Having just booked a week away for myself via the Airbnb website, it made me wonder how much of a nightmare it would’ve been to find somewhere to stay if I had a disability.
The Airbnb website is easy to use and having a look at the search options I did discover a filter called ‘Handicap Accessible’ that I could use to filter my search results to only show listings that had ‘easy access to the building for guests in wheelchairs’.
Is that enough though? Seems a bit vague to me as well as very focused on wheelchair users only. If I had a disability I would have to contact the individual places listed either by phone or email to get more detailed information about access. So I started to search online about ‘travelling with disability’ to find out more. One of the sites that came up high in the search results was DisabledGo and that’s when my searching stopped as I got totally distracted by the site.
It’s developed by disabled people for disabled people and provides detailed access guides to a huge range of places that you might want to visit. Cinemas, shops, hotels, hospitals , colleges, sports grounds, restaurants, council offices, parks, universities, historic land marks, tourist attractions – the list is almost endless.
I soon discovered that DisabledGo is unique among national access information providers because they actually visit and survey each and every venue on their website in person as well as use a survey method that over 800 groups of disabled people have fed into.
So I did a quick search for hotels in my chosen location and with the results got an ‘access guide’ to each venue listed. The information within these guides is so extensive and detailed. From an able-bodied point of view I don’t need to know half of this information, but from the point of view of someone with a disability the fact that I can find out how many steps lead up to the main entrance, or the width of door openings, how heavy the doors are and whether doors open towards you or away from you is invaluable.
Their blog is also a really good read – yet more distraction, but lots of bookmarking too.
Have you used the DisabledGo website? Did it make your travelling easier or less stressful? If you’ve never used the site and would like to know more about it, I found a handy guide on their blog on how to use their search facility. Are there any other sites like this that you use that you find really helpful for travel? If so why not let us know as we could put a link resource up on this website for all our Careboxers.