The AirBnb for People With Disabilities [Q&A]

Inclusion of everyone, anywhere.

Apr 8, 2016
Srin Madipalli, co-fonder of Accomable

Srin Madipalli is the co-fonder of Accomable (Courtesy of Accomable)

There’s a lot that goes into traveling - choosing a destination, booking flights, finding accommodations, organizing activities, renting a car. And this already cumbersome process only gets more complicated if you have a disability.

Started by people with disabilities for people with disabilities, Accomable is here to make traveling a little bit easier. Created to help those with mobility, visual, hearing or other impairments, Accomable is an airbnb-like website where users can filter vetted accommodations according to their needs. In addition, Accomable offers equipment hire, accessible city guides, and direct booking so anyone of any ability can explore “a world without barriers.”

Co-founder Srin Madipalli, who has traveled the world despite having Spinal Muscular Atrophy, joins Goodnet in this week’s 10 Good Questions to share all the ways Accomable enables anyone to go anywhere.

1. What is your organization’s mission?

To make travel fun and accessible for everyone.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

You can 100% trust that all of Accomable's hotel and vacation rentals are accessible - whether you need step-free access, roll-in showers or more specialist facilities, it’s all listed and verified for each property on our site so you can find a property that suits your needs. You’ll often find with other providers, including big name brands, that many properties list themselves as accessible when in fact they aren’t because the provider isn’t obliged to check. We always do.

3. What three words describe your organisation?

Pioneering. Trustworthy. Fun.

Srin Madipalli scuba diving

Accomable provides the resources to make a world without barriers a reality for people with disabilties (Courtesy of Accomable)

4. What inspires you?

People. The people I work with - I am very fortunate to have a brilliant team at Accomable who believe in the product and have worked hard to make it a success. And the people we work for - it’s incredibly inspiring to speak to someone who has travelled in their wheelchair and experienced something new. I love to travel, so it’s great to share stories, and find out where people want to go next.

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

As an entrepreneur with a social mission, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, Elon Musk is a huge role model, especially with what he’s doing to make environmentally friendly electric more mainstream. But Daredevil is pretty cool too...

6. What is the best part about your job?

I love to travel, so getting out and meeting our hotel and accommodation owners across the world is a real privilege. But my favorite part of the job has to be getting feedback from our customers. We work closely with everyone who books our accommodation to ensure they’re not only confident about their holiday, but really looking forward to it. This is because many people who have a disability can be very nervous about travelling because they’ve had bad experiences in the past (booking accommodation which turns out to be inaccessible is definitely not unusual, and something I have experienced several times myself). So it’s brilliant when we get in touch with customers after their trip and hear what a great time they've had.

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

We are a growing company and measure our success on each customer’s happiness and satisfaction with our product.

Srin Madipall in Cape Cod

Accomable now features over 500 listings in over 35 countries (Courtesy of Accomable)

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook for friends and family, Twitter for work.

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

I like to think we’re opening up the sharing economy, so everyone can enjoy it - think of us as the 'airbnb for anyone with a mobility issue'.

10. How can people get involved?

Lots of ways! We’re always looking for great new accessible properties to list on Accomable, so if you know any, do drop us a line at hello@accomable.com.  Also if you have any friends or relatives who have a disability or mobility issue, and want to go on holiday or feel nervous to do so, please recommend our site. We have a great new community area, where you can post questions about accessible travel, seek advice and share tips and information.

Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.