Accomable makes travel accessible
LONDON – Airbnb has some competition, at least when it comes to serving customers who have accessibility needs.
Accomable.com is a London-based vacation home rental website that connects travelers who have disabilities, as well as the elderly, with specially adapted properties in 32 countries, including the United States.
“I’ve been a wheelchair user since day one,” said Srin Madipalli, co-founder, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy. “I travel a lot and we built this to fill a personal need.”
Each listing includes detailed information about the property, such as whether it offers step-free access, roll-in showers, grab bars, shower chairs, patient lifts and pool lifts.
Though Accomable does not independently verify each property, it does require its vendors to provide photos of accessibility features, which helps users make informed decisions when booking travel accommodations, says Madipalli.
“A lot of hotels say they have ADA rooms, but the variance in definition is so huge,” he said. “Sometimes ADA rooms can still have a bathtub in it, whereas a lot of our users can’t use bathtubs whatsoever.”
Eventually, Madipalli says he would like to see Accomable become the Expedia of adapted travel by offering additional services from HME companies.
“We would be the one-stop shop for any of their travel needs,” he said. “Whether they need medical equipment, adaptive cars, insurance, or accommodation, it could all be done through this site with a few clicks of a button.”
Accomable plans to open a U.S. headquarters in Austin, Texas, and expand its portfolio of properties to more than 10,000 in the United States this year.
“Our issue at the moment isn’t on the demand side,” said Madipalli. “What we’re running to keep up with is finding enough properties to meet the demand.”