November 2004 Archives

Recently, I have been wondering. How does one determine when something is a local transportation policy issue and when it is a global or tourism transportation policy issue? Can that distinction still be meaningfully made?

Here's an example of the multiple layers of impact that inaccessible transportation has on residents in the UK -- and the implications for tourism.

In my personal experience the same issues meant that I could not travel independently (read, "spend my tourist dollars locally") when I was last in Abergenny, Wales; Oxford, London, or the Cotswalds, England.

iCan reports on a voluntary consumer education service in Michigan:

Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America and participating gas stations in the state of Michigan have embarked on a project to identify themselves as providing these ADA compliant services:

Provide refueling assistance upon the request of an individual with a disability*.
Let patrons know that a customer with disabilities can obtain refueling assistance by honking or otherwise signaling an employee.
Provide the refueling assistance without any charge beyond the self-serve price.


Hold the dates for the 3rd Global Summit on Peace through Tourism to be held at the award winning Royal Cliff Beach Resort and Conference Center, Pattaya, Thailand, October 2-5, 2005. The Summit will again bring together leaders of the travel and tourism industry from around the world as well as leaders from the areas of Culture, Sport, Environment and Sustainable Development.

A helpful service from Wheelie Easy in Australia --

Accessible House Hosting Australia.

How We View Being Deaf

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BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND--The following three paragraphs are excerpts from a column by Belfast Telegraph "Deaf Talkabout" editor Bob McCullough (source: Inclusion Daily Express)

One of the biggest difficulties in writing this column is trying to bridge the gulf between those who see sign language as the solution to all our problems and others who prefer the term 'hearing impaired' and want to make use of modern means of amplification such as hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Bo Beolens @ Disabled Birders

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Bo Beolens founded The Disabled Birders Association and the birdwatching site

Here's from the DBA site:

The Guided Tour

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The Guided Tour is a specialty tour operator with a focus on travelers with developmental disabilities.

One of the immediate benefits to The Rolling Rains Report since Simon Darcy has completed his PhD (Congratulations. mate!) is that he now has the leisure time to add his critique.

And he has done so in an important way by noting the lack of reference to a valuable resource on travel & disability:

The Disability-Research Discussion List managed by the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds

For example. below is a new bibliography on "transportation for disabled persons and more generically, transportation equity."

Dr. María Antonia López-Burgos of the University of Granada, Spain researches the writings of travelers to Spain. She has issued a first Call for Papers for the October 5 – 8, 2005 conference that she is organizing with her research group “Viajeros e Hispanistas” of the “Consejería de Educación de la Junta de Andalucía.” (Spain).

You will read in the announcement below, “The organizers encourage new reflections on British and American travel literature, art, music and tourism themes in comparative perspective and in various historical periods.” Knowing Dr. López-Burgos’ interest in travel and disability (unpublished article) I would interpret this note as a reciprocal invitation to Disability Studies scholars to extend their research interests into the themes presented at her conference – BRITISH AND AMERICAN TRAVELLERS IN SPAIN: WRITERS, PAINTERS AND MUSICIANS.

Dr. López-Burgos’ expertise includes knowledge of understudied travel literature written by persons with disabilities and with various illnesses. Her period extends back to the ers when the medical model was being formulated. The line of inquiry she is opening up holds promise for new understandings of the effect this model has on the self-understanding of persons with disabilities as well as its early dissemination.

Canada is proud to host the 11th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons (TRANSED), to be held June 18-21, 2007, at the Palais des Congrès in Montréal under the theme Benchmarking, Evaluation and Vision for the Future. The conference will review advances in research, evoke international break throughs and explore perspectives for technological innovations in order to respond to the mobility challenges of an aging population and of persons with disabilities, as part of an inclusive society.

Rolling Rains editor, Scott Rains will be keynote speaker at the Shizuoka Universal Design Meeting and Exhibition in Hamamatsu, Japan on Friday 17th December, 2004.

The event is jointly hosted and organized by the Shizuoka Prefecture, the City of Hamamatsu, and the Shizuoka University of Art and Culture.

The keynote lecture will be followed by a presentation by Dr Satoshi Kose, one of Japan's foremost exponents of Universal Design.

Dr. Rains will speak from his expertise on accessible travel, and include a report on the third International Conference on UD in Rio de Janeiro (Designing for the 21st Century III), as well as highlight the most recent developments on UD in the States.

The Disability Research Group of the SMA is holding its AAA activities on Friday, Nov. 19, 2004 in Berkeley, California under the sponsorship of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, Ed Roberts Postdoctoral Fellowship in Disability Studies. In the Garron Room, 275 Kroeber Hall (on Bancroft at College) from 10am - 2pm ALL ARE WELCOME! Please call 510-206-5767 by noon on 11/18 if you need ASL.

Quadriplegic Resort Owner Far From 'Bedridden'
November 15, 2004

PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA--The Star's "Wheel Power" columnist Anthony Thanasayan wrote last Thursday about Kalliyaney Kuppan, a 36-year-old Malaysian entrepreneur who defies the stereotypes of quadriplegic or tetraplegic women.

Kalliyaney, known affectionately by her friends as Kala, owns and operates Rose Lovely, a "disabled-friendly" resort in Taman Sri Bayu in Bahai Lalang.

Theme Parks and Real Life

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Brazil is the second nation to hold a conference on travel and disability. The Congresso Ibero-Americano de Acessibilidade no Turismo begins tomorrow.

Below is an essay on my topic for the Congresso, "Theme Parks and Accessibility."

Scott Rains @ Global Access E-zine

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The January issue of Global Access published by Ms. Marti Gacioch of the Global Access Disabled Travel Network will include "Accessing Downunder." The article chronicles various fauna, flora, and faux pauxs encountered downunder by the sometimes-travel-writer, Scott Rains.

Living Independently in Los Angeles (LILA) is a project of the Westside Center for Independent Living. It can be used as a tool for visitors to Los Angeles.

Behind the project is the sophisticated software of Neighborhood Knowledge of California. The database covers the entire sate of California.

Sprout in NYC

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Sprout is a non-profit organization serving people with disabilities since 1979. They offer travel and vacation opportunities for residents of NYC.

London Fleet Taxi in the US

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Finding the right taxi, rental car, or vehicle to purchase can be time-consuming and frustrating if you have a mobility problem, especially if you use a wheelchair. But there are a few vehicles designed to accommodate.

Vexel Quovis takes the small-and-personal approach.

London Fleet Taxi takes the industrial-sized, tried-and-true approach by offering the famous London taxi in the US.

The New American Home ® (TNAH)

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Want to buy a hurricane proof, universally designed showcase home in Florida? Even if not, it might be worth a look to find some good design ideas.

This is reportedly a "handicapped-accessible, 9,036 square-foot house [that]incorporates home automation, new technology, energy efficiency and healthy home construction techniques" according to Real Estate News.

Scott Rains @ Suite

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Dr. Scott Rains has published a new article, Trekking Through the 2004 Adventures in Travel Expo in the Travel and Disability section of Suite

What will TSA's SPOT see?

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This news note from the Daily ARTA Newsletter flags an development that may be relevant to some travelers with disabilities. With such an ill defined mandate what impact will the new TSA SPOT program("Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques") have on travelers with disabilities of all types?

"The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit
yesterday challenging the constitutionality of a so-called "behavioral
assessment" program adopted by the Massachusetts Port Authority and the
Massachusetts state police."

Need for Univeral Design in Tamilnad

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Here is a report on an important public transportation link that overlooked the principles of Universal Design. Travelers with mobility impairments wishing to use the Broad Gauge rail system in Chennai(formerly known as "Madras" or "Madurai"), South India face an unneccesary obstacle on the way to the beach:

See: "Boarding, Alighting from BG EMUs Prove Tough" at

The Curb Cut Design blog of the Institute for Community Inclusion is undergoing revitalization.

You can see it at:

The "Equity of Use" Principle

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When designing private residences for Baby Boomers, “It’s the equity-of-use principle. What works well for a 4-year old works well for a 90-year old,” says architect Rick Jolson, director of architecture and design for Barrington Venture, owner of The Garlands of Barrington, which won a 2004 American Institute of Architects design award.

New home construction and tourism don't seem to have an obvious relationshhip. That is, unless you consider those innovators in residential design and construction who have discovered Universal Design as they work with seniors.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has honored four such pioneers. See "Home Builders Honor Four Icons of the Seniors Housing Industry."

This link to Design for Inclusion: Creating a New Marketplace, a major
report released at a press conference in Washington, DC yesterday was provided by Elaine Ostroff.