September 2007 Archives

More from Tom Chun as he lives the life of leisure writing from Surfer's Paradise, Australia:

Surfer's Paradise, Australia

Hi Friends,

I left Brisbane and headed south to Surfer's Paradise. The waves are a surfer's dream, but the city is big, reminds me of Miami or other big Florida cities. There are lakefront homes with boats docked nearby the ocean. There's a huge party scene every night in Surfer's. During the week, Surfer's was the host for the Uni Games, where drunk college students from all over Australia come to party. I think I attended college in the wrong country.

How do we market to the Baby Boomer generation as it moves into its prime leisure travel years? The first step is to know the generation intimately enough to craft a message that speaks to them uniquely.

Even with my own participant-observer status from inside the generation I find myself drawn to writers exploring the topic.

The figures are almost unbelievable. That’s why I rarely quote them in print:

American adults with disabilities or reduced mobility currently spend an average of 13.6 billion U.S. dollars a year on tourism. In 2002, these individuals made 32 million trips and spent 4.2 billion dollars on hotels, 3.3 billion on airline tickets, 2.7 billion on food and beverages, and 3.4 billion on trade, transportation, and other activities. The most popular international destinations for this tourist segment are: (1) Canada; (2) Mexico; (3) Europe; and (4) the Caribbean, in that order.

More remarkable, from my perspective as someone who has traveled extensively in the 35 years since I began to use a wheelchair, is that the travel behavior of people with disabilities has entered into the thinking of mainstream industry professionals.

Bay Nature Magazine on Outdoor Access


Bay Nature Cover


Opening the Door to Nature for People with Disabilities
by Bonnie Lewkowicz

Low Vision, High Adventure
by Chiori Santiago

A Wheelchair Rider Gets Back on the Trail
by Ann Sieck

Wheelchair Hikes Around the Bay Area
by Ann Sieck

Birding Blind
by Aerial Gilbert

Accessible Outdoors Resources
compiled by Sue Rosenthal and Jessica Taekman

For people with a disability resiliency in the day-to-day requires a bit of self-confidence that only comes with a degree of social awareness. As acceptance of the civil rights of people with disabilities broadens there is plenty to be aware of!

Human rights advocates and Disability Studies academics have placed themselves unflinchingly in the center of intellectual and political ferment of the day. Emboldened by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, regional, and national policies the disability community is making its presence felt beyond the realm of simple survival issues in the domain of government and has begun to address inclusion in market-based industries previously considered tangential such as leisure recreation and tourism. Inclusive Tourism has positioned itself at the intersection of two powerful forces -- civil rights advocacy for persons with disabilities and the imperatives of market-based economics.

If you are in the Boston area the Greater Boston Civil Rights Coalition is sponsoring an overview of the issues affecting the disability community. The program, Current Issues in Disability Rights, will be held at 14 Beacon Street on Friday, October 5, 2007 promptly at 9:30 a.m.

"Porque se chama de "Endurao da Autonomia?" pergunta o reporter?

Vejo a reportagem sobre esse evento em Santos, Sao Paulo na TV Tribuna:

NICAN has released a tool for developing inclusive recreation. Those developing Inclusive Tourism policy development will want to correlate these with Integrated Quality Management practice through IQM's principle # 7 Inclusivity. NICAN's guidelines are based on the following principles:

* Recreation and leisure are major contributors to quality of life.
* People with a disability are individuals and have the same rights as all citizens.
* People with a disability should have full community access.
* Participation in recreation is skill related.
* Participation in decision making is essential.
* Continuous improvement is required to obtain optimal outcomes for all.

Biwako Plus 5 Adopted


Inclusive Tourism in Asia benefits directly from the work of UNESCAP and the Biwako documents. During a September 19-21, 2007 meeting in Bangkok to evalute progress toward document goals access to leisure received support. Planning for ICAT 2007 surged ahead in that environment. One foundation for further progress lies in governments and industry adopting an appropriate understanding of disability:

A. Reinforcing a rights-based approach to disability issues

Strategy 1

26. Governments take note of a newly emerging trend in understanding disability as an evolving concept and are encouraged to recognize disability as a result of the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Governments are encouraged to incorporate this understanding of disability into their existing and new policies. Particular attention should be paid to the removal of any barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from fully participating in society and exercising their rights.

Access to Utah


Utah Adaptive Recreation Network Logo

If you live in Utah you are in luck. The Utah Adaptive Recreation Network (UARN) links inclusive leisure and recreational initiatives. From the web site of one of its member organizations Common Ground Outdoor Adventures:

Common Ground Outdoor Adventures' mission is to provide life-enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. We provide adaptive equipment and support, which enable people with disabilities to participate in outdoor recreation alongside their peers. These experiences reduce stereotypes, raise awareness, and empower people to realize their full potential. Our trips are not only accessible physically but also financially.

Guia IBDD do Rio Acessível


Guia IBDD Rio Acessivel

O nosso segredo ja não é segredo:

Estimativa da Febraban mostra que o mercado de pessoas com deficiência movimenta cerca de R$ 100 bilhões por ano.

A guia IBDD e bom para pesquisar onde gastar nosso dineiro:

A idéia de um guia de acessibilidade para o Rio de Janeiro não é nova no meio das pessoas com deficiência e muito menos no IBDD. O que torna esta iniciativa de agora diferente é que idealizamos uma publicação para prestar um serviço da maneira mais direta possível, sem academicismos. Além disso, atribuindo-lhe total objetividade e, ao mesmo tempo, valorizando o que esteja de acordo com as normas de acessibilidade, só entrou no guia o que é acessível. O que não é acessível, obviamente não interessa às pessoas com deficiência.

Mega Luxury Tourist Destinations


Recently we wrote about Dubai's goals for Inclusive Tourism. The destination's massive infusion of cash and development into ultra-high end tourism has begun to attract imitators. What we are not hearing are concomitant policies of inclusion. This may signal continuation of current trends of class-marked exclusion goes hand in hand with exclusion through design where, for example, top tier rooms, villas, or cabins in a resort or on a cruise ship will not accommodate travelers with disabilities and low-end spaces are made minimally compliant.

Below the Taipei Times reprints a piece examining the luxury tourism trend written by Leo Hickman of the Guardian.

The tourism industry can be a vehicle for disability rights.

This is the fundamental assertion of the Rolling Rains Report. The Report gleans evidence daily from around the world to fulfill its tag line, "Precipitating dialogue on travel, disability, and Universal Design." Universal Design, as applied to policy and services - as well as to place, publication, and product - is the primary strategy it promotes.

We will discuss Inclusive Tourism within a rights-based framework at Asia's second international conference promoting Inclusive Tourism in Bangkok November 21-24, 2007. The following was the Opening Keynote for the 2005 International Conference on Accessible Tourism in Taipei, Taiwan.

Lula Lança Plan Social para PPD


Na cerimônia de lançamento de plano social para pessoas com deficiência, Lula falou também ser uma pessoa com deficiência por não ter o dedo mindinho da mão esquerda, que perdeu quando trabalhava em uma metalúrgica. “Eu tenho deficiência, mas que não é necessariamente impeditiva de exercer o mandato.”

Brasília - Ao lançar, hoje (26), um plano social para pessoas com deficiência, o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva afirmou que um mandato não é suficiente para atender as necessidades dessa parcela da sociedade, que reúne cerca de 24,6 milhões de brasileiros.

"Eu sei que a gente não vai conseguir fazer tudo. Eu sei que não comecei
e sei que não vou terminar também. Mas quero ter a consciência tranqüila de
que no nosso mandato fizemos o que era possível, e até o quase impossível,
para que a gente pudesse aperfeiçoar as conquistas da sociedade brasileira",
disse Lula, em cerimônia no Palácio do Planalto.

From the design of housing units to regional regulations of land use, and everything in between from recreation to transport, the experiences of persons with disabilities are certainly different from those of the "abled." This session seeks to highlight such differences, where urban/regional planning and design follows "normative" rules at the cost of universal convenience, often flouting ADA and other federal and state regulations.

Discrimination in the Air



Both Mahesh Chandrasekar in India and Daniel Nelson in the UK have picked up on a type of story that is increasingly common:

A double amputee bomb victim who heads an Angolan disability organisation was thrown off a flight to London, it was disclosed this week.

The Portuguese airline TAP pilot told Carla Luis that she needed a medical certificate or a companion. Several passengers offered to be her “companion” and the much-travelled activist pointed out that she was not sick.

Nevertheless, the pilot refused to take off and she was forced to take another flight.

Hotel "Throne Room" Photo Collection



Home spas are the new metamorphosis of the simple home bathroom and hotels are not far behind in upgrading their own humble commodes. Over at Hotels by City you can find a Web 2.0 space for a photo gallery featuring WC shots:

Telling the Story


Michael Margolis, a communications consultant who helps business and social innovators find the essence of their story, is hosting this week’s discussion on Strategic Storytelling and Social Innovation.

He writes: “At its core, social entrepreneurship is about introducing a new story of social innovation. Too often, the status quo stands in the way of behavior change and idea adoption. A well-crafted story becomes the platform that allows people to see, feel and believe in what you are doing.”

Santa Catalina Island


Santa Catalina is one of California's Channel islands. Originally, so say geologists, a resident of Mexico in the Baja California area, the Channel Islands make their way northward at a speed of about 2 inches per year.

We caught up with Santa Catalina Island off Newport Beach about 26 miles across the sea. The island is undergoing restoration to its unique native state and has strict limits on growth. It is a hilly terrain with tourist attractions in the main town Avalon centered around watersports - not all of which are accessible.

Santa Catalina

Mais Diferences


Mais Diferences


The Seoul Declaration


The Seoul Declaration was adopted at the Disabled Peoples' International (DPI) World Assembly on September 8,2007:

There are no human rights to which persons with disabilities do not lay claim. Upon this foundational principle at our last World Assembly in Sapporo, Disabled Peoples' International called upon Member States of the United Nations to adopt of a specific international human rights treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Position Announcement
California University of Pennsylvania announces a position in Tourism Studies with a specialization in tourism geography and an emphasis on tourism planning and development. Here is an opportunity to further Inclusive Destination Development.

Tom Chun


Hi Friends,

I found Nemo!!!! Well, maybe. While scuba diving, I saw 3 clownfish, hiding inside an anemone, just like in the movie. Unfortunately, I had already took my last shot from my disposable camera before getting a pic. Story of my life! LOL! But as you can tell from my pics, they weren't the greatest. Note to self: buy nicer underwater camera when diving in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The fish, coral, and creatures in the GBR were full of color and amazing. It was the most incredible diving experience! Since I failed my mission in taking a photo of "Nemo", I had to roll into the drive-thru liquor store to drown in my sorrow. LOL! The Aussies love their alcohol! Forget the drive-thru Starbucks, the Aussies have us beat....genius. Let's hope there's no drinking and driving involved. Anyways, I will seek to get a better picture of Nemo again....stay tuned.

G'day mates! I'm staying in Brisbane now, near Chinatown. The city is similar to San Francisco, very hilly. Little did I know, there was a huge free concert, the Valley Festival, on the weekend of. The place was overwhelmed with party animals and booze was flowing. The Aussies and beer, a crazy combination! To get out of the party scene, I went up to Noosa beach which is a quaint little town with shops and restaurants. The South Bank area is a new trendy district with a great paths to stroll. I finally got my first flat tire! In the morning, a friend and I ventured to get my tires pumped at the gas station, but none to be found. So, we asked some policeman and they said "We'll take you Mate!" So we hopped in their police car, they pumped my tires, and they even dropped us off the train station. They take "To serve and protect the people" to another level! On our way back from Stradbroke Island, a great beach getaway that stretches to infinity, we had a whole bus to ourselves that drove us back, like our own private chauffeur. My next stop is Surfer's Paradise!

New photos at:
I will have to upload photos of Brisbane later

"International Man of Leisure"

The International Council for Building Research and Innovation (CIB) Working Commission 084 “Building Comfortable Environments for All” invites you to submit high quality research papers for the International Meeting in 2008 in USA.

“Building Comfortable and Liveable Environments for All”

May 15- 16, 2008, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA

Creating an Age-Free Environment


Amy Nutt writes for Ezine Articles. Here she explores Universal Design in the context of homes and "Age-Free Environments."

In an open letter to Consumer Reports, Greg Trapp, President, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind. Inc. (NCSAB) urges the publication to note the access features in their product reviews.

Although it is unfortunate to be the weak link n the UK rail system users of Morpeth Station can take encouragement in the fact that the inaccessibility of their location has raised some official notice -- and not simply for disability access:

Tara Melton, of Transport 2000, said: "Rail passengers need real travel choices.

"All stations should have good bus links, decent footpaths and secure cycle parking and must be accessible to all.

"What our survey shows is that this clearly is not the case for many rural and urban stations. "With rail patronage growing in the north east it is now more important than ever not to disable or discriminate against rail users and to say 'goodbye' to inaccessible stations."


In the US AARP has taken leadership in promoting Universal Design for homes through their Social Impact initiatives. Prince Williams County, Virgina in the US has a Universal Design demonstration home. A project is underway at the Universal Design Living Laboratory in Columbus, Ohio. In Brazil Sandra Perito has been doing so for several years at Universal Home.

In Australia Alex and Desiree have come at the field from the consumer standpoint and offer a unique voice as they disseminate Universal Design thinking by turning their home into a demonstration project at Universal Design Renovations.

Too Disabled to Fly?


Man Sues For Being Called Too Disabled To Fly

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville man who said he was grounded by an airline in June has flied a lawsuit against the company. He said workers wouldn't let him fly because he's disabled.

Andy Gates suffers from a neurological disorder that has confined him to a wheelchair.

In June, he booked a flight out of the Jacksonville to Wisconsin. However, Gates said U.S. Airways denied him the right to fly.

"They said I was too disabled to fly alone. I don't have enough words to describe how angry I am," Gates told Channel 4 shortly after the incident.

Gates told Channel 4 that he's flown seven times in the past by himself, even on U.S. Airways, and never had a problem.

Gates recently filed a lawsuit stating that U.S. Airways should require that people like him be allowed on flights. He said he doesn't want what happened to him to happen to other people.

"There was no reason that I shouldn't have been able to board the plane at all. I am very mobile for a person in a wheelchair. I've been on a plane by myself and flown by myself," said Gates.

U.S. Airways originally issued a statement about the incident stating: "U.S. Airways personnel determined that he would not be able to assist in his own evacuation in the event of an emergency. We feel that our employees acted appropriately and followed both company and federal policy in this situation."

The airline said on Monday it would not comment on the lawsuit, as it is pending litigation.

Gates said he returned to the airport a couple days after not being allowed to board the U.S. Airways flight and flew to his destination on a different airline with no problems.

He said he hopes U.S. Airways would change its policies, so that no one else will have to go through what he did with the airline.

"I was humiliated. I was very frustrated. There's no words to express how I felt that day," Gates said.

Geocoding Travel Photos


Trackstick II

After taking a vacation posting travel photos on a Google map helps with telling the story.

There seem to be several approaches to geocoding photos maturing on the market. As a RoboGeo is in version 5. Using GPS gadgets there are two ways of capturing geocoded location data. One approach collects data continuously. The other does so at preset intervals or on command. The former is probably more relevant to video or to trail plotting than to geo-tagging still photos

That's one smart canine companion!

Este video, "Siete años más tarde, andén inaccesible" bien conta de la vida cotidiana de quien usa transporte publica y silla de ruedas. En este caso estamos en Buenos Aires donde - despues de siete años -- todavia no hay accesso al Metrovias.

¿Puede ser mejor cambiar la prioridad del Programa de Acción Cultural El Subte Vive del Metrovias de murales, filmes, fotografia, y escultura inaccesibles para un programa que reconoce la cultura de nosotros? ¿Como el árbol que cae en el bosque y nadie lo oye, que vale arte en lugar inaccesible? ¿Que significa del nivel de conocimiento de nuestra cultura dentro del Metrovias cuando la infraestructura no refleje el genio de nuestros arquitectos como Ron Mace, Taide Buenfils, o Marcelo Pinto Guimarães porque no comprende sus Siete Principios del Diseño Universal?

¿Porque no levanta Fundación Rumbos su proprio Concurso de Fotografia Contemporanea Argentina exponiendo la vision de una convivencia en el subte con personas con discapacidad?

Este seria -- por fin -- un "Subte Vive!"

C. Mahesh, Advocacy Coordinator for the CBR Forum has provided the following analysis of India's Civil Aviation regulations.


Tourists from North America are the second largest group visiting Brazil after Argentinians. Spending an average of $89.70 per day the Brazilian government records their preferred destinations as:

  • Rio de Janeiro (62%)
  • São Paulo (21.3%)
  • Foz do Iguaçu (13.6%)
  • Salvador (12%)
  • Manaus (6.5%)

With an estimated 30,000 people annually not disembarking from cruise ships in Rio de Janeiro alone for lack of accessible disembarkation, transportation, and even high value sites such as the Christ statue at Corcovado and the top of Sugar Loaf there are many opportunities to increase Brazil's appeal. Although Foz do Iguaçu are easily accessible by elevated walkway that walkway is on the Argentine side of the river.

Potential solutions may lie in the launch of Vai Brasil's Viaje Mais project and the extension of the World Health Organization's Senior-Friendly Cities program. Certainly the Turismo para Todos project of the Instituto Interamericano sobre Deficiência e Desenvolvimento Inclusivo – IIDI intends to address the issue in port cities.

Mrs. Charlton Goes to Town


Here is the tale of Mrs. Charlton -- someone who, quite fortunately, does not seem to bet suffering from self-seteem problems as a result of her temporary disability:

Mrs Charlton recently came out of hospital with mobility difficulties and she uses a scooter, wheelchair and walking sticks.

SiSi: "Say It Sign It"


IBM has a new tool that increases digital accessibility -

Silver into Gold

From Mary Furlong's book "Turning Silver into Gold":

Travel is the one business category that covers all the themes outlined in this book. It is a global business; it benefits from increases in longevity, health, and wellness; it caters to the boomer's hunger for family and community; it is being transformed by online services and other technology; it is a purchase that often accompanies life transitions; it offers learning and enhances creativity, and it feeds a hunger for spirituality and service.

International traveler, scuba diver, photographer, and sometime correspondent Tom Chun has launched off on another jaunt. This time he is meandering around the Pacific. Below is from his newsletter:

Rolling Down Under - Part I


Dear Friends,

It's another crazy adventure in progress for me. My mission: to find Nemo for my two darling nieces. The title of my travelogue is not 100% correct. I just left Fiji, am now in Australia, and will be in New Zealand afterwards. Some of you may be wondering what happened to my human mule, my brother Paul, who traveled with me last summer. Well, I left the gate open and he got lost and wandered away. LOL! I am traveling solo this time. Seriously though, Paul just returned from Africa where he took some amazing photos:

Para los que viven en, o van visitar a, la Argentina hay la Fundación Rumbos

Principales logros y gestiones


Concebimos el Programa Nacional Ciudades Accesibles, articulador de acciones en accesibilidad en Argentina (2004 en adelante).

Impulsamos y participamos en la redacción de la (Ley 962, en vigencia desde mayo de 2003) que establece Criterios de accesibilidad al Código de Edificación de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Redactamos la Ley 161 de la Legislatura de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires que obliga a tornar accesibles los ascensores de la ciudad.

Asesoramos entre otros: Al Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires en el diseño y localización de Vados y rampas callejeras; al Instituto de la Vivienda – Pcia. de Buenos Aires en el diseño de viviendas y adecuación de las ya existentes para familias de bajos recursos con un integrante con discapacidad y a la Convención Constituyente de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires en la Comisión de Políticas Especiales.

Coordinamos el relevamiento de accesibilidad, con el CoMO (Defensoría del Pueblo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires) y REDI (Red por los derechos de las personas con discapacidad) en Centros de Gestión y Participación Ciudadana.

Realizamos el relevamiento de accesibilidad en Museos en la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Publicamos el Libro “Lo Urbano y lo Humano - Hábitat y Discapacidad”, citado en párrafo anterior.

The September issue of Accessible Portugal is out. It features an interview with José Lima. Lima set his sights on a handcycle tour of the country.

See the Interview with José Lima is a startup dream being floated by Greg Tsutaoka from MiDocs Foundation. It is one of several un- or under-funded initiatives starting 20 years after Mary Furlong's pioneering work with SeniorNet to increase social capital for older adults using technology. Who knows, maybe they will be the first such group to champion binary economics and we will see a SeniorSite with Boomer sensibilities and deep pockets to accomplish their mission!

On the Helpdesk4Seniors blog yesterday was a post introducing collective intelligence and technology with specific reference to disability thus suggesting connections to Universal Design. Below is a response to that post, Collective Intelligence: Include The Everyone for Success

Mahesh Chandrasekar commented that generosity on the part of the worldwide disability community in sharing quality information contributed to his work negotiating breakthrough in Indian civil air regulations. While our friends in the Service Employees International Union expressed shock at the original regulation, and we applaud progress toward inclusion in air transportation, reader Marty Sweeney wrote to share this vision of a world beyond fear of people with disabilities as passengers.

Watch this video as one disabled pilot documents the modifications he made to keep him flying. Maybe he'll start a local Day in the Sky.

Ananth Krishnan
of the Hindu reports on positive developments for air travelers in and to India as theoretical distinctions made by disability scholars find their way into public and governmental discourse.

In the ongoing controversy over civil air regulations in India the definition of disability has been somewhat clarified. Distinguishing between permanent disability and illness, the regulations begin to extricate themselves from the Medical Model of Disability. In so doing they provide clarity for air transport providers while capturing distinctions in passenger functionality relevant to air travel.

Such campaigns for human rights as C. Mahesh, Rajiv Raman, the Community-Based Rehabilitation Forum and Vidyasagar are an ongoing necessity. Often they attract censure when they appear to raise the level of conflict beyond "polite" levels of acquiescence. Unjust regulations, inadequate infrastructure, preemptory expulsion from aircraft, or forced sedation will simply never be tolerated by the community of persons with disabilities.

However, the worldwide disability community now hopes that, with an inkling of the positive social benefit available in adopting the Social Model of Disability as a basis for policy, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation will affirmatively pursue policy that enables the airline industry to profit from the untapped financial resources of travelers with disabilities to the mutual benefit of that community and the tourism industry.

Mapping an Alternate Future


worldmapper map 93

If you like puzzling over maps you might be interested in the call for paper to "Subversive Cartographies for Social Change" below or enjoy the collection at The map above represents Transport & Travel Service distribution. It is further explained in this .pdf file.

From the site:

Together, transport and travel services constitute 13.2% of all international exports of goods.

Transport services are the movement of goods and people by air, sea and land. It is because transport services cost money that imports have higher values than exports worldwide - the transport costs are included in the import price.

Travel services mainly include the services and goods that are sold to tourists who visit a place. This might include a guided tour and some postcards. Exports are linked to tourist numbers, but also to the prices that tourists are charged.

Os Regulamentos Técnicos da Qualidade referentes à acessibilidade no transporte rodoviário e aquaviário encontram-se em consulta pública por 60 dias, tendo os mesmos sido publicados hoje (04/09) no DO - Diário Oficial.

Estes podem ser acessados na íntegra, na página do Inmetro, no seguinte endereço: , na margem direita da página, no item Produtos e serviços - consultas públicas ou da link:

visitability cover

Announcing a free e-book for environmental designers, planners, and others
interested in universal design.

Jack L. Nasar, & Jennifer Evans-Cowley (Eds.) (2007). Universal Design and Visitability: From Accessibility to Zoning. Columbus, OH: John Glenn School
of Public Affairs. (Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts
Universal Design Leadership Initiative).

You can download the pdf file for free at:

Kay Olson has some great photos from up at her blog the Gimp Parade.

Contributing to the online event designed to balance the distorted images of people with disabilities presented at Jerry Lewis' telethon she has some shots of people with disabilities enjoying travel and fun!

See her response to Jerry's command to people with disabilities to , "Stay in your house!" at:

Sue Slater Serves Blind Travelers


Mike Stevens has done an informative article on Sue Slater. Sue specializes in travel for the blind. See the article here.

Labor Day in the USA


The US takes a typically low-key approach to celebrating the accomplishments of labor with its own day far removed from May 1 and the international May Day tradition of worker solidarity. Here is a labor intellect, humor, and social reconstruction of disability activists commenting on a Labor Day tradition of particular significance to people with disabilities -- the Jerry Lewis Telethon.

Read the Blogswarm at Protest Pity -- My particular contribution was goaded by Jerry's taunt to the disability community to, "Stay in your house."

One of the principles of Universal Design (UD) -- and certainly a starting point of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) -- is principle #4:

Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.

This information below is a plain language version of the text of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The full text is available on:


This paper has examined the role, nature, and impact of disability awareness training in the industry. It has shown that such training can be a valuable resource in forming and changing the personal attitudes of nondisabled persons towards those with disabilities. While previous studies have identified the need for disability awareness training, tourism has not been forthcoming in developing access and service provisions to meet the needs of this group. Human rights legislation in many Western countries has had the salutary effect of preventing service providers from overtly discriminating. However, the industry as a whole has been reluctant to embrace the concepts of universal design (for access) and disability awareness training, while at the same time it claims to be informed (Darcy 2002; Goodall 2002; O’Neill and Knight, 2000).

Operators and service providers need to be moved from the mindset
of just wanting to meet their legislated human rights obligations to
exemplary service provision.


Rasha's petition is still flying! 13,000 people have signed her petition for airborne bathroom accessibility. Here she is profiled on the engaging site Kids on Wheels:

The airline industry says it is too expensive to put accessible bathrooms on planes. They claim if they removed enough seats to make room for a large bathroom, they couldn't make enough money to fly the plane.

Rasha's not buying that either. "Then why don't they take out all the restrooms? They could have all seats, no bathrooms, save even more money," she says sarcastically. "If airline people think people who use wheelchairs can fly without using restrooms, then everybody else can fly without them, too, right? Or do they think that because we use wheelchairs, we don't fly on airplanes?"

If they do, Rasha could certainly correct them by citing figures such as these:

American adults with disabilities or reduced mobility currently spend an average of 13.6 billion U.S. dollars a year on tourism. Out of a total of 21 million persons, 69% had traveled at least once in the previous two years, including 3.9 million business trips, 20 million tourist trips, and 4.4 million business/tourist trips. The United States Department of Labor reported that a large and growing market of Americans with disabilities or reduced mobility have 175 billion dollars in purchasing/consumer power.

In the United Kingdom, the Employers’ Forum on Disability estimated 10 million adults with disabilities or reduced mobility in the UK, with an annual purchasing power of 80 billion pounds sterling. The Canadian Conference Board reported that in 2001, the combined annual disposable income of economically active Canadians with disabilities or reduced mobility was 25 billion Canadian dollars.