News and Media Division
May 4, 2007
Is South Korean society, specifically, tourism, ready for the era of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that was adopted by the UN in December 2006? Signed by 89 countries including the Korean government on March 30, the Convention reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities have the right to enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
To answer this question, Dr. Scott Rains is coming to Seoul on May 14 to tour key cultural sites and evaluate their accessibility. Dr. Rains, whose lower body became paralyzed due to a biopsy on spinal cancer, is an independent travel professional who manages a website on accessible travel (www.RollingRains.com) and a disabled rights activist. He will be visiting Imjingak and Odu Unification Observatory, sites symbolizing the division of Korea, and Gyeongbok Palace and Insa-dong, popular tourist sites. He will also be accompanied by the Korean Organizing Committee of the 2007 7th Disabled Peoples’ International World Assembly, an international gathering of persons with disabilities in September 5-8, 2007 at KINTEX.
With Our Rights, Our Convention, But For All as the slogan, the DPI World Assembly is a celebration of the convention’s adoption and an opportunity for serious reflection on the approaches for effective implementation of the Convention. With an expectation of 3,500 participants (1,500 abroad) for the Assembly consisting of 42 workshops in a 2 day conference, the Korean Organizing Committee is also planning various side events such as a music performance by persons with disabilities, a disability film screening, a parade downtown, and sightseeing.
Following his visit to Seoul, Dr. Rains will speak at the May 16 - 18 Active Aging Conference in Namhae on gerontechnology as well as address a group of disabled and non-disabled youth of the region.