January 2004 Archives

On Your Rights

CNN'c Travel Advisor reports on road trip survival: Travel: Your rights when things go wrong

Resources on Visitability

Selected Resources Online:

Visitability: A New Direction for Changing Demographics

Accessibility in Our Built Environment: Visitability

The Center for an Accessible Society

Visitability Initiative

Concrete Changehttp://www.concretechange.org/

Visitability: Becoming a Trend?http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/0103/visitability.html

Visitability: Making Your Home a Welcoming Place for Visitors with Disabilities

Search is Underway for Accord on Visitability

In Brief: Accessibility and Visitability Features in Single-family Homes: A Review of State and Local Activityhttp://research.aarp.org/il/inb48_homes.html

A Call for Vistiability

The Definition of Visitability

Visitability is the conecpt championed by Eleanor Smith and Concrete Change:

While the concept of Visitability is very simple, the definition has several interactive layers: spirit, features, scope, and moment in history.

The spirit of Visitability is as important as the list of features.

That spirit says, it's not just unwise, but unacceptable that new homes continue to be built with basic barriers--- unacceptable, given how easy it is to build basic access in the great majority of new homes, coupled with the harshness lack of access inflicts on so many people's lives. . These barriers cause daily, draining drudgery; physically unsafe conditions; social isolation; and undesired institutionalization. The appropriate means of furthering basic access in virtually all new homes is, any means short of violence-- handing out information; legislation; incentives (so long as they are moderate and don’t undermine a tax base, impede general affordable housing, or damage other Visitability efforts); voluntary efforts (so long as they are not programs that produce few houses and exist mainly to forestall legislation); street theater; advertising campaigns; civil disobedience; …and others.

Second, the features list must be partly rigid and partly flexible. The inflexible Visitability features are:

  • Wide passage doors
  • At least a half bath/powder room on the main floor
  • At least one zero-step entrance

  • Source:

    Visitability Defined 2003

    Here you can find the text of thelaw on accessible tourism in Argentina - Ley 25643 - Sistema de Protección Integral de las Personas con Discapacidad

    New Year 2004

    Designing for the 21st Century: An International Conference on Universal Design
    December 8 - 12, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

    For those interested in the history of the European movement to promote inclusive travel this report from the Tourism for All Conference is one place to start.

    Robert M. Wilhelm, Executive Director of the Campanian Society, Inc., specializes in tours for travelers with visual impairments.

    Inclusive Travel @ BBC

    The BBC has a simple site designed to assist travelers with disabilities. See:

    For a quick summary of your rights as a person with a disability in the UK - as well as links to further resources - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/guides_to/disability/

    Holiday Giving With a Travel Theme

    "Holiday Giving With a Travel Theme" appears at Suite 101.com where it was originally published with links.

    A directory of laws relevant to guide dog users in the USA may be found at:


    Thanks to MSNBC for this sevrice.

    The set of reviewed and rated links on travel & disability at Suite 101.com compliment some of the postings and links here at Rolling Rains Report.

    While industry inventories the whereabouts of widgets, tourism tracks the transit of real people. In both realms numbers count.

    The Technical Subgroup on the Movement of Natural Persons - Mode 4 is a subgroup of the UN Statistical Data (UNSD) section. The UNSD acts as Chair and Secretariat of the Subgroup whose mandate is to build a statistical framework to measure the economic impact of the movement of natural persons, and in particular of Mode 4, on the home and host countries.

    The objectives of the work of the Technical Subgroup comprise:

  • Development of a conceptual framework for the measurement of the Movement of Natural Persons and, in particular, of Mode 4;

  • Proposals of indicators/variables which provide a measure of the impact of the movement of natural persons in the host and home countries;

  • Preparation of data collection guidelines.
  • The Dialogue on Sustainable Development

    The dialogue on sustainable development will benefit from an expanded view of who we develop for. That is, as we adopt the UN definition of disability new opportunities and design solutions will become apparent.

    Disability must be seen as in a lifetime context - predictable at certain life stages (i.e. childhood, seniority, recovery from injury, etc.) and not simply the domain of those stigmatized as "disabled." Indicators of Sustainable Development will then include such basics as Universal Design and Visitablity under the topic "Housing" and metrics for measuring the population characteristics of those with disabilities.

    With a more coherent approach the links to sustainable tourism will be apparent. A hopeful sign is the introduction of regular statistical studies of human functioning and disability by the UN.

    Disability Travel @ Transitions Abroad

    Transitions Abroad has a solid track record of providing quality information on traveling, teaching, and relocating abroad (as in, "not in the US.") Their section on Disability and Travel is no exception.

    See for yourself at:


    Vexel Quovis?

    This article, "All I Want for Christmas is a Vexel Quovis," originally appeared at Suite 101.com

    A Google on the phrase "Rolling Rains" will turn up these posts as well as many at Suite101.com where Rolling Rains edits the Travel and Disability section.

    It will also lead you to this poem by Robert Burns, A Mauchline Wedding, rendered in contemporary English. See the first few lines for:

    When Eighty-five was seven months auld

    And wearing thro' the aught,

    When rolling rains and Boreas bauld

    Gied farmer-folks a faught;

    So, if you encounter occassional bluster here, the concatenation of Rolling Rains and the North Wind's howl are not without literary precedent.

    May Boreas Bauld be with you!

    A Tag Line Suggestion

    Rolling Rains Report: Precipitating Dialogue on Travel, Disability & Universal Design

    The Disability Studies Paradigm @ DISC

    DISC is a valuable portal on disability. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson summarizes well the Disability Studies approach in The New Disability Studies
    in the Humanities.

    The International Disability Rights Monitor features summary statements on the legal status of people with disabililties that are accessible via a clickable map. See http://www.cirnetwork.org/advocacy/advocacy.cfm

    Tourism Terminology: "Tourism"

    Starting by clarifying definitions is a logical place to begin the discussion of inclusive tourism.

    Wikipedia offers a comprehensive definition and overview of tourism:


    Primo Disability News Source

    An excellent resource on issues affecting the community of people with disabilities, occassionally addressing travel issues as they arise in the news. Available by subscription.
    Inclusion Daily Express
    Dave Reynolds, Editor
    2002 S. Inland Empire Way # 10, Spokane, Washington 99224-4227 USA
    Phone: 509-624-6063
    Fax: 509-472-3220
    Toll free in USA: 1-888-551-8280

    Pilgrimage: Mindfulness on the Journey

    This site is about seeing. The topic may be travel but the "revolve" is the-seeing-that-transforms.

    Not literal sightedness, of course. In fact, I expect active interest by readers using Jaws for Windows or other tools that accommodate visual impairments and make their participation possible.

    The seeing I mean here is the seeing of mindfulness.

    The discussion will frequently be about business. Specifically, it will be about the business of travel and hospitality. It will look at the economic sustainability of doing busness with the ageing and/or disabled sector of the traveling public. It will look at profit, product development, marketing, competition.

    But if this site ever loses grounding in persons - substituting statitistics or truisms for real travelers - then it will have betrayed the author's purpose.

    That purpose is pilgrimage.