March 2009 Archives

"Meet the People"



by Pam Taylor

As a tour operator we were told by SAPS (SA Police) that we should not really go into the townships as it was perceived that, as non-residents of townships, we were taking away the business opportunities from the locals. Our safety could not be guaranteed and needing an adapted vehicle for starters the "locals" could not do the tour. So with all this information we opted not to do the local Cape Town township tour.

I looked around for something else, for loss of a better word, a little more dignified, where the people could show their pride rather than play on your feelings of guilt and see their poverty. I then met a young man with vision and a dream - Jauckie Viljoen. The fact that he lives in Mossel Bay, the town where I grew up and which will always be close to my heart due to a wonderful childhood there, was even better. The tour is conducted in the area of Mossel Bay, Little Brak River and Great Brak River on the Garden Route. Some of these areas have such high rates of unemployment that promoting the community and highlighting their plight is a plus.

So we did a "Meet the People" tour and got to know some fascinating characters on this reconnaissance. I also had to see how wheelchair friendly it was and how we could accommodate guests with other disabilities and how our mature and discerning guests would like it - it went down a storm with everyone I have taken there.

One person on this "Meeting" stands out as the person who has grown the most from meeting and interacting with people from different walks of life around the world.

Janneman.jpgHis name is Janneman. He is a carpenter by trade, but after an accident which left him paraplegic, he could not work as before and his confidence was totally shattered and he felt that he was "lost" to the world, where an income makes the difference between poverty and putting a meal on the table of his family. 

When I first met this gentle man - note that I split the word - he was shy, felt worthless and useless and would not even look you in the eye. With a lot of encouragement from Jauckie and some help from the local Rotarians, I am very pleased to say, Janneman is a changed man, he has found Pride over potential  Poverty. He now makes hand stitched leather bags. His smile is broad and welcoming, his small workshop fully accessible for wheelchairs and all other disabilities, all other types of visitor's in fact, and they have such a warm feeling of friendship and almost awe after listening to Jauckie explain the whole story before arriving to meet this gentleman whose life has been turned around.

This is just one of the many people we meet, when "Meeting the People" on this DIFFERENT type of tour, which includes lunch in the township, meeting a lady who runs an "alcohol free" shebeen and kiddies playground. Also a lady that uses herbs grown in her garden, to make a refreshing tea. A gentleman who roasts coffee beans and the smells emanating from his roastery is wonderful as those with sensory disabilities such as sight impairment can smell and feel the tree he has potted in the entrance, as well as feel the beans, also hear the popping of the beans as they are roasted. Many other interesting people on this tour, not all in townships, a mix of all our wonderful cultures and peoples who make up the face of South Africa - we welcome you to send you guests and have them experience this wonderful "Pride over Poverty" tour which leaves you feeling that you have done something special, rather than feeling guilty and embarrassed.


The ADA and Timeshares

This is an under-explored topic among advocates of Inclusive Travel. Timeshare buyers or owners with disabilities generally find themselves on tehir own when researching in this area.

Not so iif you are property owner. Here is a piece rom Hotel & Timeshare Law blog, "Does the timeshare exit strategy or repositioning your property create ADA problems?"

The Tiralo is a portable beach wheelchair.

New EU Cmputer Reservation Regulations

New  EU regulations entered into force today --  29th of March 2009

Several recent developments have occurred that indicate progress in our
work to make travel safer and more convenient for the disability

Wisconsin Public Radio's "Here on Earth" featured Craig Grimes and Scott Rains on Inclusive Tourism. Podcast here.

Work in South Africa continues on several fronts through Enabled Online and
Accessible Cape Town. An interview of disability rights activist and South Afican parliamentary candidate Ari Seirlis written by Monicca Guy has been published here under the Leadership tab.

Enabled Online:      

Accessible Cape Town:

In Portuguese two sites have been launched. TurisNautas is designed as a
business social network for travel agents. Cruzeiros Maritmas focuses on cruises. Both have special interest groups dealing with Inclusive Tourism.


Cruzeiros Maritimos:

In Spanish a site dedicated entirely to Inclusive Tourism has been


In Canada a significant partnership has been forged linking Flight Centres
(Canada) with the Canadian Paralympic Team:


In Indian a two-day conference on Inclusive Tourism run by Svayam has
successfully concluded.

In Italy plan have been finalized for the international congress on
Inclusive Tourism - "Neurology in the Third Millennium: From Disability to
Social Reinsertion. Speakers include Scott Rains and Deng Xiopeng

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Press Release:

Travel retailer Flight Centre is pleased to announce it has entered into an exclusive partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee, demonstrating its commitment to making travel accessible to everyone.

The announcement was made March 24th at the Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards where Flight Centre sponsored the 'Athlete with a Disability' category. As Official Travel Partner to the Canadian Paralympic Committee, Flight Centre will make all travel arrangements for the Canadian Paralympic Team through to the 2012 Paralympic games in London. This will include all travel for Paralympic Team Canada and mission staff, as well as athletes, friends and family to the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.

As part of the agreement, Flight Centre will donate a portion of every consumer travel dollar spent with the Flight Centre Accessible Travel division to the Canadian Paralympic Committee. "The Canadian Paralympic Committee is working to develop the strongest and best-prepared Canadian team for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games," said Carla Qualtrough, President, Canadian Paralympic Committee.

"Smooth travel will be critical to athlete preparation, and we are very pleased to have Flight Centre, a recognized world leader in travel planning, to support us." "We are extremely proud to be leading the travel industry in an area which has largely been overlooked and we are truly honoured to have the Canadian Paralympic Committee as our first client." said Flight Centre President Greg Dixon.

"Visiting different countries and experiencing new cultures is one of the added benefits of being a Canadian athlete," said Michelle Stilwell, Paralympian and winner of 2009 Sport BC Athlete with a Disability award. "When possible people should take the opportunity to travel and explore the world."

Flight Centre has retained an industry-recognized accessible travel specialist as consultant to assist it to develop and refine the company's offering in terms of specialized product, storefront accessibility, training as to client needs and recruitment. The travel retailer has compiled three Accessible Travel teams in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto. "Flight Centre is working with partners to establish expert travel advice to travelers with a physical disability, including seniors, wheelchair users and persons who are visually impaired. We will be relying on the advice of a number of organizations to ensure that we are continually improving the company's offering." said Dixon.


About Flight Centre Flight Centre (Canada) is a leading retailer of travel products and services for the leisure and corporate markets. Flight Centre's presence in Canada includes more than 150 shops & businesses and over 1,000 staff across the country.

About the Canadian Paralympic Committee The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, charitable, private organization that delivers programs that strengthen the Paralympic Movement in Canada, including sending Canadian teams to the Paralympic Games. The CPC changes the perception of disability by empowering persons with physical disabilities, through sport, at all levels.


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Here on Earth Radio Interview

Here on Earth.gif
Craig Grimes and I were just on the Wisconsin Public Radio show Here on Earth.

You can find the podcast here:


One of the items they asked for before the show were sound bytes. I only found Fred Small's ballad, "Talking Wheelchair Blues" too late for the show. Here are the lyrics:

I went for a jog in the city air
I met a woman in a wheelchair
I said "I'm sorry to see you're handicapped."
She says "What makes you think a thing like that?"

And she looks at me real steady
And she says, "You want to drag?"

So she starts to roll and I start to run
And she beat the pants off my aching buns
You know going uphill I'd hit my stride
But coming down she'd sail on by!

When I finally caught up with her
She says "Not bad for somebody ablebodied.
You know, with adequate care and supervision
You could be taught simple tasks.
So how about something to eat?"

I said that'd suit me fine
"We're near a favorite place of mine."
So we mosied on over there
But the only way in was up a flight of stairs.

"Gee, I never noticed that," says I.
"No problem," the maitre d' replies.
"There's a service elevator around the back."

So we made it upstairs on the elevator
With the garbage, flies, and last week's potatoes
I said "I'd like a table for my friend and me."
He says "I'll try to find one out of the way."

Then he whispers, "Uh, is she gonna be sick,
I mean, pee on the floor or throw some kind of fit?"
I said "No, I don't think so,
I think she once had polio.

But that was twenty years ago.
You see, the fact of the matter is,
If the truth be told,
She can't walk.

So he points to a table, she wheels her chair
Some people look down and others stare
And a mother grabs her little girl
Says "Keep away, honey, that woman's ill."

We felt right welcome.

Then a fella walks up and starts to babble
About the devil and the holy bible
Says "Woman, though marked with flesh's sin,
Pray to Jesus, you'll walk again!"

Then the waiter says "What can I get for you?"
I said "I'll have your best imported brew."
And he says "What about her?"
I say "Who?" He says "Her."

"Oh, you mean my friend
He says "Yeah." I say "What about her?"
"Well, what does she want?"
"Well, why don't you ask her?"

Then he apologizes.
Says he never waited on a cripple before.
We immediately nominated him for Secretary of the Interior.

Well, she talked to the manager when we were through

She says "There're some things you could do
To make it easier for folks in wheelchairs."
He says "Oh, it's not necessary.
Handicapped never come here anyway."

Well, I said goodnight to my newfound friend
I said, "I'm beginning to understand
A little bit of how it feels
To roll through life on a set of wheels."

She says "Don't feel sorry, don't feel sad,
I take the good along with the bad
I was arrested once at a protest demo
And the police had to let me go.

See, we were protesting the fact
That public buildings weren't wheelchair accessible.
Turned out the jail was the same way.

Anyway, I look at it this way--
In fifty years you'll be in worse shape than I am now.
See, we're all the same, this human race.
Some of us are called disabled. And the rest--
Well, the rest of you are just temporarily able-bodied


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New Zealand has a new Inclusive Tourism resource. Marina Hanger opened Ability Adventures Ltd in December 2008 to offer inbound tourism services for people of all abilities.

  Marina Hanger
Ability Adventures Ltd
PO Box 5418
Dunedin 9058
New Zealand
Ph +64 3 476 2013
Fax +64 3 476 2012
Mobile +64 27 324 0003

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A map of parties to the Convention on the Righ...

Image via Wikipedia

We would like to see Mexico, India, and the Ukraine advocating for the effective implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) - especially Article 30 dealing with tourism.

Are their DPOs in each country interested in teaming up to do the hard work? If so, contact the Rolling Rains Report.

Here is an offer from the Disability Rights Fund to get mobilized!

Grant Guidelines - Overview

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) seeks to strengthen the participation of Disabled Persons' Organizations (DPOs) in the advancement of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at country level in the Global South and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union.

The 2009 "Raising Our Voice" grant cycle will consist of two grantmaking rounds:

  1. The first grantmaking round (described below) is directed to DPO activities in the following three countries: in Latin America - Mexico; in Asia: India; and in Eastern Europe/fSU - Ukraine. The deadline for applications for this round is Thursday, 16 April 2009 at 24:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
  1. The second grantmaking round will be publicized in July 2009 and will encompass grants to the same seven target countries where DRF grantmaking occurred in 2008.


Applicants in the first round can apply within one of two categories: a) single organizations or partnerships and b) national DPO coalitions.

DRF will make grants to organizations and projects that demonstrate a clear ability and commitment to contribute to the advancement of the human rights of persons with disabilities. Grants will provide one-year, project-specific support. Cross-disability and other partnerships in-country are strongly encouraged, as are projects which address particularly marginalized sectors of the disability community.

To be considered for funding, you must complete and submit all parts of the Grants Application Form as outlined in the Requests for Proposals.

Send your completed application in a single email (multiple attachments are okay) no later than 16 April 2009, in English, Spanish, Russian or Ukrainian by e-mail to

Please contact if you need the RFP or Grant Application documents in a different format.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the first funding round will be posted here on March 16th.

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) named Esther Greenhouse, CAPS, as the 2008 Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) of the Year during the Sixth Annual Graduation Reception at the 2009 International Builders' Show® in Las Vegas on Jan. 20.


Each year, the NAHB recognizes an individual for their work in this specialized field. The NAHB Remodelers, in collaboration with the AARP, NAHB Research Center, and NAHB 50+ Housing Council, developed the program to provide comprehensive, practical, market-specific information about working with older and maturing adults to remodel their homes for aging-in-place.


Esther Greenhouse is an environment gerontologist: a professional who specializes in how the built environment effects the functioning and well-being of older adults. A former interior designer, Greenhouse has worked as a researcher and a lecturer at Cornell University. She has taught design studios focusing on accessibility, universal design for seniors and design for Alzheimer's disease. Dedicated to enabling seniors to successfully age in place, she teaches CAPS classes to make this a reality. Greenhouse recently consulted on the nation's first elder-focused emergency department and conducts seminars on aging in place.


"Esther Greenhouse is a leader in spreading the benefits of aging in place remodeling," said NAHB Remodelers Chairman Greg Miedema, CGR, CGB, CAPS, a remodeler from Tucson, Ariz. "She is active in teaching universal design and accessibility while promoting senior-friendly community planning."


For more information about the NAHB University of Housing's Designee of the Year nomination process please call the NAHB University of Housing Professional Designation Help Line at (800) 368-5242, ext. 8154.  For more information about remodeling, visit

To find CAPS professionals who are builders, remodelers, OTs, PTs, etc., to assist you with Aging in Place solutions see:

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Gyeongbok Palace - Seoul Korea

Image by laszlo-photo via Flickr

2009 International Study Program: Global Challenges for Youth with Disabilities

- In Pursuing Rights -




1. Background

In recognition of lack of positive social role models for young persons with disabilities, the KSRPD(Korean Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities) began an international study program to empower young persons with disabilities 5 years ago.


The objective of the program is,


¡× to provide youth with disabilities with opportunities to build their capacity, so that they can full-fill their lives, and contribute to the national and global community in the future,

¡× to bridge the gab between disability experts and persons with disability, and the gab between people with disabilities and without, through working together as a team, and

¡× to raise public awareness of 'Ability' of young persons with disabilities.


This pioneering project has been running for the last 4 years, and has become popular not only among youth with disabilities, but also youth without disabilities, who participate in the program as assistants.


2. Program 2009


1) When : 10 days between mid August and mid September

2) Where : Seoul, Korea




3) Composition of the Program

The number of participants of the program this year will be 50, in 7 teams (1 team per Continent and Team Korea. The overall composition of the program is as follows,

Team & Theme


Number of participants

Rights of Persons with Disability in Korea



(10 Asians with disabilities, 10 Koreans with and without disabilities)

Public Awareness

1 team per



(4 with & 4 without disabilities)

Living Rights


(4 with & 4 without disabilities)

Free topic


(4 with & 4 without disabilities)

Personal Challenge: Vocational Career


(1 with & 1 without disabilities)

Personal Challenge: Culture


(1 with & 1 without disabilities)

Personal Challenge: Education


(1 with & 1 without disabilities)

(* Details to be decided after the team recruitment by the end of April)


4) Composition of Team Korea

-10 Asians with disabilities & 10 Koreans with and without disabilities

- Participating countries: Cambodia, India, Korea, Mongolia, Vietnam and Uzbekistan

 (2 people from each country)


5) Requirement

- Young people with disabilities, aged between 18~30 years

- English both for speaking and writing an article for the program

; English will be an official language during the program

- Independent personal care & living skills

; Some support with mobility will be available-i.e. help with a wheelchair, but  

- Stable health condition (No medical/nursing support available to a person in need of  medical intervention during the study program)

- Ability to work in a multi-cultural setting, and good understanding of different culture

-          Limits:

Type of disability: Despite the fact that the program is open to all types of disabilities, as long as young people can carry their tasks during the program. However, the Team Korea inevitably has to put a limit on the participants' type of disability, owing to the different nationalities of the participants. At this stage, it is too difficult to include people who sign, as it requires 2 ways of interpreting. (From ASL sign to Korean speaking language and to English for other participants)

Unlike teams for personal challenge, the Team Korea is a short-term research project and requires a high level of information exchange between countries. Therefore, people with a severe learning disability will not be suitable for the team Korea.


6) Selection: Same way as the last year, as follows,

  - 1st selection by each representative organization: approximately 4 candidates

- Final selection by KSRPD: 2 people from each country


7) Study topic of Team Korea: The rights of people with disability in Korea

The study is to look at legal frameworks, ensuring the rights of persons with disability, visiting relevant fields, and meeting influential people (in Poliotics, field or movement). Details need to be decided from education, employment, housing, vocational training, accessibility etc. Cultural experience (including home-stay for 1 or 2 nights) and Information Technology will be also part of the program.


Team Korea only started its pilot project last year, with other Asian young people, whilst the program had been for Korean young people to go abroad to widen their knowledge and skills until last year.

Despite the very first attempt, all participants of 2008 greatly enjoyed the program and maintain contact with other participants and us. There were two main aspects to be further developed from last year, which will be taken into consideration for this year's program.

1.      to allow more time for the participants to experience Korean culture, apart from learning about disability related issues and environments

2.      to reduce language barriers

(We will ensure Korean participants' English skills and if necessary, provide sufficient facilitators, who can help with interpretation)


All the participants are expected to work together as a team, with support from disability specialist and facilitators. At the end of the program, each team provides the outcome of their research, i.e. writing an essay or recording their projects.


8) Cost:

All expenses, directly involved in the program will be paid by KSRPD, including the flight ticket and expenses involved in staying in Korea during the program. However, expenses for their carers will not be able to be covered by KSRPD. For the safety or health reason, if a young person needs to travel with his or her own carer, the participant has to pay for the cost for the carer.


Selected youth will be given an opportunity to undertake an in-depth study on a chosen topic area by field trips to different regions of the world. It is anticipated that they will aim to broaden their experiences through 'cross-fertilization of ideas', which would nurture them to become the future leaders in the disability field.



Reena Lee & Soyoung Kim

-Tel : 82-2-3472-3709 (Direct line) or 82-2-3472-3556

-Fax : 82-2-3472-3592




Scholarship and Job are posted at
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:en:Fishing reel

Image via Wikipedia

The title tells the story -

"As recession deepens, more Americans go fishing."

Explaining the rise in simple, inexpensive vacation choices Jason Szep writes:

Hard times have had this effect on Americans before. In the last U.S. recession, from 2001 to 2002, spending on fishing rods and reels rose 12 percent to $343 million, according to the National Sporting Goods Association, a trade body that measures how much people spend on sporting goods...

Sports network ESPN added 44 percent more pages than planned to an insert in its "Bassmaster Magazine" aimed at saltwater fishermen because of advertiser demand, the Walt Disney Co-owned network said last week, citing demand from suppliers of equipment and boats to bass enthusiasts.

Let's see if the aging of the US population and turn toward Universal Design shows up in new sports equipment design.
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ENAT Newsletter

For those who do not yet subscribe to the newsletter of the European Network for Accessible Tourism:

ENAT logo

ENAT e-bulletin 8 : 19th March 2009
1. The Main European Accessible Tourism Event in 2009:
ENAT 2nd International Congress on Tourism for All, Vienna, Austria. Call for Papers. Deadline 3rd April 2009
The Open Call for Papers, Workshops and Exhibits is now published for the ENAT International Congress 2009, which will take place at the Austria Center, Vienna on 30 September - 1 October 2009. The Congress is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, and is organised by the ENAT National Coordinator for Austria, IBFT. Visit the Congress Website for full details.  Participation is free for persons whose abstracts are accepted. There is a reduced participation fee for ENAT Members.  Don't miss it!

2. News   European Parliament Tourism Intergroup Hosts Meeting on Impact of Global Recession
Madame Margie Sudre, Chair of the Parliamentary Intergroup on Tourism brought together key players in the tourism sector on 18 February 2009 to review the consequences of the global economic downturn for the European tourism industry.  Analyses, prognoses and possible actions were presented by the European Commission, HOTREC, Social Partners and others.  Read the full minutes of the meeting at the ENAT website. 

3. News    Germany: CDU/CSU Bundestag Group Submits Motion to Promote Barrier-Free Tourism
A coalition of the CDU and CSU parties has introduced a motion in the German Bundestag with the aim of promoting and strengthening the barrier-free design of public infrastructure and the provision of transport services, so as to encourage more accessible tourism offers throughout the country.  It's all about improving the quality of tourism, say the proponents of the motion, who would like to see a government programme to support the domestic tourism industry's efforts to make offers accessible for all visitors.

4. News   New Booking Website Launched at is a new on-line booking site for people with disabilities and others who need to know about the accessibility of venues and hotels before they travel. The site is conceived, designed and managed by Craig Grimes, a wheelchair user and determined traveller, adventurer and access consultant to the tourism industry. Access data is currently available for 8 cities and new venues are being developed continuously.

5. CETA Project    Competitiveness for European Tourism for All (CETA)
ENAT and partners "kicked-off" the new CETA project in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 12 March with a Workshop for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in the tourism sector.  The workshop, hosted at the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's headquarters by the National Tourist Association, drew a large audience to hear about the CETA project and related developments in Slovenia.
Visit the new CETA website at  Information specifically for SMEs will be placed on this site in the months ahead.
If you are an SME or work with SMEs, you can join the CETA Online Community Site at  Here you can add your personal or company profile, make your business known and meet new business contacts. It's easy and it's free of charge.

6. Funding Opportunities    ENAT Members' Project Funding Page (Last updated: 19 March 2009)
ENAT provides its members with information about funding opportunities gathered from a variety of sources. To view the Funding Page please log-in to the Members' Area of our website, using your email address and password, then select the link above.
You are welcome to send your news, events, and other items of interest for publication to:


Not a Member?  Go to the ENAT registration page :
Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director
European Network for Accessible Tourism asbl.
c/o EWORX S.A.,
Jean Moreas St. 66
GR-15231 Halandri, Athens
Tel. 0030 210 614 8380
Fax. 0030 210 614 8381
ENAT Official Web Site:
Tourism SMEs' Networking Site:
SKYPE name: ambroiv

ENAT: The European Network for Accessible Tourism asbl
is a non-profit association of organisations and individuals
from the private, public and NGO sectors. Our mission is
to make European tourism destinations, products and
services accessible to all visitors and to help promote
Accessible Tourism around the world.
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The UK Equality and Human Rights Commission has recently published "Your Right to Fly."  in .pdf and Word formats.  Follow the links below:

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Disabled? No, Just a Bit Stiff.

The connection between Universal Design, aging, and travel continues to surface.

A unique "massively multi-player future forecasting role-playing experience" designed by United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), AARP, and the Institute for the Future (IFTF) is one of the latest toys to catch my attention on aging - Ruby's Bequest. (More on this topic when I return from "Deepwell.")

I also enjoy Ed Perkin's musings about travel and aging at Smarter Travel. The title of his latestIt's just a flesh wound article tickled my sense of irony, "Disabled...Or Even Just a Little Stiff?"

There is a generation that precedes me that will never accept disability identity. It thereby leaves itself isolated from our sense of community and is left rather with a private sense of personal failure at being perpetually "just a little bit stiff."

As an antidote I offer the subliminal mascot
proposed so long ago by Andy Capp in his implicit battle against the anti-disabled themes of Dick Tracy -- Fearless Fosdick.

That's right, "It's only a flesh wound" marked the epitome of cool. It also allowed Cap to play the prophet's role. His Fearless Fosdick parody served as the nunatuk exposing a generation's addiction to disability denial.

But, after his bit of, perhaps unintentional, chiding Perkins makes a useful observation and distinction between disabilities such as spinal cord injuries and those disabilities occurring in the normal processes of aging:

Many travelers--as they get older--find themselves unable to compete with younger counterparts in the mad scramble that travel has become. The travel industry officially helps many, but others are sometimes left to fall through the cracks. Here's what I can tell you, in general, about travel options when you're slightly to fully disabled.

Much of the travel industry seems to view "disabled" narrowly as "confined to a wheelchair," and "accessible" as "accessible to someone in a wheelchair." The needs of those travelers are pretty well directed by the Americans with Disability Act and the Air Carrier Access Act...

All in all, the travel industry has accepted its mandate to accommodate travelers in wheelchairs reasonably well, in much of the world as well as in the United States. These requirements, however, leave a large group of travelers--impaired in some way but not dependent on wheelchairs--in limbo.

Read on for an email he recently received and his recommendations:

Slowly the full message of Universal Design - design for all - is getting through.

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Emerald Lake in British Columbia, Canada

Image by panduh via Flickr

Tumbler Ridge News reports on the coming of age of important - and grandly ambitious - project directed by Laurie Ringaert that is part of British Columbia's Legacy 2010 initiative:

Measuring Up The North (MUTN), a project that facilitates the development of livable, disability-friendly, age-friendly, universally designed, inclusive communities for all residents and visitors in Northern British Columbia, will host a conference "Creating Universally Designed Healthy Sustainable Communities" to be held at the Civic Centre in Prince George from April 6-8, 2009.

Over 250 delegates from across British Columbia as well as other parts of Canada and USA will attend. Delegates will include elected officials, planners, builders, developers, policy makers, code officials, designers, architects, health professionals, researchers, disability and senior's advocates and others. The anticipated results are more livable communities that help build local economies and enhance social development.

For the full story:

Related reading
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De la revista Rèport Amèricas:

Part I: Part II: Rèport Amèricas. Impresiones New Gate Media Editorial Turística, Año VI, edición Nº 167. Pp. 4 y 5.

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Noticas de la Argentina con una oportunidade profisional:


Está llegando... UNITE!!! Dejanos saber tu experiencia en un CV.

    ¿Estudiaste hotelería, turismo, o tenés experiencia en hotelería, restaurantes o SPA? Dejanos un mensaje en el blog, estamos entrevistando gente en Ciudad Autónoma y en San Antonio de Areco para la próxima capacitación y apertura.

    ¿Sos de Pilar y querés ir a trabajar en contra del mar de autos? Estamos ofreciendo oportunidad de empleo única: trabajar en el primer hotel plenamente integrado del país. ¿Cómo es eso? Como lo estudiaste en los libros, como te lo contaron en conferencias pero hoy en Argentina.

    Un hotel que de afuera y de adentro parece igual a otros pero que es en su esencia distinto.

    Sé que todos ofrecen algo distinto pero este es verdaderamente único en su tipo, si no prestá atención a algunos detalles:

    * Entrada desde la calle, recepción, salón, restaurante y habitaciones conectadas en una planta única.

  •     Ocho cuartos enteramente 'visitables' para alguien que se desplaza en silla de ruedas.
  •     Sector de piscina y SPA accesible.
  •     Acceso a piscina y jacuzzi por medio de ascensor hidráulico para quien lo precise.
  •     Restaurante con especialidades autóctonas y gourmet con opciones para quien no puede incluir en su dieta: excesivas grasas y calorías, azúcar, sal, trigo, avena, cebada y centeno. En otras palabras para personas: obesas, diabéticas, hipertensas o celíacas.
  •     Spa con profesionales capacitados para ofrecer tratamientos clásicos e innovadores en materia del bienestar.

    Quienes estamos al frente del Solar del Pago tenemos amplia experiencia en el área de Turismo Accesible y hotelería. Este Solar es el resultado de relevar la planta turística del país, buscando satisfacer las necesidades de gente que tiene aparte del deseo de descansar y pasarla bien en un hotel, la necesidad de de seguir su dieta, de entrar permanecer y salir de una propiedad de manera autónoma, y de disfrutar de TODO el hotel, y no sólo del cuarto accesible, en un entorno armonioso y con personal debidamente capacitado.

    ¿Te lo imaginaste?

    Si sos de los que dicen: Si no lo veo no lo creo, te esperamos para que lo conozcas.


    Solar del Pago
    Hotel Boutique - Restó - SPA

    San Antonio de Areco
    Provincia de Buenos Aires
    República Argentina


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Editor's note: The following excerpt from Marcus L Endicott's blog may contain unfamiliar language but it you stick with it you may discover some pretty interesting stuff about how someone is using the Semantic Web -- Web 3.0 -- to bear on issues of importance to the tourism industry.

From: Feedbots & Feeding Chatbots

As someone holding a degree in Psychology, and with a background in technology, I'm starting to feel like a psychologist for robots....  

I have previously blogged about developing my proprietary "green travel taxonomy" over many years, which is in fact a complex faceted-classification in the form of a database that currently drives the @greentravel1 Twitterbot. greentravel1 is also available on Blogspot as  It currently consists of 4 primary "channels":

#GTNews consists of Google News searches based on the green travel faceted-classification.
#GTRetweet consists of analysis of the Twitter public timeline based on the same green travel faceted-classification.
#GTVideo currently searches an abbreviated dataset of key terms on Google Video for purposes of scalability.
#GTFeeds consists of an accumulated set of closely related feeds added manually. 
In short, greentravel1 delivers a continuous feed of all English language green travel news, the entire green travel related Twitter commentary, plus all new green travel videos and related blog feeds

Read on here:
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Tanni Grey- Thompson on Travel

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson takes the world on tour with her in the Mail Online article, "Celeb travel: Tanni Grey- Thompson finds her wonderwall."

She writes:

It's right on my doorstep but I had only ever gone past it in the car. And I often thought: hang on a minute, I must visit Hadrian's Wall. Yet during my years of competing as a disabled athlete, the last thing I ever wanted to do with my time off was travel. I just wanted to stay at home and relax. So we hadn't really been on any family holidays since my daughter Carys was born seven years ago. Then, after I retired from international competition in 2007, it was time for a change.

Hadrian's Wall, built by the Romans to deter the troublesome Picts, was the obvious choice. We started our adventure at Tynemouth on the East Coast and crossed the breadth of the country to pretty Ravenglass in Cumbria, staying in farmhouses along the way.

Follow along here: Hadrian's Wall
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A Proud Member of ENAT

TFA Loo.gif

Tourism for All UK will have a stand (No 374) at this exciting new show
that invites you to explore the best of Britain and Irelands heritage,
flavours, adventure, countryside, coast and luxury experiences.

They will be available to give advice and guidance about accessible tourism, pass along their new Easy Access guide (free to members), explain membership privileges, and spak about their new collaboration with RADAR and VisitBritain to create OPEN BRITAIN, to be launched later this year

Chris Holmes, Britain's most successful Paralympic swimmer winning 9 Gold Medals, 6 of them at a single Game (Chris lost his sight aged 14), will be making a presentation with Tourism for All in the Active Theatre at 1.30 pm on Saturday 28th March. He will be showing how the inspiration provided by the UK's paralympians and the hosting of the games in London is an opportunity to change provision and attitudes to disability forever.

TFA have been allocated a number of FREE tickets for the show. For your chance to win please email, including your name and address.

The show will have 6 feature trails running through it relevant to
particular interests: heritage, countryside, flavours, coastal, active
and luxury. These trails can be picked up at your leisure, and will
include relevant exhibitors and finish at an interactive feature related
to the particular trail.

There will also be a series of guided trails  throughout the day lead by the Blue Badge Tour Guides. Guided tours include topics such as:

  • Life on the Edge - secrets of the seashore Coast around Britain and Ireland in thirty minutes
  • King of the Castle - Kings or dirty rascals? Whose side are you on?
  • A Spire to Heaven - simply divine buildings
  • Off with their Heads! - battles, murders and dirty deeds
  • A Spoon with a View - fabulous fare from fabulous places

A Taste of Britain and Ireland in thirty minutes.

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Here's hoping that copies of Simon Darcy's work "The politics of disability and access: the Sydney 2000 Games experience" are flying off the (virtual) shelves.
pique cover.jpg
Darcy's study on the impact of sports on the disability community is all the more timely.

There is a major worldwide push toward leaving an accessible architectural legacy and a positive social intervention of inclusion though major international sporting events. South Africa is abuzz with accessibility planning for the World Cup 2010; Brazil for 2014. London is making plans for the 2012 Olympics while India works toward the Commonwealth Games with infrastructure improvements.

Legacy 2010 in British Columbia and the envelope-pushing initiatives of Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics are the impetus for in stories like the following by Clare Ogilvie of Pique newsmagazine

In many ways sit skier Rob Gosse is the new face of disabled sport in Canada.

A strong self-advocate, well educated and well spoken, he is training to compete at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi. And thanks to the legacies in place from hosting the 2010 Paralympics, which mark their one-year countdown to Games time today (March 12), his dream is that much closer to reality.

A permanent and affordable accessible training and housing facility now exists in Whistler at the athletes' village, the facilities at the alpine and nordic venues are accessible, and so is the resort. It is hoped Whistler will become a training ground for summer and winter disabled sport.

For the full Pique story:

Whistler Legacy 2010.jpg To read an installment in the Whistler Question series of "countdown to 2010" stories on Inclusive Tourism see "Access for All Effort Still Ramping Up."

Whistler Question Editor's note: Each year starting in 2006, The Question has marked the countdown date to the start of the 2010 Paralympic Games by examining the issue of accessibility in Whistler. With the Games set to begin a year from today -- March 12, 2010 -- we again present a report that looks at what's been achieved and the challenges that lie ahead in the effort to make Whistler accessible to all.

For the full Question story:

To read Simon Darcy's paper:
 "The politics of disability and access: the Sydney 2000 Games experience"

For the full Paralympic 200 story see Richard Cashman and Simon Darcy's new book:

Benchmark Games: The Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games

 This is the first study of an individual Paralympic Games. This book documents and analyses the new benchmarks that were set at the time of the successful Sydney Paralympic Games, and explores many questions about the appeal of the Games to the community and disability sport and the place of the disability community in Australia. A must read for people trying to leverage the most out of major sporting events or the disability specific sporting events.

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Now, here's someone who gets the message!

Designing homes for the widest variety of needs is the foundation of universal design. You might even call it downright-obvious design.
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A convite do Ministro da Coordenação Política do Governo Federal, José Múcio, a CNTur - Confederação Nacional do Turismo,  teve sua primeira participação oficial no Conselho de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social da Presidência da República. Foi o primeiro ato oficial da CNTur, após ser reconhecida no último dia 28 de janeiro, como entidade sindical de terceiro grau de representação do turismo brasileiro.

O ato contou com a presença do presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva e todo seu Ministério das áreas econômica e social, no salão de convenções do Hotel Brasília Alvorada, durante o Seminário Internacional sobre Desenvolvimento, promovido pelo CDES.

Na ocasião o Presidente da CNTur, Nelson de Abreu Pinto entregou ao Diretor de Gestão do CDES, Ronaldo Küfner, o programa Turismo Para Todos no Brasil, pelo qual a Confederação esboça um plano modelo para o desenvolvimento econômico e social do setor turístico brasileiro, de forma consistente e sustentável. Esse programa busca incentivar a aceleração do turismo interno no país, através de ações públicas que desonerem a gestão da atividade, tornando as viagens internas mais baratas e acessíveis aos brasileiros de baixa renda.

No documento, o Presidente da CNTur indica os compromissos da entidade com o crescimento econômico e social do país, através das seguintes ações:

Crescer com sustentabilidade, gerando novos empregos e riquezas que favoreçam o empreendedorismo e a distribuição de renda no país;

1.Implementar no país o programa Turismo Para Todos;

2.Viabilizar através de Políticas Públicas a desoneração do custo da gestão do setor, que será a mola propulsora para reduzir também aos consumidores o custo do turismo adequando-o ao baixo poder aquisitivo da maioria da população brasileira;

3.Contar com investimentos diretos (PAC do Turismo), especialmente no favorecimento à mobilidade urbana, numa ação articulada intersetorial do Governo Federal, com o envolvimento direto dos Ministérios do Turismo, Transportes, Cidades, Esporte, Justiça, Saúde e da Casa Civil e do setor privado, considerando a importância para o fortalecimento do turismo nacional a realização, com sucesso, em 2014, da Copa do Mundo de Futebol.

4.A carta compromisso - Pacto contra o desemprego que será entregue em conjunto com o Ministério do Trabalho ao Excelentíssimo Senhor Presidente da República.

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Environmental Travel Companions is one of several mature sources of inclusive outdoor activities for people with disabilities around the San Francisco Bay Area. Below is their 2009 summer schedule.

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Image via Wikipedia

Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, sends in the following update on the World Cup as she takes in ITB in Berlin.

"Delivery" of a smoothly functioning and well-planned customer experience for travelers with disabilities who will attend the 2010 World Cup is proving to be a tall order. With kudos to Mariëtte, her team, and numerous of her colleagues who I met with across South Africa the international disabled community is quite nervous.

Providing the necessary counsel, monitoring, and just plain hard work is a team from inside the Inclusive Tourism industry are  Monica Guy of Accessible Cape Town, Mark Stodel of Enabled Online, and Karin Coetzee of Disabled Travel together with an entire network of collaborators across South Africa. They are working to aggregate reliable data on venue accessibility (not included in this press release) and disseminate it even as sports fans have already begun making their decision to attend. (Sources in South Africa assure me that any anonymous donations to the work of this accessibility guide creation team from generous international sports fans would greatly speed production!)


10 March 2009

As Cape Town counts down just over 400 days till the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ kick-off, local excitement is being mixed with furious activity to ensure that the destination is fully compliant, on time and ready to be the party capital of the Cup.

"Now it's only about delivery. We cannot move the kick-off, we can't say 'sorry, there's going to be a delay," stresses FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. His sentiments are echoed by Cape Town Tourism, CEO, Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold, "The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is our time to shine. We have to be and we will be ready to host the World - and we are ready to show the world that Cape Town knows how to host a fantastic party!".

To date over 506 000 ticket applications have been received worldwide from across 140 countries. The ticket system works on an application and random allocation system to ensure all applicants a fair chance to purchase their tickets.

Cape Town and South Africa's 2010 FIFA World Cup™ medical support plan was also recently given a clean bill of health "I am personally confident that we can hold the World Cup from the medical side... that the teams, the FIFA family, the FIFA delegation and also the spectators will be well taken care of," said Jiri Dvorak, Head of the FIFA medical committee.

As the official visitor information resource, Cape Town Tourism is readying itself for an unprecedented amount of enquiries about accommodation, tours, transfers and more. The recent relaunch of the website is just one phase of a total technological upgrade in the organizations e-marketing services.


Cape Town Tourism's call centre has been moved out of the Visitor Information Centre and into a dedicated location. Call Centre and Visitor Centre operators will now benefit from a fully synched real time database that will allow staff to have full and instant access to all aspects of Cape Town's tourism offering, as well as to track request histories from single callers across various centre operators.


Cape Town Tourism's Head Office is located close to the Greenpoint Stadium and within the Fan Mile area. There is also another centre located at the V&A Waterfront, a key centre at the airport and fourteen more visitor centres located across the Cape Metropole.


Cape Town has added 1100 new hotel rooms in the past five years. At least nine more new hotels will open in the next five years.



  • The Grand Daddy - playful four-star in Long Street
  • The Penthouse Aistream Trailer Park - this unique collection of overhauled vintage Airstream Trailers is housed on the rooftop of the Grand Daddy
  • Cape Diamond Hotel - four-star with art deco style Theatre Cafe in the East  City, near Parliament
  • The Fountain Hotel - Lower St George's Mall
  • The North Wharf Protea Hotel - Foreshore
  • Five-star serviced apartments at Mandela Rhodes close to Greenmarket Square
  • Protea Hotel Colosseum - mid-market and central 
  • Cape Royale - boutique hotel in the Waterfront 
  • Asara Wine Estate & Hotel - an indulgent getaway in the Winelands
  • The Kings Hotel - boutique and stylish, in Sea Point
  • The Harbour Bridge Hotel and Suites - excellent for work or play, on the fringe of the V&A Waterfront
  • Majeka House - a new luxury offering in the winelands' Stellenbosch
  • Dock House - luxuriously appointed boutique hotel in the V&A Waterfront
  • Nova Constantia Boutique Residence - total privacy and tranquility



·         The Grain Silo Complex into a mixed-use building is planned to include a 160-room four-star hotel, retail and appropriate ancillary services



In 2009 two extreme luxury hotels or six-star hotels, will be opened in Cape Town.

  • Sol Kerzner's One & Only hotel in the V&A Waterfront which will boast a Cape Town arm of internationally acclaimed restaurant, Nobu
  • Taj Palace Hotel in the Mandela Rhodes Place.



·         The Coral International Hotel, Cape Town's first dry hotel has commenced construction on the corner of Buitengracht & Wale Street.

·         The five star Oscar Pearse hotel on the corner of Burg & Castle Street in the inner-city started construction at the end of 2007.

·         15 On Orange is an upmarket hotel opening at the end of 2009.

·         Rezidor Hotel Group is opening ten new hotels in Africa in 2009, amongst them The Blaauwberg opens in Milnerton on the West Coast.

For more information, please contact Cape Town Tourism on + 27 21 487 6800



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The Green Globe Gold Company Logo

Image via Wikipedia

eTurboNews editor Nelson Alcantara interviewed Green Globe Internationals' chief operating officer Bradley Cox. This section goes to the heart of Green Globes triple bottom line approach. We would like to see explicit integration of the principles of Inclusive Tourism. South Africa is in the process this week of setting a standard for organizations like Green Globe to meet. More as details become public:

eTN: What is Green Globe's definition of sustainable tourism?

Cox: Sustainability as we understand it is supported by three pillars, and that is environmental issues, economic issues, and social issues.

So, whenever we talk about a sustainability certification or sustainable tourism, those activities must always consider those three issues. Is this providing an economic benefit, an economic future? Is it providing preservation for the environment, which is the key offering in many, many of the tourism businesses around the world? And, importantly, does it engage the social aspects, and that is people both at work and also people who live in the community, which hosts the tourism business? So those three considerations are where we start with sustainability.

To investigate and to deliver against those three is a journey, and it's not something that can be achieved simply by getting our logo. It's an ongoing, annual set of initiatives to constantly improve those three aspects - the economic, social, and environmental. So, it's simple, but it's very, very engaging, and it's almost a lifetime's journey, I think.

Nelson's full interview:

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Sochi Sea Port. View from downtown.

Image via Wikipedia

The study by Australian researcher Dr Simon Darcy, The politics of disability and access: the Sydney 2000 Games experience, (Darcy, Simon (2003), Disability & Society, 18:6, 737 -- 757) concludes:

The conventional wisdom was that the Games delivered to the host city community of people with disabilities a lasting legacy of accessible infrastructure, a raised level of disability  awareness and an improved position in society.

Yet, this article has demonstrated that the Games may have increased the speed of social change for accessible infrastructure, but these successes were borne from the effort of people with disabilities to bring about the social change through the potential offered by the human rights frameworks. The human rights framework was kept honest by their diligence and participation in the planning process. Furthermore, this was assisted by disabled and non-disabled individuals within government who championed these issues to ensure their implementation. It was only through the combination of these social relations that the accessible Games' experience was delivered.

These findings become all the more important as planning for the 2010 Winter games takes place in Vancouver, BC, planning for the 2010 Fifa World Cup soccer games continues in South Africa, construction for the 2010 Commonwealth Games proceeds in India - and numerous similar endeavors promise to leave either a legacy of exclusion or inclusion through sporting events.

One example of a city showing signs of wisdom is Sochi in Russia. Will the local disability community be allowed the required oversight and consultation opportunities to assure success?

Sochi, Russia: Five years ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games which take place March 7, 2014, Sochi 2014 has announced a major program to ensure that the city is fully accessible for people with disabilities by the time it hosts the Paralympic Games.

The program's aim is the creation of an accessible city that will be a model for all cities in Russia to follow, said a Sochi 2014 press release. It ensures that the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games leaves a "tangible legacy" for the 15 million people with disabilities across Russia.

By the time the Paralympic Games take place there will be a range of services provided for people with disabilities, including wheelchair rental and service centres as well as the availability of special equipment to assist individuals with a range of physical disabilities.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sochi 2014 President and CEO said, "as President and CEO of Sochi 2014 I am committed to ensuring that during the preparations for Russia's first Paralympic Games we ensure that every possible step is taken to exceed the expectations of the IPC. During the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, people with disabilities will have the ability to move around freely, watch each of the different competitions and visit the tourist and recreational areas of Sochi".

According to the press release the Organizing Committee will ensure that educational programs for volunteers, emergency services staff, law enforcement personnel and Sochi 2014 partners, are conducted.

Chernyshenko added, "the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi will set new standards of infrastructure and comfort for people with disabilities. We will be working tirelessly to create an innovative and inspirational Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2014. I hope Russia's first Winter Games will be able to change social attitudes towards people with disabilities and if this is achieved we will have succeeded in our mission".


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{{Potd/2005-03-1 (en)}}

Image via Wikipedia

From the Preface:

The ageing society presents one of the most pressing
challenges facing this country today. By 2020, nearly
one in five of the population will be over 65. By 2026,
projections show that there will be 2.4 million more
older households than there are today.

This has huge implications for the way we think about
everything from employment, to education, to social
care. It requires us to revisit fundamental assumptions
about how we design and deliver services, how we build
new homes and towns. Already many people not just in
this country, but around the world, are facing the stark
reality that their home and neighbourhood were simply
not designed for an ageing population.

Our strategy, Lifetime Homes Lifetime Neighbourhoods, published earlier this year,
outlined our response. First, to focus minds, among councils, planners, housebuilders
and all of our partners on the need for a whole new approach. Second, to provide
practical help for today's older people to live independent, active lives for longer.
Third, to lay the right foundations so that we get it right first time as we build
tomorrow's homes and communities.

Download the document here.

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Testing the doXtop Application

Access to reliable information on travel for people with disabilities is an ongoing challenge. Several magazines have begun publishing features on Inclusive Tourism to meet the need.

Below I test a digital publishing tool known as doXtop in order to disseminate a special issue of India's Success & Ability magazine. My contribution to the issue is called "What is Inclusive Tourism?"

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Welcome to the March 2009 issue of the Global Access News Travel E-Zine. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write us and share your travel tips and experiences.















Craig Grimes, who operates the excellent is now offering a new site, Accessible Travel,  It features access information on hotels in San Francisco, as well as Paris, London, Prague and additional European cities. Grimes intends to eventually expand his site to include a host of other destinations, which will surely prove a boon to disabled travelers.






Inclusive tourism meister, Scott Rains, recently returned from a month in South Africa. Share his insights, photos and accessible safaris in the South African bush at his new site, Travelogues: Travel with the perspective of disability at






Meg Smith has traveled the world as a disabled woman. Her blog, International Disabled Traveler, details the frustration that she's experienced with both physical and attitudinal barriers around the globe. Her candor is refreshing.






Craig Grimes, of Accessible Barcelona and Accessible Travel, takes on access in Nicaragua. It is always so encouraging to see new regions like Nicaragua open up to disabled travelers. At last, we can put Central America on our itineraries. Visit






Those with oxygen needs, who like cruising, may want to consider Special Needs at Sea. Besides oxygen, this company also provides disabled travelers with motorized scooters, power wheelchairs and patient lifts. Learn more at

Also, check out this newsy forum discussing accessible cruises.






Air France now offers a web page detailing their many services for disabled travelers. Here you can learn what to expect when it comes to boarding, wheelchair handling, in-flight services and more. Let's hope other airlines make similar efforts to provide us with the access information we need. Learn more at




Missed a Travel E-Zine? Catch up on a previous issue by visiting our E-Zine Archive at




Global Access News welcomes your travel reports, tips and comments at

 Thanks for sharing!


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Khushboo Sahrawat interviews entrepreneur Craig Grimes in this Travel Biz Monitor article:, the world's first instant hotel booking engine for People with Disabilities (PwDs) was launched last month by Craig Grimes, Director, Talking about the new initiative, Craig Grimes told TravelBiz Monitor, "The booking engine is different in terms of data provided regarding access and facilities for People with Disabilities at the hotels listed on the site. This has never been done before in a commercial way along with facility of instant booking."

The hotel data list on the site has been compiled by mapping six destinations from Europe - Athens, Barcelona, Oslo, Prague, Paris and Vienna and one destination from North America - San Francisco. Through the destination pages, PwDs and other travellers are able to find information regarding different hotels and facilities that are required by them. "In due course hotel reviews on the site will include access information so that users can make their own decisions as to whether a particular hotel is suitable for their needs. The site will also include many more destinations from all over the world by year-end.

For the full article:

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Desde un producto de Editorial Prensa Ibérica:

REDACCIÓN. PALMA. La Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) pondrá en marcha el próximo curso 2009-2010 el primer máster de España para formar a profesionales en el desarrollo de servicios, productos y destinos turísticos accesibles para todos, es decir, aptos para las personas con cualquier tipo de discapacidad.
El Máster en Gestión del Turismo para Todos pretende dar respuesta a los problemas de accesibilidad con los que se encuentran en España muchos potenciales viajeros, desde los discapacitados físicos o intelectuales hasta las personas con movilidad reducida por su edad avanzada o una circunstancia puntual.

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What's a Jumbulance?

Well, something about this concept strikes me as needlessly medicalizing a night on the town - maybe it's the name - but here's a press release from the folks at Jumbulance Trust:


By Lorraine Connolly, Community Newswire

TRANSPORT Jumbulance, 06 Mar 2009 - 14:34

The Jumbulance Trust took official receipt of a brand new Jumbulance today.


The Jumbulance is part-coach, part-ambulance and will make leisure and holiday travel possible for the disabled, severely ill, elderly and infirm. It is designed to provide facilities for those who would otherwise remain home-, hospital- or hospice-bound due to the stress or difficulties of travel.

Through the assurance of care it removes the fear and difficulty of travel and brings expanded horizons and new hope to people who can easily become isolated from society.

The vehicle, which cost more than £350,000 was bought after funds were raised from a variety of events, donations and legacies. It will benefit children and adults with disabling and often terminal conditions such as cerebral palsy, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The hand over event took place at the London Eye, where the charity was joined by Britain's most successful Paralympic swimmer and former Disability Rights Commissioner, Chris Holmes MBE.

He said: "Sport, travel and leisure are activities that should be open to everyone but sadly this is not always the case.

"The Jumbulance Trust provides disabled people with the precious opportunity to get to sporting events, offering them the inspiration to get involved and to fulfil their own sporting aspirations.

"With more opportunities for disabled sport, Jumbulance is a really worthwhile cause and is helping disabled people from all backgrounds and regions participate in these sporting events"

Chris Chisholm, from Farley Chamberlayne, near Winchester in Hampshire, organises groups in her local area to go on trips in the Jumbulance and is a carer on the trips as well. She has seen and experienced what it is like to travel on a Jumbulance.

She said: "The Jumbulance Trust transforms lives - a trip on the Jumbulance opens doors when people feel they are closed due to their disability or illness.

"The Jumbulance offers a secure environment with the knowledge of constant care. This allows people, who feel very restricted in their everyday lives to experience new things, see new places and make new friends.

"With every trip I see what a difference this service really makes. The feeling of independence that travel on the Jumbulance brings to people is very precious."

The trust now has four Jumbulances, which are staffed by volunteer health-workers and laypeople who give up their time to helping the trust fulfil its mission. The specialist features and medical equipment on board the vehicle enable day-to-day and emergency care on the move. These include a wide platform lift for easy access, fully adjustable trolley beds, a large wheelchair-accessible toilet/washroom, emergency medical equipment such as heart start, suction units and oxygen, mobile hoist, ample storage for wheelchairs, and provisions for clamping up to 7 wheelchairs.

The new Jumbulance is designed to be even more flexible than the older vehicles. It can accommodate wheelchairs and/or stretcher beds and also provides comfortable reclining seats for carers and mobile passengers.

This morning's event marked the start of a countrywide tour to visit some of those who have benefited from and supported the trust in the past.

It also formed the launch of a new appeal, which aims to secure further donations towards the purchase and equipping of another new Jumbulance.

Kathryn Salvesen MBE, Jumbulance Trust founder and trustee, said: "It is essential to continue to maintain and replace the rest of the Jumbulance fleet, which is now approaching 20 years old. Although well maintained and serviceable for now, they will inevitably become increasingly uneconomic to maintain."

To make a vital donation to the charity visit For more information go to

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A personification of innovation as represented...

Image via Wikipedia

Eleanor Lisney is an important contributor to conversations both "on the page' and "behind the scenes" here at the Rolling Rains Report. I call your attention to her reflections on innovation, design, and disability at her blog Connect Culture.

She ponders the untenable situation presented when fundamentalism and a "compliance mentality" collapses the Seven Principles of Universal Design into a canonical list of mandatory design "solutions," a checklist that is approved and certified resulting in a litmus-test sterility, lifeless heuristics. It is for such reasons of legalism and ideological dampening of imagination that some have shifted from referring to UD as Universal Design but call it instead Human-Centered Design:

I went to a discussion on Beyond the Crisis: Debating the role of Innovation at the Hub Kings Cross with mostly designers in the group. I found it very interesting, if not for anything else, for the comparison and difference from the other discussions that I am currently attending - mostly on diversity and equality and disability and gender. (The last two conferences/workshops were on pan equalities and discussion on diversity in the civil service). Are they two completely different worlds or do they cross over?

How did we get into our present crisis, how far is government responsible, can innovation get us out of our crisis? these were the questions. And when I piped up to say they shouldn't forget to be inclusive when seeking innovative solutions - that there are human rights and equalities at stake/in the equation too - it felt like I am singing off key in a choir.

Actually it is the government stance on equalities, for me to be seen to be at odds with this discussion on innovation - is it like adding albatrosses round a sailor's neck by asking people to remember inclusive design principles. These regulations and obligations are strangling innovation. Innovation is about new ideas - would that not be holding back the bright and beautiful. I do not know.
The full post:
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ASID Foundation and Universal Design

Penny Bonda reminds us of a particularly poignant application of Universal Design:

The ASID Foundation does many good works and you've likely heard about some of them. Such as

  • The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) revised the professional standards for interior design education in 2009, supported by large contributions from the Foundation.
  • The Green House exhibit at the National Building Museum has, to date, attracted the largest number of visitors - over 133,000 - to the Museum. The Foundation was a major sponsor.
  • The Foundation and USGBC partnered to create the REGREEN best practice guidelines for sustainable residential renovations.

Worthy projects all, but get ready for this next one to tug at your heart.

More than 25 million veterans reside in the United States.
More than 6.9 million veterans are disabled.
More than 4.3 million veterans have a combined annual income of less than $20,000.
More than 31,000 service members have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In response and through a new partnership with Rebuilding Together and its Veterans Housing Initiative,  the ASID Foundation is helping to provide safe, sustainable and accessible housing for active duty and retired members of United States Armed Forces who own homes, yet are in desperate need of assistance. The fact is, many of these men and women cannot afford the cost of home maintenance and often times are physically unable to modify or maintain their homes.

Full story at:

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Map of Portuguese districts with names

Image via Wikipedia

Parabems (Congratulations) to Luis Varela and Accessible Portugal.

Here's wishing you continued success in 2009!

Hi Scott,

Just a quick e-mail to let you know that last January, Accessible Portugal won the annual award, from the Portuguese Tourism Board, for the best project in the "Services" category. This award is the recognition of the work carried out by Accessible Portugal, as a relevant contributor for the qualification of Portugal, as an accessible touristic destination.

I believe that this award shows that mentalities are changing in Portugal and all over Europe, and the tourism boards are aware of the market changes going on.

As you already know, Accessible Portugal is the first travel agency in Portugal, specifically targeted for persons with reduced mobility, their families and friends.
Since it was set up in 2005, Accessible Portugal has organized holidays and tours in Portugal and Spain for over 1000 tourists from all over the world.
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Yosemite valley, Yosemite National Park, Calif...

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes it is helpful to get the unvarnished opinion of some who is just trying to live their life.

In her recent post at Special Ed Insider author Gina Hale reviews Yosemite National Park with hopes of finding a world-class example of Universal Design. Instead:

So, for all the urbanization of this natural wonder, there is little to recommend it in terms of accessibility.

That is a shame. So much of the development in the park is to make it seem more familiar, less strange and wild-- really to make it seem more accessible to the masses.

It is tragic, in my opinion, that this development has made it more like home and less like a natural wonder, a place to connect with the serene, the tranquil, with beauty. I have always resented the intrusion of fast food, ATMs, markets full of fake Indian goods made in other countries, many low quality restaurants, and even its own emergency department. I would resent it less if the city were actually were accessible, because at least accessible development would be for the purpose of making the park approachable, instead of simply familiar in all the worst ways.

Full report:

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News Travels!

This article -- on Inclusive Travel in the USA -- was featured recently in Disability News Asia.

Interest is worldwide and instantaneous in this topic.

See Traveling With a Disability at

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Image representing Amazon Kindle as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

In a move that increases the importance of the DAISY protocol for making information inclusive regardless of disability has retreated from non-discrimination:

Apparently, Amazon won't fight the publishing industry on the issue of whether the Kindle 2's text-to-speech function violates copyright. The retailer, which makes the popular Kindle electronic-book reader, announced late Friday that the company is modifying systems to allow authors and publishers to decide whether to enable Kindle's text-to-speech function on a per-title basis.

Information on the DAISY project:

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Press release:


"The government of Czech Republic will ratify the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the next months", said today Minister of the Czech Government and Chairman of the Legislative Council, Pavel Svoboda, when addressing the disability movement leaders from EU-27.


Prague, 1st march 2009 - Czech Minister Pavel Svoboda's official speech was addressed to the Board members of the European Disability Forum (EDF), the representative organisation of 50 million disabled people in Europe, meeting in Prague over this week-end.


While sketching the importance of an environment designed for all within the European Union space, where people with disabilities can exert the same rights as any other citizens, the Czech Minister insisted on the need to ratify the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD): "the Czech Republic not only needs to adopt the UN CRPD but also to implement it at national level"


State Secretary and Deputy Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, Petr Šimerka, reminded how important it is to ensure that the Czech National Disability Council is involved in every decision concerning persons with disabilities: "Our Presidency has opened its meetings to all disability representatives".


EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis stressed its great expectations with the Czech Presidency regarding the EU Employment and Social Affairs Council next June: "The EU-27 Ministers will address the UN CRPD, the first ever international Convention ratified by the European Communities. Their decisions will affect the future of the UN CRPD and its implementation in the EU. It is a great opportunity to make the principle "Nothing about us, without us" work and turn words into deeds. Including the disability movement and listening to its voice at this stage is essential."


"2009 is a crucial year for the disability movement with both the European Parliament elections and the new European Commission" said EDF President. "It is our responsibility to build a strong and effective awareness scheme for future decision makers and disability issues at EU level. The vote on the European elections must be accessible for persons with disabilities. Lets make it a very first step for a concrete implementation of the UN Convention for a Europe without barriers".

For more information, please contact: Aurélien Daydé, EDF Communication and Media Officer / Mobile phone: + 32 485 64 39 93 /

For more information on our European elections campaign "Disability Votes Count":

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There is a renaissance of activity around inclusion in tourism taking place in South Africa. Here are just a few examples:

  • Rolling Inspiration magazine will soon be relocating all of their travel tips and sports articles to a public file on our website. This will enable non subscribers to access them and forms part of their Inclusive Tourism drive.
  • They are also still running the Accessible Tourism Competition with prizes valued at R60 000.
The competition closes 31 March. ( The Competition is in affiliation with Getaway magazine and )
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Sally Wise: A Leader from Tasmania

 Would you give us an overview of what you currently do?

I am an author of four books, one of which relates to inclusive customer service practices, entitled "All Things Being Equal - a guide to inclusive customer service for people with a disability". 


I am in my spare time a tour guide at Port Arthur Historic Site. 


I also occasionally do a radio talkback segment about Jams and Preserves and am the author of a book on this subject matter called "A Year in a Bottle".


2.    How would you summarize your philosophy of business?

My philosophy of business would be, with special reference to tourism and travel, is that a tourism experience should be accessible as far as is physically possible, and that customer service should be inclusive and respectful to people with a disability (just like to everyone else)


3.    Many in this field can point to a particular time when the travel needs of people with disabilities became an area of special focus for them. Was there a time like that for you? If so, tell us that story. If not, how did your work evolve to include travelers with disabilities?

A few years ago I was a teacher at the Drysdale Institute of TAFE, teaching units about Managing Workplace Diversity in the hospitality and tourism industries.  A group of students and myself came to explore a link between tourism and disability.  The students soon became very concerned that information about accessible attractions, accommodation and restaurants made planning holidays a disconcerting experience at best, a nightmare to say the least. 


The students in this particular group decided to deverlop a guide to Tasmania, which they did through forming a partnership with a disability organisation who are qualified auditors and assessors.  This document is now available on-line through the Paraquad website, and an A5 sized hard copy is also available free of charge through Paraquad Tasmania.  Website to access the Wheelie Guide (from where it can  be downloaded in pdf format) is:


In the development of the guide, we were approached by people with a disability and their representative organisations with the concern that customer service was not actually inclusive for the most part.  Many front-line staff members felt awkward around people with a disability, unsure how to react or treat the person.  Consequently people with a disability felt overlooked, less than welcome, not at all conducive to an enjoyable recreational experience.  They asked if some-one could write a guide to inclusive customer service, which I subsequently did, producing and publishing "All Things Being Equal - a Guide to Inclusive Customer Service to People with a DIsability".  This is now widely used in staff training in a range of contexts - airlines, restaurants etc.


4.    Frequently a traveler's disability means that more effort goes into planning and logistics. Obstacles to travel might seem to make "overcoming difficulty" the main story in travel with a disability. Yet experiencing the world with a disability can spur resilience and give a freshness of perspective. Can you tell us of times when your clients with disabilities allowed you to see or experience something new about travel? About a specific destination?

While I am not a business operator per se, perhaps the following story may be of some relevance.  A committee was formed some years ago to hopefully address the issue of accommodation for people with a disability and their families on the Tasman Peninsula, which is a popular as a tourism destination, approximately 100 kilometres from the capital city of Tasmania, Hobart.


In time a grant was received from the federal government for $300,000 as seed funding.  In time the project faltered for a range of reasons, and seemed doomed to fail.  However, a new committee was formed about 12 months ago with some of the original members.  Still the actual day to day operation of any facility proved to be a stumbling block.  Feasibility studies of the early days of the project had eaten up some of the money, and the rest looked like it would simply have to be returned as the obstacles seemed insurmountable.


However, at the "eleventh hour" the advantage to a community partnership became evident, through a chance meeting with a representativve of a disability organisation whose main focus is providing recreational opportunities for people with a disability.


With this in mind, the remaining money was used to purchase a suitable house at beautiful Apex Point, within a few kilometres of Port Arthur Historic Site.  The disability organsiation makes the bookings, and cares for cleaning, gardening, general maintenance and provides support workers should a family require extra assistance.


The experience of Break Away (as the project and subsequently the name of the house) is not respite per se.  Rather it is to promote the opportunity for families with a family member with a disability to holiday together and enjoy the wonderful Tasman Peninsula, including Port Arthur(which ideally needs two days to enjoy to the full).


The house in now in operation, and has already provided this holiday or break away experience for several families.


5.    During the time you have been working in this field what changes have you noticed in the travel industry that have improved the travel experience of people with disabilities? Are there areas where you have seen that former good practice or design has been lost and improvements must be made?

In the tourism industry in Tasmania, improvements are being made in relation to the Premier's Disability Framework for Action.  From things I have seen, there are significant improvements in some areas already, and hopefully a great deal more in the future.


6.    If you were suddenly forced to step away from your work what memorable contributions to quality travel with a disability would your clients and closest collaborators remember you for?

That I just gave it a try - to help raise awareness about the issues surrounding travel, recreation and a great tourism experience for people with a disability. To however small a degree, I think that one person can at least make a little difference, especially in a team effort and collaboration with others of like mind and intent.


7.    What do you feel is most beneficial to travelers with disabilities in your work as you do it today? Most beneficial about your contribution to those in the travel & hospitality profession?

Being able to really enjoy a tourism experience.  If I have made any contribution, it would be that I hope to have raised awareness about inclusive customer service beig the right of every customer - it is no different to deliver this to a person with a disability than to one who has not.  It's a matter of knowledge and attitude on the part of the customer service person.


8.    What significant contribution to the field could you make in the next 3-5 years?

This is yet to be determined.   I would do anything I can whenever an issue becomes evident. I would like to continue training in the area of disability awareness.  I love to see the change, almost relief,  in people's faces when they understand that they need to focus on a person's Ability rather than their disability.  Everything relaxes and falls into place in their mind as they recognise that inclusive customer service is not hard, it's fun!


9.    Travel is an industry that requires coordinating multiple streams of information, weaving effective networks of collaboration, and maybe a little luck! What would you like to see your colleagues in the industry do that would significantly improve the quality of your clients?

I would like to see recreational facilities (all components) put together a seamless information service about travel and recreation facilities or services.  That is - is it accessible?  How was this measured?  Above all else there should, indeed MUST, be a standard scale so that people with a disability have the guess work taken out of their holiday planning.  Qualified auditors and assessors play a pivotal role in this, as do the principals of universal design.


Press release:

We are pleased to announce that Include 09, the Fifth International
conference on Inclusive Design hosted by the Helen Hamlyn Centre and held at
the Royal College of Art has extended its 'Early Bird' Registration.

Early Bird Registration Fee will remain £415 until March 7th 2009

The Include 09 will feature Breakfast Design Debates from leading designers
and design commentators , interactive workshops lead by designers that focus
on Inclusive Design, paper presentation on current research in the area and
research workshops lead by leading academic research teams in the field.

Evening events include a Gala Dinner with guest speakers and a 24 hour
design Challenge

For more information on Include please go to

To register for Include 09 Please go to

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