)
- Accessible-height beds
- Roll-in showers
- Bathtub and shower chairs
- Fixed grab bars for the shower and toilet
- Handheld shower head
- Disabled parking spot
In a statement to the press, Srin Madipalli, accessibility product and program manager at Airbnb, said, “As a person with disabilities and passionate traveler, I am hugely excited by the changes we’re making at Airbnb. With these new filters, we are making it easier for everyone to share their adapted homes with travelers with disabilities around the world. Our mission is to enable anyone to belong anywhere, regardless of disability.”
Easterseals Crossroads is thrilled to see Airbnb making these strides in tailoring its service toward the needs of people with disabilities.
“Travel can be one of the biggest challenges for people with disabilities, so we’re happy to see Airbnb refining the ways in which they can easily find the most accessible places for them to stay,” said Brian Norton, director of assistive technology at Easterseals Crossroads. “It’s also refreshing to see the platform steering away from the standard wheelchair-accessible search option and branching out to include the full breadth of what people look for in terms of accessibility.”
Nearby weekend getaways
Three-day weekends are always a treat. If you want to make the most of your Memorial Day weekend and avoid long hours on the road or up in the air, here are some accessible Indiana hot spots. If you’re planning a little getaway, all you need to do now is hop on Airbnb to find somewhere to stay near these lovely locales.
Indiana War Memorial: What better way to commemorate our nation’s fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend than by visiting this beautiful museum built in their honor? Accessible via ramps and elevators, this expansive attraction traces Indiana’s involvement in armed conflict from the Revolutionary War all the way up to the present day.
There are plenty of surrounding memorials to enjoy as well, including the Veterans Memorial Plaza north of the museum, the U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial alongside the Central Canal and the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in the heart of downtown Indy.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway: This weekend, the “greatest race course in the world” is hosting the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500! Completely ADA-compliant, this venue accommodates guests who require accessible seating and parking. It also offers golf carts with wheelchair ramps, free of charge. To arrange for the appropriate seating and parking in advance of the big race this weekend, contact the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-INDY (4639), locally at (317) 492-6700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indiana Dunes State Park: In addition to accessible trails and fishing piers, this state park offers specialized wheelchairs — including an all-terrain, all-weather motorized chair — that allows visitors with limited mobility to travel closer to the water and enjoy the sandy shores.
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari: One of the most family-friendly theme parks in America, this Santa Claus, Indiana attraction includes several features geared toward people with disabilities, including an accessibility guide compiled with the assistance of the Easterseals Rehabilitation Center of Evansville. Free parking is available for guests with disabilities, and all restaurants and gift shops are wheelchair accessible.
Taylor’s Dream Boundless Playground: Built from the imagination of an 11-year-old girl named Taylor Reuille, this 42,000 square-foot playground in Fort Wayne’s Kreager Park includes three equipment and activity areas, a sprayground, accessible ramps and walkways, a picnic pavilion and accessible parking. Each activity area accommodates visitors with physical, developmental, cognitive and sensory disabilities.
These are just a few of the many accessible adventures you can experience right here in the Hoosier state. Happy Memorial Day weekend!