April 2009 Archives

The 2009 Geotourism Challenge is on again! Nominate or enroll now.

This year I have recused myself from entering so that I may contribute to the selection process as a Commentator advising entrants on how to incorporate the principles of Universal Design and best practices of Inclusive Tourism:

Featured Commentators:
http://www.changemakers.net/en-us/geotourismchallenge/commentatorsGeotourism 2009.jpgGuidelines from the Geotourism web site:

"Geotourism Challenge 2009: Power of Place - Sustaining the Future of Destinations" Collaborative Competition


The goal of the Geotourism Challenge is to identify and showcase innovators - individuals and organizations - that directly or indirectly support good destination stewardship and the approach known as geotourism.  Geotourism is defined by National Geographic as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place: its environment, heritage, culture, aesthetics, and the well-being of its residents.


Eligibility Criteria


The competition will be open to all types of organizations (charitable organizations, private companies, or public entities) from all countries. We consider all entries that:

  • Reflect the theme of the competition: geotourism.
  • Entries are invited from organizations in all countries.
  • We are looking for innovations that are beyond the idea stage.
  • Entries must be submitted in English or in Spanish and be complete in order to be eligible.

Assessment Criteria

The winners of this Changemakers Collaborative Competition will be those entries that best meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Your entry must describe how your program or activity is new and different. Please be clear and explicit: How is your innovation directly or indirectly advancing tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place, its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents? This criterion is mandatory for inclusion in the Geotourism Challenge.
  • Social Impact: Your innovation must already be showing results. Your demonstrable success may be local, regional, or global. Regardless of extent, the innovation should show potential to affect the world and not just one place. Describe clearly and precisely how your innovation can be replicated and scaled up.
  • Sustainability/Viability: Your innovation must be self-sustaining to be effective. Explain your plan for financial and other bases of support for the long-term. Include not only current financing, but the business plan for the future. Describe as much as you are comfortable disclosing.
Source:
http://www.changemakers.net/en-us/node/16599/competition/guidelines




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Andrei Bastos faz entrevista sobre falta de acessibilidade na Quinta da Boa Vista e na orla de Copacabana.

 

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While a guest of Tourism KwaZulu Natal I had the good fortune to meet the charming yet fiercely resilient Shakila Mahraj. An article in today's Deccan Herald recounts her extraordinary as a woman with blindness who has risen to prominence in the face of persistent discrimination to prove her many skills in service to her country and to the international community of persons with disabilities. As the author, Subramani M, notes, " The cause of Shakila's blindness is not a visual condition but a political one; Apartheid."

Not mentioned in the following article is the fact that Shakila sits on the KwaZulu province tourism board advisory council and has single-handedly organized the Inclusive Tourism presence at this year's South African international tourism expo - Indaba.

Despite her short, thin frame, there is something distinctive about Shakila Maharaj. The vividly Irish accent contrasted with her Indian mannerism and the way she narrated her life story had the hallmarks of the fabled 'African wisdom'.

Any surprise this may have caused would vanish in an instant as you hear that Ms Maharaj is a South African Indian and has spent several years in Dublin (Ireland). What may hold our interest in her is the fact that she runs four successful companies in Durban and could do that without allowing her visual challenge to stand in the way.

To be blind and have a professional career is one thing, but having that disability and running four businesses -- albeit with partnerships -- is quite another. "Oh yes, this is business, but this is certainly something based on my core expertise in training and psychology," Shakila (49) explained. But still, she has taken less than five years to develop the businesses and is slowly expanding her orientation programme for companies outside her homeland.

All this after losing eyesight by 17, dropping out of school, suffering rejection due to disability at work and by her own family. The cause of Shakila's blindness is not a visual condition but a political one; Apartheid. In fact, but for the politics of her country in those times, she would have actually been seeing the world now.

Aged 12, she slipped down a long flight of stairs as she drove a toy car one day. "There wasn't much of an impact initially, but doctors in Ireland -- where my parents took me in the hope of finding a cure for my impairment -- suspected that fall from the staircase as the reason for the dwindling vision. This could have been found and treated at an early stage in South Africa itself, but being non-Whites we had no access to advanced treatment then."

 Preoccupation with restoring her vision meant that Shakila had to frequently absent herself from the school she attended in Ireland. This might have been "fun" in childhood, but as her peers passed out of school and pursued their college, the loss was telling. While the uncertain situation would have left anyone descend into conditions far worse, Shakila found her feet.

 The first decision was to continue with her education. Wanting to be closer to her father brought her back to South Africa, where she joined the school for the blind in Pietermaritzburg. Getting her Masters in Psychology in the University of Durban (Westphalia) and tutoring there, Shakila often felt like doing more. Which took her to Columbia University (New York) for a masters in organisational psychology.

 Before leaving Durban, Shakila met her husband Naresh Maharaj. Being an able-bodied person in love with a visually challenged girl and his subsequent plan to marry her didn't go down well with his family, who were against the idea from the beginning. To reaffirm his love for Shakila, Naresh travelled down to New York to propose to her.

"I was touched by this and accepted his proposal for marriage," she said. Married life wasn't as pleasant as she expected. The hostility that arose due to her disability, which she expected would fade away in time, was in fact growing stronger in Naresh's family. "That was perhaps the most trying period of my life.

Not only was living with my husband's family a challenge, but my quest to intern with companies in Durban was proving to be difficult as well," she said. Poor treatment at home and a fruitless search for a job forced Shakila to leave South Africa. Ireland, the only other place she knew well, sounded like a good place to start afresh.

With her husband, Shakila ventured into something totally new and exciting: women fashion stores. Besides a successful business, the venture also resulted in a book on how to run fashion stores successfully. But changes in South Africa -- especially the imminent departure of Apartheid system-- meant that Shakila had got back the urge to return home. Her enthusiasm was short-lived as all the problems that first chased her out came crowding back again.

While resentment for the blind daughter-in-law grew stronger with Naresh's parents, the arrival of their first and only child increased tensions. The parents-in-law sought the custody of Shakila's son on the grounds that she was incapable of caring for it. But pre-empting them, Shakila moved the court to secure the 'barring order' that disallowed any claim from her in-laws on her son. 

The professional front wasn't easier either. Flanked by her guide dog and sighted assistant, Shakila had to squat in front of Spoornet (South African Railway) office for three months demanding opportunity for an internship. A year after securing it, when Shakila was one of the candidates considered for a vacancy, her application was rejected since a member of the selection panel doubted her ability to work. "I came out as the best candidate from the selection process, but the person wasn't convinced a disabled person could perform efficiently in that position," she remembers

Today, she is not only a successful professional but also a successful mother to her son Prashanth. "I keep telling people that our progress at times is stalled by self doubt. If people start to discover the spirit and self belief they have as children, surely they would generate solutions and not problems. This is what I learnt in the most trying times of my life," she said.

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Sometimes a virtual tour through the eyes of someone with a disability can be as moving as being there yourself. The organization Network of Organizations Working for Persons with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) organized an art show for children with disabilities. The following slideshows offer a tender human look at life in a contested country.

Pakstani show.JPG

http://picasaweb.google.com/nowpdpgallery/NowpdpArtCompetitionKarachi#slideshow/5329307014740140962

NOWPDP recently organized a series of Art Contests "Meri Dunya ke Rung" (The colors of my world) for children with disabilities in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad respectively. With an average of about 150 participants in each location, it turned out to be a huge success by the grace of God.

On behalf of the team of NOWPDP, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members, volunteers, sponsors and well wishers.

Looking forward to working with you all in future also.

Following are the links to the picture gallery:

NOWPDP Picture Gallery:
http://www.nowpdp.org/gallery.aspx

Karachi   
http://picasaweb.google.com/nowpdpgallery/NowpdpArtCompetitionKarachi

Lahore      
http://picasaweb.google.com/nowpdpgallery/NOWPDPArtCompetitionLahore

Islambad    
http://picasaweb.google.com/nowpdpgallery/ArtCompetitionIslamabad


Regards,

--
Mehtab

About NOWPDP:

NOWPDP, or the 'Network of Organizations Working for Persons with Disabilities, Pakistan' is an initiative taken by His Highness the Aga Khan Council for Pakistan, launched on the 9th of May 2008. Its primary aim is to make a significant difference to the quality of life and welfare of persons with disabilities by the provision of strategic support augmenting the functioning of organizations working for, and with, such persons across Pakistan.

NOWPDP's approach to its goal is multifaceted. The Network stands as an apolitical, non-sectarian, non-partisan and neutral platform, and will conduct its programmes without regard to faith, origin or gender. NOWPDP intends to create space and voice for persons with disabilities and the organizations working for them, and advocate the obstacles faced by them to key socio-political and economic stakeholders. As a Network, it will form linkages between organizations working for people with disabilities and corporations, the state and media. We also aim to facilitate the planning and implementation of governance, management and operations programs and activities of our member organizations as well as expand their capacity development to this end. To pursue its objectives, NOWPDP will rely on the energy, dedication, and skill of volunteers as well as remunerated professionals, and draw upon the talents of people of all faiths.

NOWPDP seeks to take effective and concrete action by working with similarly-minded organizations to create synergistic and lasting change in the existing vacuum swallowing the rights of people with disabilities and denying them the social justice, dignity and equality that is their birthright as much as it is anyone else's.

Web site:
http://www.nowpdp.org/index.aspx



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"Everyone Has a Right to Travel"

Carlo-Besta-Conference.jpg

Although, about a year ago, I had the Carlo Besta Italian National Neurological Institute in Milan change the date of its conference on Tourism and Disability to allow me to attend the Brazilian REATECH Expo and address the combined i-CREATE and ICAT 2009 in Singapore it was not possible for me to attend more than the excellently executed Milan event.

Reports of the Brazilian and Singapore events have come in. Each appears to have had logistical problems.

REATECH planners built inaccessible stages and presentation areas. ICAT missed some publicity opportunities.

A new articulate voice in Inclusive Tourism, Yeoh Siew Hoon, makes reference to the poor planning and the squandered 24 months of potential publicity since ICAT 2007 in Bangkok. Her piece " Everyone Has a Right to Travel" provides an insider's look at ICAT 2009. In spite of the failure of ICAT 2009 to live up to its public potential the article reveals one of the most important developments we observe occurring around the world - cascading industry interest.

ICAT organizers called in speakers who subsequently become educated - and enthused - about the potential of this market rather than calling on those with experience in the field. Thus utilizing the appearances of a an international conference the real growth took place at a grassroots and B-to-B level:

Other than two representatives from the Singapore Tourism Board, the only other tourism delegates were my panelists and I. And let me say that Maggie White of Tourism Australia, Evan Lewis of Accor Asia Pacific, George Booth of Tourism Integrated Services, Kliff Ang of Asia Travel and I learnt more from our involvement than the delegates could ever learn from us.

There were delegates from Spain, India, Switzerland, France, Thailand, Philippines and Taiwan, all wanting to learn from how to make their countries more accessible to travellers. There were academicians from Hong Kong and Dubai, wanting to learn more about new technologies to improve life for their disabled and elderly.

Kudos to the generous contributors and their eye for opportunity!

For the full story:
http://www.4hoteliers.com/4hots_fshw.php?mwi=4000

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DbD Toys

I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Jessica Zarin Kessin.  She created Development by Design.Development by Design

DbD designs toys for kids with developmental disabilities -- and everyone else.

Can you imagine the benefit to families if Marriott timeshare villages, Club Med all inclusive resorts, cruise ships, and theme park childcare centers adopted Universal design in furniture, playground structures, and toys like Jessica's?:

A child's job is play, however there are millions of children that do not have the option of toys that are designed with their needs and abilities in mind.

Development by Design is changing that. DbD uses Universal Design to create toys and games that all children can engage in, learn from and most importantly have fun!!

One out of every five kids in the US is currently diagnosed with a disability, and one out of every 100 kids has Autism. DbD toys are not age specific, but skill specific, making them perfect for all kids! Our unique icon system makes choosing the perfect toy simple.

DbD toys aid in the development of cognitive, motor, emotional and social skills by targeting forty skills in ten distinct areas of development. DbD toys allow kids, with or without special needs, the opportunity to develop new skills and have fun just being kids!

DbD site:

http://www.dbdtoys.com/
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In 1975 I co-founded the first Disabled Students Union at the University of Washington. At the same time disability activists were wrapping up a campaign that eventually made Seattle Metro Transit the first accessible bus system in the world.

It is 2009. The CRPD has been passed.

How can stories like these still be in the news?

Wendy Brooks can't access the trams that stop across the road from her work or near to her Port Melbourne home.

WENDY Brooks' office might overlook two tram lines, but that doesn't mean the senior manager at Melbourne University, who is in a wheelchair, can take a tram to work.

While there are raised tram "super stops" on the two lines, the older-style trams that run in the area are not accessible by wheelchair and won't be modernised for many years.

Ms Brooks is forced to get a bus from her Port Melbourne home (also near a tram line), then wheel herself the final kilometre to work.

That trip will usually take almost as long as the preceding bus journey.

For the full story:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/next-tram-years-away-for-disabled-travellers-20090426-ajes.html


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Using the Web to Demonstrate Health, Safety and Welfare
By Mary Jane Grigsby

I wish I could wave a wand or wiggle my nose to give people instant understanding about how my work as an interior designer impacts the public health, safety and welfare.

NCIDQ Logo.gifBut I think it would take the power of a wizard to overcome misconceptions, promulgated by cable decorating shows and the myriad magazine articles, that interior design consists only of set design and decorating. Although interior designers do make spaces beautiful, all designs must always be functional and meet life-safety and building codes. NCIDQ is aware that many people do not have a full understanding of our profession. We believe that educating the public is part of our mission to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.
 
Several years ago NCIDQ began researching civil law suits and actions undertaken by licensed or unlicensed interior designers that had put the public at risk. That research led the organization to conclude a graphic representation was necessary to effectively demonstrate how qualified interior designers affect the safety and well-being of users in interior spaces. NCIDQ developed an interactive Web site that provides information and graphic presentation to legislators, consumers and other design professionals. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then NCIDQ's hope is that an interactive Web site is worth two thousand accurate words.

View the Web site by clicking the link at www.ncidq.org.

The heart of the site is a floor plan of a 10,000- square-foot space within a three-story commercial office building. A viewer clicks on a quadrant of the plan and zooms in for a closer view. The floor plan is shown as a blank building shell, without interior walls. Then, by overlaying a separate layer, we indicate where an interior designer would locate the walls to define the work spaces and create egress corridors.

Different rooms are highlighted to indicate that more information can be found by clicking within the room. For example, if you click on one of the small private toilet rooms, the plan transforms from a plan view to a perspective view. Several numbers appear, each representing specific knowledge that an interior designer must have to design a safe toilet room that meets building codes and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

It is an eye-opening experience for most people when they learn all the decisions that occur in designing a simple restroom. In the toilet room example, the following information is highlighted:

1. Lavatory sinks are mounted at a height that allows a wheelchair user clear access.

2. Faucet controls are accessible to meet ADA Guidelines; exposed pipes under open counter are wrapped to protect legs from pipe burns.

3. Wheelchair turning radius is 30" (60" diameter circle) to meet ADA Guidelines.

4. Proper seat height for water closet is provided. Correctly sized grab bars are mounted at the appropriate height to meet ADA Guidelines.

5. Floor tile has appropriate coefficient of friction rating to reduce chance of slipping.

6. Proper ventilation and light levels are specified to meet code requirements.

7. Faucets and toilets are low flow/flush for water conservation.
We believe this Web site will be a great tool to demonstrate to legislators, legislative aides and the public the work of interior designers. When we designed the site, we were cognizant that consumers and legislators may have little time to devote to reviewing the site. As a result, we designed the site to be simple to navigate and to have clear content. Complex interactive features, or features that take a long time to load, would never be viewed by those that need to see them most.

This "Health, Safety & Welfare floor plan" page of the NCIDQ Web site is yet another tool that designers can use to explain why our profession must have minimum requirements of education, experience and examination to protect the public. Please take a few minutes to visit the site, explore the information contained in it, and then forward a link to your friends, family, clients, and - most importantly - your legislators.

About the author:

Mary Jane Grigsby is a licensed interior designer and owner of Adesso Design, Inc., a commercial and residential firm located in South Florida. In addition to her work, she has been serving the design community for 34 years and serves on the NCIDQ Board of Directors. More information about NCIDQ, as well as a link to the Health, Safety & Welfare floor plan, is available at www.ncidq.org.

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Village for All

Roberto Vitali

In Milan at the Carlo Besta conference on travel and disability covered under Travelogues I met Roberto Vitali. He is Project Manager at Village for All - a network promoting Inclusive Travel.

Here is their web site in Italian.

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ENAT Newsletter - April 2009

ENAT e-bulletin 9 


1. Event: Come to the main European Accessible Tourism event in 2009:
ENAT 2nd International Congress on Tourism for All, Vienna, Austria
Preparations are well under way for the ENAT International Congress 2009, which will take place at the Austria Center, Vienna on 30 September to 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. Event: ENAT Annual General Assembly, Brussels, 20 May 2009
According to its Statutes, ENAT holds an Annual General Assembly of its Full Members, where the activities and accounts of the previous year shall be approved and any formal matters are discussed. ENAT Associate Members can attend the General Assembly but do not have voting rights. Only members who are up-to-date with their subscriptions, and invited Observers, may participate in the meeting. Read more...

3. Event: Welcome to Greece's AUTONOMIA EXPO, 15 to 17 May 2009
ENAT members and tourism businesses are invited to present their accessible tourism offers in an Open Seminar under the heading, "Opportunities for Accessible Tourism in Greece", taking place in the AUTONOMIA EXPO on Sunday 17 May from 12 o'clock. Presentations will be given in the Greek language, with the possibility for short summaries in English. Read more...

4.
NewsEuropean Commission Launches Public Consultation on Design for User-Centred Innovation
The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather opinions about making design an integral part of European innovation policy. A positive outcome to the consultation could lead to new EC funding programmes and initiatives in support of "user-centred innovation"  through design - something which ENAT believes is much needed in the travel and tourism industry. Read more and answer the questionnaire.
  
5. News: Accessible Portugal Wins National Tourism Award
ENAT Member 'Accessible Portugal' won the annual tourism award given by the Portuguese Tourism Board, for the best project in the "Services" category. This award recognises the work carried out by Accessible Portugal, as a relevant contributor for the qualification of Portugal as an accessible tourism destination. Read more...

--
Do you have news, an event, a project or a good practice you would like to share?
You are welcome to send your news, events, and other items of interest for publication to:
enat@accessible tourism.org

Not a Member?  Go to the ENAT registration page : http://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.member
--
Ivor Ambrose, Managing Director
European Network for Accessible Tourism asbl.
c/o EWORX S.A.,
Jean Moreas St. 66
GR-15231 Halandri, Athens
Greece.
Tel. 0030 210 614 8380
Fax. 0030 210 614 8381
E-mail: enat@accessibletourism.org
ENAT Official Web Site: http://www.accessibletourism.org
Tourism SMEs' Networking Site: http://www.accessibletourism.ning.com
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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ISAC - Centro de Inclusão Socioambiental do Cego em parceria com a Fundação Florestal e Viveiro Florestal de Pindamonhangaba realizou no dia 23 e 24 de abril de 2009 a "I Oficina de desenho do Viveiro Adaptado e da organização do espaço" tendo como eixo o Projeto" Mata Atlântica Plantar Superando Barreiras".  Foi realizado no Viveiro Florestal de Pindamonhangaba. Iniciou com a apresentação de todos os presentes em sua maioria pessoas de visão nula,  de baixa visão e deficientes físicos, interessados na área e representantes locais, e da comunidade.

As palestras aconteceram de forma vivencial, interativa e com experiência sensorial iniciou com a EngenheiroFlorestal Alcinéia Guimarães de Castro do Instituto Florestal:  

Viveiro de Produção de Mudas onde tiveram a oportunidade de conhecer o processo de formação de um viveiro florestal, sentir e tocar várias espécies de plantas e sementes, orientação sobre o local, diálogos sobre o processo de formação de um viveiro, canteiros, o substrato, o trato com as espécies nativas, as sementes, identificações e formas de utilização. 

O Ornitólogo e responsável pelo Parque João Pedro Cardoso e Viveiro Florestal Laércio Toledo Cortez, com a temática Observação da Fauna e a Inclusão Social dos Cegos,  apresentou  ângulos importantes do potencial que o turismo de observação de aves em todos aspectos pode descortinar aos participantes, 

Técnica em Inclusão Prof.ª Ruth Souza Saleme: "A Importância do Pensar na Construção da Inclusão-Acessibilidade nos parâmetros do Viveiro." 

Engenheiro Florestal e  Supervisor do Projeto Renato Lorza"Tipos de vegetação, escolha de espéciesapresentou mapa tátil do Estado de São Paulo", que possibilitou a compreensão e interesse de todos pela temática; muito colorido, texturizado com vários elementos e contornos, e de acordo com a distribuição da vegetação a compreensão dos recursos hídricos, o Rio Paraíba do Sul, essa experimentação sensorial, tátil e visual tem levantado a expectativa para a concretização e o manejo no viveiro adaptado, tanto pelos deficientes visuais quanto à todos participantes do Projeto.

 "O reconhecimento e Socialização do espaço do viveiro adaptado e estufaatravés da Maquete" com a Técnica em Meio Ambiente: Juliana O Motta também possibilotu a exploração em cada micro unidade tão bem miniaturizada, ali muitos refizeram os passos, identificavam as espéciestocando-as, o caminho de chegada e partida através das texturas, chegavam até mesmo a buscar na memória visual o local onde os colegas se colocavam. 

Olocal aonde preparavam algum elemento para o viveiro r nesse espírito de criatividade foram sugerindo a marcação do local aonde será o viveiro adaptado e na seqüência a "Vivência da co-responsabilidade ambiental no espaço" com Antonio Carlos e Jose Monteiro deficientes visuais, que de forma participativa e de acordo com suas possibilidades participam desse processo de construção. 

O coordenador do CISAC Ayrton Sergio Saleme "comunicação do Projeto" comentou emocionado sobre que as dificuldades são menores e bem melhores na experimentação desta oficina que busca de forma integrada, participativa e reflexiva, atravessar os limites culturais e deixar fluir a consciência ambiental e desta construção conjunta poderá existir possibilidades, dos atores sociais semearem o surgimento de um novo olhar, que independente do brilho, manterá a luz da existência com qualidade de vida inspirando o presente e para gerações futuras.

 

 Centro de Inclusão Socioambiental do Cego -12-3645-4474  Cel.91789128 c/Ayrton Sergio

Apoio : Secretaria do Meio Ambiente, Fundação Florestal, Prefeitura Municipal de Pindamonhangaba, Tenaris Confab, Viveiro Florestal, Hípica Vigilato, ANEPS, Rota da Liberdade

Notes on Universal Design

The blog Access on Mainstreet published a post entitled Showing Some Backbone:

A new study indicates that far more Americans than previously estimated-5.6 million people, or about 1 in 50-have some level of paralysis in their arms and/or legs. The reason for the increase has to do with a shift in definition rather than demographics; people or their family members were simply asked about functional capabilities rather than their conformance to a specific medical model. The study didn't even count non-nervous system causes for limited limb movement, such as arthritis. Moral for product developers: scratch a functional definition and find a more significant market for universal design features than you may have thought.

NYTimes: Study raises estimate of paralyzed Americans

 

Source:

http://www.accessonmainstreet.net/2009/04/21/showing-some-backbone/

From Disability News India:

New Delhi: Thanks to a small request from a woman with disabilities and a prompt response by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) authorities, wheelchair users in the Capital can now visit the sprawling Central Park of Connaught Place without any inconvenience and enjoy its greenery and fountains like any other visitor.

Construction of a dozen-odd ramps like this one here along the periphery of the Central Park in Connaught Place has opened up new vistas for wheelchair users in New Delhi.
Neeru Gautam, a young wheelchair user, rang up the NDMC a week ago with a request to make Connaught Place and its Central Park more accessible for people with disabilities.

"Being a woman with disabilities, I found it difficult to come from my home in West Patel Nagar to Connaught Place to enjoy an outing in the Central Park. I phoned up NDMC Junior Engineer Satbir Singh and Executive Engineer Nimesh, who promptly responded to my request. I am happy that the official machinery reacted positively and 14 ramps have been built on the inner circle including the Central Park," said Ms. Gautam enjoying her outing in the Central Park on Saturday evening.

For the full story:

http://www.disabilityindia.com/html/news.html#wamacp

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Coat of arms of Lousã

Image via Wikipedia

Escrito por Andrea Trindade   

Coimbra

 

Um grupo de cidadãos portadores de incapacidade foi ontem convidado a almoçar na Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Coimbra (EHTC) para que os futuros profissionais de hotelaria e restauração com eles pudessem aprender mais sobre as especificidades do atendimento a pessoas com limitações. Isto porque, a par de estruturas físicas acessíveis, o "turismo para todos" passa por atitudes e comportamentos, por profissionais sensibilizados e dispostos a ajudar.

A iniciativa, realizada em parceria com o projecto "Lousã - Destino de Turismo Acessível", contou com a presença da secretária de Estado adjunta e da Reabilitação, Idália Moniz, que apelou ao empenho de todos na mudança para uma sociedade mais inclusiva e democrática, com «igualdade de acesso a bens e serviços». A governante lembrou ainda que o turismo acessível pode e deve ser olhado como «oportunidade de desenvolvimento estratégico sustentado», como tem acontecido na Lousã. «Este projecto fez com que mais investidores procurassem a Lousã, a sua única unidade hoteleira tenha uma ocupação acima da média e mais estrangeiros se fixassem no concelho», sustentou, considerando-o exemplo a seguir.

«Não foi nenhuma ideia luminosa, mas antes uma necessidade que sentimos», acrescentou o presidente da Câmara da Lousã, lembrando o convívio da comunidade com a Associação de Recuperação Cidadãos Inadaptados da Lousã (ARCIL) - que ontem trouxe para o almoço 20 utentes - e os muitos passos dados no sentido de uma sociedade mais inclusiva.

O projecto "Destino de Turismo Acessível" foi, segundo Fernando Carvalho, apresentado em Portugal e no estrangeiro e apresenta-se como vector de «dinâmica económica importante», tendo, inclusive, existido contactos com uma empresa britânica interessada em investir na criação de uma casa adaptada a cidadãos com deficiência. De resto, em termos municipais, «inventariamos os erros todos [nas acessibilidades] e sabemos quanto custa emendá-los, aprendemos a partir deste projecto a não fazer mais nada de errado», referiu.

Cuidados na ementa

Os ingredientes são os mesmos, a apresentação e a confecção tiveram cuidados especiais e o serviço beneficiou ainda do entusiasmo e da dedicação que os alunos quiseram mostrar a estes clientes especiais. Isso mesmo disse o chefe Luís Lavrador no final da refeição. O professor da Escola de Hotelaria explicou que a carne foi empratada cortada aos pedaços pequenos e que também a sobremesa foi composta de pequenas peças de fruta e doces, que podiam ser comidas com as mãos. As restantes particularidades do serviço estão na atenção à pessoa.

Ana Paula Pais
, directora da EHTC, revelou que este «momento de aprendizagem» - que surgiu depois de uma sessão mais teórica - deverá ser repetido nos próximos anos lectivos, pelo valor que acrescentam à formação. «Esperamos agora a vossa avaliação e sugestões», disse, referindo-se particularmente às pessoas com incapacidade.

No almoço, confeccionado pelos alunos do último ano do curso de Cozinha e servido pelos finalistas do curso de Restaurante/Bar, estiveram ainda Filipe Carvalho, responsável do "Lousã - Destino de Turismo Acessível", e Marques Leandro, presidente da ARCIL, além de diversos responsáveis por instituições da área do turismo e do apoio a cidadãos com deficiência.

Fonte - http://www.diariocoimbra.pt/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1708&Itemid=135 
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This year, on 9 and 10 May, the European Disabbility Forum Annual General Assembly will be broadcast live from Athens on the Internet. The AGA, the supreme body, fully empowered to realize the EDF aims and objectives, gathers more than 200 participants, representing the leaders of the European disability movement and disability organisations representatives, who will discuss and decide about EDF future priorities and strategy for 2010 and beyond. How will it work? Simply connect to EDF website (http://www.edf-feph.org) and click on the link to enter the AGA space from home. Programme: Saturday 9/5 10.15-10.30: Opening ceremony (special guests) 10.30-11.00: Election procedures and Election of EDF President 11.30-12.45: Commemoration ceremony for EDF Vice President, Bas Treffers 12.45-13.15: EDF Activity Report 2008 13.15-13.30: Election of EDF Board of Directors, EDF Finance Committee and Membership and Credentials Committee 15.30-17.30: Debate on a European Disability Pact 18.00-19.00: Finance and membership Sunday 10/5 10.30-12.00: EDF 2010 work programme and budget 12:00-12.30: Resolution on youth with disabilities 12.30-13.00: Conclusion

Coat of arms of Braga


 
Por PEDRO ANTUNES PEREIR



Uma ementa totalmente escrita em Braille foi apresentada num estabelecimento de restauração de Braga, tornando-o o primeiro do país a fazê-lo.
 
Para assinalar a data foi descerrada uma placa onde o nome "CafféNoir" aparece também escrito na linguagem dos invisuais. Uma iniciativa que a ACAPO espera ver replicada no resto do país.
 
Eduardo Gonçalves, o proprietário conta que a ideia começou a ganhar forma em conversas que ia tendo com um cliente invisual: "nós vemos ainda muito em contra-luz, olhamos muito para a nossa sombra e espero que este seja um contributo para mudar a pequena mentalidade que ainda reina no país". Para a responsável pela ACAPO de Braga, Cristina Ferreira, "já existem edifícios e locais adaptados para receber pessoas invisuais mas este é o primeiro estabelecimento do país a ter uma ementa inteiramente em Braille" e vai mais longe: "mesmo aqui na vizinha Espanha não tenho memória que exista alguma coisa parecida".
 
Situado em perto da Sé de Braga, numa zona nobre da cidade, o café conhecido também pela oferta em termos de chá colocou uma placa identificativa, de fácil acesso aos invisuais e com o nome gravado em relevo para ser facilmente reconhecido pelos invisuais: "é mais um passo que se dá para transformar e desenvolver uma cidade ainda muito presa a 200 anos de história", reconhece o proprietário.

Repasso este artigo publicado no Fórum de Idéias do Diário do Turismo O Fórum tem o objetivo de promover o debate e a discussão de temas mais profundos sobre o turismo brasileiro. 

Por
João dos Santos Filho*

Caro turismólogos, nunca poderia imaginar que um dia viesse a escrever o presente texto, e devo confessar que para mim bacharel em turismo e Ciências Sociais não foi nada fácil. Pois minha consciência como cientista social levava-me a denunciar o que há por detrás da "Lei Geral do Turismo" n. 11.771 de 17 de Setembro de 2008. De outro como turismólogo fiquei indignado e perplexo com a mudez opinativa dos colegas perante o significado da "Lei Geral do Turismo".

Diante deste dilema optei por explicitar algumas dúvidas; a "Lei geral do turismo" não menciona, ou melhor, omite o profissional turismólogo ou bacharel em turismo, poderiam pensar que isso fosse mais um dos caprichos de nós turismólogos que lutam pela regulamentação profissional a mais de trinta anos, mas não é! O que nos deixa estapafúrdio é saber que somos os únicos profissionais que apesar de cursar um curso superior de turismo e estudar esse fenômeno de forma sistemática, não sermos nominados como responsáveis pelas atividades contidas no:

Capitulo III - DA COORDENAÇÃO E INTEGRAÇÃO DE DECISÕES E AÇÕES NO PLANO FEDERAL, Seção I, Das Ações, Planos e Programas: "VIII - a formação, a capacitação profissional, a qualificação, o treinamento e a reciclagem de mão-de-obra para o setor turístico e sua colocação no mercado de trabalho";

E no Capítulo II - DA POLÍTICA, DO PLANO E DO SISTEMA NACIONAL DE TURISMO, Subseção II: "XIX - promover à formação, o aperfeiçoamento, a qualificação e a capacitação de recursos humanos para a área do turismo, bem como a implementação de políticas que viabilizem a colocação profissional no mercado de trabalho"; (http://www.turismologia.com.br/lgt.asp)

A questão agravante nesse caso se deve ao fato que a precariedade do estatuto jurídico que possuímos fica mais débil, pois qualquer outro profissional como o administrador (pelos seus interesses confessos em tentar incorporar os turismólogos na fileira dos administradores), o leigo, o político e o tecnólogo podem vir atuar no campo da capacitação profissional e acadêmica. Sem mencionar que a Deliberação Normativa Nº 390, de 28 de Maio de 1998 se refere à importância do parecer técnico emitido por profissional egresso de cursos superiores de Bacharel em Turismo.

Afinal, somos credenciados para assinar os pareceres técnicos e, não para fazer parte da "Lei Geral do Turismo", principalmente naquilo que ela tem de mais nobre o treinamento da mão de obra e capacitação profissional e acadêmica. Serão que não nos consideram educadores? Questionamos quem educa o educador, é o trade? Se assim for, para que servem os cursos de turismo? Para que o empresário da educação em turismo acumule capital ou para os nobres motivos da educação superior.

Parece cômico para não dizer trágico, o Estado formaliza um arcabouço legal normativo sobre a "Lei geral do turismo" e não menciona seu trabalhador fundante o Turismólogo. Isso me faz lembrar em termos de galhofa o que seria; a lei geral da saúde, sem levar em conta o médico ou a enfermeira; a Política Nacional de Energia Nuclear, sem levar em conta os formados em física; a lei geral da advocacia sem levar em conta o bacharel em direito, e assim poderíamos enumerar inúmeras categorias profissionais.

De outro lado, não podemos ficar sem aplaudir o conteúdo da lei que veio disciplinar, articular e dar foro legitima as leis que estavam esparsas e perdidas de direção quanto sua eficácia normativa.

Entretanto, essa lei veio contrair ainda mais o mercado de trabalho para o turismólogo que vê sua especificidade laboral sendo invadida por outros profissionais, que após a implementação da mesma acabou nivelando todas as funções de turismo como atividades iguais. O que tira a especificidade do turismólogo e o coloca idêntico a qualquer outro profissional de nível superior, com a desvantagem que todos possuem uma formação especifica, menos o turismólogo que é produto daquela idéia retrógada e equivocada de que a formação do mesmo deve ser generalista.

No capítulo II, subseção II, Dos Objetivos, deparamos com o inciso X:

X - prevenir e combater as atividades turísticas relacionadas aos abusos de natureza sexual e outras que afetem a dignidade humana, respeitadas as competências dos diversos órgãos governamentais envolvidos;

Impressiona a timidez com que o Estado explicita a questão do turismo sexual, como se o problema não fosse produto da atividade turística promovida sem critérios, na qual para se conseguir turista principalmente estrangeiro todo vôo Charter é bem vindo. Hoje só o nordeste recebe 28 vôos semanais fora os regulares aliados a questão da pobreza local, alimentam a indústria do turismo sexual. Por isso são inócuas as campanhas publicitárias, pois o que manda é força dos dólares: o hotel nada vê, o agenciador de garotas apesar de conhecer funcionários do estabelecimento e ser conhecido ninguém o conhece.

Nos aeroportos quando da chegada dos vôos chartes a magia ocorre; agenciadores bilíngües negociam carne humana infantil, por hora, por dia ou por semana. Taxistas já sabem como recolher as garotas a maioria menor de idade, muitos turistas saem dos aeroportos e chegam acompanhados aos hotéis. E como não poderia deixar de ser, as autoridades ficam se esquivando de atuar, pois dizem que cada órgão tem limites.

Para finalizar esse breve comentário, não poderíamos deixar de refletir que nossa exclusão como profissionais da "Lei Geral do turismo" se deve a nossa pouca organização política e organizativa diante do lobby desenvolvido pela Associação Brasileira de Agentes de Viagem - ABAV, que por sinal está lutando para regulamentar as atividades profissionais do Agente de Viagem. Na qual encontramos uma série atividades que são contempladas aos agentes de viagens que também são desenvolvidas pelos bacharéis de turismo - turismólogos.

A "lei Geral de Turismo" não substitui a necessidade da regulamentação da profissão de turismólogo, pois quem assim afirma trabalha em cima de uma falsa premissa. E nem podemos imaginar que aos Bacharéis de turismo poderão constituir empresas para atuar em planejamento.

Na verdade foi uma humilhação para os turismólogos não serem mencionados na "Lei Geral do Turismo" é como falar do Brasil e esquecer-se de mencionar os brasileiros. Isso mais uma vez demonstra que o trade está somente preocupado com as questões econômicas; aumentar a permanência do turista estrangeiro em território nacional, que o dólar não sofra nenhuma desvalorização e que o turismólogo fique longe do turismo.


* João dos Santos Filho - Bacharel em Turismo pelo Centro Universitário Ibero-Americano de São Paulo (Unibero) e bacharel em Ciências Sociais pela PUC/SP. Mestre em Educação: História e Filosofia da Educação pela PUC/SP. Professor-convidado na Faculdad de Filosofia e Letras da Universidad Nacional de Heredia (UNA), em San José da Costa Rica. Professor concursado pela Universidade Estadual de Maringá. Autor do livro Ontologia do turismo: estudo de suas causas primeiras, EDUSC, Universidade de Caxias do Sul.  E-mail  joaofilho@onda.com.br


Today a short Travelogue series will begin here at the Rolling Rains Report. Follow along here.

Scott Rains will address the conference "From Disability to Social Reinsertion" in Milan. His address, "Inclusive Tourism: Participant/Observer Notes on the Global Paradigm Shift Toward Solutions" on April 17 will be followed by participation in an April18 round table presentation on international policy regarding travel and disability.

Of course, the initial step will include a series of flights to get from California to Italy. So the reports begun today about airline on National Public Radio has a particular immediacy.

Especially noteworthy is National Public Radio's call for suggestions to include in an Airline Passenger's Bill of Rights.

I encourage readers to submit their suggestions and provide the radio network's reporters with suggestions on where they can research about travel with disabilities!

Follow along at the story "Creating a Passenger's Bill Rights"

From the NPR site on submitting suggestions for the Airline Passenger's Bill of Rights:

Resources To Get You Started

How To Participate


O Globo.com escreve:

Viajar pelo Brasil é uma tarefa difícil para os portadores de deficiência. Mas existem lugares onde os acessos são facilitados. Um guia reuniu roteiros onde a diversão é garantida para todos.

Continue a  transformação social com a distribuição de oito mil cópias do guia.  

"O guia vem com esse papel de transformação social. Ele vem também para informar as pessoas com deficiência e também quem não tem deficiência, sobre as necessidades específicas dessas pessoas", explica Andrea [Schwarz.] Informação é fundamental para qualquer turista. Para uma pessoa com deficiência, então, é como se fosse o passaporte. Antes de sair de casa, é preciso saber quais serão os obstáculos no caminho e, também, conhecer as facilidades. Lugares sem barreiras, onde o acesso é para todos...

Você também pode acessar os roteiros aqui


Segue a reportagem aqui http://jornalnacional.globo.com/Telejornais/JN/0,,MUL1081426-10406,00.html

The main objective of the Brazil's 4th International Disability Film Festival is to promote and encourage new ways of seeing special needs and disabilities. The organizers accept films of any duration, genre and production date dealing with this issue. The Brazil's 4th International Disability Film Festival will take place in Rio de Janeiro in August, in Brasília in September and in São Paulo in October, 2009. Deadline for online submissions: May 11, 2009.

Read more

Setting Priorities

Gina Hale over at Special Ed Insider blog takes on the "scarcity of resources" argument against inclusive design in a very grassroots way -- at the local school. She asks about making pools accessible but the argument gets to the roots of attitudes and the resulting allocation of resources.

See the piece Pools Not Just for Athletes.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Image via Wikipedia

Readers here are aware of the recent fiasco where Amazon decided to handicap the Kindle 2. Some may have taken part in the protest yesterday at the headquarters of the Authors Guild in New York City yesterday.

It is encouraging today to see coverage of this issue at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Access to trustworthy information in accessible formats is essential for travelers. Backsliding on accessibility and industry hesitation to enfranchise the largest group of people possible with existing technology is damaging to the progress of inclusion in travel and leisure.

EFF writes:

Disability Access Activists Gather to Protest Kindle DRM

News Update by Tim Jones

Yesterday, hundreds of people gathered in front of the headquarters of The Authors Guild in New York City to protest the removal of text-to-speech capabilities in Amazon's new Kindle 2 ebook device.

You may remember a few months ago, when The Authors Guild claimed (falsely) that the text-to-speech feature violated copyright law, and forced Amazon to disable it.

Now, the people who would have benefited most from the new feature -- the blind, and others with reading disabilities -- have made it clear that they're not going to stand for it.

Gizmodo's John Mahoney was there and has excellent coverage. He writes:

Everything was of course peaceful and contained right in front of the Authors Guild's seventh floor offices on 32nd street on Manhattan's east side. They had a pretty fantastic march ring set up, with many folks leading those who could not see at all in the ring, and sighted people whose job was to tell the marchers when to turn. Several seeing eye dogs joined in expressing their distaste.


For the whole story:

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/04/protest-kindle-drm



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Is Inclusive Travel on The Agenda?

450 mm by 450 mm (18 in by 18 in) Handicapped ...

Image via Wikipedia

ICDR Seeks Your Recommendations on Emerging Disability Research Topics

Comment Period: March 27 - April 17, 2009 - 3:00 P.M. E.D.T.

Voting Period: April 22 - 29, 2009

Web site: www.icdr.us/stakeholders

This year for the first time, the federally mandated Interagency
Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) is utilizing an innovative
Web-based approach to collect online disability research comments to
assist in developing a federal disability and rehabilitation 2010
research agenda.

This technology-driven approach gives the public a
three-week timeframe from March 27th through April 17th to submit their
recommendations. Additionally, registered participants will be invited
to review all comments submitted and vote on their top 10 concerns in
each topic area during the one-week period from April 22nd through April
29th. Public comments from stakeholders are the focal point of the
disability research recommendations in the ICDR Annual Report to the
President and Congress.

For more information visit www.icdr.us/stakeholders
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Dr Scott Rains will speak at Neurology in the Third Millennium: From Disability to Social Reinsertion held by the Carlo Besta Neurology Institute in Milan. His presentation Inclusive Tourism - Participant/Observer Notes on the Global Paradigm Shift Toward Solutions on April 17 will be followed by his participation in the Round Table on Policy and Travelers' Experience on April 18.

Scott Rains - RollingRains.jpg
From the press release: 

The continued increase in longevity and greater chronicization of many illnesses in the third millennium is being accompanied by increasing numbers of disabled persons. Disability as a result of neurological illness forms a distinct and substantial part of disability that is characterized by high social costs and heavy impact on quality of life.

Although considerable improvements in medicine and surgery -  including the development of technologically advanced treatments, will occur, they are expected to have a limited impact on global indicators of disability in the near future. Conversely, rehabilitation interventions are expected to make a much more substantial contribution to alleviating disability in the coming years. But in order to have a maximal effect on quality of life, rehabilitation must go beyond traditional interventions and expand into leisure-time activities. And in this context accessible tourism can make an important contribution.  

This congress starts from socio-economic and health considerations to explore the vast perspectives and possibilities now opening up in the area of leisure time rehabilitation for those disabled as a result of neurological disease.




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Voice of America on Disability

CIL Director Jan Garrett gets ready to fire off another email
The Voice of America interviews Jan Garrett, Director of Berkeley, California's Center for Independent Living, Esperanza Diaz Alvarez, Gerald Baptiste, and Melinda Hicks.

For the full story:

http://www.voanews.com/english/AmericanLife/2009-04-06-voa56.cfm


Authors can publish their guides immediately on www.GuideGecko.com
 
 GuideGecko (www.GuideGecko.com), a new website for travel, lifestyle and entertainment guides, provides the perfect platform for self-published accessible travel guides by independent authors.
 

GuideGecko.gif People with disabilities and disability organisations who create access guides to their cities, regions and countries, are often unable to publish the guides due to lack of resources.
 
 GuideGecko solves that problem by allowing free publishing of travel guides in PDF format, online publicity, and a print & shipping service for customers who purchase the guide. Authors set their own price and earn
 50-75% on every sale. Guides can be updated at any time, ensuring the customer always has the latest version.
 
 A whole range of other travel guides by both independent and well-known
 publishers are on offer on the site, increasing the chances that your guide
 will be spotted and bought.
 
 This is a huge opportunity for people with disabilities who wish to publish
 access guides to their cities and regions. The more accessible travel guides
 are put online at GuideGecko, the better the resource will become for
 travelers with disabilities - and the more people with disabilities could
 find information to help them travel.
 
 See www.guidegecko/publish.com for information on how to publish quickly,
 easily and for free.

Contributed by Monica Guy

Kerala, nicknamed as "God's own country&q...

Image via Wikipedia

MoT to strongly enforce accessibility provisions for benefit of People with Disabilities

In order to make all tourism products accessible to all kinds of tourists, especially People with Disabilities (PwDs), Ministry of Tourism (MoT) will strongly enforce accessibility provisions in all the centrally-approved tourism projects.

This information was divulged by Sujit Banerjee, Secretary - Tourism, Government of India at the inauguration of a two-day conference on Inclusive Tourism, 'Accessible Transportation and Tourism,' held in the capital.

The conference...was organised by Svayam, an NGO, in conjunction with MoT and Transport Department, Government of Delhi. "We have decided not to give central financial assistance to projects which do not have facilities for differently- abled people.

Incredible India cannot be called incredible if our destinations are not accessible to all kinds of people," he informed.

The Secretary informed that MoT had started recognizing efforts of the private sector in this regard by instituting awards at the National Tourism Awards. He also informed that the core committee comprising people from Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Transport, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

Source: http://www.travelbizmonitor.com/mot-to-strongly-enforce-accessibility-provisions-for-benefit-of-people-with-disabilities 
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Announcing the launch of a new NAPA-AAA organizational listserv on the intersection of anthropology and occupational therapy/occupational science. The group looks at research, teaching, and practice on health and well-being, disability, community development, community based rehabilitation, etc. all in the context of human occupation.

Description:

National Association of Practicing Anthropologists, Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group: The NAPA OT/OS SIG was organized in 2006 as a part of the American Anthropological Association, National Association of Practicing Anthropology. The NAPA OT/OS SIG is focused on becoming an academic presence at conferences, and building alliances and collaborations between anthropology and occupational therapy and occupational science. The group also collaborates with other groups including the Society for Medical Anthropology, Special Interest Group on Disability Research, the SSO, SDS, etc. The listserv is open to all for relevant announcements and theoretical and practical exchange.

Join through Yahoo Groups : NAPA-OTOS@yahoogroups.com . Joining the list does not necessitate joining AAA or NAPA.


 

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dalton.jpg
Dalton Valim Alcoba Ruiz e o fundador do Portal Etur.
O Portal Etur foi ao ar pela primeira vez com o nome de:

Ideias Turisticas
www.ideiasturisticas.hpg.com.br
no dia 10 de junho de 2000.

Veja a primeira home aqui e em seguida aqui.

Em seguida foi rebatizado de Etour (www.etour.hpg.com.br). Veja a home aqui.

Em 2001 assume o dominio Estudos Turisticos (www.estudosturisticos.com.br). Veja aqui. O nome atual foi atribuido em 2004.

Neste ano de 2009 Dalton estabelece novos servicos com "links" para nichos especificos sempre dentro da area de Turismo.

Assim, surgem os projetos

TurisNautas e Ideias Turisticas

(assim chamado em homenagem ao "nome de berco" do atual site).




Visit Ideias Turísticas

Scott Rains e membro de:TurisNautas
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The Healthy House Institute

Healthy House Institute.gif

The Healthy House Institute nibbles at the green/Universal Design convergence with this quote from Wikipedia.


The Highway Safety Research Center has funding available for up to ten communities or neighborhoods to pilot test the use of "A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities", a newly developed guidebook that details ways to improve pedestrian safety and the walkability of local neighborhoods.

Each selected pilot site will be provided $2,000 as well as technical assistance from pedestrian safety experts.

Only government agencies and other not-for-profit organizations and neighborhood groups (e.g., PTAs, homeowner's associations, advocacy groups, etc.) are eligible to apply. Project funds will not be awarded to individuals.

The complete Request for Proposals is available at the program's Web site.

Contact:
Link to Complete RFP

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More Innovation by T. V. Raman

A close up of a dial on a rotary phone

Image via Wikipedia

Miguel Helft writes about T. V.'s continuing work to make technology available to blind users. Read his article, "Google's Phone Apps for the Blind, and Everyone Else."

Back in January, I profiled Mr. Raman, who has a long history of adapting technology to his needs. I thought the work on touch screens he was doing with Mr. Chen was intriguing:

Since he cannot precisely hit a button on a touch screen, Mr. Raman created a dialer that works based on relative positions. It interprets any place where he first touches the screen as a 5, the center of a regular telephone dial pad. To dial any other number, he simply slides his finger in its direction -- up and to the left for 1, down and to the right for 9, and so on. If he makes a mistake, he can erase a digit simply by shaking the phone, which can detect motion.



Full article: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/02/googles-phone-apps-for-the-blind-and-everyone-else/


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The IDeA Center at SUNY Buffalo

The Spring 2009 IDeA Center Newsletter has been published with stories on the developoment of Universal Design. Among the stories is this report on the extent of press interest i new developments on accessible transportation:

After the Robotic's Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and the IDeA Center at SUNY Buffalo issued press releases announcing that they were awarded the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC-APT), funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), many other outlets picked up the story. Co-directed by Aaron Steinfeld (RI) and Edward Steinfeld (IDeA Center), the RERC-APT will establish an effective and sustainable process to address high priority transportation needs of people with disabilities using enabling technology and universal design.

For the full article: http://udeworld.com/news/e-newsletter.html#article2

Several mobile phones

Image via Wikipedia

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies asks for feedback:


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If this regulation is implemented correctly - that is with industry-standard, safely-constructed equipment sized to accommodate international passengers, and operated by trained staff - then this development is one of the most important in recent years for travelers with mobility impairments.

Rather than shortsighted resistance the industry should now become proactive - in partnership with the Indian Ministry of Tourism - about the market that this progress will open to them.

From the Times of India via Disability News India:

NEW DELHI, 31 Mar: In order to make flying a comfortable experience for disabled people, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for all airlines to carry aisle wheelchairs by July 31.

Aisle Wheelchair
This chair will be used for taking physically disabled passengers from their seats to toilet during flight or for being wheeled around on long or ultralong sectors.

Interestingly, the DGCA had prepared its civil aviation requirement (CAR) for providing certain minimum facilities to the physically challenged last year but it remained a draft so far. Recently the court of chief commissioner for persons with disabilities pointed out that the DGCA had prepared a draft CAR but without the power to enforce the same, it may serve little purpose.

The directorate then sought time to change its rules and has now amended them. The CAR for persons with disabilities is going to be strictly implemented. If the things this rule provides for like having aisle wheelchairs on all flights by July 31 are not adhered to, action will be taken against airlines,Esaid a senior official.

In the past, there have been several instances where airlines have refused to take physically challenged passengers on their flights. Now under CAR, airlines will be able to do so only in extreme cases where safety of aircraft or fellow passengers could be endangered. In fact, airlines can refuse an assistive device or even guide dog if the passenger has told them that he or she would be using them at time of booking. It also lays stress on training employees to take care of special needs of the physically challenged, including at the airport.

The DGCA has also addressed airline industry objections to the provision of providing all assistance to disabled people free of cost contained in the original draft CAR. The carriers said that charging for assistance should be left to them alone. So under CAR, airlines are allowed to charge for stretchers and any extra material that it provided to the passenger. In fact, the DGCA has in recent past made several draft rules for passengers convenience.

But the economic slowdown has meant that the aviation ministry has given higher priority to saving airlines and airport developers.

As a result, CARs on passenger rights have taken a backseat. A case in point is a draft that provides compensation and penalty to passengers in case of deficiencies in service to passengers like being wrongly denied boarding to a confirm ticket holder or an inordinately long delay not caused by natural reasons. This draft CAR is yet to be finalised and issued. If this draft is issued, airlines will have to pay for deficiency in service. They have cited poor financial health and the draft has not been finalised and issued to date, said a senior official.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/


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On Accessible Outdoors Tours

Pam Taylor runs Flamingo Tours from Cape Town South Africa. In the following article she writes about her experience with inclusion as a tour operator offering safaris.


Guia Brasil Para Todos (Portuguese)


Guia-BpT.jpgVeja o Guia Brasil para Todos.

O recurso por Andrea Schwarz e Jaques Haber tem informacoes sobre:



• 10 capitais brasileiras;

• 139 passeios acessíveis;

• 106 restaurantes;

• 92 hotéis adaptados;

• 377 dicas para viajantes.


Falta todavia os detalhes e fotos dos cuartos nos hotéis pois no dia primeiro do lancamento o sitio e impressionante. Parabems!

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