April 2004 Archives

"Movement" is a word that describes travel per se. But "circulation" - movement with return proceeding along definable pathways and with perceptible rhythm - captures travel and hospitality taken together.

The natural question is, "What circulates?"

The Declaration of Quito

The Declaration of Quito offers a rich starting point for a human rights-based argument supporting Inclusive Destination Development.

Disability Studies

Senior and disabled travelers are among the first to come to mind as beneficiaries of universal design. These two large market segments have differing needs, differing self-understandings - sometimes even when they overlap.

Research on seniors as consumers is more plentiful than similar information on consumers with disabilities. But the gap will continue to close as universal design thinking continues to influence the travel industry drawing more of this demographic into the market.

The academic fields researching both groups -- gerontology or Aging Studies and Disabillity Studies -- have a part to play in guiding the industry. What is the scope of the newer field, Disability Studies?

A Model for Destination Management

There are many definitions of destination management. The UN document Agenda 21 is a formative document if the approach is to be credibly eco-sensitive. Inclusion of persons with disabilities as stakeholders and participants is essential if it is to be sustainable and not subject to retrofit.

Here is a model for destination development used by Gordon Sillence President of the Instituto Portugues de Ecologia (INPECO).

The Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 1993-2002 resulted in publication of a collection of best practices in inclusive travel in the region. A selection can be found under Decade Best Practices Documents and in the document, Pathfinders: Towards Full Participation and Equality of Person with Disabilities in the ESCAP Region (Social Policy Paper No. 2).

Reading UN documents seems about as engaging as reading the Manhattan phone directory but ocassionally something pops out.


eTurbo News has a report on the senior tourism market in its latest issue.

Patria de Cadeiras (Homeland of the Chairs) is an articulate reflection by Eduardo Ferraz.

The article was written after the 2000 Paralympic Games where Brazil came home with six Gold Medals, ten Silver Medals, and six Bronze Medals. Ferraz makes the point that international sports competition is no sweat compared to the daily marathon of living in a built environment where Universal Design is ignored.

Those crafting Brazil's new Plano de Turismo would do well to re-read its stated commitment to promoting social inclusion and enabling internal tourism by Brazilians -- it is not only, not even primarily, for international tourists that the industry must design. Brasil ja é "Patria de cadeiras" e com aquele barco de rodas, como todo o mundo sabe, " Navegar é preciso!"

Yellow Door Selectors

I have just discovered a blog that deserves a closer look: Yellow Door Selectors...Manual --- Travel, Tourism, Development.To be more accurate, the blog author discovered the Rolling Rains Report and posted a most gracious review, "Rolling Rains Weblog." I am several days late in discovering it. Thank you.

Katja at Brokenclay Journal has begun an analysis of current initiatives to update disaster and evacuation policies. From her initial results it does not appear that we will hear shouts of "Women and children first!" at the next big disaster.

For background on he issue read the January 2004 news item at the National Organization on Disability.

For Brokenclay's insights

New Mobility Magazine reports on a lawsuit against the State of California for inaccessible voting machines. The suit was brought by The American Association of People with Disabilities

Watch this issue. The technology interface problems encountered here are not so different from the issues surfacing around airline e-ticket kiosks

Editorial on the Rolling Rains Report

Sometimes running a Google search on your own name can be embarrassing - especially if you have a common name and you think someone else's ideas will be erroneously attributed to you. Fortunately my name is not all that common but coming across such a rousing endorsement of the Rolling Rains Report as Terry Welker has posted at The Code Connection was humbling.

The 5th National NICAN Conference will be held at the Rendezvous Observation City Hotel in Perth, Western Australia from September 20 - 22, 2004.

Polibea Turismo in Madrid, Spain offers numerous resources for those providing travel to persons with disabilities. They estimate this market to be nearly 40 million within the EU alone. ("Solamente en la Unión Europea se estima que existe una clientela turística potencial con discapacidad cercana a los 40 millones de personas...")

Cultural Access for Disabled

360, The Accesssible Lifestyle Magazine, runs a weekly news roundup service online. This week features a report of a court case that may have broad application to seating at public events.

Travel Agent or Do It Yourself?

Rod Nordland, in Have Agent, Will Travel suggests that you're better off using a professional.

USA Today reports that, as of today, US airlines must have defibulators aboard.

Boomers Sidestep Adaptive Equipment

We know that Boomers have always left their own stamp on the consumer market. As the cohort ages it is driving new products and approaches. One area of impact is travel. But their attitudes toward disablement in other realms ought to be given full attention by those in the travel and hospitality field. Something new is going on.

Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

GreatEscapeTravel.com lists their top ten reasons for using a travel agent in he article, Why Use a Travel Agent?

Destination Development Advice

Peter Tarlow has written a short, thought-stimulating piece on developing niche markets: Ideas for Niche Marketing

Lifespan Design in Colorado

Inclusion Daily Express picked up a story on Universal Design in private homes home going mainstream: Some Homebuilders Get The Message On Accessible Design

City Segway Tours of Paris hs broken the mold -- high-tech, high-touch, high-"cool" travel for ambulatory people-who-don't know-they-have-a-disability.

That's the beauty of ubiquity. The flexibility of the ICF. Universal design means you are not stigmatized. In this case in fact, you're pretty hip!

Technology for Smart Homes

One component of Universal Design is Assistive Technology. Some thought leadership that is taking place in the residential market may find application in the hospitality industry. For now efforts focused on aging-in-place are stimulating innovation.

The World Tourism Organization will hold the conference, Creating Frameworks for Research and Education in Tourism Policy and Destination Management in Madrid, Spain on June 2-3, 2004.

Some destinations are strategic in developing themselves through universal design and promoting themselves through the non-profit sector: San Diego, California

Some earn that reputation through the hard work of enterprising business people: Algarve, Portugal

Some are on the verge of self-conscious development as inclusive destinations of choice: Santa Cruz, California

Universal Design with a "funny bone".

Here's the humorous title of Harry Wolfe presentation seniors and air travel at the Association of American Airport Executives conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 24, 2004:
"The Rolling Stones Farewell Tour: Preparing Terminal Facilities for Today's Aging Population."

I spent today touring Holland America Line's 1 year-old luxury liner, Oosterdam, in port in San Francisco. Corporate staff gave a presentation on their $225 million "Signature of Excellence" fleet makeover that will focus on five areas identified by passengers as priority features: Dining, Accommodation, Service, Activities, and Destinations.

Apparently, people with disabilities are not among those the company identified as "passengers" when they did their research on what would constitute excellence.

Being in a wheelchair I was frequently told how many disabled passengers cruise with them. That is, their passenger lists demonstrate the continuous demand and their bottom line makes the economic argument in passenger fares . Yet no one from VPs presenting to the ship's crew seemed to have a grasp of UD - and the concept of visitability was completely foreign to them.

For example, the two high-end suite classes were barrier-rich and unliveable from a wheelchair while the few accessible lower-end suites and cabins incorporated crude retrofits.

Why Use a Travel Agent?

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) sponsors a useful web site - TravelSense.org One article addresses a common question, in this time of online everything, "Why use a travel agent?"

Quality, accurate, and accessible information is essential to the traveler.

Guido Gybels, Director of New Technologies at the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) (UK), recently made the argument for universal design in an information age:

Nominate for the da Vinci Awards

The purpose of the da Vinci Award is to "honor exceptional design and engineering achievements in accessibility and universal design to empower people of all abilities." Nominations are open.