September 2008 Archives

Emotional Design and Universal Design

| 0 Comments

Straight from a press release doe Smart Design we begin to see Emotional Design and Universal Design start to interact in the marketplace:

*Workshops focus on three stages of consumer experience: awareness, decision-making and usage * Positive feedback from launch at Frost & Sullivan's Fourth Annual Innovations in New Product Development and Marketing 2008

29 September, 2008 - Smart Design, one of the world's leading consumer product design firms, now offers Customer Experience Lifecycle workshops as part of the design service framework for translating customers' emotional responses into commercially successful products. The Workshops are the brainchild of Smart Design President Tom Dair, and enable more inclusive discussions and evaluations of new ideas between a wider variety of business divisions - from marketing teams and engineers to upper management and board executives. The non-technical workshops aim to understand the different stages of consumer experience of new products or services over time from a customer rather than a competitor point of view.

O papa Bento XVI defendeu neste sábado um turismo solidário e responsável, que respeita a natureza e as culturas de todos os povos. Este foi o chamamento de Bento XVI, que recebeu em sua residência de Castel Gandolfo (a 30 quilômetros de Roma) os participantes de um seminário organizado pelo Centro Turístico Juvenil e pela Oficina Internacional de Turismo Social. O Papa explicou que a Igreja Católica defende a difusão do chamado 'turismo social', que "promove a participação das faixas mais débeis da sociedade e poder ser um válido instrumento de luta contra a pobreza, criando emprego, conservando os recursos e promovendo a igualdade".

Dragonair logo

I was finishing up my presentation for the 2008 Universal Design in Airports Conference that will start next Tuesday in Chicago. I speak on a panel led by my colleague and Greek-Brazilian-American friend Gus Zografopoules. The topic is "Where do people with disabilities go to get information on flying?" I thought I had nailed down the content. I was looking forward to exploring one of the wheelchair accessible trails shown to me last weekend by folks from the San Francisco Bay Greenbelt Alliance. Then I saw Jim's blog.

Jim Fruchterman's blog at Benetech.org will now be front and center in my talk.

The Rolling Rains blog chronicles a small percentage of the stories on air travel and disability that are sent here (see below) but Jim's tale helps us illustrate what is sometimes overlooked.

Some violations are so egregious that reflection on their deeper meaning requires a cooling down period. The shock value of some stories evoke outrage. Jim's story documents classic nonviolent praxis in the face of injustice. He tells the story in a way that allows for some critical thinking even while the story itself is fresh.

Simon Darcy made an observation about the market dynamics of travelers with disabilities in his game-changing research entitled "From Anxiety to Access." He alerted the world that that we are very well networked and leverage a disproportionately large referral market.

That point didn't need to be made explicit when we reported on billionaire Sminu Jindahl's mistreatment by Jet Air. It seems rather obvious that a billionaire might have more socially beneficial things to do than argue about her competence to sit in an airline seat - and probably had an influential social network.

OXO Does Good Design

| 0 Comments

oxo logo.gif

I am always pleased to see good press about my friends at OXO. These pioneers of good design have done much to make Universal Design fashionable and ubiquitous. As I have mentioned elsewhere I always travel with at least one of their products when I lecture or consult just so I can demonstrate what the world should look like.

Here Sarah Cabral at EatingBritain reviews a tool called the Mandolin Slicer. (Travel security suggestion: Carry this item only in your checked luggage when you fly and avoid unnecessary drama at the airport):

During the coming weeks I’ll be reviewing a range of Good Grip food tools and gadgets from OXO. I’ll be trying them out, using them in recipes and giving you my honest opinion.

OXO focuses on creating tools that are perfectly suited to the task of making everyday living easier. The design team at OXO follow the principles of universal design – aiming to create products that are easy to use for the largest spectrum of people.

San francisco gocartours

Segway is a great little vehicle for getting around if you can use it. Several cities rent them for tourists. There is a zippy lower-tech mode of transportation that also has some potential.


Craig Grimes
down in Nicaragua (Accessible Nicaragua) brought to my attention GoCarTours in Spain as another powered mode of city touring. Have a look at their spunky little cars in Miami, Barcelona, and beyond. Or watch the crew at AttitudeTV hop out of their wheelchairs and cruise San Francisco in one section of this video:


Air Travel - A Wrench in the Works

| 0 Comments

Dave Hingsberger flies. He also uses a wheelchair. That's enough right there to spin off several seasons of Emmy-award winning programming for television. It could be tragedy. It could be comedy. It would never be boring!

Here is part of an account from of his blog Chewing the Fat about passing through security while flying with his partner Joe:

There was annoyance all over Joe's face. I know, I know, that sometimes he wishes I'd just let it go. We were at the airport going through security. They found the small kit of Allan wrenches that we use to adjust things on my wheelchair. We've been using them more lately because one of my footrests has been acting up and regularly sliding down.

The woman looked at the wrenches like she'd found a bomb and told me, 'These are not allowed.' Now we've flown with these regularly, never having them taken away. I didn't want to give them up because, when we lost the first batch it was very difficult to find the right ones again. In fact we bought four or five sets to put together this set.

I mentioned to the security guard that we had flown with them before, that they were part of the wheelchair and that I was concerned about needing them while in the airport or after landing. She simply said, as if I hadn't said a word, "These are not allowed."

Delegates of the Millennium Development Goals and Disability Conference from Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya, at the Panafric Hotel on 15th to 17th September 2008, to examine the status of Millennium Development Goals in respect to the inclusion and mainstreaming of disability.

One Word: "Intolerable!"

| 0 Comments

"Australia's largest-ever overseas team flew into Sydney yesterday morning, the kit bag full with 79 medals, including 23 gold [from the Paralympic Games]."

They flew Qantas:

Paralympian Christine Wolf's return home yesterday was soured when staff on her flight from Sydney refused to allow the gold medallist to take her prosthetic legs as carry-on luggage.

"The Millennium Development Goals can be met by 2015, but only if all involved break with business as usual and dramatically accelerate and scale up action now." - Kofi Annan

include everybody logo.png


While the Rolling Rains Report daily advocates for inclusion in the practice and policy of the tourism industry it does so knowing of the tremendous gaps in opportunity and income that are often painfully apparent firsthand to travelers with disabilities and those with disabilities in the receptive nations.

A strong global network is working to tackle disability as a development issue.


To coincide with this week's high level meeting in New York on the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs),
IDDC, (International Disability and Development Consortium) and the Millennium campaign are launching a new web site on disability and the MDGs:

www.IncludeEverybody.org

From the site:

What is the problem?

The Millennium Development Goals have the potential to make life better for billions of people in the world’s poorest countries. Yet when they were established by world leaders in 2000 they left out one in five of the world’s poorest people. This is not as surprising as it sounds. Disabled people have consistently faced discrimination and disadvantage, which is why disabled people are one of the largest single groups of excluded and chronically poor people in the world.

Without including disability in plans for tackling poverty the MDGs stand little chance of success. Disability is currently not included in indicators and targets set for the MDGs and disabled people are often excluded from international and national poverty reduction plans.

While on the road through British Columbia and Washington State last week I was unable to keep up a running travelogue. Sherri Backstrom (Waypoint Yacht Charter Services) took me to visit a custom built fully wheelchair-friendly 47 foot yacht and the shipyard where it was constructed. Soon we will post photos of this and other parts of this tour where we also spoke about the principles of human-centered boat design (Waypoint-Backstrom Principles).

In the meantime, enjoy this video on cruising the Mediterranean with Saubadia Etica:

foz
Ja com atencão a turismo inclusivo o Brasil tem chance atrair mais norte-americanos.

A partir deste mês os turistas norte-americanos contarão com novos vôos para o Brasil, partindo de diversos pontos dos Estados Unidos, como Nova York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington e Los Angeles. Além de atender destinos conhecidos como São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro e Manaus, esses vôos também chegarão a Belo Horizonte e ao Nordeste, pela primeira vez.

O anúncio foi feito nesta segunda-feira, 22 de setembro, pelo ministro do Turismo, Luiz Barretto, durante o lançamento, em Nova York, da campanha da Embratur Brasil Sensacional.

Travel and the ADA

| 0 Comments

Shirley Caudill's opinion piece at Kentucky.com is worth reading.

"ADA didn't remove all impediments" is a thoughtful article recounting the history of US legislation and illustrating with examples of where the yet-to-be-filled gaps remain by drawing from travel with a son who has a disability :

This summer, we went to Galveston Island in Texas, where we booked a trip with a local travel agent. He assured us that we had a room at the Hilton with a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and that the bathroom was handicapped accessible. It was not, and there was no balcony.

We had to go to the trouble of moving to another room that had a bathroom with handrails. The bathroom door was so heavy that I broke all my fingernails trying to open it from the inside.

Much the same thing happened when we went to Scotland, where the tub was too high, even for me. Again, the travel agent had assured us that the room was handicapped accessible.

Same thing happened in Panama Beach, Fla., and San Francisco, where there was no nearby parking. The hotel managers pretty much had the attitude: "Sorry about your luck."

Beyond the Andes

| 0 Comments

Three Canadians venture in Peru, one being in a wheelchair.

Prasad and Arvind are two names to know if you uses a wheelchair and want to get around in India. They are savvy businessmen filling a need in India's movement toward Inclusive Destination Development. Once again what is being done in to guarantee inclusion in tourism has a carry-over effect to local citizens and consumers by demonstrating a degree of accessibility for and service to the disability community that was considered impossible only a short time ago.

Read about their trend-setting work to provide accessible rental vans in India. Download file


http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/artMailDisp.aspx?article=17_09_2008_546_001&typ=1&Archtype=&pub=264

Access Tourism for people with disabilities was a topic discussed at the first New Zealand Wellness Symposium held in Nelson 18-20 September 2008. Sandra Rhodda educated the gathered attendees on the potential to be found in the aging and disabled traveler markets

Universal Design

| 0 Comments

Leslie Carothers has published another insightful article, What does Target know that we don't know?

Deaf SCUBA Opportunities

| 0 Comments

Sea Signs.jpg

Meet the team at Deaf Divers. Learn some ways to chat underwater at their Sea Signs section.

Also take a look at

http://www.worldwidediveandsail.com/

Heritage Site Accessibility: Trails

| 0 Comments

Inclusion at Heritage sites is a complex problem. Often there are structures to be preserved and conflicting values between accessibility and preservation. Yet all sites contain pathways or trails

The following discussion of a design charette illustrates a process that can be replicated and highlights some recurring issues that may surface at many heritage sites.

European Disability Forum press release:

Brussels, 11 September 2008 – “Ensuring full accessibility and equal rights to persons with disabilities is simply a question of realizing the internal market, and the right to free movement of all EU citizens”, said the Transport Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission Antonio Tajani at a meeting with an EDF delegation.

“It is my duty to respond to the demands of our citizens, and I will do my utmost to guarantee that accessibility to all modes of transport will be established, including European legislation”, he added.

Mr. Tajani also announced that the Commission is planning to come out with a package of proposals in December, including proposals on the rights of maritime and long-distance coach passengers.

Rex Pace on Universal Design

| 0 Comments

The principles of Universal Design often take center stage in kitchen design and redesign. Here expert Rex Pace walks viewers through the kitchen in the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority CRDA Universal Design Demo home

New Blog: Rights of Passage

| 0 Comments

rightspassagelogo.png

A new blog shows promise at The Windy Citizen called Rights of Passage. According to their self-description:

Rights of Passage is a blog that will address local issues facing the disability community in Chicago. Edited by Jo Holzer and Catherine Marsden, Rights of Passage will look at current news, commentary and developments pertaining to accessibility around Chicago.
All the things I have learned in 40-plus years of walking behind or beside my youngest daughter, he will have to learn from experience: expect the unexpected, do not assume the ramp is accessible, look across the street to the next ramp, know that most people do not understand "ADA accessible" or "wheelchair accessible" - at least not as specifically as is necessary for access. He must learn that, when he hears "Oh yes, we have customers in wheelchairs," it does not mean the premises are actually accessible. So we all come to rely on each other - have you actually been there? Do you know someone who has been there recently - and understands the ADA? Just getting from point A to point B becomes a daily challenge.

Thank You Ministry of Tourism India!

| 0 Comments

Inclusive Tourism facilities mandatory for projects & tourism sites: MoT
Friday, September 12, 2008, 12:00 Hrs [IST]

By Krupa Vora | New Delhi

To further augment the tourist arrivals in the country, Ministry of Tourism (MoT) has made it mandatory for all projects and tourists sites being developed that are being funded by it to incorporate elements of Inclusive Tourism, a segment that comprises and services People with Disabilities (PwD). As part of this mandate, all projects funded by MoT from now on will have facilities to cater to PwD like ramps, parking areas, restrooms etc. which will make travel convenient for PwD tourists. However, the Ministry is yet to take a call on developing facilities for tourists with special needs for projects that are already underway.

Speaking to Travel Biz Monitor, Devesh Chaturvedi, Director, MoT said, “It is mandatory for all MoT funded projects to provide facilities for Inclusive Tourism. This will help expand the scope of travellers coming into India.” There will be no separate investment for creating facilities for Inclusive Tourism as they will be part of the blue print of the projects.

“The projects and requirements to address the needs of Inclusive Tourism is very large, however if this is taken up in a phased manner it will work wonders for the tourism industry of India. Also, initially the facilities should be implemented at select destinations like for instance ones in the Golden Triangle, to study the effectiveness. Later the initiative can be implemented at other tourist destinations across the country,” said Rajiv Kohli, President, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) India Chapter. Last month ASTA, Society of Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH) and MoT in conducted a series of seminars addressing the need for developing Inclusive Tourism in India.

Source:
http://www.travelbizmonitor.com/PrintArticle.aspx?aid=3626&sid=0

The fundamental of Universal Design is that you build a product so that it usable by the largest number of people under the widest range of situations without the need for special modification. Simple. Not rocket science.

So when we read the following predictions about Hurricane Ike bearing down on Texas all these years after the mistakes of Katrina we can be certain that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has learned that the most cost-effective response is to insist that all mobile homes purchased with federal dollars meet that simple common sense criteria, right?

"This is pretty much a worst-case scenario for flooding the Gulf Coast area," Michael Chertoff, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told a press conference in Washington, D.C. "It is a potentially catastrophic hurricane. We will move as swiftly as possible to relieve suffering."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimated that at least 100,000 homes would be flooded and that several million people could be without power. Officials were sending more than 5.5 million prepackaged meals to the region, along with more than 230 generators and 5.6 million liters of water.

Here we go again! Exclusion by design.

Message to Mr. Chertoff -- You can't relieve suffering by providing "solutions" that cause suffering. You cannot relive suffering caused by the built environment without unequivocally adopting Universal Design.

Watch the weather. There is a a slow storm brewing that will sweep away those who perpetrate the social exclusion caused when government constructs cities that are not Livable or Visitable.

2010 Legacy Now asks the right questions - and answers them with action.

2010 Legacy Now image.jpg


Action is especially important because 2010 Legacy Now is about strategically and comprehensively capturing the synergies available and creating inclusive livable communities in light of the build up to the 2010 Winter Paralympic and Olympic Games in British Columbia:

Why does accessible tourism matter?

People with disabilities represent a growing population of travellers. There are:

* 638,000 British Columbians with disabilities
* 4.4 million people in Canada with disabilities
* 54 million people in the USA with disabilities
* 60 million people in Europe with disabilities
* 700 million people worldwide with disabilities

These numbers increase significantly when expanded to include seniors with accessibility needs; the friends, family and caretakers who travel with people with disabilities; and people with temporary accessibility needs such as injury, pregnancy and families using strollers.

Accessible tourism is tourism for all - and it benefits everyone:

* Consumers get more choice
* Businesses and communities access a significant and often underserved market
* BC demonstrates its commitment to equity and fairness
* People with disabilities become more engaged in community life
* Businesses have access to a larger number of employable people


http://www.2010legaciesnow.com/include-everyone/

This link to incredible Paralympic action shots by Sports Illustrated was brought to our attention by Loren Worthington of Accessing Arizona and Rolling F-Stop.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0809/oly.beijing.paralympics/content.1.html

Quads: Let's Fly!

| 0 Comments

Bruce McGhie is the world's first glider pilot licensed to fly with hand controls. His book, Ascent, tells about this and other breakthrough accomplishments. Watch his video "Soaring: Hands Only"

Blogs from the Paralympics

| 0 Comments

iPod Improves as a Travel Tool?

| 0 Comments

The new iPod Nano is out.

It's not that it is chock full of content or capacities that make it a necessity for a traveler - although having your tunes along is nice.

What is prophetic is the prominence given in the interface design to the aging demographic and other visually impaired users :

In a bid to increase the accessibility of the Nano for people with impaired vision, Apple has included a font size setting on the fourth-generation Nano that makes its menus more legible--a nice feature even if you have 20/20 vision...

An unprecedented feature found only on the fourth-generation Nano is the capability for vision-impaired users to hear menu, selection, and playback information read to them in a synthesized voice. You can enable this feature through iTunes, which generates the synthesized voice information and transfers it to your iPod Nano.

Maria Gilda L. Quintua is CEO of M.G.L.Q. Deaf Tour Assistance, Philippines. The upcoming film, Silent Odyssey, may give you even more reasons to want to visit the Philippines and take advantage of her service.

Prince Salman Center.jpg


Congratulations to the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities on taking a bold step forward in the promotion of Inclusive Tourism in collaboration with the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research.

JEDDAH: Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the board of trustees, signed 10 separate agreements for the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research at a ceremony held here on Monday night. “These agreements are aimed at reaching out to the international community in a spirit of collaboration and help us achieve our goals to serve disability research,” the prince told a meeting at Jeddah’s Le Meridien Hotel.

What's a "NORC"?

| 0 Comments

SeniorResource.com features a page with definitions and tips on Aging-in-Place. Among the resources is this definition of a "NORC":

A NORC is a community or neighborhood where residents remain for years, and age as neighbors, until a Naturally Occurring Retirement Community develops. A NORC may refer to a specific apartment building, or a street of old single family homes. Residents would just have stayed and just aged.

It is possible to band together and develop, or seek help to develop, access to services to aid those needing assistance, thereby retaining the highest quality of life for all residents as they age. Some 27% of seniors live in a NORC.


See:

http://www.seniorresource.com/ageinpl.htm#remodserv

Press release:

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new website for the European Commission's 'Academic Network of European Disability experts' (ANED) http://www.disability-europe.net

ANED was established by the European Commission in 2008 to provide
academic and scientific support and advice for its disability policy
Unit. In particular, the activities of the Network will support the
future development of the EU Disability Action Plan and practical
implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of
Disabled People in Europe. The Network is managed by Human European
Consultancy (NL) and the Centre for Disability Studies at the University
of Leeds (UK).

Sam Sullivan.jpg

The Paralipmics are underway - but I'm already looking forward to the 2010 Winter Games. They will be in Vancouver, BC where Sam Sullivan is mayor.

Mayor Sullivan is a recipient of the nation's highest honour, the Order of Canada, for his community service on behalf of marginalized people. He has won several other awards, including the Terry Fox Award for national excellence, and the Christopher Reeve Award for his outstanding contributions to the community of persons with spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities.

He obtained a Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University and has also taught himself the basics of several languages including Cantonese, Italian and Punjabi.

Sullivan broke his neck while skiing at the age of 19 and is a quadriplegic. He is the founder of six non-profit organizations that have improved the lives of thousands of North Americans with disabilities, including the Tetra Society which recruits technically-skilled volunteers to create assistive devices for people with disabilities (30 chapters throughout North America), and the Disabled Sailing Association which provides opportunities for people with disabilities to sail (20 chapters in North America). He is an avid sailor, and also enjoys hiking using an assistive device he co-invented called the TrailRider, a one-wheeled vehicle that enables people with disabilities to travel and participate in hiking/camping trips and is in use throughout North America.

Toward a New Ideal of Seaworthiness

| 0 Comments

Watch for publication of the Waypoint-Backstrom Principles of human-centered maritime design. Meanwhile, enjoy a video of what it might mean to see their new definition of seaworthiness put into practice just as Universal Design is applied in a terrestrial built environment:

New Supplier in Brazil: Brazil 10

| 0 Comments

Carlos Sprei at Brazil 10 is in the process of growing his product line. Look for inclusive travel packages into Brazil starting withe Parque dos Sonhos in Socorro.

See:

http://www.brasil10.com/novidades5en.php

"To me, excuses are excuses. I don't think there's any logical reason why they couldn't have made this accessible to everyone without segregating a portion of the population off to two elevators."

So goes the argument at the center of a design decision controversy for River Landing in Saskatoon. For those willing to dig, the compromise solution may already be built and working well in some unique stair/ramp designs in Singapore. For the full article:

http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/story.html?id=8c595198-63e3-49ee-b6d7-49f60b2fd996

The Waypoint-Backstrom Principles are circulating through the boating industry raising awareness of Universal Design on the water.

Some mornings I wake up and dream big. Dreams are fun to share. So here's a "dream starter" to share with you:

The M/V Argyl is a fully accessible motor yacht plying the waters of the British Virgin Islands. So far she is still available for this year's holiday season....

Sir Philip Craven, president of the International Paralympic Committee, called the United States “slower to react” to Paralympic support than nations well beyond Canada and Britain, citing Brazil, Iran and France. “I find it strange in the 21st century,” he said. “We would expect of the U.S. to be one of the leading nations when it comes to this sort of principle.”

See Allan Schwarz coverage of the Paralympics. He writes:

When he rolls to the starting line for the 1,500-meter wheelchair race at the Paralympics, the Olympics for disabled athletes that begin Saturday in Beijing, Tony Iniguez will wear his Team USA uniform with pride. He will compete for the United States’s Olympic program. He is also suing it for discrimination.

Iniguez is one of many Paralympians who criticize the United States Olympic Committee for providing less direct financial assistance and other benefits at lower levels to Paralympic athletes than to Olympians in comparable sports. The committee awards smaller quarterly training stipends and medal bonuses to Paralympic athletes. Benefits like free health insurance, which help athletes devote more hours to training, are available to a smaller percentage of Paralympians.

The New York Times reports of the support differential between a Paralympic athlete and a similar Olympian:

For example, in 2007, members of the United States Paralympic track and field team were given either $1,000 or $2,000 in stipends to help defray the cost of training; similar Olympic hopefuls received $10,000 to $15,000. Slots for athletes to receive room and board for full-time training at centers in Colorado Springs and Chula Vista, Calif., were also more open to Olympic athletes than Paralympic athletes; wheelchair athletes had no live-in program at all.

The complete article is here.

It's underway - and it has representation by people with disabilities for the first time in its history.

See the web site for the Adventure Travel World Summit and Fair.

ATYAAAAKK9mC0mZ5Mre24yMRxSNf-vz4jN-Tpzlr77vyQJX73C843cy0g-m1l-UK7w-KJ0hbP0b-WXZeY2jlKFfO_ExAAJtU9VBU7yU0jX_cl2aXsgqXruS6PFGMxw.jpg

Surfer Ann Yoshida is interviewed by Tiffiny Carlson here:

no_free_rides.jpg

http://www.xable.com/lifestyle/nofreerides/episode27

It is also the spirit that brings disabled adventure travel experts to the podium at Adventure Travel World Summit, the Adventure Travel World Fair, and the Brazilian Adventure Society in São Paulo, Brazil right now and to the 2009 national conference of SATH and the Adventure Tour Operators' Association of India 2009 national conference in India this coming January.

Lulu logo.png
Always turning up new and relevant inclusive travel news the September 2008 issue of Global Access News Travel E-Zine has found Lulu for us:

Access news from the U.S. Pacific Northwest region includes, “Where’s Lulu,” a new site dedicated to disabled access in Portland, Oregon. The site provides a forum where readers can post their own access insights on local businesses and services. To learn more, visit http://www.whereslulu.com/

Eve of the Paralympics: Update on China

| 0 Comments

(New York, September 5, 2008) – Despite recent positive steps, discrimination against persons with disabilities continues in China and organizations for the disabled face government pressure and harassment, Human Rights Watch said today on the eve of the September 6 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

“The Chinese government deserves praise for enacting laws and ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “But so far these protections have meant little to persons with disabilities and their advocates in China who struggle to promote their rights and, in particular, to fairly compete for employment.”

The Chinese government has in recent years enacted a variety of new laws including the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons, Regulations on the Education of Persons with Disabilities, and the Regulations on Employment of Persons with Disabilities, which on paper provide impressive protections of the rights of China’s estimated 82.7 million persons with disabilities. Human Rights Watch applauded the Chinese government’s August 1, 2008, ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Human Rights Watch said that the new laws have not ended discriminatory employment practices.

logosecretaria.jpg

Encontro dos Países Lusófonos para Divulgação e Implementação da Convenção sobre os Direitos das Pessoas com Deficiência de 10 a 14 de setembro de 2008 em Santos - São Paulo - Brasil

O logo do encontro:

Construction has begun on the historic Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California:

Judged strictly by traditional development standards, the new Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley will be woefully inefficient when it opens in the spring of 2010.

The corridors will be unusually wide. The bathrooms will be unusually large. Doors will be programmed to open by custom motion detectors rather than simple lock and key.

But architect William Leddy measures the design by a different yardstick: its future use by Jan Garrett, who was born without arms or legs but became an attorney and now is executive director of Center for Independent Living, one of the campus' future tenants.

"The goal was to make a building where Jan can come in after hours and move about with no problem at all," said Leddy, whose firm Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects designed the complex that on Thursday officially began construction.

Full story:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/05/BA3T12O8KH.DTL

UNITED NATIONS // With her six-year stint as the UN's special rapporteur on disability drawing to a close, Sheikha Hissa Khalifa Al Thani questions whether handicapped people in the Arab world will ever get a fair deal.

During her time in office, Sheikha Hissa, a relative of Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has travelled from Morocco to Yemen, bringing together those with disabilities and government officials to promote equitable laws.

The UN's outgoing disability watchdog describes the Arab region as lagging behind the rest of the world.

"Disabled people are more marginalised and more isolated than other people. But specifically in the Arab region, they are invisible, because of negative social attitudes and the lack of a human rights culture," Sheikha Hissa said.

"It doesn't need to be this way. We don't have the same problems as the developing world, which suffers from a lack of resources. Countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia could have standards like Scandinavian countries – but there is this obstacle, which is the lack of awareness."

Challenge Mountain

| 0 Comments

Here's a video on Challenge Mountain of Walloon in Boyne City, Michigan

Elizabeth Johnson from the Educational Institute of American Hotel & Lodging Association contributes the second in Express Travel World series on Inclusive Tourism in India. She offers valuable insights on serving customers with disabilities that are both visible and invisible:

Some hotel guests may have disabilities that are easy to recognise; for instance, a person using a wheelchair or crutches. Other disabilities, however, may not be as obvious: deafness or hearing loss, blindness, speech impairment, mental retardation, or learning disabilities. Following are some basic guidelines to help your property to serve guests with disabilities better

She covers blindness, deafness, speech, and mobility disabilities.

Esperamos tantos anos para um evento igual em Recife. E com orgulho nas colegas Pernambucanos que anuncio:

O 1º Congresso Nacional de Turismo Muito Especial de Pernambuco é um evento que visa difundir o turismo para pessoas com deficiência no Brasil, sensibilizando e mostrando cases de sucesso para o trade turístico, empresários, gestores públicos, organizações não governamentais, profissionais da área, acadêmicos e demais interessados.

O congresso será realizado de 10 a 12 de setembro de 2008 no Recife Palace Hotel, Av. Boa Viagem, 4070 - Boa Viagem - Recife - PE.

O Congresso »

Objetivo Geral

Realização de um Congresso na cidade de Recife, capital do Estado de Pernambuco, sobre Turismo Especial e a inclusão das pessoas com deficiência, no intuito de promover e divulgar o Turismo para pessoas com deficiência e/ou mobilidade reduzida.

The Paralympics According to Xinhua

| 0 Comments

Paralympic banner.jpg

This press release straight and unedited from Xinhua. It will be interesting to compare it to firsthand accounts sent by people with disabilities:

BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese awareness of the welfare of its 83 million disabled population is rising as its capital prepares to host the Paralympics, which starts in two days.

During its seven years of preparation for the Olympics and Paralympics, Beijing took account of the needs of disabled people when updating public facilities.

Each of the city's 123 subway stations now has at least one entrance equipped with a wheelchair lift, according to the subway company.

Learning from Katrina: Finally!

| 0 Comments

This is what the disability community began promoting only hours after Katrina:

A University of Iowa law professor and Rebuild Iowa Commission consultant is urging state officials to replace homes damaged or destroyed by this summer’s natural disasters with structures that are usable by people of all ages and abilities, especially seniors and people with disabilities.

Leonard Sandler, a clinical professor in the University of Iowa College of Law, says the state has an opportunity following the floods and tornadoes to ensure more homes are livable and accessible to disabled and senior residents.

Will Ottowa start becoming more friendly to tourists with disabilities? Maybe, if activist Bob Brown has his way:

OTTAWA-After challenging the National Capital Commission because the York Street Steps are not accessible to the disabled, Bob Brown is taking the Société de Transport de l'Outaouais to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal because its buses aren't wheelchair-accessible.

The tribunal is to hear the case in October.

For the whole story:
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=3eaef329-aec8-454c-ab33-8721d201c907

Resolving Wrap Rage with Universal Design

| 0 Comments

Research and Markets may be a bit ignorant of the history of Universal Design but it does get the motivator right for its ubiquitous adoption in Japan -- the demographic age inversion that will sequentially impact all countries in the world:

DEMOGRAPHICS TRENDS & A NEW DESIGN MOVEMENT

Changing demographics in Japanese society mean that the population is ageing rapidly, resulting in dramatic changes in lifestyles and consumer expectation.

UNIVERSAL DESIGN (UD) is a new revolutionary movement to promote a different way of thinking about the functionality of the package builds accessibility and user-convenience into the initial concept: easy opening for the elderly yet child proof, clearly labeled instructions for eyesight impaired yet hold shelf appeal, pre-cooked meals in retortable or mircrowavable pouches are self-venting to release steam and prevent scalding.
This new UD movement has been adopted by ALL of the major packaging producers and brand owners in Japan collaborating to develop new active intelligent packaging materials, substrates and closures.
This report analyses the impact of UD and includes practical examples of new packaging formats which have found success in the market as a result of UD.

It's a Long Walk

| 0 Comments

Reema Sisodia of Express Travel World ends the first article in the publication's excellent three-part series on Inclusive Tourism with the following:

Bringing about radical changes may be intimidating for India given its position in this area at this point of time. But it can hope to reach a respectable level of sympathy and infrastructural sophistication only with singular efforts towards this direction. Trained and sensitive manpower is probably the first step.

The article is yet another affirmation of the leadership shown by the India Chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). Sisodia quotes ASTA India president Rajeev Kolhi:

Anyone following the Paralympics, the impact of Article 30 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or who just wants inclusion and accessibility to really mean something should spend a few minutes reading Corey Fairbanks' article in Athletic Business "Obstacle Course."

His piece begins like any good travelogue by someone with a disability -- with the recognition that all travel is adventure travel for a person with a disability - and proceeds to extend the principles of Universal Design into the locker room (yes, complete with photos and illustrations):

To be part of Nebraska's elite football program, I had spent countless hours in weight rooms and recreation facilities preparing my body for competition. Now, wheelchair tennis matches notwithstanding, I find myself challenged by wet and cluttered locker rooms that lack proper shower accessories, as well as inaccessible weight and cardio rooms, gymnasiums and swimming pools. I, like so many others, also face the negative stigma attached to people with disabilities, despite the fact that we form a demographic that has begun to understand in greater numbers the benefits of good health and fitness. Unfortunately, our best efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle are too often met by unaccommodating recreation centers. Accessing facilities by way of stairs, restricted paths and narrow doorways can be a workout in itself. One is left to imagine the obstacles that wait inside.

According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau figures, more than 14 million Americans live with some form of physical disability. Whether these individuals are accommodated or excluded depends greatly on the way architects choose to conduct their business and design buildings.

Visit Spain!

| 0 Comments

The latest issue of Polibea Turismo is available in Spanish and English.

See articles like Viajes AccessSIbles or Atencion a los Pasajeros con Moviliidade Reducida - Aena

Esurfista Especial (Portuguese)

| 0 Comments

Vai comecar o World Adventure Tourism Summit and Fair em Sao Paulo.

Anteriormente, em julho foi outro evento de aventura com tema de inclusao: 5º Ecoadventur Litoral Norte- SP/2008 na Praça de Eventos ,Caraguatatuba (SP)
www.ecoadventur.com.br

O Ecoadventur/2008 ofereceu atividades como palestras, conferências, reuniões de categorias profissionais, além de apresentações culturais abrangendo música, teatro e dança por grupos representativos de comunidades da região. Tinha demonstrações de atividades que compõem o turismo de aventura e a participação dos visitantes em variadas atrações como tirolesa, arvorismo e parede de escalada.

Tinha tambem um surfista de 38 anos, Robson Jerônimo de Souza -- "Careca."

See the case of Katrina Segundo-Casino as one example of the ongoing assault on inclusive air travel occurring in Asia:

Denied Boarding in the Philippines
http://barrierfreetravels.com/serendipity/archives/377-Denied-Boarding-in-the-Philippines.html

Also:
http://www.gulfnews.com/world/Philippines/10235846.html