August 2009 Archives

Frequently the videos available to show on are simple raw documentation of some vignette related to disability. Here is something with an extra element.

I this video Jason DaSilva has applied his skill as a storyteller, actor, and filmmaker to craft something noteworthy -- "Gettin' Up the Stairs." Below is the video but check out the blog also When I Walk and the When I Walk Blog.

Special thanks to travel agent Shirley Barber for alerting us to this video.

Living in an Audio World

Deaf 411 and Harris Communications have produced a short video on living as a Deaf person in an audio world.


Virtual reality from YouTube:

This short film plays much like a music video and tells a tale of one man's escapism and search for a 'better place' in a virtual world. The music is written and performed by Angryman.

And vignettes from real life:



Wasington State (You are never to old to go on a sailboat!)


Photo by Sherri Backstrom, Waypoint Yacht Charter Services

With appreciation to those who work hard and carry dreams that make for a better life!

From the Alaska State Fair comes some wisdom on th cost of inclusion a tourist destintions:

Debra Pollard, a Palmer resident who uses a scooter to get around, said vendors who choose not to provide access are losing customers. She enjoys the fair, she said, but refuses to go in shops where no attempt at providing access is made. "It's silly," she said. "It's money, people."
On the positive side:

Kathy Luchsinger made her booth of Alaska crafts a little more wheelchair friendly to Alaska fairgoers by screwing a piece of indoor-outdoor carpet into the ground, then smoothing things out with a few strips of duct tape.

It cost her about $5.

"There are plenty of ways to make areas more accessible. You don't have to spend a lot," she said.
For the full story:

Hello Tourist!

Even before the 2010 World Cup takes place in South Africa Brazil has rolled out its first professional training initiative for World Cup 2014 -- "Hello Tourist!"
What we want to see now are plans for infrastructure accessibility and professional training on serving tourists with disabilities.

The expertise is out there to be utilized. Our colleagues in the disability community working on World Cup 2010 accessibility in South Africa are ready to offer their services to the Brazilian disability community in developing their own program. Vamos la!

Hello, Tourist! is a partnership between the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism and the Roberto Marinho Foundation whose objective is to teach English and Spanish to tourism professionals, especially those whose work is related to tourist assistance. This is the first professional training activity motivated by the Football World Cup, which will be held in Brazil in 2014. Until the end of 2010, we hope to reach around 80.000 participants in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Amazonas.
The distance-training course will be offered free of charge to waiters, taxi drivers, craftsmen and artists, receptionists, phone operators, local stall tenders, drivers and guides, among other professionals who are linked to the tourist. Using an online method, the course will use distance-training and custom-designed activities according to each region and to the area where participants work.

Hello Tourist site:

See Nelida Barbeito on DESDE LA VIDA

You can stream Desde la Vida - South America's  only tv shhow dedicated entirely to accessibility nd independent living. Listen to Inclusive Travel expert, travel agent, and hotel owner Nelida Barbeito online and read her behind-the-scenes account of being on the set below:

Ana Paula [Doglio]'s original idea took two years to go on air, she is a psycopedagogyst with a master degree in disability and family, ' Desde la Vida' was first showed in April 2007.

Ana Paula together with Fena host the show. Agustina, a teacher specialized in teaching children with special needs, is in charge of the corner of art, in which children with all abilities go and draw and paint pieces of art that once a year, always around December 3rd go on auction and the funds help some NGO in need.

In the picture, what I could see behind the cameras, the ART CORNER, and the children working.

Coming down to accessibility matters I went this week to shoot an interview that is going to be shown on Aug 29 th at 9am, Argentinean time, and it can be seen over the internet at then click in the play button that says VIVO.
Read the full account at:

O projeto Olá, Turista! é uma parceria do Ministério do Turismo com a Fundação Roberto Marinho. O objetivo é ensinar inglês e espanhol a profissionais da cadeia do turismo que atuam diretamente com o público. Esta é a primeira ação concreta de capacitação profissional motivada pela Copa do Mundo de 2014, que será realizada no Brasil.


O projeto vai atuar em base local, mas com articulação nacional, seguindo as diretrizes das políticas públicas para o setor, buscando sinergia e integrando-se à iniciativa privada e às diferentes instâncias do poder público. Com isso, pretende-se envolver o setor turístico e toda a população brasileira numa ampla campanha de aprimoramento para a recepção de turistas.

O sitio:

Many thanks to for running this story and Sandra Rhodda for bringing it to our attention:

The kernel - Karla Rivas was not allowed to swim with the dolphins at Sea Life Park in Hawaii:

"I'm very disappointed. I traveled from Phoenix, Arizona, to here [Hawai'i], and I planned all these activities," Rivas said. "Everybody in this country has the right to enjoy all activities. And if there are ways to accommodate you, why not? I don't want this to continue happening to other blind people."

Issues of safety were cited - at the last minute while Rivas standing there in front of the dolphins.

Karla Rivas, 42, of Phoenix, has never allowed blindness to get in the way, KITV-TV reported. Her Hawaiian vacation was filled with adventure, from parasailing to scuba diving. But she had one dream left to fulfill.

"I wanted to interact with the dolphins," Rivas said. "I wanted to enjoy that activity as anybody else would enjoy it."

The full article on eTurboNews:

Watch the video at KITV News:

The National Council on Disability (NCD) will hold a national summit July 25 - 27, 2010, in Washington, D.C. to develop recommendations to guide Federal disability policy and programs over the next decade. 

The National Summit on Disability Policy will also commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ADA's enactment.  Over 300 leaders and stakeholders will be invited and selected to discuss and present information on a range of topics, including civil rights, employment, education, health care, transportation, housing, telecommunications and technology, international affairs, homeland security, and demographics. 

For further information, including application forms and scholarship opportunities to attend the invitation-only event, visit NCD's website at  

Disability Politics in Malta





Examining the historical context of disability politics provides a

scenario in understanding the direction that activism is to take in the

years to come in Malta. Disability issues are based on the recognition

of human rights as being the main ingredient in moulding an inclusive

society. The focus of this work points towards the development of a

disability coalition controlled by a new generation of disabled activists.


About the Author

Dr. Andrew Azzopardi is a Lecturer at the University of Malta. His

lecturing & research focus on sociology, critical pedagogy, disability

politics, inclusive education & youth & community studies. He is

currently coordinating a Masters in Inclusive Education & Communities.

He has published extensively in the field of disability studies and

inclusive education.


Tenth Annual Multiple Perspectives on Access, Inclusion & Disability:
Future History

April 27 and 28, 2010
Held on the Ohio State University's Columbus Campus

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS The Tenth Annual Multiple Perspectives
conference continues a decade of community exploration of disability
as an individual experience and social reality that cuts across typical
divisions of education & employment; scholarship & service; business &
government; race, gender & ethnicity.

Multiple Perspectives is celebrating its tenth anniversary and the
second decade of the ADA is coming to a close refreshed by amendments.
Such milestones are an opportunity to consider where we are, how we got
here and where we are going; an opportunity to step back from the
immediate demands of access and reflect on how access, Inclusion and
disability fit with our goals of social justice, diversity and

Traditionally Multiple Perspectives has offered quotes to assist in
framing proposals; "Future History" was chosen as this year's theme to
encourage this reflection by celebrating the themes of past conferences.
Below are the previous themes along with four quotes from past years;
please use one of these to frame their proposals

2001 - The Next Ten years
2002 - Disability in Context
2003 - Access by Design
2004 - Education, Citizenship, &
2005 - Reflecting On Sameness &
2006 - Personal Perspectives & Social
Impact: The Stories We Tell".
2007 - Rights, Responsibilities, and
Social Change
2008 - Looking Back & Thinking Ahead
2009 - Change, Challenge, &
2010 - Future History

Past programs and conference updates as they become available can be
found at:
To be on the mailing list for the conference, send e-mail to

Proposals are due November 7, 2009

Proposals may be submitted
* by e-mail as an attachment (Word, Word Perfect, TXT, or RTF
* to
* by Fax at 614-688-3665 (FAX)
* in the mail:
University ADA Coordinator's Office
1849 Cannon Drive
Columbus, OH 43210.

Proposals must include:
Names and (as appropriate) titles and institutions/employers for
each presenter.

Contact information (phone, mailing address, and e-mail) if
there is more than one presenter please indicate one individual as the
lead presenter.

Title of Presentation (12 words or less)
Short Description (30 words or less)
Full Description (700 words or less)
Please describe the content, focus and desired outcomes for the
presentation using these questions as a guide.
* What is the format of the presentation (Lecture, Panel,
Discussion, Poster, Performance, Other)?
* What are your three main goals for the presentation?
* What will your participants learn?
* Who is the intended audience (educators, employers, businesses,
advocates, students, consumers, researchers, or other)?
* How familiar should the audience be with the topic (beginner,
intermediate, advanced)?

Please Note:
The full conference fees will be waived and lunch provided for
presenters of accepted proposals. Presenters are responsible for their
own travel and lodging.

L. Scott Lissner, University ADA Coordinator
Office Of The Provost, The Ohio State University
1849 Cannon Drive
Columbus, OH 43210-1266
(614) 292-6207(v); (614) 688-8605(tty)
(614) 688-3665(fax); Http:// <>

From their web site:

Able Radio is a station presenting information and entertainment for people with a disability or life limiting medical condition. Our programmes of course are also of interest to everybody and within the schedule we hope you will find different topics that are of interest to you.

However, our focus is on disability and with all presentation by people who themselves are disabled we bring real life experience to the radio. This is also your radio station - opportunities exist to get involved via the forum or even by presenting on-air.

Able Radio is based in South Wales although programming is focused on a larger region than just South Wales, attempting to include the rest of Wales. Above and beyond this we are offering an output that is of interest and relevant to the U.K. and can be potentially heard everywhere!

More at:

Here re a serieds of videos feasturing reecord-breaking SCUBA diver Martino Florio. Some are in English and some in Italian.

Chicago Beach Party - Accessible!


The First Annual "Beyond The Waters Beach Party was held on Sunday, August 2, 2009 at Osterman Beach on Chicago's Lakefront. It was great fun for all individuals with disabilities, their friends and families. The party included adaptive cycling, swimming, volleyball, beach games, music and a great BBQ. See you next year!!


See the Kosta Z Foundation web site for details:

Leonard Cheshire pushes the envelope with Creature Discomforts.

Architect Kim Paarlberg spoke in Bermuda at the invitation of The National Office for Seniors and the Physically Challenged. She spoke at Bermuda's Access 2009 seminar held at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.

Apparently she had some impact:

One of the attendees at the workshops was Duncan Stott, an architect at Design Associates, who said his company plans to implement some of the Ms Paarlberg's design suggestions into their plans.

"Our company went because we think it is important for everybody to be up-to-date when it comes to building codes," Mr. Stott said. "Bermuda's a little behind in as far as the codes. Our latest code is not up-to-date when compared to the States, for example.

"Bermuda has to be seen as being handicapped friendly."

The Bermuda Department of Tourism said:

"We are in support of any initiative or organization which seeks to give visitors easier access to our beautiful Island. We are always seeking ways to improve our tourism product and enhancing the Bermuda experience."

Complete story:

Ubiraci Mendonça, aos 57 anos perde a visão em acidente doméstico.

Após 2 anos em depressão, retorna para Sergipe onde nasceu e busca retomar sua vida, superando a deficiência. Hoje, Ubiraci dirige a Associação dos Deficientes Visuais de Sergipe, a ADEVISE e tem uma vida ativa.

Parabems Ubiraci!

It's a Marvel!

Don't try this at home! (Aaron, are you listening?)

More on Marvel:

Here is a presentation on the the Sunderland House Project. It is a collaborative effort to exemplify the best practices of Universal Design.

Deaf Friendly Cities Report 2009

Deaf Friendly Cities Report.jpg

NEW YORK CITY (Deaf411) - (12 August 2009) - Deaf411, a deaf marketing and public relations company, has released the final report and results of a year-long survey on which cities are considered deaf friendly. The final report, which lists 20 U.S. cities, was released today and is now available for public viewing.

This Deaf Friendly Cities report includes a narrative of a selected city from each of four U.S. regions, lists several community resources, and photos representing a variety of situations that are considered deaf friendly to deaf consumers or travelers.

"While research for this report should not be considered scientific," a Deaf411 representative explains, "this sampling of consumers with significant hearing loss who depend primarily on sign language provides solid criteria for evaluating cities for accessibility from a deaf friendly perspective."

Video & Free Online Report -

From the report:

This project has shown different ways a city can be Deaf-Friendly. We found these common features in Deaf-Friendly cities:
  • local government that includes deaf people in the political process
  • a deaf community that is large enough to host activities and deaf services
  • positive and open-minded attitude among hearing residents
  • a local deaf education center nearby

The population of the 20 'Deaf-Friendly' cities listed in this Report vary in size from 12,000 to 18 million. Interestingly, the majority of these 20 'Deaf-Friendly' cities are medium-sized, with 100,000-800,000 residents. Medium-sized cities seem to have the best combination of size and resources to become 'Deaf-Friendly.'

How Can You Make Your City 'Deaf-Friendly'?
We recommend that you introduce yourself to the local government in your city. Encourage them to make their meetings accessible, and include Deaf people on key committees. If there are not enough local deaf events, you might want to talk with a business to host a deaf social event and publicize to the deaf community. Hearing people thinking positively of deaf people is key in a 'Deaf-Friendly' city, so your behavior and attitude is important. Be creative in helping your city become more 'Deaf-Friendly.'

This Report is not intended to be the "final answer." Use the Report as a resource and let it help you consider what you want to look for in a 'Deaf-Friendly' city. Inform, and invite, family members, friends and co-workers to visit this website and online Report by going to Deaf411Online at and clicking "Tell-A-Friend". Let us work together to spread the word and increase understanding what is needed to make a city "Deaf-Friendly"!

El Ministerio de Turismo del Ecuador trabaja para que se facilite la implementacion de programas turisticos mas eficientes que mejoren la inclusion de las personas con discapacidad.

Sobre Alas para la Alegria:

Corto de animación stop-motion realizado por Anna Solanas y Marc Riba. Vídeo educativo para personas con discapacidad. En Gallego.

Unha viaxe rodada (Turismo e discapacidade física)

IDEA Center banner.jpgEdward Steinfeld, Arch. D., AIA is professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA Center). His leadership in the area of Universal Design includes formulating the Seven Goals of Universal Design below.

Read them in conjunction with the traditional Seven Principles of Universal Design to see how they provide a clarification and a corrective to widespread mistakes such as confusing Universal Design with a minimalist compliance-with-minimum-standards approach instead of a robust inclusive design process:

Universal design increases usability, safety and health through the design and operation of environments, products and systems in response to the diversity of people and abilities. It is a way of thinking that can be applied in any design activity, business practice, program or service involving interaction of people with the physical, social or virtual worlds. There are seven goals of universal design. The first four are related to support for activities. The second three are related to support for social participation:

* Body fit - accommodating a wide a range of body sizes and abilities
* Comfort - keeping demands within desirable limits of body function and perception
* Awareness - insuring that critical information for use is easily perceived
* Understanding - making methods of operation and use intuitive, clear and unambiguous
* Social integration - treating all groups with dignity and respect
* Personalization - incorporating opportunities for choice and the expression of individual preferences
* Appropriateness - respecting and reinforcing cultural values and the social and environmental context of any design project.

The practice of universal design is evolutionary in character. There are no absolute levels of performance since each project context determines what can be achieved. It is a continuous improvement process and can be implemented regardless of constraints or the level of technology available.

Edward Steinfeld,  Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA Center).

Join the webinar on September 10, 2009 at 10am ET!

Challenged by adjusting to new disability laws across the world IATA teams up with Open Doors Organization to create a unique webinar explaining how to navigate the new regulations.

Highlights include:

-  How to locate information about regulations, how to implement the proper training, analysis of market statistics and 5 facts about people with disabilities.   

- Previews of upcoming training on US Air Carrier Access Act - CRO certification training and Inclusive design features in Airports (visual paging, animal relief areas, family/unisex restroom design, advanced wayfinding technologies for blind low vision).


- Eric Lipp, Executive Director and Founder, Open Doors Organization
- Bill Burnell, Manager, Customer First and Regulatory Programs, Continental Airlines
- Kevin Caron, Product Manager,  Airport Training and Consulting, IATA    


A peculiar form of ghetto policy has been promulgated on "as many as 133 trains under Southern Railway's jurisdiction" reports India Times from Chennai.

The TN Association for the Welfare of the Physically Handicapped (TNAWPH) and the TN Disabled people Graduates and Physically Handicapped Welfare Association have protested against the move and have demanded that the railways scrap the new system and allow handicapped persons with general tickets to travel in the coaches in long-distance trains.

The policy implemented on August 1  reverses previous practice.

"Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel and guards have thrown out several physically disabled persons from the coach stating that they were not holding reserved tickets," said K Gopinath, state deputy general secretary, TNAWPH.

"I was thrown out of the Rockfort Express in Tiruchy because I had only unreserved tickets. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) not only did not allow me to travel but also detained me till the train left the station because I created a ruckus and pulled the chain," said R Thangam, state president, TN Disabled people Graduates and Physically Handicapped Welfare Association.

"If the physically challenged reservation is not utilised or partially utilised, the vacant berths can be used by physically handicapped persons travelling unreserved. If the berths are vacant, physically disabled persons can board the coach with unreserved tickets enroute," [Southern Railway's chief public relations officer A J] Accamma said.

The Canadian Paralympic Committee and gold medalist Paralympic athlete Joanne Kelly joined up with a group of Canadian travel retailers to announce a new program that highlights Canada's accessible travel experiences.

Video package includes b-roll footage of the accessible tourism experience aboard an Ice Explorer vehicle and the GO CANADA announcement at the Columbia Icefield, including scenics of Athabasca glacier. Interview footage includes comments on Canada's accessible tourism experiences from gold medalist Paralympic athlete Joanne Kelly, Paralympic athlete Josh Dueck, and others.

The full story:

Rosemarie Rossetti has done much to move knowledge of Universal Design into the construction industry. With her Universal Design Living Laboratory as a national demonstration home she is preparing will be a legacy for teaching by example:

Called the Universal Design Living Laboratory, Rossetti's home will be built with unobtrusive universal design, resource and energy efficient green-building methods, advanced automation technology, a healthy home construction approach and the design principles of feng shui. The goal is to earn LEED Gold status.

Recently she took the campaign over the finish line and into the hospitality industry:

Rossetti led a seminar on universal design at the Hospitality Design Exposition & Conference in Las Vegas earlier this year. Her message to hospitality designers at HD: You can do better. "ADA is a minimum," says Rossetti, "why don't we want the maximum?"

"Universal design is human centered," Rossetti explains. "It accommodates all people, of all ages and sizes. It's not about meeting requirements."

The full article will be posted at:

This article will also be published in the September 2009 printed version of Lodging Hospitality Magazine.

Here is a link to her handout from my Hospitality Design Expo presentation:

How many times have you been sure this happened - even before your wheelchair came back broken!

It all goes to show how desperately we need new concepts in air travel like Mobility Air Transport ( )

Titled United Breaks Guitars, the country-flavored ditty features actors posing as baggage handlers indiscriminately flinging guitar cases around an airport tarmac while Carroll strums his broken guitar. Two more songs and videos are planned.

Let's hope one of them is about gold medal-winning Paralympist Christine Wolf's prosthetic legs. Or maybe Katrina Segundo-Casino's non-trip.

Dave, we have enough material for an entire album.

Want to do a song on Rajiv Rajan, Rami Rabby, Sminu Jindal, Adele Price, Lori Mango, or Margaret Quirk? Here are a few more sources of lyrics for the air travel blues.

We can even have it interpreted into American Sign Language for you:

Read the full story behind the song here on Nova Scotia-based musician Dave Carroll's website.

For guitars or adaptive equipment follow Bob Taylor's wise advice - know your rights and carry a printed copy of the policy with you when you travel.


Great Progress in Dubai

Dr Victor Pineda is consulting with the government of Dubai to systematically establish Inclusive Tourism:

The Zoning Authority/Development Control of Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone is in the process of updating and creating a new universal design building code for all projects within its jurisdiction, according to a senior official.

"Some chapters of the building code will probably be ready for presentation by the first week of October. It will be conveyed to all our consultants and contractors and compliance will be implemented for every building within our jurisdiction.

"We also plan to possibly extend it to Dubai Municipality since we are working closely with the Dubai Civil Defence authorities," said Issam Jaouad El AlAoui, Senior Architect, Regulations and Compliance, at Zoning Authority/Development Control in an exclusive with Emirates Business.

The full story:

Easy Access Travel Talk Radio

Roll over Sly Stone! American Airlines wants to take us higher:

American Airlines and the American Association of People with Disabilities have announced the creation of the "Altitude Award" to honor the best U.S. television commercials featuring authentic depictions of people with disabilities.

American Airlines and AAPD invite companies and advertisers to submit innovative, original television commercials that portray people with disabilities in a positive and progressive light. Entries must be submitted online at the award program's Web site by the producing agency or company and will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Five finalists will be selected for public voting. The finalist with the most votes will receive the Altitude Award, along with free advertising onboard American Airlines planes.

The judging criteria for the inaugural Altitude Award will include overall appeal, authentic depiction of an individual with a disability, and clarity of message. Only spots that aired between October 1, 2007, and March 31, 2009, are eligible for submission.

See the Altitude Award Web site for complete program guidelines.

Link to Complete RFP

The Calling add an extra dimension to this SCUBA movie posted by Associazione Life:

Lyrics to "I'll Go Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling:

  So lately, been wondering
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone you'll need love
To light the shadows on your face
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then between the sand and stone
Could you make it on your own

If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

And maybe, I'll find out
A way to make it back someday
To watch you, to guide you
Through the darkest of your days
If a great wave shall fall and fall upon us all
Then I hope there's someone out there
Who can bring me back to you

If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

Run away with my heart
Run away with my hope
Run away with my love

I know now, just quite how
My life and love might still go on
In your heart, in your mind
I'll stay with you for all of time

If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

If I could turn back time
I'll go wherever you will go
If I could make you mine
I'll go wherever you will go
I'll go wherever you will go 

Cofounder of India's AccessAbility, Shivani Gupta,  appears on the TV show "If I Were Prime Minister.

Brazil's MetaSocial Institute that has promoted social inclusion in Brazil and abroad for over 15 years. They are now coordinating a worldwide campaign for inclusion and against all forms of discrimination, to be launched in New York City on September 6th, at the Brazilian Day Street Festival.


The virtual campaign - pre-launched in Brazil in March this year - is called "It´s Normal to be Different".

It was developed in partnership with PR Agency Giovanni Draft FCB and Rede Globo Television Network and described by the Brazilian press as the "Facebook of Diversity".

It has a creative and unique format, inviting society to engage in the campaign by signing in with the participant´s own photo. The popular response in Brazil was amazing (600,000 accesses in two weeks)

To better understand the campaign, access the website, (currently down for an accessibility upgrade ;-) ( and

More links on Down Syndrome initiatives worldwide:

Got "Bordrollstuhl"?

In the never-ending quest for the proper linguistic tools for travel I have been introduced to a very basic item of German vocabulary - Bordrollstuhl - the narrow wheelchairs that airlines use to get passengers down the aisles.

Here, mostly in German, are some of Kay Macquarrie's postings on the topic at Recht auf Klo:

Booking a Hotel Room Online

Candy Harrington looks into the changed landscape around onine hotel booking:

Avid traveler Bonnie Lewkowicz had grown tired of being shut out of bargains on, just because she needed a wheelchair-accessible room.

"It just didn't seem fair that travelers with disabilities were unable to take advantage of the convenience and low-cost options of booking hotel rooms online," recalls Lewkowicz. So she resolved to do something about it.
The full story:

Andrea's Buzzing About - Ramps!

Andrea has me laughing at accessibility foibles in her post Getting there ... or, Not.

It's all in the photos.

Steep ramp.jpg

For a few successful attempts to provide access see:


A segunda edição do Seminário Brasileiro de Turismo Adaptado reúne diversos profissionais ligados ao Turismo e à Pessoa com Deficiência, apresentando experiências reais da evolução do turismo acessível no Brasil e no mundo. A acessibilidade e a inclusão, apesar de muito comentada pela sociedade, ainda não é compreendida adequadamente pela maioria das pessoas, por isso a importância de eventos como este, que promovam a informação de forma correta e atualizada. Este segmento tem crescido, e mostrando que não cabe mais uma visão de assistencialismo, mas que é uma grande oportunidade de mercado para quem souber aproveitá-la, e que aos poucos tem sido cada vez mais valorizada e exigida.

Venha participar e ajude a divulgar este grande evento do turismo brasileiro para pessoas com deficiência. Veja mais informações através do Blog Turismo Adaptado no endereço


Turismo Adaptado - Consultor de Turismo
Freeway Acessível - Agente de Viagens
São Paulo/SP – Brasil
Cel: 55(11) 9854-1478
Tel: 55(11) 3846-6333
Com: 55(11) 5088-099

Audacity.jpgSome narratives of disability drain off the joie de vivre before the story ever gets told. I never enjoyed that recipe.

That approach is a bit hard to do when talking about the lives of Randy Earle, Alicia Contreras, and Nathasha Alvarez.

As people with disabilities it goes without saying there is a story line that could be explored where difficulty dominates - but there is so much more of interest going on that begs to be told. So here is invitation to briefly brush past three noteworthy people who, because they experience disabilities, bring something different to the way they get on with life.

  • Maria Gilda L. Quintua lives in the Philippines. English is not her native language. Sign language is. Gilda created M.G.L.Q. Deaf Tour Travel Agency to serve deaf travelers in the Philippines. Not content at this pioneering effort she has teamed up with Kathy Chai in Malaysia at Malaysian Deaf Tours. 

  • Nathasha Alvarez lives in Miami where she speaks her mind - and gives others a forum to do the same. Founder of Audacity magazine Nathasha, born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, has a knack for finding topics and authors to speak to the disability community. Enjoy the lead featured story in the July 2009 issue as it sidesteps the stereotypical disability narratives while talking realistically about physical and sensory deficits. See Kara Ayer's Discovering the Sensual Side in You.

 Estamos na final do desafio Geoturismo 2009
Precisamos do seu voto para chegar entre os 3 melhores do mundo

O Projeto Rota da Liberdade, concorreu com 611 proposta de 81 países e foi selecionado entre os 10 melhores projetos do mundo como alternativa inovadora no turismo e projeto de alto impacto social como soluções para problemas mundiais.
A Rota da Liberdade segue as orientações da Unesco para o Turismo Cultural, através de seu projeto mundial "Rota do Escravo", mostrando através da história, cultura, arquitetura, gastronomia, dança, música e religiosidade, a influência dos africanos e seus descendentes na cultura brasileira, tendo os destinos e roteiros turísticos como vitrine dessa influência. O projeto busca também parcerias e patrocínio para tornar seus roteiros acessíveis para pessoas com deficiência.
Como votar:
1 - Cadastre-se no link
2 - Voce recebera uma senha e usuario no seu e-mail, utilize para votar no link
 3 - E obrigatorio votar em 3 projetos
4 - O projeto esta cadastro como: ROTA DA LIBERDADE - "Dever De Memória da Diáspora Africana no Brasil" Reality Tour Viagens e Turismo
Coordenador Internacional da Rota da Liberdade
Turismo Adaptado
Joedson Nunes - Europa
Phone: (0044) 020 7701 0934
Mobile: (0044) 075 0596 9717
Adress:  109, Mary Datchelor Close  - London - SE5  7DY
MSN e Email:
Solange Barbosa - Brasil
Coordenadora da Rota da Liberdade
Phone:  55 (12) 3672-3427
Adress:  Rua Bom Jesus, 183 - Centro - Tremembe - SP

Press release:

(St. Petersburg, Florida - August 10, 2009) -- Freedom Scientific today announced that it is now providing FSReader, its popular DAISY book reader, free to users of its PAC Mate™ and PAC Mate Omni™ accessible Pocket PCs.

"Because we feel very strongly about the importance of making books and other materials accessible to those with vision impairments, we are lowering the price of FSReader to zero," said Jonathan Mosen, Vice President of Hardware Product Management for Freedom Scientific. "FSReader is a powerful tool for efficiently navigating and reading professional, educational, and leisure material in DAISY format, and we want to make this enhanced productivity available to every PAC Mate user."

FSReader for the PAC Mate and PAC Mate Omni can be downloaded free from the Freedom Scientific Web site.

In addition, users who install Freedom Scientific's JAWS 11 and MAGic 12 products later this Fall, will be pleased to discover that both products include the full desktop version of FSReader DAISY player. This will be the case with Demo versions of JAWS and MAGic as well.

For more information please visit:

New Portable Communication Device

From Disability News India:humanware_logo.jpg

A new portable device for deaf-blind people allows them to have face-to-face conversations, make phone calls using a text relay service and communicate by SMS.

The DeafBlind Communicator (DBC) consists of a Braille note-taker linked by Bluetooth to a mobile phone.

The DBC is made by assistive technology firm HumanWare and was developed in partnership with the Washington State Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH) as well as several deaf-blind individuals.

Full story:

At any given time almost anyone in the world can find something that they agree with, something they disagree with, and something that is downright silly being debated in Washington DC.

The quibbling on whether or not to pave walkways in the national capitol of the world's super-power nation falls firmly within the latter category:

Believe it or not, some think that having a sidewalk poses more dangers than not having a sidewalk. They foresee pedestrians colliding with bicyclists or skateboarders, or people using wheelchairs unable to negotiate steeper grades. Unspoken by those who seem enclave-minded is a fear that, if a sidewalk is built along their street, people who live elsewhere might decide to walk into and through their neighborhood domain...

First and foremost, sidewalks augment safety and accessibility for everyone.

The Americans with Disabilities Act and "Universal Design" principles call for sidewalks. Sidewalks enhance safety for all: parents with strollers or taking a walk with pets; kids walking to school; and anyone ambling along with a cane, walker, set of crutches or wheelchair.

  Full story: 

First Report on The Pune Seminar

First reports from the Pune Seminar, "No Disabilities - Infinite Possibilities" show it to have been a great success.

Lead up to the event was a 'Universal Design' Competition for Students of Architecture in Pune in expert collaboration with DRDF ( Disability Research and Design Foundation), Mumbai and Indian Institute of Architects, Pune. Winners were the team of Tanuja Godse, Pallavi Dhomse, and Shraddha Deo was from the BKPS College of Architecture, Pune.

For detail on the organizers and presentations see:

With some companies making clearcut decisions to exclude readers with disabilities by introducing unfriendly products such s Kindle 2 the necessity of advocating for those who do not read print has become more urgent. AAPD has stepped up to address the issue:

The American Association of People with Disabilities told federal court judge Denny Chin that "vast numbers of books will be opened up for many people for the first time ever," citing the fact that Google Book Search will digitize books into formats that can be used by specialized readers. The nonprofit group asked the court to approve the controversial copyright settlement that Google struck in 2007 to settle a class action lawsuit filed by authors and publishers.

That's good news for the search and advertising giant, given the settlement is under investigation by the Justice Department and is facing stiff opposition from rights groups and some authors. They are concerned that the settlement will give Google a monopoly on the world's digital books, leading to problems with censorship, tracking and price gouging.


This Caring Home is a project of Weill Cornell Medical College. The aim of the project is to create an online resource on dementia.

This Caring Home logo.gif

Chronic illness is debilitating. Many of the products and solutions offered at This Caring Home in relation to dementia my be helpful to people with other disabilities. One item that has direct application to travel is the GPS-based Project LifeSaver



The two courses are Disability and Diversity Issues and Multicultural Issues in Disabilities (See below on how to register. Please note that non-residents pay in state tuition, and a $15.00 administrative fee, when registering through Outreach College)




CRN: UHM: 78624  Outreach College: 1137


INSTRUCTORS: Dr. Megan Conway & Dr. Steven Brown

Email:,,  Tel for Dr. Conway: 808-956-6166




This course will place emphasis on knowledge and theories about disability rights, policy, and culture from a diversity perspective in the context of multiple disciplines. In this context students will learn about legislation and policy affecting service delivery, multicultural issues, disability rights, and advocacy issues across the life span. Individual and team research projects will be encouraged.


WHEN:  Tuesdays, 1.5 hr weekly Live/Taped Elluminate Sessions, live time TBA depending on enrollees

WHERE: Via Elluminate and Laulima




CRN: UHM 78626:  Outreach College: 1136


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides knowledge and a foundational understanding of disability related cultural variances with the intent of supporting individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their families across the lifespan.



WHEN:  Contact

WHERE: Via Elluminate and Laulima





Residents: Register through at UHM by going to and select course number and CRN


or for Outreach College and select Fall Extension 2009, select course number and CRN:


Non-residents (pay in state tuition through Outreach College)


Apply and Register for courses at


After your application has been accepted by Outreach College, register and select Fall Extension 2009, and then the course number and CRN. For DIS 683 CRN: 1137 and DIS 681 CRN: 1136



This course is designed for graduate and professional students, and instructors, in a variety of disciplines, including education, sociology, psychology, law, social work, political science, public policy, communications, American studies, architecture, health sciences, ethnic studies, and others.


Both courses are core courses for the interdisciplinary Disability and Diversity Studies Certificate Program but can also be taken as an elective.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 7 ago (EFE).- El Cabildo de Tenerife, a través de la Sociedad Insular para la Promoción de las Personas con Discapacidad (Sinpromi), ha convocado la IV edición de los Premios de Arquitectura Accesible, informó hoy la corporación insular.

Estos galardones, de carácter bienal, nacen con el objeto de promover el diseño universal, que recoja los requerimientos de todos los ciudadanos, sea cual sea su condición física, psíquica o sensorial y por una manera de concebir nuestro entorno, donde la accesibilidad se incorpora desde la concepción del proyecto, integrada y desapercibida.

Estas distinciones tienen el fin de reconocer públicamente las actuaciones, tanto públicas como privadas, donde se haya contemplado la accesibilidad de manera ejemplar, que favorezca un cambio en la concepción del espacio, premiando actuaciones normalizadoras, donde la accesibilidad es desapercibida.

Además, pretenden fomentar en los estudiantes de formación profesional y universitarios, un cambio en la manera de contemplar el entorno, premiando aquellos proyectos finales que reúnan las características antes mencionadas.

Los premios se establecen en dos categorías; para la primera pueden optar aquellos trabajos profesionales realizados en el ámbito territorial de la isla de Tenerife, con certificado final de obra visado hasta el día 2 de octubre de 2009.

La segunda categoría está dirigida a proyectos finales de carrera o ciclo formativo de estudiantes residentes en Canarias, aprobados por la universidad o escuela correspondiente hasta el 2 de octubre de 2009.

Asimismo, Sinpromi y el jurado de estos premios podrán proponer, para su incorporación al concurso, las candidaturas que por su relevancia y mérito consideren oportunas.


The Think Tank Initiative

Who will take up the think tank role for Inclusive Tourism in South Asia and South America?

Think Tank Initiative Invites Expressions of Interest From Institutions in Latin America and South Asia

The Think Tank Initiative supports independent policy think tanks in developing countries, enabling them to provide sound research that both informs and influences national-level social and economic policy, mainly in the areas of growth, equity, and poverty reduction. The initiative will focus its activities in East and West Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. Initial funding for the program has been provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the International Development Research Centre.

The initiative has announced Calls for Expressions of Interest in Latin America and South Asia. The initiative will provide multiyear core funding and technical support to successful think tanks.

In Latin America, eligible institutions in Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, and Peru are invited to apply. In South Asia, eligible think tanks in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka may apply.

Applicants must be existing nongovernmental, not-for-profit organizations that are legally founded and registered as independent entities in their country of operation. Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they are nonpartisan and committed to publishing research findings in the public domain and contributing to public debate.

For more information about the Think Tank Initiative and for details on how to apply, visit the initiative's Web site.

Welcome to Open Britain

More on India's Hotel Upgrade Mandate

The news of India's policy change (see below) to bring their hotel star rating system in line with international minimum standards for guests with disabilities is making the news:

Hotels to Become Differently-abled Friendly

In line with international best practices in the hotel industry, the government has now made it mandatory for all hotels to become differently abled-friendly.

Existing and new hotels of all categories all over the country would now have to comply with the requirements for the differently abled persons in respect of accessibility, special rooms with bathrooms and facilities in the public area by September 1, 2010, according to the revised guidelines.

Tourism ministry has tried to address major concerns to make the classification norms friendlier for differently abled persons by adopting the international best practices, an official release said.

In order to keep abreast with the contemporary requirements of the hospitality industry, Ministry has recently reviewed the norms for approval of hotel projects and guidelines for classification of hotels.

The changing requirements of international and domestic travellers clubbed with emeging safety and security consciousness in view of the recent incidents in the country necessiated a review of the hotel classification norms which were last reviewed in 2003.

These guidelines have been finalised by the tourism ministry after several rounds of interaction with and inputs from the hotel industry and the related stakeholders.

Revised guideline have also taken into account the issues regarding safety and security as per which depending on the star category hotels are now required to have metal detectors, CCTV, X-ray machines, under belly scanners to screen vehicles, verification of staff and suppliers.

Food and beverage outlets (restaurants) in the hotels have also been rationalised. For this purpose, the minimum number and type of restaurants have been allocated depending on the location of the hotel in the country based on a system of Grade A and Grade B cities.

The Grade A cities would comprise of major metropolitan cities like Mumbai Delhi would include the hotels located in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida.

Grade B cities would comprise all other cities not covered in the Grade A. Hotels located in Grade A cities would require to offer more types of cuisine, number of food and beverages outlets compared to Grade B cities.

With a view to provide high standards of service, it has been made mandatory for hotels to have minimum percentage of trained supervisory and skilled staff possessing degree/diploma/skilled training certificate from central/state Institute of Hotel Management, Food Craft Institute, or from National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology affiliated or from other reputed hospitality schools.

Indian Hotel Rating Guidelines -

Andy Wright continues to move the industry toward inclusion:
Norwegian_cruise_line logo.jpg

Norwegian Cruise Lines has now introduced agent training for disabled passengers on the cruise line. The company's online training programme has introduced a module on accessibility, designed to provide agents with knowledge of the line's facilities and policies to sell cruises to disabled passengers.

The course information includes a guide to fleet-wide facilities for guests with limited mobility, hearing and sight impairments - as well as how the line can equip guests with medical or dietary needs. The current NCL fleet has up to 27 wheelchair accessible cabins per ship with facilities such as grab bars, ramps and Braille signs on doors...

Andy Wright, managing director at Accessible Travel, which specialises in holidays for disabled, wheelchair and elderly guests, was involved in the creation of the training module.

Full story:

Notícia publicada pelo Movimento Nossa São Paulo
Número de ônibus adaptados para deficientes sobe 54%


Porém, frota total de ônibus municipais na capital tem 235 veículos a menos

Boa notícia para as pessoas com mobilidade reduzida em São Paulo: a frota de ônibus com acessibilidade para os portadores de deficiência física aumentou em 54% em 2009, em comparação com 2007.

Em 2007, 2.263 ônibus regulares da capital paulista, o equivalente a 15,02%, tinham ônibus adaptados com elevadores de acesso e espaço para acomodação das pessoas com mobilidade reduzida.  Em 2009, o número cresceu para 3.492 veículos, equivalente a 23,5%.

As informações do indicador Acessibilidade estão no Observatório Cidadão -  mantido pelo Movimento Nossa São Paulo -  no tema Transporte/mobilidade urbana.

A má notícia é que a frota total de ônibus rodando pela cidade tem neste ano 235 veículos a menos do que em 2007. O número caiu de 15.067, em 2007, para 14.832, em 2009, conforme dados divulgados pela prefeitura de São Paulo.

Indicador Acessibilidade

Percentual da frota de ônibus com acessibilidade para pessoas com deficiência

Fonte: PMSP (Prefeitura Municipal de São Paulo)







Valor Absoluto







Unidade: porcentagem da frota

Valor absoluto: Ônibus disponíveis com acessibilidade

Go Canada Press Release

Canada's 2010 Paralympic Team to benefit from sales of travel products

VANCOUVER, Aug. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
and gold medalist Paralympic athlete Joanne Kelly today joined Flight Centre,
VIA Rail, Brewster Inc., and LUG to launch

The website will offer travel products and trips
from Flight Centre, VIA Rail, Brewster Inc., LUG and the Resorts of the
Canadian Rockies. A portion of sales made on the site will be donated to the
Canadian Paralympic Committee.

The announcement took place on the spectacular Columbia Icefield where
Brewster Inc. unveiled a fully accessible GO CANADA branded Ice Explorer. The
massive Ice Explorer is part of the Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience,
which takes visitors on a remarkable 90-minute adventure onto the surface of
Athabasca Glacier.

"Brewster is very proud to be part of this unique partnership to support
our Paralympic athletes," said Michael Hannan, President & CEO, Brewster Inc.
"GO CANADA will enable us to connect with Canadian travelers to support
Paralympic athletes, as well as showcase Canada as a welcoming tourist
destination for persons with a disability."

The partnership also highlights the commitment of each of the partners to
providing accessible travel solutions to the 9.9 million Canadians with a

"Flight Centre, through its recently launched Accessible Travel division,
is very proud to be involved in the launch of the GO CANADA initiative which
will serve an important role in both supporting our Paralympic athletes while
also helping showcase all that Canada has to offer." said Craig Doherty,
Flight Centre VP of Strategic Partnerships.

GO CANADA is a unique collaboration to raise funds and awareness for
Canada's Paralympic athletes as they go for gold in 2010.

"Poised to have the highest ranked finish ever of a Canadian Team at a
Paralympic Games, our Paralympic athletes are a great source of national
pride. Their performances will change how persons with a disability are
perceived in Canada," said Carla Qualtrough, President, Canadian Paralympic
Committee. "The resulting increase in accessible products and services is one
of the richest legacies a host country of a Paralympic Games can experience.
We are very proud to be partnering with companies who recognise this."

To buy products and services that will support Canadian Paralympic
athletes go for gold in 2010 visit GO CANADA at

A Canadian Vacation Option

UC People reports on Vacation Villa in Alberta:

For many of us, packing up the car and heading for a weekend getaway can take minimal preparations. Head out to the cottage or book a hotel room, pack a cooler, bathing suit and some supplies and head out on the open road. But what if it wasn't that easy? What if you were in a wheelchair?

Individuals facing mobility challenges aren't as fortunate to be able to leave town for the weekend. There are so many things to think about such as..."Will the place be accessible? Can I get into the bathroom? Can the restaurants accommodate my needs?" Not only are there limited vacation places with wheelchair access, but most importantly, as many individuals with disabilities live on assisted income, the cost of taking a vacation is just not feasible.

Full article:

News from India:

New Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) In line with international best practices, government has now made it mandatory for all hotels to become differently abled friendly.

Existing and new hotels of all categories all over the country would now have to comply with the requirements for the differently abled persons in respect of accessibility, special rooms with bathrooms and facilities in the public area by September 1, 2010, according to the revised guidelines.

The HRACC (Hotel & Restaurant Approval & Classification Committee)  guidelines (issued July 23, 2009) are now available online at:

DAA Editorial: CRPD and Development

From the recent issue of Our Rights from DAA in the UK:

The Convention promotes new rules on development cooperation


In December 2008, a number of major German INGOs hosted a conference in Berlin, Nothing About Us Without Us - Persons with Disabilities as Actors of Sustainable Development.

Unusually, all the speakers were disabled people. The main message coming out of this meeting, consciously reflecting the provisions of the Convention (especially Article 33), was that disability was no longer to be seen as a welfare issue, but more about the active participation of disabled people and the strengthening of their human rights.


The following recommendations were made:


·        Organisations working FOR persons with disabilities are often limited to programmes of welfare and care. As a result partnerships are recommended WITH DPOs to guarantee participation of persons with disabilities.

·        Instead of just providing resources it is important to encourage the contribution and involvement of DPOs in order to generate a feeling of ownership.

·        For sustainable development it makes more sense to train local staff (also disabled persons) in the South in order to become more independent in the long run from experts from the North.

·        Persons with disabilities need to become more visible, for example they need to appear as speakers at events, in public and in the media. Only in this way can the public perception of disability be changed.

·        Specific programmes for women with disabilities are needed, as they suffer multiple discrimination in many countries.

·        Persons with intellectual disabilities are virtually unrepresented by DPOs. To include this group more, information resources should also be published in simple language.


DAA Editorial Comment

This is a useful start, but it is only a start. INGOs still have to learn how to be genuine allies by heading the advice of David Werner, who said "... it is time for non-disabled professionals to recognise the right of disabled people to self control, and therefore to gracefully step to more side, into a role where they, as professionals, are no longer on top but on tap.' Until they fully embrace this model of working, they will remain part of the problem, not part of the solution and disabled people, especially in the South, will be denied the rights the Convention seeks to guarantee.

An discussion on the pros and cons on the remodel of the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel is taking place here:

The variability of response should be instructive to hotel marketers. This market demographic knows what it wants -- and votes with its money when it doesn't see it reflected in the product!

Ramada Bangkok Accessbility -

In my long experience as a traveler using a wheelchair I have encountered numerous excellent examples of design, countless instances of good intention, and a few close encounters with disaster.

What I encounter far too infrequently is a marketing piece that is as boldly and systematically designed to meet the information needs of a wheelchair-using traveler as the one I show below.

This piece, presenting the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok, is remarkable. My congratulations.

First, let me disabuse those who retain the false hope that international hotel chains systematically apply ADA-inspired best practices in their facilities around the world. Clearly the poor business practice prevails of reverting to exclusion-by-design. Often this occurs when building in countries without the legal "constraints" mandating just service to all guests equally.

Secondly, let me point out the obvious fact that a few of the solutions presented here are simple work-arounds to the consequences of allowing such bad design to become accepted practice even by chains that know better.

And yet, that is precisely the reason that I single out the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside for applause.

It is a global hospitality industry environment where retrofitting for accessibility is the best product available to the millions of aging Baby Boomers who are taking to the air, sea, trails, and roads. Rather than hide that fact this hotel has made major strides improving what it had to work with - and rises far above its competition. They have discovered that we are a savvy market ready and able to make choices in our own best interests when provided with sufficient information.

I realize that some will insist on a hotel in which full independence of mobility has been achieved. Such a design is possible -- and by creating the market demand we drive hotels to rise to our availability as consumers. But to those guests who find "assisted accessibility" to be incompatible with a sense of dignity I remind you that in many cultures (West and East) it is a sign of status, not stigma, to be served by others. In that cultural context I commend the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside for adapting to changing demands from the travelers-with-a-disability market by removing barriers , training staff, and then prominently presenting a dignified portrayal of guests with wheelchairs enjoying the hotel's hospitality.

I look forward to my next trip to Bangkok and the chance to review their efforts firsthand. (I will definitely need a hand up some of those ramps!)

Ramada Bangkok Accessbility -

Bob Marley would be proud of Laura Eitjes. We certainly are!

By refusing to cower in the face of injustice she has spoken with the voice of millions around the world who reinterpret the singer's lyrics to say, "We sick an' tired of-a your [disabled]ism-skism game..."

Tauranga blind woman Laura Eitjes has won a landmark out-of-court settlement after she was forced out of her accommodation unit because she had a guide dog. Ms Eitjes, 36, has been awarded $8000 compensation for the emotional stress she experienced while holidaying two years ago with labrador Rua and a friend. They had already stayed one night in the lodgings when the husband and wife owners refused her a second night's lodgings because of Rua.

Although no stranger to striking resistance to Rua from services like restaurants, taxis and dairies, issues were usually resolved straight away. This time the wife stood her ground and would not listen to reason.

"It was the most blatant refusal I have ever encountered - Rua is a part of me," Ms Eitjes said She said she felt despondent and completely humiliated. "I don't see myself as disabled in everyday life," she said. "Occasions like that bring home to me how some people see me as different from everyone else - as disabled." The terms of settlement prohibits publication of the name of the business, the town where the incident occurred and type of accommodation. Ms Eitjes said the wife was clearly unwelcoming when they arrived at the North Island town during a two-week holiday in February 2007. Sensing hesitation, Ms Eitjes explained the law that made it unlawful to deny someone a service on the grounds of their disability.

Rua stayed inside the unit on Friday night but resistance turned to opposition when they returned on Saturday afternoon to their lodgings. Rua's bed and bowls had been shifted outside. "I tried to explain to her that Rua was a guide dog and guide dogs had certain rights. But I was cut off at every attempt, and she flatly refused to let Rua back in."

No amount of persuasion could change the woman's mind, so the holiday makers paid their bill and moved to a motel where the owner welcomed Rua.

Ms Eitjes always made it clear when she booked accommodation that she was blind and had a guide dog. The upshot of the episode was that she complained to the Human Rights Commission which offered mediation to the two parties. The owners unwittingly made history when they decided to take the case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Robert Hesketh, the director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, said it was the first time that proceedings had ever been issued on behalf of a blind person being refused access to a service because of their guide dog. The case dragged on for so long partly because the defendants decided to represent themselves and were "bewildered" by the legal processes. Mr Hesketh said when the owners finally decided to instruct a lawyer, it led to a prompt settlement consisting of an unreserved apology and payment of $8000 compensation.

Difficulties encountered by blind people were generally sorted out at a low level of intervention, such as by the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind. Failing that, complaints could be taken to the Human Rights Commission, although few were received, he said.

Ms Eitjes donated $5000 of the compensation to the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind's guide dog services.

She said she felt stressed when service operators balked at Rua. Occasionally she had been forced to call police or, on one occasion, the Chief of Security at Auckland International Airport. Ms Eitjes wants to get the message across that it was not okay for service providers to treat someone with a disability any less than someone else.

Tauranga Moteliers Association president John Masson of Macy's Motor Inn said it was common practice for motel owners to ban pets from units but a guide dog was totally different. "This was crazy stuff. I would have no hesitation whatsoever in allowing them into to a unit." "Laura won the battle and good on her. She did the right thing."

Ms Eitjes has been legally blind since the age of 17 from a hereditary degenerative eye disease. Her sister Paulien is three-times world blind match racing sailing champion.

Meet Sminu Jindal Founder of Svayam

Hostel Accessibility in Martinique

NEW YORK, NY - October 21, 2008

Martinique's budget accommodations have expanded with the opening of the new Centre International de Séjour, the island's first-ever hostel. Located in Etang Z'Abricots on the outskirts of the capital city of Fort-de-France just 10 km from Aimé Césaire International Airport, the five-story facility opened in June 2008 with 65 rooms (130 beds). Six specially equipped wheelchair accessible rooms are also available for disabled visitors. Rates for private rooms start at just 75 EUR per room, per night.

Download a .pdf announcement here.

Here is a time-sensitive contest that deserves your consideration:

Inclusive Tourism specialists Joedson Nunes and Solange Barbosa are semi-finalists in the Geotourism Challenge. Let's vote them into the winning three!
Thumbnail image for Geotourism Final.gif

During the application period for the 2009 Ashoka Changemaker/National Geographic Geotourism Challenge I remained an impartial Featured Commentator. Now that one of our own members is a finalist, Joedson Nunes ("Nunes" to his friends), I am unabashed cheerleader!

Some know that Craig Grimes, Jani Nayar, Ricardo Shimosakai, Nelida Barbeito and I visited Brazil together several years ago to evangelize on Inclusive Tourism. Nunes was behind the familiarizatin tour to the accessible adventure camp "Parque dos Sonhos" where we all zip-lined a full kilometer over a river valley. We forever became fans of Nunes' skills and professionalism.

Below is an appeal from him to put his already blind-accessible Brazilian Slave Liberation Route tour into the top three finalists. Join me in voting for this project!

Dear Friends of Reality Tour,

 We're in the finals of the Geotourism Challenge 2009! We need your vote to get to the world's top 3.

  The Route of Freedom follows the UNESCO guidelines for Cultural Tourism. UNESCO has a worldwide project "The Slave Route", showing through history, culture, architecture, gastronomy, dance, music and religion the African influence in Brazilian culture. It includes tourist routes and destinations as a showcase of that influence.

Our project also seeks partnerships and sponsorships to make its routes accessible to people with disabilities.

How to vote:

1 - Register at this link:

2 - You will receive a e-mail with a password, use it to vote at this link:

3 - You have to vote for three projects

4 - Our project is listed as: ROUTE OF FREEDOM - "Cultural Tourism Collaborating to the Memory of the African Diaspora in Brazil" Reality Tour Viagens e Turismo Ltda


Joedson Nunes
- Europe
International Coordinator of the Route of Freedom
Adapted Tourism
Phone: (0044) 020 7701 0934 Mobile: (0044) 075 0596 9717

Address: 109, Mary Datchelor Close - London - SE5 7DY
MSN e Email:

Solange Barbosa
- Brazil
Coordinator of the Route of Freedom
Phone: 55 (12) 3672-3427

Address: Rua Bom Jesus, 183 - Centro - Tremembe - SP
E-mail: Site:


Find more photos like this on Tour Watch

Dear Colleagues,

The U.N. Standard for the Equalization of opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the World Health Assembly Resolution WHA58.23 all point to the importance of wheelchairs and other assistive devices for those in need in the developing world.  In light of the realities of the developing world, however, few of those who need wheelchairs have one and many who do have one have an inappropriate one; insufficient production facilities exist, and too often wheelchairs are donated without necessary related services.


Since 1980, Whirlwind Wheelchair International has been designing good wheelchairs for active use in rough urban and rural areas in developing countries.  These chairs are built in the countries themselves with local materials, and training is provided to local people in the manufacture and maintenance of the chairs, thus creating both business and employment opportunities in the community.  Whirlwind Wheelchair International was a key contributor to the recently published WHO guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less resourced settings to assist WHO member states in creating and developing a local wheelchair provision system, thereby implementing Article 4, 20, and 26 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).


Whirlwind currently has franchise establishments in Vietnam, South Africa and Mexico and is now building certified “RoughRiders™” in those countries.  Turkey, the Philippines, and India should be certified by the end of 2009.  Brazil is in the works, as well.  A manufacturer that is part of the franchise network is entitled to the following:


·               Rough Rider design

·               2D and 3D SolidWorks drawings

·               Jig and fixtures

·               Technology transfer and training

·               Facility development

·               Remote quality control

·               Formal quality certification

·               Free design updates

·               Right of first refusal on new designs

·               Marketing assistance and wheelchair orders generated by Whirlwind


Another important part of Whirlwind’s ongoing efforts is the development of training materials and support for local infrastructures to ensure that each person in need gets the most appropriate and well-fitted chair.  For more information on how to qualify to become a Whirlwind francisee or to purchase RoughRider wheelchairs, please contact Marc Krizack, Executive Director, by email at


Tapan Banerjee,Ph.D.
Senior Advisor to Whirlwind Wheelchair International
Phone: 703-981-3478  Fax: 703-847-1327



Tapan Banerjee,Ph.D.
Senior Advisor
Whirlwind Wheelchair International
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue, SCI 251
San Francisco, CA 94132
Phone: 703-981-3478
Fax: 703-847-1327
Whirlwind Phone: 415-338-6277

Monthly Archives