October 2004 Archives

Ann O'Brien of the Independent Living Centre of Western Australia presented the study "GuestAbility - Signposts to accommodating people of all ages and abilities" at the NICAN Conference on travel and disability in Perth. This unique resource for the travel and hospitality industry is now available as a .pdf online at:


or you may click here.

Here's a test of the inclusive travel paradigm!

Do you want to take part in an adventure survival TV series?

Diverse World TV is looking for 8 disabled people to film on a unique, once in a lifetime expedition across Nicaragua.


The objective is simple; to get from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Interested? Read on:

Access to Passenger Vessels: US Policy

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In November, the Access Board will release for public review and comment information, including draft guidelines, on its effort to address access to passenger vessels under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The ADA ensures access for people with disabilities to public transportation as well as to transit services provided by private entities. The standards currently used to enforce the ADA's transportation provisions cover access to buses, vans, rail cars and other vehicle types but do not address passenger vessels.

Cathy Kudlick announces the launch of a provocative discussion group in paris that promises to touch on inclusive travel. From her posting at the DS-HUM listserve:

In the spirit of cross-cultural discussion, I am taking advantage of my
fall in Paris to launch a "philosophy cafe" on the topic of
disability. For those of you who don't know about them, these cafes which
started about six years ago are regular meetings where anyone can drop in
and engage in a philosophical debate on a specified question.

The Home Survey Checklist published by the American Foundation for the Blind is one of several resources they provide to assist with understanding and problem-solving for seniors with visual impairments.

MAPPED Project Announcement

MAPPED is a project to develop travel assistance technologies that are disabled friendly.

Call for UD Decision Support Tool

The POLIS project is underway in the European Union to study practices related to design people with disabilities.

Universal Design & Home Accessibility

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Here's a link to a useful list of resources on Universal Design and home modification:


RISD & a Barrier Free Eco-Lodge

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I have just returned home from the Rhode Island School of Design and a day with the remarkable students of the advanced inter-disciplinary Fall 04 design studio, An Inclusive 21st Century Resort, offered through the Industrial Design Department at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and co-taught by Kat Darula and Rosanne Ramos.

As Advisor to the course I delivered a lecture "Univeral Design 2005: Inventing inclusive Travel." But the highlight of the day was critiquing the design studio where students reported on their recent visit to Estate Concordia -- the barrier free eco-resort mentioned in a previous post.

Inclusive 21st Century Resort

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I am pleased to be able to publicly announce the "next big thing" taking place in the rapid evolution of inclusive travel worldwide.

At the link below you can read about the pioneering work of Kat Darula and
Rosanne Ramos, Adjunct Faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design in the
Industrial Design Department. Kat and Rosanne are also principals of Multi Design for People (http://www.designforpeople.org/)

Good news from a community that takes accessibility seriously!

The Barrier Busters Committee in Anacortes, Washington is finally getting the publicity it deserves with this article in the Anachortes American.

Boomers and Relaxed-Fit Entertainment

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Reading about theme parks, destination development, and Universal Design today turned up an insightful article by Judith Rubin written in 2000.

The Relaxed-Fit Entertainment Venue: Attracting Middle-Aged Baby Boomers

As appeared in Entertainment Management January/February 2000

By Judith Rubin

When blue jeans manufacturers introduced relaxed-fit sizes, they cut through to the core of the baby boomer psyche: Boomers, now entering their middle years, want the same things that they grew up with; they want those things to accommodate the shifting and resettling of their bodies; and they want them without reference to age.

The UK's Disability Discrimination Act

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For the text of the UK's disability civil rights legislation go to the Disability Rights Commission at : http://www.drc.org.uk/thelaw/index.asp

The first Brazilian national conference on inclusive tourism will take place from November 17 through 19 in the town of Canela, Rio Grande do Sul.


enable.net provides an online repository of information on disability with subsections on "Univeral Design" and "Travel". Their focus is South Australia:


Terry Welker's Code Connection is a site designed to bring quality information on building codes to developers, architects, contractors and policy makers. the site is an articulate advocate for Universal Design.

This week Terry also has a post on Assistive Technology (AT; also known as "adaptive technology") here:


I would like to bring to your attention the language developed by Peter Rice (Access Management Group, Toowoomba, Australia) which I will be adopting and promoting.

Peter established the formula "Universal Management = Universal Design + Universal Service" in a 2003 report, "Universal Management: A Proposal to Change the Direction of Accessibilty Management in the Australian Tourism Industry to Create Benefits for All Australians and Visitors to Australia." (http://www.coss.net.au/library/11342.html).

I believe that further developing the concept Universal Management, especially specifying the component Universal Service, holds great potential. x

Here is someone using his celebrity appropriately -- to promote the message of universal design.

From the Independent --

04 October 2004

This year I had the enormous privilege of leading the GB paralympic basketball team as we battled it out in Athens. I'm proud of our bronze and hope to get some revenge on the Australians next time. I might not be able to walk; but there's nothing else I can't do.
However, a few years ago, my off-court life was very different. Back then, when I returned from a day's hard training it would be a real struggle to get my wheelchair through the front door of my home - it was so narrow. And that was just the start.

Geia sas from Komotini, Greece begins the note I received from Constantine "Kostas" M. Zografopoulos today. His travels through Greece and work on the the Paralympic Games have been opportunities for sharing his insights.

I include an excerpt from his ZReport:

I am now in northern Greece in my father’s town of Komotini. I can still feel the spirit of the Paralympic Games as I travel. This Friday there will be an event sponsored by the Organization Perpato and it will celebrate the second year anniversary and it will honor some of the Greek athletes that participated in the games. I can tell you that the spirit has indeed been carried throughout the land, outside of Athens. Additionally, I was delighted to return to find some of the accessible projects completed.

US Regulation Changes: Advance Notice

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The Department of Justice has published an Advanced Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (ANPRM) to begin the process of revising the Department's ADA regulations to adopt design standards that are consistent with the revised ADA Accessibility Guidelines published by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (also known as the Access Board) on July 23, 2004.

NIDRR Strikes Blow to Disability and Aging Communities

September 15, 2004

The US Government Has Just Made a Tactical Decision to Stop Funding Work on Universal Design and the Built Environment!

Funding for the field of Universal Design and the Built Environment was not
awarded in a recent decision by the US Department of Education, National
Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
As a result,
the two prominent national and internationally recognized research centers
that develop innovative designs, conduct research, and provide education /
training and information services about universal design are threatened with
curtailment or closure. (The Center for Universal Design, Raleigh, NC and
the IDEA Center, Buffalo, NY, as well as grassroots organizations like
Concrete Change, the key organization that leads the "Visitability" Movement
and the Inclusive Home Design Act is also threatened with closure.

Post-NICAN: Homecoming

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My father taught me the joys of anticipating travel and the skills of moving through the wilderness with low impact.

My mother initiated me into the mysteries of logistics and revealed to me the headwaters of resiliency in my own inner landscape.

It was Ignatius of Loyola and his company of friends who taught me how to return home.

Trans-Generational Housing

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Here's some new lingo in housing: "Boomerang" and "Sandwich"

What might these phenomenon mean might for universal design in private homes?

The object of the biennial Include conferences is to strengthen and build on growing links between those researchers, practitioners and companies who have identified inclusive design as a strategy around which social and commercial objectives can converge.

Scott Rains, publisher of The Rolling Rains Report, has been elected as a member of the 2005-2007 class of the ZeroDivide Fellowship.

The ZeroDivide Fellowship is the inaugural program of the ZeroDivide Leadership and Advocacy Institute, designed to build a network of community leaders who promote and effectively engage in community technology, telecommunications, and technology policy. The ZFellows engage in a three-year program of leadership development, policy advocacy and technology training, complete a community advocacy project, and share their knowledge and experiences through mentoring activities.