Disabled Guests Not Welcome in Many D.C. Airbnbs

An eye-opening opinion piece recently published in The Hill revealed the difficulty that many people with disabilities encounter when trying to rent short-term rentals.

Dr. Unnia Pettus, PhD, a clergy leader, community activist and disability advocate from Washington, D.C. wrote that there are “disturbing trends of discrimination that Americans with disabilities face in the so-called ‘sharing economy’ when traveling to the nation’s capital and across the country.”

In her piece, she referenced a recent Rutgers University study which “found that Airbnb hosts are more likely to reject disabled travelers.”

We reported back in June how the study shows that this pernicious problem continues on the platform even after Airbnb committed itself last year to a policy “inclusion and respect.”

As Dr. Pettus noted, “the Americans with Disabilities Act observed it’s 27th Anniversary” just last month, yet platforms like Airbnb and its illegal hotel operators are still running lodging businesses and ignoring the laws that apply.

We share in Dr. Pettus’ hope that soon D.C. City Council will take steps to protect the District’s communities of all abilities.