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The disability charity Scope has called on Airbnb to take a “firmer stand” against individuals who are abusive towards disabled people, after a host on the accommodation service received “ableist” remarks from her guests.
The host, known only as Jade or @ThisWorldCanBeAccessible on TikTok, posted a series of videos to the social media platform last week in which she alleged the bookers had taken issue with her disability doorbell which flashes.
She claimed the group, who checked in to her Irish home at €50 a night, demanded she remove “all disability aids from my own and if not, that I leave”.
Jade, who has Huntington’s Disease, added: “I have offered a refund if they leave, but they are saying they shouldn’t have to leave when they booked and that I am wrong for not ‘warning them’ that I have a disability.”
Other comments she alleges the guests made towards her include the view that disabled people “don’t understand anything”, questions around whether they could “catch” her disability, and how she washes her sheets.
Now, speaking to indy100, Scope’s communications lead Alison Kerry has urged Airbnb to go further.
She said: “Poor attitudes towards disabled people and disability should not be deemed acceptable by any company.
“We’ve just run the biggest ever survey of disabled peoples’ experience of attitudes and found a staggering three in four disabled people said they have often experienced negative attitudes and behaviours.
“Poor attitudes hold disabled people back in all areas of life and make many feel less equal.
“We need to see companies – like Airbnb - taking a firmer stand against those prejudiced against disabled people.”
According to Jade, Airbnb offered her two options in an attempt to resolve the problem with her guests – either to “no longer use a disability doorbell” or “refund the guests completely”.
Nightmare Airbnb guests who apparently hate disabled people
“Grow up. It’s an accessible doorbell. You press it the same way you press every other doorbell on the planet – it just flashes, as well as ding-dongs,” she said.
While Jade confirmed the guests had left on Sunday, in an update posted the next day she said Airbnb’s safety team did not get back to her and a conversation with their escalation team “didn’t really progress anything”.
“[They] told me to be patient, that they are looking into this [and] they are considering whether I would face further penalties,” she said.
On Tuesday, Jade revealed the safety team finally reached out to her and she has not yet been banned from Airbnb. Instead, the company has asked her for “more time to investigate the matter”.
She explained: “They’ve took down all the information. I was able to show them that my house wasn’t full to the brim with accessibility tools!
“I just have to wait this out and see if I’ll be banned or not.”