December 2007 Archives

The Year Ahead - Clearer Skies?

The end of 2007 saw the ENAT and ICAT conferences on Inclusive Tourism. Early January 2008 will be the SAT conference and may 2008 will see the IIDI Turismo para Todos conference. At the same time ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities continues at a rapid pace.

With so much progress on the stabilization of human rights for persons with disabilities the actions of the Federation of Indian Airlines to subvert the ' Carriage by Air of Disabled Persons or Persons with Reduced Mobility' proposed by India's Office of The Director General of Civil Aviation is especially out of step with the global consensus on the value of travelers with disabilities as a market. One would think that no one in the industry is doing their diligence on market forecasting.

The proposal below was presented to IATA by the World Blind Union but it was not adopted.

Design for All Institute India

Design For All Institute of India and EIDD-Design For All Europe are jointly publishing December2007 Vol-2, No-12 issue of the Design for All Newsletter. From the editor, Dr. Sunil Bhatia:

Different eminent designers from different countries and those are the members of EIDD under the guidance of Mr. Pete Kercher have contributed the articles and our current issue is in front of your computer screen. Our December issue is very special and historic, reason is, we are celebrating completion of our two years of publication of newsletter. We have started a new section of CASE study for benefits of our readers. We have loaded a movie and those who wish to see the movie they can click the below given link
Kindly visit our web site for our current as well as past publication of our monthly newsletter or click this link (For Newsletter)

The download link for mechanical elevator
First unzip it by using winzip

Flight Tips

Inclusion in higher education is one of the prerequisites for building the sort of diversity in a local tourism economy to make a place a destination of choice for travelers with disabilities. This story from Senegal is not one of the more hopeful in this regard.

The UK he Department for Transport has today announced the appointment of four
new members to the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC),
and the reappointment of six existing members.

The announcement follows the statutory review of half of the Committee's
membership at the end of 2007.

The Committee has twenty members plus chair and this brings a combination
of experience and expertise to matters related to disability and transport.

The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) is a statutory
body established under Section 125 of the Transport Act 1985 to advise the
Secretary of State for Transport on matters affecting the transport needs
of disabled people.

Reflecting the Government's approach to diversity in public appointments,
the new Committee has 67% of members who are disabled, 38% who are women
and 10% people from minority ethnic communities. They also represent a wide
geographical spread.

Here's how Shannon Proudfoot, of CanWest News Service, presents

Three doors down from their current home in Edmonton, Alison and Peter Faid are building a new house they hope will be their last.

The one they live in now has 62 stairs and an elevated living room that already pose problems for some friends with multiple sclerosis or joint replacements. The Faids -- 55 and 63, respectively, with two grown sons -- aren't ready to retire, but down the road, they don't want to be forced "out the door to Horizon Village or whatever, because of accessibility issues," Alison says.

The answer was a FlexHouse, a concept that originated with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in the 1990s but never caught on in the mainstream, despite the alluring sales pitch that it means never having to move again. The basic principle -- a house that grows with its occupants and their future needs -- is also called universal design.

It's Universal Design Tsunami Round 3 and you can see it playing out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Round 1 was the Disability Rights Movement when Ron Mace and friends invented Universal Design.

Round 2 was the institutionalization of Universal Design in legal documents representing people with disabilities and seniors. It saw the mainstreaming of Universal Design in efforts by Adaptive Environments and AARP to extend the seven principles beyond disability culture to be synonymous with "good design" and "active aging."

Round 3 is the application of Universal Design on a macro scale in movements like Liveable Communities, Senior-Friendly Cities, and Inclusive Destination Development.

PHILADELPHIA — Chunks of the sidewalk behind the 16th Police District building off Lancaster Avenue are so torn up that mothers pushing strollers and women in wheelchairs can't negotiate the jumbled concrete slabs without venturing into the street.

Many then must climb a flight of stairs to get to the front door of the old row houses in west Philadelphia. If kitchens are on the second floor, they lug groceries, canes or strollers up another flight of stairs. All along the way, they fear crime.

"There are some areas that aren't well lit at all," says Blaine Straub, 25, who lives near Lancaster Avenue and had to get around in a wheelchair after she broke her ankle in October. "That's a little intimidating."

In a neighborhood where 54% of the residents are women, 70% of the households are headed by women and 70% of the elderly are women, the broken walkway on North Sloan Street symbolizes some of the physical challenges that women in America's cities face: an unsafe urban environment that's not conducive to walking.

Says Haya El Nasser in USA Today:

Medical experts, concerned about increased rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension, have studied how the design of cities affects health for some time. Now, they're focusing on its impact on an increasingly prominent demographic segment of the urban landscape: women.

Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua Ratify the UN Disability Rights Convention
RI Calls on Governments to Recognize the Human Rights of All by Ratifying the CRPD

(United Nations, New York, USA, 17 December 2007): RI congratulates the Governments of Mexico, El Salvador and Nicaragua for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), bringing the number to 14 States Parties. Mexico also ratified the Optional Protocol today. RI calls on all governments which have not yet ratified the CRPD and its Optional Protocol to do so as a matter of priority and without reservations and declarations. Furthermore, RI urges all States Parties to begin the process of implementation by developing laws, programs and policies to ensure that ALL persons with disabilities, regardless of the type of disability, enjoy all of the rights in the Convention.

Business Travel in the Sports Industry

Often the entries here are about leisure travel and disability. Today here is a story about another person with a disability (PwD) in a non traditional job -- and how travel is essential to it:

He spends hours on the football field, but his feet never touch the turf. His specialty is dissecting offenses, but he's never played a down.

Meet Brian Kajiyama, a first-year graduate assistant for Hawaii who was born with cerebral palsy, scoots around in a motorized wheelchair and communicates by typing into a small computer that speaks in a robotic voice.

As a member of the coach June Jones' staff, Kajiyama is responsible for breaking down game film and preparing scouting reports for the defense.

David Greenhalgh is making a difference.

“I had an operation to stop things from getting worse. They cut away part of my spinal cord c4 to c7. When I came out of the hospital, I was trapped at home for months. After becoming disabled, my first idea was to compile a general database of disability resources but my hobbies were films and books. Eventually, I made the decision to compile a list of films that involved disabilities. I put it on the web in 1994,” Greenhalgh said. “The Internet was such a free-spirited place, I felt I was giving something back. The website I created was and still is in its scope unique. There are hundreds of disability-related sites offering general information, but I think the more specialized ones are the most useful.”

“There is a rash of films these days involving disabilities; some good, some bad. I did want to increase the scope of the site and add some extended essays on aspects of disability in films, but some of what I wanted to say is slightly controversial. Most people think disabled actors should play disabled characters. I believe being an actor is about acting. My roots are in repertory theatre where the same group of actors played all the roles; women as old and young, women as men, and vice versa. But obviously disabled actors should get equal chances. I shun politically correct terms like actors with disabilities,” Greenhalgh explained. “An actor with Down Syndrome or an actor using a wheelchair should not play just characters like themselves. In most drama an actor with a disability can play a father, a mother, a student who just happens to be disabled and this is not the focus of the plot.”

Terceira idade é alternativa para fomentar o turismo, diz Airton Pereira

O secretário Nacional de Políticas Para o Turismo, Airton Nogueira, ministrou, no último dia 23, no Centro de Convenções do Serrano Resort, o painel “Diversidade de oferta para promover o crescimento – Crédito Consignado ao aposentado já é realidade”. Com participação especial da presidente da Abav-RS, Carmen Marun, o painel abordou os desafios para desenvolver o turismo internacional, fortalecer o mercado interno e qualificar a atividade turística.

En Santander, pasear con una silla de ruedas, con un carrito de niños o apoyado en un bastón o muletas puede convertirse en toda un odisea, dependiendo de la zona. Con la intención de corregir este problema, el Ayuntamiento ha puesto en marcha a un grupo de observadores urbanos que tomarán nota de las posibles barreras arquitectónicas, para luego ser corregidas.

Así, el equipo de personas que, dentro del programa 'Santander diseño universal', recorrerá la ciudad para detectar problemas de accesibilidad que después serán subsanados, ya ha comenzado su trabajo a lo largo de varias calles de Santander.

Los concejales de Autonomía Personal, Roberto del Pozo, y de Barrios y Participación Ciudadana, Santiago Recio, acompañaron en su primer recorrido a estos cinco observadores, que estarán coordinados por otras dos personas, y cuyo cometido es el de detectar anomalías que ocasionan dificultades de accesibilidad, como bordillos altos, mobiliario urbano que entorpece el paso o andamios mal colocados.

Del Pozo señaló que esta iniciativa, pionera en Cantabria y de la que tampoco hay ejemplos similares en España, permitirá realizar un trabajo progresivo y continuo con el objetivo de mejorar las condiciones de accesibilidad de las calles de Santander.

Las incidencias se remitirán a la comisión de seguimiento del programa, en la que se decide cuáles son los lugares en los que es necesaria una actuación más urgente.

Después, tres operarios del servicio de mantenimiento municipal se encargan de subsanar las anomalías detectadas.

Accessible Tourism in Libya?

Well, not quite yet as far as our research has been able to document. That's not necessarily as bad as it may sound.

For a nation to offer a seamlessly positive tourist experience it must start with the will to do so, the cultural tradition of hospitality, and infrastructure development that implements Universal Design. Libya ranks well according to those criteria.

The International Exhibition for Libya's Infrastructure and Economic Development took place December 10 - 13, 2007 as part of Projex Libya at the Tripoli International fairgrounds. One site summarizes:

Tourism - huge potential

With nearly 2,000km of unspoilt coastline, spectacular desert and World Heritage Sites, Libya is becoming increasingly attractive and accessible for heritage, desert and resort tourism, as well as being a growing destination for the international business community. Tourism development is the first priority after the oil and infrastructure sectors and is dependent on good communications, transport and hotel facilities, all of which are featured in Libya’s infrastructure plans. Dramatic growth in hotel construction is forecast to increase the number of beds to 10,000 by 2010 as part of a US$7 billion tourist development plan.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has published a report that examines the travel needs, behaviour and aspirations of people as they approach retirement age. The report, entitled Understanding the travel needs, behaviour and aspirations of people in later life, was based on qualitative interviews carried out with 68 people recruited from four age groups over 50.

The objectives of the research were to:
• describe older people’s current transport needs and behaviour
• discuss older people’s experiences of using transport
• explore the transition into retirement and the attitudes that inform older people’s transport behaviour now and in the past
• examine the transport aspirations of older people

The report analyses the findings in depth, and goes on to suggest a number of implications for policies directed towards transport provision for older people. The entire report can be downloaded from the DfT website

ICAT 2007

Conference Report: Second International Forum on Accessible Tourism (ICAT 2007, Thailand)

ICAT 2007 Conference: Perspective and Future

Practicing Aging

"Practice makes perfect!"

If you want to master the skills you need to be good at singing, or cricket, or NASCAR racing there is one thing you must do. Practice!

In the Disability Rights Movement we say we have been "practicing for getting old." The skills and knowledge we have generated in the process is collected in what is called Universal Design. Now, with 78 million Americans getting old - but without having spent all those years practicing - some are developing workout routines that involve caring for an older parent. Predictably, they are adopting one of the key inventions of the disability community, Universal Design.

AirSahara, now known as Deccan, discriminates against passengers with visible disabilities.

The ongoing practice has been repeated, reports the Hindustani Times, in the case of Sanjeev Sachdeva despite warnings of the Directorate General of the Civil Aviation Authority of India (DCGA) that airlines not discriminate.

This practice is becoming so widespread in the industry that Australian authorities have had to issue similar warnings recently on top of the many lawsuits and complaints active in other parts of the world without similarly responsible action on the part of regulatory agencies.

See Airline Displays Callousness at

A Escola de Turismo e Hotelaria da UniverCidade e a Secretaria de Turismo da Prefeitura do Rio acabam de criar o projeto Rio-nota 10,com o apoio da Fundação Cesgranrio e da empresa de consultoria Planet Work.

O projeto vai incluir os 10 maiores bairros turisticos da cidade do Rio,que vão ganhar a partir de março de 2008,um inventário turistico pormenorizado dos mesmos,um seminário local para discutir com a comunidade e entidades de turismo,formas de aprimoramento do turismo local, pesquisa sobre os impactos do turismo nas populações e uma votação popular para eleger os agraciados do Prêmio Joana Palhares,que vai premiar aqueles,que nos bastidores,trabalham em prol do turismo.As escolas municipais receberão palestras sobre a importância do turismo e vão participar do Conheça o Rio a pé.

O programa será coordenado pelos alunos dos cursos de turismo e hotelaria da UniverCidade,sob a supervisão dos professores Bayard Boiteux, Roberta Guimaraes, Ana Claudia Paraense , Mauricio Werner e Ricardo Oliveira.

O secretário Rubem Medina,acredita que o programa vai mostrar aos moradores dos bairros,o potencial dos mesmos e sobretudo inclui-los nas ações de melhoria da qualidade.

Bayard Boiteux,diretor da Escola de Turismo e Hotelaria diz que as instituições de ensino superior não podem ser ghetos de capacitação mas devem colaborar efetivamente com a cidade,que as recebe,de braços abertos.

A ideia é num primeiro momento trabalhar Copacabana, Santa Teresa, Ipanema, Flamengo, Botafogo, Maracanã, Barra, Vargem Grande, São conrado e a Tijuca.

Vamos mobilizar toda a comunidade acadêmica,a cidade e fazer com que o carioca seja mais participativo ,acredite que o Rio é turistico e sobretudo que ele é parte integrante nas mudanças ,afirma Mauricio Werner,que coordena o curso de Turismo da UniverCidade e vai atuar como mediador nas demandas da comunidade e do trade.

Fonte: Fernanda Galland

For those policy wonks among us - note the contemporary definition of disability in Malaysia's Persons with Disabilities Bill 2007 and the inclusion of a section on leisure and tourism.

Bangalore Mirror Report: Access Denied!

"How can we create an "enabling" environment or do we continue to accept the way things are placed now?", asks Indian disability expert Mahesh Chandrasekar in the Bangalore Mirror.

In Support of Right Livelihood

Erica Barnett writes in "Making Travel More Ethical" at WorldChanging about hotel workers. First among her list of little-know-facts is this disturbing statistic about how being a hotel worker can actually be a path into becoming disabled:

Housekeepers in the hospitality industry report pervasive problems with job-related pain. In surveys compiled by Unite Here's Hotel Workers Rising campaign, which organizes and works on behalf of hospitality workers in the United States, more than 75 percent of workers report work-related pain; more than 80 percent report pressure to complete their work quickly; more than two-thirds report taking pain medication regularly; and nearly three-quarters report chemical irritation from exposure to cleaning supplies.

O Ensino da Hotelaria no Brasil
Coluna de Bayard Boiteux

Um dos maiores desafios da educação superior brasileira é preparar quadros,para os meios de hospedagem,hospitais ,colônias de férias e clubes de serviços.Trata-se de uma prioridade,sobretudo ,quando se vislumbra a possibilidade do país ganhar nos próximos 5 anos,600 novos meios de hospedagem,sendo que 40% deverá se concentrar nas regiões sul e sudeste,que representam a maior fatia do turismo brasileiro,notadamente o receptivo.

Almost all UK tourism websites are failing to meet basic acceptable
standards of accessibility, according to a new report from technology
access charity AbilityNet.

The report, the latest in a series of 'State of the eNation' surveys by the
charity, assessed ten websites at random from a list of the most popular
UK visitor attractions. The sites were rated using a five star scale from
'very inaccessible' (one star) to 'very accessible' (five stars), with
three stars representing an 'adequate' level of accessibility.

Only one of the ten sites examined - the Glasgow Science Centre - met
or exceeded this 'adequate' threshold. The centre's site
( ) has been improved in the past
year with accessibility in mind and as a result achieved four stars.

Of the other sites assessed, four achieved two stars (the Eden Project,
The Giant's Causeway, National Waterfront Museum and Portmeirion)
and five were deemed very inaccessible, receiving only one star
(Belfast Zoo, The Burns Heritage Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Kew
Gardens and the London Eye).

Sites which fail to meet the three-star level may be falling short of
service access requirements set out in the UK's Disability
Discrimination Act
, AbilityNet says.

The report took into account sites' compliance with the international
World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines, as well as the practical difficulties that visitors with a range
of disabilities may experience. Among the features that cause problems
are small text that cannot be resized; unnecessary complexity; closely
clustered buttons; unlabeled images and over-reliance on visual clues.
Since the audit was taken at least three of the single-star-rated
attractions have expressed a commitment to improving the accessibility
of their websites.

It's not unambiguously better out there!

PEOPLE with disabilities have significantly more trouble accessing airline services than five years ago, despite the introduction of a national standard to protect them.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre surveyed 110 people with disabilities, their carers or advocates and found that only 14 had an overall positive experience when dealing with airlines.

Its report concludes that there has been "a systemic failure of airlines to improve access". It has been submitted to a federal government five-year review of disability standards for accessible public transport.


Airlines dive in survey of disabled passenger satisfaction

Airlines 'discriminating against disabled'

Airlines warned not to bar disabled

Airlines need to do more for disabled travellers says new report


Two Way Traffic

Remember Tom Hanks in The Terminal? What movie is Yvonne Gaudet in -- or is it just another reality Show?

Yvonne Gaudet can get into the new Brampton Civic Hospital, she just can't get out.

The wheelchair-bound [sic] Gaudet can't reach all of the buttons on the automatic pay machine where parking stubs are inserted, money is paid, and the stubs are then spit out again and used at the gate to the parking garage to allow exit.

"I normally travel on my own," she pointed out. "That means I have to stay at the hospital."

She's only half joking. Gaudet is a member of the City of Brampton's Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), which took a tour of the new hospital just before it opened and has produced a list of accessibility issues.

Builder magazine reports on the homebuilding trend that is affecting hotel, resort, and cruise ship design:

Two builders, two developers, and a remodeler received the first Livable Communities Awards, presented by the National Association of Home Builders and AARP. The awards, presented Dec. 11 in Washington, recognize homes and communities that are well designed, safe, comfortable, and accessible, regardless of the occupants' age or abilities.

Winning builders John Wesley Miller Cos. of Tucson, Ariz., and Wendt Builders of Snellville, Ga.; developers the Madison Area Community Land Trust of Madison, Wis., and Integral Group of Atlanta; and remodeler Quality Design & Construction in Raleigh, N.C., will also be recognized in the January/February 2008 issue of AARP magazine, which is distributed to 23 million homes nationwide.

"What we want to see is innovation in the marketplace," said Elinor Ginzler, AARP's director of livable communities. "We know from talking to our members that while they want comfort and safety, they don't want a feeling that they're in an institution."

Gordon Rattray of Able Travel is first out of the gate in publishing a new type of resource for hoteliers. The document, Making Your Property More Inclusive: Basic Guidelines for African Safaris, is only one example of a new generation of results-oriented advice flowing from the kind of thinking evident at the Second International Conference on Accessible Tourism held at the UN campus in Bangkok, Thailand.

The core concepts are "Social Inclusion" and "Visitability."

While mere accessibility addresses usability of basic infrastructure by all, social inclusion (or simply "inclusion") refers to the availability of the activities and social interaction taking place in any space. Inclusion is the more powerful and adaptive concept. In terms of the tourism industry "accessibility" is equivalent to a building having indoor plumbing and running water -- so basic as to be a non-issue -- unless it is absent!

Visitability is a specific application of the seven principles of Universal Design to the minimum requirements for usability of the built environment by persons with mobility impairments. The concept of Visitability has been developed by Eleanor Smith and, until now, exclusively applied to private residences.

However, we know that concepts of "home" and "hominess" migrate into the hospitality industry at a rapid pace. Visitability as a hotel design trend is arising simultaneously in Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. It will be a topic of hallway discussions at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF-2008) in Bankok next month.

Para contribuir com projetos de acessibilidade, a Mercur traz ao mercado o Piso Tátil. Formado por placas de borracha antiderrapantes e superfícies de relevos direcionais, o produto tem por finalidade orientar pessoas com deficiência visual.

Na verdade, são dois os tipos de placas de Piso Tátil: os direcionais, que possuem linhas longitudinais em relevo para demarcar a direção; e os de alerta, compostos por superfície tipo moeda para indicar mudança de direção. Dependendo de como as placas são dispostas, indica-se a direção a ser seguida. A novidade da Mercur segue as orientações da NBR 9050:2004 da ABNT. Piso Tátil conta também com alta resistência a produtos alcalinos, ácidos, água sanitária e produtos de limpeza em geral. Dúvidas podem ser esclarecidas em O telefone de contato é (51)3719-9500.

The secretariat of the European Disability Forum is launching its new traineeship scheme for a young disabled activist for a 5 month period. Please disseminate this call as widely as possible to any interested person and among your contacts.

Pattaya Expats Club logo

The Internet is wonderful -- but my sense of timing is not always what it should be to take advantage of all the resources there!

Regularly I meet extraordinary people like Pete Mills of the Pataya Expats Club through Internet research. Unfortunately, I only met him via email several days after I returned.

With all the momentum we have built toward a long-term campaign for Inclusive Tourism in Pattaya I intend to answer Pete's call for travel info for PwD tourists and expats in his article, "Living with Disabilities in Pattaya."

Thanks, Pete (Khob Khun Mak Krab, in Thai) for the support of our community!

Rosangela Berman Bieler, Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute on Disability & Inclusive Development, recently received the 2007 Human Rights Award from International Service. Rosangela's work includes disaility and development at the World Bank and an ongoing project on disability, tourism, and development linking Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Below is the text of her acceptance speech:

First of all, I would like to express my deep appreciation to International Services for establishing this Human Rights Award and to including Disability Rights as a relevant area. I humbly thank the IS selection panel and supporters for considering my name amongst such a distinguished group of Human Rights Champions from around the world. It is for me a huge honor to be part of the IS partnership.

This award comes in a unique moment, when Disability rights advocates from all over the planet are working together to give visibility and to maximize the number of nations that ratify the new Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

On Thursday, December 06, 2007 Chloe Berman wrote, "Travel agencies warned over needs of disabled travellers":

Travel agencies could face a fine of up to £5,000 if they fail to communicate the needs of disabled passengers to air carriers, following the introduction of new EU laws in July next year.

Agents must take "all necessary measures" to notify the airline, for example
making a phone call, emailing, or filling in a box on the tour operator's
website at least 48 hours before the flight. Travel agents may waive this
responsibility if they book a package holiday with a tour operator. However,
if they book a flight-only or dynamic package, they must fulfil the

Speaking at a Travel and Tourism Lawyers Association seminar, 1 Chancery
Lane lawyer Jack Harding said: "This is a complete change of the legal
landscape. Tour operators and travel agents will have to examine what
they're doing very carefully.

Steve Creedy, Aviation writer for the Australian reports [Editor's note, Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes access to transportation as a right. And Graeme Innes rocks!]:

LOW-COST carriers have been warned not to attempt to cut costs by discriminating against the disabled after two airlines recently sought exemptions from laws designed to grant handicapped travellers equal access to transport.

Singapore-backed Tiger Airways has applied to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission for an exemption to the Disability Act so it can temporarily refuse to carry some passengers with limited mobility.

It says it needs to do this because it does not have the equipment to get wheelchair-bound [sic] people safely on to its Airbus A320 jets.

Disability groups are also fighting a move by Australia's biggest independent regional carrier, Regional Express (Rex), to introduce restrictions they say will make flying harder for disabled people in the bush.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is pursuing court action against Virgin Blue to head off moves to require some people with disabilities to buy a second ticket for a carer if they want to travel.

A Secretaria de Turismo da Bahia (Setur) e a Bahiatursa querem mostrar que o turismo só tem a ganhar com a aplicabilidade de normas relativas à acessibilidade dos espaços, equipamentos, serviços e informações turísticas. Neste sentido, realizam o Seminário sobre Turismo e Acessibilidade, na próxima quinta-feira (13/12), das 08 às 18 horas, no Salão Xangô do Centro de Convenções da Bahia.

O evento pretende sensibilizar e conscientizar os profissionais do turismo e a sociedade sobre a importância de ações voltadas a pessoas com deficiências, principalmente porque este é um diferencial que pode transformar a Bahia num destino turístico preparado para receber visitantes com os variados tipos e graus de deficiência física.

Recently, Larry Wagner and I spoke on his radio program Disability Nation. We recorded a two-part interview on Inclusive Travel. Part one aired December 6 and is available as a podcast (show DN 49). You will find the show available in various formats at this page at Disability Nation.

Recently, I had the opportunity to see firsthand what a skilled interpretive guide like US Parks Department Ranger Lori T. Brosnan can do. I observed her at work as she led National Center on Accessibility staff person Ray Bloom and I through Alcatraz. Her attention to detail and the tactile-based learning opportunities she structured into the tour added a depth to the experience that I had not expected.

That experience gave the following news item a sense of personal connection:

Set up by Amar Latif, Traveleyes aims to provide blind people the experience of world travel by offering trips to both sighted and visually impaired individuals. The visually impaired and sighted travellers’ journey together in a mutual independence, with the sighted traveller acting as the ‘eyes’ for the blind traveller.

The company was established in 2005 and offers holidays in Cuba, Canada, Italy, Spain, America, Africa and Asia. Activities can include sky diving, hiking and kayaking, cookery courses. Latif is also working on a ‘walking with lions’ safari in South Africa for 2008.

Traveleyes also exclusively offers its blind travellers the world’s first accessible electronic versions of the Lonely Planet travel guides

CRPD Toolkits

Michael Guy, Disability Information Manager, Handicap International informed us about a "teaching kit" on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

For more details...

Bunga Sirait contributed the following story to the Jakarta Post:

Ramaditya Adikara, 26, works as a composer for giant video game corporation Nintendo. He does all his work from home, but he goes out a lot and alone for other freelancing jobs. Like many other disabled people who rely on public transportation, Rama, has heart-wrenching stories to tell about being a blind guy cruising the streets of Jakarta.

"I fall from angkot (public minivans) all the time. You would think they would help disabled people. But, even though I use a stick (and it's clear I am disabled), they take no notice of me," Rama said.

Considering the broken sidewalks and pot-hole riddled streets of the city, it is not surprising Rama also said he had tripped countless times.

One time a car actually ran over his stick when he dropped it crossing the street.

Respondendo ao apelo da European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), cerca de 200 participantes marcaram presença no Congresso Internacional de Turismo para Todos, realizado na Comunidade de Valência (Oropesa del Mar) nos passados dias 21 a 23 de Novembro de 2007.

A principal finalidade deste encontro organizado pela Fundación ONCE era a de permitir criar um espaço de partilha de experiências (evolução do turismo para todos atentando aos seus impactos sociais e económicos; exposição de boas práticas no âmbito do turismo acessível), confluências de interesses ou vontades e lançamento de novos desafios (considerando as futuras tendências e exigências de um turismo que se quer com cada vez maior qualidade, mas também demonstrando que o Desenho para Todos resulta em vantagens para a generalidade da população).

Peckham Inc. is a nonprofit providing employment and training services in Lansing, Michigan.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the organization is one of the growing number of businesses choosing the complimentary approaches of Universal and Green Design.

"Our old buildings have been cobbled together," said Mitch Tomlinson, Peckham's president and chief executive officer. "For us, it's been fun to start with a blank slate and design something that meets our needs."

The new headquarters is being built with universal design standards, which help ensure accessibility, and should be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, which rates a project based on its environmental friendliness.

Carol Abrahamson on Easy Living

Carol Abrahamson is a prolific writer on home design and remodeling. Fortunately for us she has an eye for accessibility and Universal Design. I won't steal her thunder but rather give you the insiders' tip that she has a helpful post called "Ten Convenience Built-Ins That'll Help Seniors And The Disabled Live Independently."

National Council on Disability

In 2004, the National Council on Disability published Design for Inclusion: Creating a New Marketplace (, a report demonstrating how an accessible society can be accomplished through Universal Design. Universal design is a process to ensure that the built environment, including electronic and information technology, is inclusive, accessible, and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities. Incorporating universal design processes is one solution to accommodating people with disabilities that also improves the usability of the products for the rest of the population.

Semana de la Discapacidad

Following hot on the heels of the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT)
conference, the European Parliament is registering some action on behalf of travelers with disabilities. Note in particular the emergence of an EC "Tourism for All" label at the same time we are writing the ASEAN standards in Thailand following ICAT 2007.

I was unaware how quickly the Inclusive Tourism scene would mature s I closed my presentation at UNESCAP last week with the following:

The next two years will be a surprise to those in the industry who have not yet prepared their profit-based approach to disability. Some will be asking you to help. You have an opportunity to contribute and to shape the travel industry. That may be with the rights-based emphasis through government, education, or policy. It may on the profit-based side through invention, construction, marketing, or business creation.

Whatever opportunity you choose, take your pride - and your money - on the road. Travel. Teach the industry and level the path for the ones who come after you!

START_Beach Wheelchair


No Dia Internacional das Pessoas com Deficiência, o Conselho Nacional dos Direitos das Pessoas com Deficiência (CONADE), 22 Conselhos Estaduais e 84 Conselhos Municipais representantes de todas as regiões do País, reunidos na Capital Federal no 3o. Encontro Nacional de Conselhos de Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência de 30 de novembro de 2007 a 03 de dezembro de 2007, aprovaram em Plenária, por unanimidade, a presente correspondência aos Senhores Parlamentares reiterando manifestações anteriores que vem sendo feitas pelo CONADE no mesmo sentido.

As Universal Design moves from the Disability Rights Movement to home design and fashion shoes we find ourselves confronted with a delightful dilemma -- competing UD solutions for the same problem. Who would have imagined UD would create such a new "problem?"

Dr. Jeanne Beckman has a common-sense solution that she applies to adaptive equipment in learning environment with. Literally she asks, "Does it make sense?"

New Uses for Wheelchair Ramps

Listening to presentations citing the positive secondary effects of wheelchair ramps and Universal Design this week I noticed some similarities. Whether the presenter comes from Turkey, the US, Mongolia, Korea, or the UK the standard justification is that ramps also help "people on bicycles, with shopping carts, and people with prams (strollers)"

Maybe we should add one more type of user to the lift -- Rollerman!! (See frames at -4:52)

Narita Airport Remodel Map

ENAT: Inclusive Tourism is Big Money

Press release:

At a conference held last week by the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), over 200 representatives from international disability organisations, tourist boards and private enterprise came to the overwhelming conclusion that accessible tourism is the fastest-growing business opportunity in the tourism industry.

The 2005 Thai Regulation on Accessibility

For those researching accessibility legislation in Asia the 2005 law on accessibility is available here as a .pdf (Thai).

Download file

Building for a Lifetime

There are some people who should be put out of business. Take the RV Care-A-Vanners group.

Don't get me wrong these folks do fantastic work and some chapters of Habitat for Humanity have learned the value of Universal Design and adopted it. If UD - or at least Visitability - was standard practice then maybe the mn mentioned in this article never would have been seprarted from his family -- and the Browns and Vandevelds could go fishing (or build some new homes instead of doing emergency retrofits.)