A guide to photographing accessibility features

Great listing photos help set expectations for guests with accessibility needs.

Guests with accessibility needs want to know what to expect when they arrive at your space. Uploading quality photos – from shots of your entrance to pictures of your interiors – to the Accessibility section of your listing can help guests determine if they can move around your property safely and comfortably.

As a Host, it’s up to you to make sure your listing description and photos are up to date and accurate. And while it’s not your responsibility to understand everyone’s needs, clearly photographing your space allows potential guests to decide if your listing is a good fit.

Trip Nirvigna reviews all accessibility features before they’re added to your listing. If an image does not clearly show the feature as required by our guidelines, we may ask you to upload a new one or remove the feature from your listing.

As you consider updating your listing, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You can specify that only certain rooms have accessibility features. For example, you may indicate that only one bathroom has step-free entry.
  • You don’t need to provide professional photos – you can simply take pictures with a phone. These photos appear in the Accessibility section of your listing page, which is separate from your listing’s image gallery. You must include at least one photo of every accessibility feature you select.
  • Use a tape measure to show guests that you have wide doorways (this is part of our photo criteria) that will accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
  • Uploading multiple photos of each feature from various angles and perspectives helps guests orient themselves in your space. For example, if you are showing a step-free doorway, take photos from either side of the threshold so that the guest can see the entire pathway into the space.

How to show that the pathway to your entrance is step-free

Can guests get to your front door from the pavement or nearest parking area without encountering steps or stairs? What surfaces do they need to negotiate to get there? Make sure you take clear photos of the pathway that leads from the outside to your listing’s entrance.

How to photograph your entrance:
1. Stand at least 20 feet (6 metres) outside of the building entrance from the pavement or nearest parking area to show as much of the pathway as possible, and tilt the camera slightly towards the ground to show the route’s surface. If your listing is in a block of flats or hotel, be sure to include the pathway from the building entrance into the hall/reception to your unit’s entrance. If applicable, it’s also important to provide photos of any lifts or ramps.

Two red circles outline a flat concrete pathway leading to a building’s entrance.

2. Make sure you show the building entrance at the end of the pathway.

A photo of the pathway leading to an entrance shows a mostly smooth, flat pathway with narrow strips of gravel.

How to highlight step-free entryways in your space

Show your guests that they can enter the front door, as well as the bedroom, bathroom, shower, and common spaces without having to negotiate any stairs, steps, kerbs, or high thresholds greater than 2 inches (5 centimetres).

How to photograph entrances:
1. Open the door to the entrance you’d like to feature and tilt the camera slightly towards the floor to clearly photograph the flat path on either side of the threshold.

A photo of an entrance with an open door shows that the pathway from outside to inside is step-free.

2. Step back at least 5 feet (1.5 metres) from the entrance to show both sides of the doorway and, if the space has multiple entry points, make sure you capture each of them in your photos.

A bathroom photo shows the view facing out, including a step-free entry and the size and location of the sink.

3. If you indicate that a certain room (bedroom, bathroom, living room, etc.) has step-free access, you are confirming that the room is either on the ground floor or accessible by lift or ramp. Include multiple photos that show the pathway from the front door into that room.

A photo of an open-plan kitchen shows step-free access to a shared space.

4. If you have a step-free shower, open the shower curtain or doors and tilt the camera slightly towards the floor of the entrance to show there are no steps or lips greater than approximately 1 inch (2.5 centimetres).

A photo of a bathroom shows tile that’s level with the wood floor in a step-free shower.

How to photograph wide entrances

For guests with mobility devices like wheelchairs, knowing the width of your doorways can help them determine if they’ll be able to navigate your space. At Trip Nirvigna, we consider a “wide entrance” one that is at least 32 inches (81 centimetres).

Open the door and use a tape measure to show the width of the doorframe. You may want to take two photos: one that shows the entire tape measure and a second that is more zoomed in so that the guest can read the measurement.

How to showcase other accessibility features

There are lots of other features that can help guests enter and move around your space comfortably. If you have any of these, be sure to take photos and add them to your listing to let your guests know what to expect.

1. Show as much of each feature as possible in your photographs.

2. Try to include as much of the surrounding area as well so that the guest can visualise where the feature is located or how large it is. For example, if you’re showing a shower chair, be sure to show it positioned in the shower.

Examples of each accessibility feature

Fixed grab bars for the shower or toilet: These are bars firmly bolted to the wall that can bear weight and are intended to help people balance. They can’t be towel racks, towel warmers, or part of a shower door.

Two grab bars are bolted to the wall next to a toilet.

Shower/bath chair: This is typically a bench or freestanding seat designed to help people with limited mobility bathe. It can also be a seat built into the wall, but it can’t be furniture that’s not intended for bathing (such as patio furniture or plastic folding chairs that might slip on a wet surface).

A shower features a folding bench.

A ceiling or mobile hoist: This is a lift attached to the ceiling or a freestanding device that helps people get in and out of a wheelchair.

A ceiling hoist is positioned over a bed in a bedroom with red walls.

Accessible parking spot: This is a public parking spot that’s designated for people with disabilities or a private parking area on your listing’s property that has at least 11 feet (3.5 metres) of space for one car. In the photo, show the public parking spot with designated parking signage or the private parking area with a parked car next to the guest parking space for reference. You can also use a tape measure in the photo to show width.

A parking spot has a blue disabled parking sign painted on it.

Pool hoist: This is a device that lifts a person into and out of a pool or hot tub.

Photo of an outdoor swimming pool featuring a pool hoist.

Well-lit path to entrance: This is the external route from the driveway or outdoor pathway to your listing’s entrance that is lit by streetlamps, landscape lights, or other artificial light sources. Try to take a photo of the pathway at night or early morning so guests can see the location of the lighting and how bright it is.

Outdoor lighting helps illuminate the garden and outdoor entrance of a house at night.

You might also consider other ways to support guests with accessibility needs. With clear communication and a few updates to your space and listing, you can make a world of difference for so many guests.

Jake, a guest with limited mobility, sums it up nicely: “Having accurate information upfront allows a disabled person to really be an explorer.”

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