October 2009 Archives

Accessible Hire Car in Hong Kong

Announcing the publication of the Handicap International (HI) Manual:

Understanding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities: A handbook on the rights of persons with disabilities
y Marianne Shultz.

You can find the manual in PDF and Word at

Outdoor Access for All

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office has provided $60,000 to the city of Port Orchard for the Blackjack Creek Wilderness Trail project.

The city plans to build a trail head near the mouth of Blackjack Creek, two ADA-accessible viewpoints, and a hiking trail along the eastern bank of the creek to a connection with Givens Center. In a press release, the city said that many of the elements will be modeled after the fish friendly and environmentally sensitive project conducted at Poulsbo's successful Fish Park. Blackjack Creek, it notes, is a "treasured" salmon stream.

Full story:


Inclusion in Bangladesh

Call to bring physically challenged persons under social safety net

Social Welfare Minister Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid has expressed the opinion that the physically challenged persons should be included in the government's social safety programme.

Laws relating to physically challenged people are insufficient and for this reason social approaches toward them should be changed, he observed.

He made the observation while addressing a seminar as the chief guest organised by the Bangladesh Protibandhi Kallyan Somity (BPKS) titled "UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" in the city Thursday, reports BSS.

Founder and Executive Director of BPKS Abdus Sattar Dulal presided over the seminar.

The minister said this segment of population should be provided with services as golden citizens of the country. "The bright side of the physically challenged people should be highlighted, not their gloomy parts," he added.

Besides, the speakers in their addresses stressed the need for detailed data about physically challenged persons. UN convention in this connection should also be discussed in the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), they observed.

Representatives from 30 ministries, non-government organisations (NGOs), different leading development organisations, European Commission, Australian High Commission, political parties, physically challenged people's organisations, civil society, international donor agencies and print and electronic media were present at the seminar.

Australian High Commissioner in Bangladesh Justin Lee, President of Bangladesh Economic Association Dr Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad and First Counsellor at the Delegation of the European Commission Jean-Jacques Lauture addressed the seminar as special guests.

Source: The Financial Express, 30 October, 2009: for More, please visit: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/search_index.php?page=detail_news&news_id=82992

The government is planning to make a special database of persons with disabilities according to different natures of disability and gender in the next census to be held in 2011, Minister for Social Welfare Enamul Haque Mostafa Shahid said yesterday.

In the national ID cards, the persons with disability will be regarded as Golden Citizens and they will get an increased coverage of social security protection scheme, he also said.

He was speaking at a seminar on 'UN Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disability' organised by Bangladesh Protibandhi Kalyan Samity (BPKS) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.

The minister said the government is committed to bringing every child with disability to school. Stern actions will be taken against any school that refuses to admit children with disability.

Speakers at the seminar said according to the last census held in 2001 there are about 15 million persons with disability in the country. However, the actual number is much higher. They also added another 56 million people with age related disability to the total number.

They said although disability is a major social and economic phenomenon in Bangladesh, there is very little reliable data available on this issue, especially in the absence of a comprehensive national survey on persons with disabilities.

Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, president of Bangladesh Economic Association, said it is a must to know the actual number of disabled persons to include them in the mainstream of the country's socio-economic development.

Without appropriate statistics it will not be possible to address their needs, he added.

Advocate Salma Ali, executive director of Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, stressed ensuring the rights of women and children with disability.

She said it is still not possible to implement different terms of the UN convention in the legal system, as they are not yet incorporated into the domestic law.

Abdus Sattar Dulal, executive director of BPKS, pointed out that the Ministry of Social Welfare is not solely responsible for disability related issues. Welfare and charity cannot be the solution to disability.

Promoting rights-based approach incorporating disability related development plans under all ministries is necessary, he added.

The speakers also underscored the need for implementing the UN convention adding that the persons with disability should also have access to decision making.

Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Justin Lee, Prof Mahmuda Islam of Dhaka University, Jean-Jacques Lauture, first counsellor at the Delegation of the European Commission, Jonathan Foret, chief, PSID Worldwide, BPKS, and Gazi Mohammad Nurul Kabir, managing director of Jatiya Protibandhi Unnayan Foundation, also spoke.

Source: The Daily Star, date 30 October, 2009. For more please visit:


On 9 October 2009 UK Trade & Investment launched a new report detailing major infrastructure opportunities for UK companies in Brazil. The report includes information on over 80 projects which will help prepare Brazil to host the World Cup in 2014, as well as the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

With an estimated 600,000 foreign visitors expected for the World Cup alone and with 12 host cities to prepare, Brazil is facing a huge challenge. Estimates of the investment in infrastructure required to prepare for 2014 range from £10 billion to £30 billion. This will include:

  • £1.5 billion on constructing and modernising 12 stadiums;
  • £1.4 billion expanding and modernising airports across the country; 
  • Improving and expanding urban transport systems in the 12 host cities, a potential investment of up to £10 billion.

UK expertise in planning and delivering both large infrastructure projects, and major sporting events, mean our firms are well-placed to take advantage of these opportunities.

The executive summary of the report is below.  PDF copies of the full report are available on request from:

Sara Pereira
Assistant Sector Manager Sports, Infrastructure and Mining
UK Trade & Investment, Rio de Janeiro
Email: sara.pereira@fco.gov.uk

UK Trade & Investment Contact: faith.quigley@bis.gsi.gov.uk

With an aim to empower differently-abled persons, the Kerala government is planning to set up a Centre for Disability Studies in the State capital. G. MAHADEVAN spoke to Dr. G.N. Karna, Chairman of the Working Group on Disability for the 11th Five Year Plan on the scope of this proposal.

Dr. G. N. Karna is a member of the National Human Rights Commission Core Group on disability and Chairman, Working Group on Disability for 11th Five Year Plan. He is a member of the Consultative Committee on Scheduled Castes, Other Backward Castes, and Social Welfare for Mid-Term Appraisal of 11th Five-Year Plan and is the Honorary President, Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies, New Delhi.

He was in Thiruvananthapuram last week to participate in a meeting called to discuss the setting up of a Centre for Disability Studies under the LBS, in Thiruvananthapuram. Based on discussions he had with The Hindu-EducationPlus while in Thiruvananthapuram he agreed to respond to questions emailed to him.


In layman's terms, how would you define Disability Studies?

Disability Studies could be defined as a field of knowledge or academic inquiry, which reformulates the study of disability by perceiving it as a social phenomenon, social construct, metaphor and culture, and thereby suggesting adoption of rights-based perspective. Disability Studies is primarily centred on how disability is defined, viewed and represented in society.

The complexity of defining disability has aggravated because of indiscriminate and loose use, by scholars, of terms like 'impaired', 'disabled', 'physically handicapped'/ 'physically challenged', 'mentally challenged' and 'differently abled'. Though the fact remains that there is classical distinction in the meaning of these terminologies, they all convey some or other disabling situations and provide a fragmented perspective of disability. The most accepted terminology from rights-based perspective is persons with disabilities or disabled persons.

What is the status of disability studies in India? Is there adequate academic focus on the social, cultural, economic, educational issues relating to such people?

Ironically, despite plethora of studies and research carried out in developed societies, the area of disability studies, still, remains quite grey and unexplored. It continues to be ignored in the curricula of schools, colleges and universities in India and due attention has not been given to address issues related to disability and rehabilitation policies from inter-disciplinary paradigms. This could be reflected in the way the plethora of degrees and diploma courses are restructured over the years by national institutes with sectoral perspectives with medical/ clinical orientation.

This tendency has resulted in the issue of disability being studied and analysed as merely the part of the syllabi of certain specific disciplines such as, medical science, bio-technology, psychology, social work, special education, community health, rehabilitation medicine, labour economics and sociology and that, too, in a piecemeal fashion.

Moreover, there is far too rigid a compartmentalisation of disciplines in the curricula of Indian Universities and academic institutions, which has contributed to a reduction of cross-flow between various fields of research and obstructed progress in the specific field of disability. Since disability is basically a human rights and developmental issue, its multitudinous dimensions must be approached from interdisciplinary paradigm.

What should be the role of a Centre for Disability Studies such as the one proposed to be set up by the Government of Kerala?

The proposed Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) to be started by Government of Kerala should undertake the following activities in order to actualise the goal of empowering the persons with disabilities at the grassroots level. Among the major activities and roles identified for the proposed CDS are: imparting teaching and research at the level of MA/M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in Disability Studies with interdisciplinary perspectives; organising short-term and long-term training programmes for the rehabilitation personnel; developing resource materials for the use of persons with disabilities as also professionals and social activists for delivery of services to the stakeholders; conducting institutional and community rehabilitation programmes; establishing better linkages between university and government/non-governmental organisations working in disability sector; acting as a cleaning house on various disability aspects in terms of assistance, promotion of research and dissemination of information; conducting innovative research for promoting inclusive education practices at school and college level for students with disabilities; carrying out participatory action research on issues of contemporary relevance for disability sector ; espousing for incorporation of disability, rehabilitation and human rights related issues into the curricula of subjects being taught at school and college levels; and most importantly sensitizing at the grassroots level about the imperativeness of changing the mindsets of society.

Since the courses to be offered by the proposed centre should be multidisciplinary in nature, development of interdisciplinary team of experts/ professionals would be necessary.

Imparting courses on Disability Studies as part of higher education involves expertise from plethora of academic disciplines. The centre could initially offer MA/ M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programme on Disability Studies. Apart from academic programmes, the staff of the Centre should also actively engage in research, training and development of psycho- educational tools.

How can the best of students be attracted to disability studies?

Insofar as attracting the best students for the programmes are concerned, a national level entrance test should be held in major cities of the country to select the competent candidates with interest in pursuing the career in Disability Studies.

Another important way to encourage talented and promising students/ scholars for opting academic, research and professional career in Disability Studies could be to institute certain scholarships/ fellowships. There could be adequate scope for degree holders of CDS for employment avenues in central and state universities, colleges, national institutes, organisations and donor agencies working in disability sector at national and international levels. Those who achieve excellence in research at doctoral level could also stand good chance of getting Ford Foundation and Commonwealth Fellowship for advanced career in Disability Studies in foreign universities/ academic institutions. For exceptional scholars with outstanding contribution to Disability Studies, there could also be scope for applying for the most prestigious Ed Roberts Post Doctoral Fellowship for higher research in the USA.

What are the steps that need to be taken to establish such an institute? How would it be funded?

The most important step required for Department of Education in Kerala is to constitute a high-power Core Group on Disability Studies Teaching and Research in Schools, Colleges and Universities with the mandate of laying down a broad outline for setting up a Centre for Disability Studies as part of LBS Centre for Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram. Total estimated financial support/grants- in- aid required to meet the expenses against plan headings for a duration of five years could be approximately Rs.10 crore or so. In addition, a Corpus Fund could be instituted so as to make the operation of centre sustainable in due course. In that case the centre might not have to look for financial support/grants at every stage of its institutional development. Insofar as mobilisation/allocation of financial resources is concerned, the Government of Kerala could allocate financial grants-in-aid/support of Rs.10 crore or as much as possible (including the plan expenses on salary and perks of staff for five-year period) for this purpose. The rest Rs.10 crore could be generated by managing part financial support from Thiruvananthapuram/Kerala-based major public sector banks and public sector undertakings.

What are the challenges faced by the disabled in the country today? What other measures can be taken to mitigate those challenges?

Given the gargantuan dimension and complex nature of the problem of disability in India, the greatest need of the hour is neither more programming nor even specific entitlements for the disabled individuals but a re-orientation of policy framework of disability from rights-based approach. Despite launching of plethora of schemes/plans and investing crores of rupees by Government of India on physical and vocational rehabilitation as also legal empowerment, the goal of mainstreaming the persons with disabilities into society is still as far way as ever. There is a wide gap in policy formulation and implementation. Though there is lack of accurate and reliable data on disability in our country it could roughly be assumed that not less than ten per cent of the total population are affected by physical, mental and sensory impairments and around 75 per cent of the total population is concentrated in rural, hilly and far-flung backward regions of developing countries.

If this yardstick is adopted to ascertain the quantum of population incapacitated by various disabling situations in our country, it could come around the staggering figure of ten and eleven crore.

Despite so much brouhaha in policy circles over empowerment of the disabled/disadvantaged, the situation is quite alarming at the grassroots level and a miniscule part of the disabled population has so far been benefited by governmental schemes/programmes. Even the scheme benefits do not go to them without pinches because of rampant corruption involved in delivery of services.

The monitoring and watchdog mechanism put in place has so far failed to ensure delivery of services and justice to the genuine disabled beneficiaries in villages.


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Thanks to Bill Forrester of Travability for this video

Viva Milano! (Italian)


Presentazione del progetto e finalità

Design for All significa progettare ambienti, attrezzature e servizi fruibili in condizioni di autonomia da parte di persone con esigenze e abilità diversificate.  In poche parole, una progettazione "a misura d'uomo", che ha l'obiettivo di migliorare la qualità della vita di tutti. È un design per la diversità umana, l'inclusione sociale e l'uguaglianza.

Il progetto Idea Desing for All (DfA) ha l'obiettivo di informare e promuovere presso le imprese milanesi l'approccio di progettazione orientato al concetto di DfA, accompagnandole tramite DfA Italia nell'implementazione di progetti orientati a questo utilizzo.

A chi è rivolta l'iniziativa
Possono partecipare aziende di tutti i settori produttivi, che abbiano sede operativa o legale nella provincia di Milano.

Perché partecipare
Il progetto "Idea DfA" introduce nelle PMI un'importante innovazione che unisce il vantaggio economico al vantaggio sociale: il Design for All.

Un progetto DfA allarga il mercato di una piccola e media impresa perché:

  • consente di soddisfare una maggior base di clienti dando facilità, comodità e gradevolezza d'uso anche a fasce di clienti penalizzati o addirittura esclusi dai prodotti finalizzati all'utente standard;
  • fidelizza i clienti perché valorizza le loro specificità;
  • non propone soluzioni per disabili (ghettizzanti), ma per tutti, compresi i disabili;
  • dà una risposta creativa e non discriminante alle norme per la sicurezza e la disabilità.

Tutti i servizi sono offerti alle imprese a titolo gratuito.


Fase 1 - Incontro divulgativo sulla metodologia progettuale Design for All / Analisi e selezione delle imprese.
L'incontro affronterà il tema dei vantaggi che il Design for All può offrire alla piccola e media impresa, delle caratteristiche fondamentali della progettazione DfA e di alcuni suoi supporti di ergonomia. Durante questo incontro verrà illustrato il progetto speciale per l'innovazione "Idea DfA" e le modalità di partecipazione. Ciascuna impresa partecipante all'incontro riceverà gratuitamente una copia del libro "Design for All - Il progetto per l'individuo reale" edito nel 2009 da Franco Angeli.
Successivamente all'incontro verranno analizzate tutte le richieste di adesione al progetto e selezionate cinque imprese che presentano le caratteristiche per poter ottenere i maggiori vantaggi dal progetto.

Fase 2 - Consulenza formativa ed operativa sull'applicazione della metodologia DfA ai prodotti.
Il secondo intervento coinvolgerà le imprese selezionate nella fase precedente: esse faranno un'esperienza formativa in tre workshop sul Design for All nei suoi aspetti di marketing, ergonomia e design. Successivamente, con la supervisione in azienda dei consulenti di Design for All Italia esperti su queste materie, ciascuna impresa identificherà e strutturerà un'idea DfA, che offra opportunità significative di successo. Con l'aiuto del team Design for All Italia ogni impresa definirà in un elenco i requisiti che il proprio prodotto DfA deve soddisfare. Al termine dell'intervento tutte le imprese avranno così le basi progettuali e le linee conduttrici per realizzare il proprio prodotto DfA. Le imprese porteranno le loro esperienze individuali in una giornata di confronto sul processo di creazione di un'idea DfA.

Fase 3 - Selezione dell'"Idea DfA", consulenza e affiancamento nella realizzazione del prototipo DfA.
All'interno delle imprese partecipanti alla fase 2 verrà selezionata l'impresa con la migliore "Idea DfA". Essa godrà dell'affiancamento e della supervisione del team di Design for All Italia per: ideazione, progetto modellabile, documento strategico per il lancio e la commercializzazione del prodotto DfA, definizione linee guida per gli strumenti di comunicazione necessari. Al termine dell'intervento l'impresa vincitrice avrà un modello tridimensionale, piani e strumenti per entrare nel mercato con un prodotto DfA e concorrerà all'assegnazione dei marchi DfA Start o DfA Quality.

Come partecipare
Tutti i dettagli e i requisiti per la partecipazione al progetto sono contenuti nel regolamento (in formato pdf 192 kb).

Per inviare la domanda di adesione al progetto è necessario registrarsi e compilare il formulario on-line, cliccando qui.

Per informazioni:
Camera di Commercio di Milano
Servizio Innovazione e brevetti
Tel. 02.8515.4513
Fax 02.8515.4205
E-mail: contributialleimprese@mi.camcom.it

On October 19, the U.S. Access Board issued the draft final rule on
accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas including trails,
camping and picnic facilities, viewing areas and beaches. The
accessibility guidelines, when adopted, would apply to facilities
covered by the Architectural Barriers Act including Federal land
management agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, National Park
Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau On October 19, the U.S. Access Board issued the draft final rule on
accessibility guidelines for outdoor developed areas including trails,
camping and picnic facilities, viewing areas and beaches. The
accessibility guidelines, when adopted, would apply to facilities
covered by the Architectural Barriers Act including Federal land
management agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, National Park
Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau
of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, the final
accessibility guidelines would also apply to the following non-federal
entities that construct or alter facilities on Federal lands on behalf
of the Federal government: private entities that construct or alter
camping facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal
lands pursuant to a concession contract or other arrangement with a
Federal agency under which the Federal agency reviews or approves the
design of the facility and has a property interest in the facility;
state or local government entities that construct or alter camping
facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal lands
pursuant to an agreement with a Federal agency under which the Federal
agency reviews or approves the design of the facility and has a
property interest in the facility; and non-profit organizations and
state or local government entities that enter into partnerships with a
Federal agency to construct or alter trails or viewing areas on Federal

Entities covered by the final rule are encouraged to review the draft
document and provide public comment to the U.S. Access Board before
December 18, 2009.

The draft document has been reformatted from the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking issued in 2007 to be more consistent for incorporation into
the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act
(ADA-ABA) Accessibility Guidelines. Entities are encouraged to review
the scoping and technical provisions for clarity, ease of understanding
and application of the draft guidelines to real outdoor scenarios.

For further information, contact Bill Botten at the Board at
botten@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0014 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).
The Board intends to develop similar guidelines for outdoor developed
areas controlled by non-Federal entities at a future date.

To view the draft document and submit comments, go to >

of Reclamation, and Army Corps of Engineers. In addition, the final
accessibility guidelines would also apply to the following non-federal
entities that construct or alter facilities on Federal lands on behalf
of the Federal government: private entities that construct or alter
camping facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal
lands pursuant to a concession contract or other arrangement with a
Federal agency under which the Federal agency reviews or approves the
design of the facility and has a property interest in the facility;
state or local government entities that construct or alter camping
facilities, picnic facilities, or beach facilities on Federal lands
pursuant to an agreement with a Federal agency under which the Federal
agency reviews or approves the design of the facility and has a
property interest in the facility; and non-profit organizations and
state or local government entities that enter into partnerships with a
Federal agency to construct or alter trails or viewing areas on Federal

Entities covered by the final rule are encouraged to review the draft
document and provide public comment to the U.S. Access Board before
December 18, 2009.

The draft document has been reformatted from the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking issued in 2007 to be more consistent for incorporation into
the Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act
(ADA-ABA) Accessibility Guidelines. Entities are encouraged to review
the scoping and technical provisions for clarity, ease of understanding
and application of the draft guidelines to real outdoor scenarios.

For further information, contact Bill Botten at the Board at
botten@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0014 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).
The Board intends to develop similar guidelines for outdoor developed
areas controlled by non-Federal entities at a future date.

To view the draft document and submit comments, go to >

ICT Accessibilty Workshop in South Korea

A United Nations-backed gathering in the Republic of Korea wrapped up [October 15] calling for improved access to Internet and mobile phone technologies, among others, for some 400 million persons with disabilities living in the Asia-Pacific region. The three-day workshop, jointly organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), recommended new guidelines to improve access to information and communication technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities in the region.

"ICTs, when used effectively, have the potential to empower people with disabilities to lead active, independent and productive lives," said Hyeun-Suk Rhee, Director of the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT for Development (APCICT).

Bringing together policy-makers from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam, the workshop provided training in enhancing ICT accessibility for persons with disabilities.


Baroness Jane Campbell of the UK Office for Disability Issues introduces a national study on policy related to people with disability.

In the process she articulates well the consultative processes and attitudinal baselines that must be part of any effort that wishes to be known as Inclusive Tourism or Inclusive Destination Development.

Representantes de la fundación 'Un mar sin barreras' reclamaron hoy al delegado del Gobierno en la Comunitat Valenciana, Ricardo Peralta, un espacio físico en el Puerto de Valencia, y que las instalaciones tengan un diseño universal. Ante esta petición, el delegado se comprometió a darles esa "presencia física" para "desarrollar sus actividades".

   Así lo indicaron hoy en declaraciones a los medios de comunicación el presidente de la entidad, Carlos Laguna, y Ricardo Peralta, tras mantener un encuentro en la sede de la Delegación. En la reunión, Laguna le pidió un espacio en la zona del Puerto, en la que se produjo la remodelación con motivo de la America's Cup, para la fundación.

   Le indicó que, por ejemplo, la entidad necesitaría un espacio donde tiene 'La Sirenita', una embarcación adaptada a minusválidos, para instalar una grúa de transferencia y poder integrar todavía más "a las personas con discapacidad".

   Asimismo, le reclamó que todas las instalaciones portuarias "tengan un diseño universal", "no sólo para personas con discapacidad, sino para todos, para madres con carritos, para personas de la tercera edad, o para las que han sufrido un pequeño accidente".

   Al respecto, Peralta aseguró que su voluntad era la de que esta fundación tenga una "presencia física" en el Puerto, "para sus actividades, para implicar el mundo de la minusvalía con el del mar". "Son --agregó-- actividades importantes que cuentan con el apoyo de la Administración".

   En este punto, recordó que las instalaciones del Puerto fueron remodeladas "pensando en la America's Cup", aunque, dijo, "recientemente se ha despejado la incógnita de la segunda edición con la peor de las soluciones, y es que el evento no tendrá lugar en Valencia en 2009". Por ello, lamentó que ha habido una estrategia "que ha fracasado completamente", y afirmó que "alguien tendrá que dar explicaciones".



Another Day at Work

With apologies to visually impaired readers who cannot see the following video from MetaSocial.

The final line in the video translates to "You too just made a mistake. They can do much more than you imagine."

Indra Maya Gurung and Inclusion in Nepal

From the Kathmandu Times:

Constituent Assembly member Indra Maya Gurung's struggles with the Parliament aren't just restricted to lawmaking. Paralysed from the waist-below because of polio, she uses a wheelchair to commute to her sessions at the Singhadurdar premises. But the absence of  disabled-friendly infrastructure means that she is helpless at times.

Take for instance, the times when she has to attend committee meetings, which are usually held on the fourth floor of the Parliament. She is physically carried up to the meetings,  with an aide to accompany her at all times. Though a ramp exists to enter the secretariat building, there are otherwise no disabled-friendly facilities--lifts, wide hallways or toilets. 

Gurung's struggles with infrastructure don't end with the Parliament. She speaks of the time when Rastriya Banijya Bank refused to provide her an ATM card because "there were no provisions by the bank to provide ATM cards to people with disability". She also speaks of how public vehicles refuse to stop for her when she flags them down, and how she cannot go to the supermarket because it has no facilities for wheelchairs, and has to send others to shop for her.

Gurung's stature as a Parliamentarian means that she is one of the few who have at least some facilities or aides to help her get about. For others living with disabilities, daily life is a struggle, as very few structures have been built to cater to their needs. Even more appalling is the fact so few understand the necessity of such infrastructure. "People are kind to me, but they don't look at me equally," says Gurung, "And the lack of these facilities just shows we are not equal to the rest."

Not surprisingly, a recent study by the National Federation of Disabled Nepal came to the conclusion that most public buildings--corporate or government--do not have provisions for disabled-friendly infrastructure. Even in buildings having such infrastructure--the secretariat at Singhadurbar and the Supreme Court for instance--facilities were restricted to the ground floor. 

It is not that Nepal lacks a code of infrastructure for appropriate construction. Raju Man Manandhar, senior divisional engineer at the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction, says, "Though the government introduced a building code nearly three to four years ago with a provision that every building should be disabled-friendly, there has been a clear lack of implementation." The code also mentions that construction of new buildings would be permitted only if they were disabled-friendly. 

Across the world, there are specific regulations that make it imperative for public structures to be disabled-friendly, such as buses and trams with low floors, reserved parking lots, pavement ramps, and lifts and halls broad enough to fit a wheelchair. These initiatives are not available only in the developed world. In New Delhi, for example, public buses and the metro transport system are extremely disabled-friendly, with ramps, lifts, as well as toilets. As much as the law, it is ultimately about whether we care.  

It doesn't take much to make a building or a facility disabled-friendly. Simple solutions can be integrated in the blueprints at the time of construction, such as  doors and corridors that are wide enough for wheelchairs, and fitting ramps beside staircases. 

Despite being a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which ensures the rights of persons with disabilities, Nepal is yet to 

ratify it.

But Manandhar has noticed a few positive changes. Every government hospital in Kathmandu has been facilitated with lifts and ramps and private hospitals too have taken the initiative to provide better access for disabled patients. These initiatives are sadly restricted to transport only; facilities for the visually-disabled are not available anywhere. 

Gurung says she will fight for disabled-friendly infrastructure to be included as a fundamental right in the new Constitution, with immediate "ratification of the UN convention". Till then, she will continue to not have an ATM card, go to the theatres, and attend her meetings, without feeling a little less than dignified.

Integration, inclusion, mainstreaming - or whatever the current buzzword is - tends to focus on the individual with the disability. But, what about those in the class, group or workplace into which the individual is being integrated, included or mainstreamed? How does this process affect them?
Read the full story:

Guía de turismo accesible (Spanish)

Desde El Cisne, Argentina:

El área de Accesibilidad de COPINE (Comisión para la Plena Participación e Integración de las Personas con Necesidades Especiales) convoca a los vecinos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires a participar del armado de la segunda Guía de Turismo Accesible de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Para esta nueva edición, se queere sumar la colaboración e ideas de los vecinos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires para que brinden información sobre hoteles, museos, teatros, cines, librerías, restaurantes, etc. que conozcan y sean accesibles para personas con discapacidad. Para ello deben enviar un correo electrónico a la dirección: ciudadaccesible@buenosaires.gov.ar con el nombre, el teléfono y la dirección del lugar.

Luego de recibir esa información, el equipo del Área de Accesibilidad de COPINE se encargará de constatar la accesibilidad del mismo. Los espacios accesibles recibirán una distinción para colocar en la ventana u otro espacio que consideren. La distinción es un adhesivo que explica que ese espacio es accesible.

¿Qué debe tener un edificio para ser considerado accesible?

Lo más fácil para darse cuenta si un lugar es accesible para personas con movilidad reducida es que entre otras cosas, cuenten con rampas, ascensores, baños adaptados y señalización. Un ejemplo que se puede citar es el de los cines o shoppings. En muchos casos cuentan con escalones en un ingreso, pero tienen puertas laterales donde hay rampas que permiten a las personas con discapacidad llegar a las boleterías y las salas. En el caso que las salas o los locales que se encuentren en algún subsuelo o en los pisos superiores, se debe contemplar que haya ascensores.

Otro requisito que es importante para que un lugar sea considerado accesible es que tenga baños adaptados para personas con discapacidad. El mismo debe estar identificado con el símbolo que representa a la discapacidad (un cartel cuadrado azul con el dibujo de una persona en una silla de ruedas). El baño debe ser amplio para que puedan acceder las personas en silla de ruedas.

También se pueden contemplar medidas para personas con otro tipo de discapacidad: menúes en braille para los ciegos en los restaurantes, señalética en braille, carteles luminosos para las personas con discapacidad auditiva, entre otros.

Author Andrea Kennedy has beent o all nine Colorado ski areas that offer adaptive skiing. She writes:

The three main things that  Access Anything looks for in a ski area when we want to recommend it to fellow people with disabilities (PWD) are:

1. General access of the ski area base - parking, equipment storage, and location to lodging

2. Lodging - several price options with great access near the base

3. Getting around - on the mountain and in town; local accessible transportation as well as ski area ease. (Ski areas with multiple peaks and lifts that don't connect to each other, or those without accessible public transit aren't our first choice for PWD.)

Read the full article here:


The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) will be
commemorated on 3 December.

The theme for this year promotes the
empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities through the
MDGs. The Day provides an opportunity to mobilize action to achieve the
primary goal of full and equal enjoyment of human rights and participation
in society by persons with disabilities. Include! Organize! Celebrate! Take
Action! If you are commemorating the International Day of Persons with
Disabilities in your community and would like to share an innovative idea
that includes other stakeholders, such as your Government, a UN agency, an
NGO/DPO or a community, please let the UN know about it. They will showcase the
idea. Find out more at:

Millennium Development Goals and Persons with Disabilities

Currently, there are no references to persons with disabilities either in
the MDGs themselves or in the accompanying body of guidelines and policies,
programmes and conferences that are part of the on-going MDG efforts.  In
addition, the new revisions of the MDGs currently in process do not include
persons with disabilities. Earlier this year, a United Nations Expert Group
Meeting worked to develop a "roadmap" for how the achievement of the MDGs
could benefit persons with disabilities. Read the report of the Expert
Group Meeting and summary to find out more:

The more I learn of Scandic Hotels and their Handikappambassadör / Disability Co-ordinator, Magnus Berglund, the more i want to know about both.

Magnus Berglund has been Scandic's Disability Ambassador for six years. Now his work has been featured on CNN which, for the first time, has chosen to tell the story of a company that works actively on accessibility. Six years ago, Magnus Berglund was just about discounted by the labour market. One day he came to Frank Fiskers, then head of Swedish operations, and presented his idea of how Scandic could work more on accessibility at its hotels. And so it was that Magnus's life took a new direction. This inspiring tale has now become a report on CNN World View. "This is fantastic proof that investing in accessibility brings benefits of all kinds. I'm extremely proud of both Magnus Berglund and Scandic," comments Frank Fiskers, now President and CEO of Scandic.

Maybe it is just the approach of Halloween but there is something eerily similar to writing your own epitaph in announcing that one has been awarded a major prize.
From New Mobility magazine to Scott Rains:

We at New Mobility are impressed with your work as a one-man task force for inclusive tourism, as well as your commitment to freely sharing your travel experiences and accessibility findings.

 You are truly a citizen of the world, and you represent the disability community with integrity and good will.

 So let me be the first to congratulate you: We have named you New Mobility's Person of the Year for 2009!

 The essence of this honor is the cover story for our January issue, in which we will share with readers our reasons for choosing you, explore your various contributions and hopefully get to know you better as a person.

My advice to Rolling Rains readers working in the travel industry:

The January 2010 issue of New Mobility magazine seems like an excellent place to invest some of your advertising budget!

SC orders disabled-friendly buildings

The [Sri Lankan] Supreme Court yesterday ordered that public buildings to be constructed in the future should be easily accessible to disabled persons. The Court further ordered that such buildings should be facilitated with adequate sanitary facilities for such persons.

In terms of the Court oder local authorities are required to approve only building plans which meet these requirements. They are also required to issue certificates of conformity only to the buildings which are easily accessible by such persons.

The Court cautioned that future public buildings which are not disabled persons-friendly would be legally dealt with in terms of the Disabled Persons Accessible Regulations. The Court made these orders having heard the rights application filed by Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera, who is a disabled person and an activist. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice Saleem Marssof PC and Justice S.I. Imam.

Petitioner Dr. Ajith C.S. Perera cited 67 respondents including Cabinet of Ministers and the Chief Secretaries to the Chief Ministers.

The Petitioner appearing in person submitted that although the rights of the disabled have been guaranteed under the Protection of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act No. 28 of 1996 and the Disabled Persons (Accessibility Regulations) Regulations No. 1 of 2006 these rights are not recognized and neglected at public places.

The petitioner stated that a large number of disabled persons including the service personnel disabled in the war and elderly persons. Senior State Counsel V. Vigneswaran appeared for the respondents.



My contribution to Blog Action Day 2009 comes in several parts. This year's theme is global warming so I have taken the opportunity to lay out the Green / Universal Design convergence in tourism.

First is a reprint of the article "Disability and Human Rights: Questions for Geotourism Projects" which was first published by the Ecumenical Council on Tourism and links the natural synergies between Inclusive Tourism and geotourism.

Developing on this idea, but published several years earlier, is an article on Universal Design called,"Theme Parks, Imaginary Worlds, and Real Access." It examines some of the criteria involved in when and where Universal Design must be adhered to.

The third piece is a more general overview of the "Social Model of Disability" underlying this whole chain of reasoning.

Global warming and eco-responsibility emerges in a more obvious way with the final piece the "Waypoint-Backstrom Principles" on inclusive maritime environments.

Finally, on the "Small is Beautiful" principle I offer the Waypoint-Backstrom Principles. Small boats produce a much more benign ecological footprint as Sherri Backstrom, owner of Waypoint Yacht Charter Services argues in her Geotourism Chllenge submission. Below are some of the principles behind her passion;

Wanderlust: Access All Areas

Gordon Rattray, author of Access Africa: Safaris for People with Limited Mobility has also published Access All Areas in the magazine Wanderlust. It is reprinted below:


“Tenemos que convencer a la industria de que trabaje la accesibilidad, ya que es un nicho de mercado”, afirmó hoy la directora general de Technosite, Blanca Alcanda, durante su intervención en el I Congreso Internacional de Diseño Universal, organizado por el Ayuntamiento de Málaga en colaboración con la Fundación ONCE.

Durante su participación en la mesa temática “El diseño de entornos y espacios interiores”, Alcanda explicó que aunque el objetivo de la técnica es la adaptación del medio al sujeto, “se está perdiendo esta referencia y nos vamos convirtiendo en esclavos de la tecnología”.

Tras indicar que las ciudades son una creación de la humanidad para enfrentarnos a una naturaleza hostil, agregó que, “sin embargo, nos damos cuenta de que nos están construidas en la medida de nuestras necesidades”.

Esta experta de Technosite, empresa de la Fundación ONCE que ofrece soluciones informáticas integrales, aseguró que en la actualidad “muchas empresas están desarrollando la domótica, ya que la han visto como un nicho de negocio”, pero aportan soluciones “que no todas personas con necesidades especiales pueden afrontar económicamente”.

Alcanda apostó por el desarrollo de productos accesibles de diseño, en los que prime la funcionalidad. “Hay que convencer a la industria de que sus productos son accesibles y de que la tecnología debe adaptarse a nosotros, y no al revés. Tenemos que reconvertir las necesidades sociales en demandas reales de mercado”, concluyó.


En la misma mesa participaron Rosa María Regatos, del Centro de Referencia Estatal de Autonomía Personal y Ayudas Técnicas (Ceapat), y Rama Gheerawo, secretario honorífico del EIDD (Design for All Europa).

Regatos denunció que a la hora de crear determinados productos, las empresas no tienen en cuenta los requerimientos del usuario. “Las necesidades de las personas con discapacidad son distintas, la adaptación no debe ser la solución, sino que el producto debe ser elaborado en base a las características de la población”, añadió.

Asimismo, señaló que “las personas tienen derecho a elegir de qué manera quieren vivir”. Explicó igualmente que una encuesta realizada por su organización reveló que la mayoría de las personas mayores desean seguir viviendo en sus hogares independientemente de que sus capacidades vayan cambiando.

“Es necesario desarrollar las implementaciones tecnológicas necesarias para que las personas mayores o aquellas que sufran una discapacidad sobrevenida puedan seguir viviendo en sus domicilios”, apuntó.

Regatos apostó por los sistemas generales de control, “la domótica”, de manera que la propia casa realice funciones automáticas que faciliten las funciones diarias de las personas con necesidades especiales.

“Se pueden ofertar medidas como la apertura de puertas, la adecuación del espacio al propio usuario, encimeras reclinables, alturas adaptables, alarmas personales, incluso la posibilidad de generar rutinas de forma automática para ahorrar desplazamientos dentro del hogar”, explicó.

Por su parte, Gheerawo señaló que el diseño va más allá de la estética y puede cambiar la sociedad civil y los negocios. “Hay que experimentar la diversidad de las personas y diseñar para ellas”, afirmó.

El experto recordó que la exclusión va más allá de las personas con discapacidad, “hay exclusión por género, edad, etc”. Así, defendió que “se debe diseñar de forma personalizada, cada persona es experta en su vida y debe poder elegir. La capacidad de elegir nos hace la vida más rica”.



If so it will require the sort of Green/Universal Design convergence and disability and development thinking that has been percolating through innovative destination development projects around the world.

With no such known projects slated for Haiti we offer this thought-starter from Reuters and the note that one of the finalists for the Ashoka Changemakers' 2009 Geotourism Challenge ws an inclusive itinerary following the Slave Route in Brazil by Reality Tour.

LABADEE, Haiti, Oct 6 (Reuters) - An ultramodern ocean liner and a 19th-century mountaintop fortress built by a slave rebellion leader figure prominently in Haiti's plans to revive tourism in the poorest nation in the Americas.

A key element of the hoped-for renaissance may be close to fruition. Haitian Tourism Minister Patrick Delatour said the government recently signed a deal with Venezuela for an international airport, Haiti's second, in Cap-Haitien, its second-largest city.

Starting in December, Royal Caribbean Cruises will send its new Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, to a weekly stopover at the northern beach resort of Labadee, another important step forward for a tourism economy that crumbled under years of political turmoil.

The next move could be to build a road between Labadee and Haiti's World Heritage Site, a park containing the massive Citadelle Laferriere fortress and the Sans Souci palace built by Henri Christophe, a leader of the slave revolt that freed Haiti from French rule in 1804.

"In 2011 we will be able to say that Haiti is back on the world tourism map," Delatour told reporters last week.
Full story:


The N.C. General Assembly and Wildlife Resources Commission have worked cooperatively to expand opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in hunting, fishing and other related outdoor activities.

In keeping with the intent and spirit of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), great strides have been made toward providing reasonable access and opportunities for hunters and anglers.

North Carolina has one of the more progressive programs in the United States for sportsmen with disabilities. This effort is directed toward assisting access to favorable game and fish areas, allowing the use of equipment designed to overcome specific disabilities and to encourage persons with disabilities to take advantage of the state's hunting and fishing opportunities.

The Commission urges anyone with a disability who has a question or an interest in hunting and fishing to contact: Disabled Access Program, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1722 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699

The Disabled Access Program and the Disabled Sportsman Program form the foundation for the Commission's efforts to provide access and increased opportunities for persons with disabilities. The programs have different objectives. One is designed to improve access (with landowner agreement) on game lands. The other implements legislative requirements enacted by the 1993 General Assembly by providing permit hunts for persons with disabilities.

The Disabled Access Program allows people with limited physical mobility to operate vehicles on open-gated or designated roads on certain game lands otherwise closed to vehicular traffic. Participants are issued permanent identification cards, companion cards and vehicular access permits, valid as long as their disability persists. The vehicular access permit must be displayed in the passenger area of the vehicle. One able-bodied person, carrying the "Companion Card," may accompany the person with the disability. The companion must remain in visual or verbal contact with the hunter at all times. There is no charge for this program.

Medical evidence substantiating a physical mobility disability that makes normal utilization of game lands impossible without vehicular assistance is required.

Game land areas involved are Bladen Lakes, Bertie County, Butner Falls of the Neuse (waterfowl blind for disabled hunters only), Caswell, Holly Shelter, Roanoke River wetlands, Goose Creek (waterfowl blind for disabled hunters only), Sandhills, Suggs Mill Pond and Thurmond Chatham.

The current Game Lands map book offers details at www.ncwildlife.org/Hunting.

Contact the License Section at 1-888-2HUNTFISH (1-888-248-6834) or write: Disabled Access Program, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1707 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699.

More information on a variety of public and private programs is available in Access North Carolina produced by the Vocational Rehabilitation Services, N.C. Department of Human Resources. To get it, write to: Division of Travel and Tourism, N.C. Department of Economic and Community Development, Raleigh, NC 27611 or call 1-800-Visit NC (1-800-847-4862).

For information on deer hunts, duck blinds, fishing piers and other accessible recreational opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries in the state, contact: Public Affairs Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Richard B. Russell Federal Building, 75 Spring Street, SW, Room 1200, Atlanta, GA 30303

For information on accessible National Park Service programs in the state, contact: Office of Public Affairs, National Park Service, P.O. Box 37127, Washington, D.C. 20013-7127.

For information on hunting, fishing and other accessible outdoor recreational programs on National Forests in the state, contact: Public Affairs Office, U.S. Forest Service, P.O. Box 96090, Washington, D.C. 20013-6090.

For information on North Carolina's nature preserves, natural areas, parks and recreational areas contact: N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, P.O. Box 27687, Raleigh, NC 27611-7687



Studying the Paralympics

Simon Darcy, scholar of Inclusive Tourism and author of "Benchmark Games: The Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games" (2008) presents below on the topic of Paralympic research.

Press release:

A new initiative enables users to find deaf organizations and schools in
149 countries around the world. Launched by the Gallaudet University
Center for International Programs and Services (CIPS) in October 2009,
the World Deaf Information Resource Project provides contact information
for hundreds of international-, national-, and local-level organizations
and schools globally. The website also links to on-line reports about
the human rights conditions and living situation of deaf people around
the world and other information resources for deaf individuals and

"Deaf people always benefit when deaf organizations, schools, and
individuals are able to exchange ideas and information," says Dr. Asiah
Mason, director of CIPS. "But before organizations can communicate with
each other, they need a way to find each other. The new World Deaf
Information Resource Project lets them do that. It is our hope this can
be a powerful information resource for the global deaf community."
In addition to browsing the website, users also may download most of the
same information in either Word or PDF format. The file enables users to
produce a 104-page hard copy document for dissemination to contacts who
might not have Internet access.

The new website can be accessed at http://cips.gallaudet.edu/wdi.xml.
CIPS intends to continue expanding the website and file over time. People
are invited to submit information about deaf organizations, schools, and
deaf-related information resources not already included in the project to

Hotel Accessibility Criteria

Simon Darcy presented the following new study on the travel needs of travelers with disabilities seeking accommodation at the US Travel and Tourism Research Association, Honolulu Hilton 21 June

The original idea came from Darren Brehm in Chicago. We posted about it yesterday as "Chicago's Plan to Literally Give Away Olympic Seats." Here's the rest of the story:

 IDEO, the design firm, was doing pro-bono work for the Chicago 2016 Committee.  Because Whirlwind Wheelchair has a relationship with IDEO and because they share the same design philosophy, IDEO contacted Whirlwind about this idea.  Ralf Hotchkiss of Whirlwind was an invited speaker at a recent Sport and Sustainability event in Chicago on 10 and 11 September.  At that meeting, the MC of the panel Ralf was on said that Chicago 2016 was delighted to be partnering with Whirlwind Wheelchair on this project.

I have already been in touch with Darren and Whirlwind and begun presenting the idea to key people in India (Commmonwealth Games 2010), Brazil (FIFA 2014 and Olympics 2016), South Africa (FIFA 2010), and other places.

Darren's proposal is an example of Geotourism thinking arising from an unexpected source. The surprise of it all demonstrates again the convergence of Green and Universal Design thinking.

While we point out in Universal Design that by applying the principles to an single individual's lifetime we see that they are more or less handicapped by the built environment as their stature and faculies first mature, then perfect, and then diminish. This happens to the extent that the idealized user is conceptulized as someone within the very limited middle range of "perfection."

Darren's thinking solved a problem in the lifecycle of a product by repurposing it as a way to dely its entry into the waste stream. His Green solution required Universal Design thinking to be applied at the first stage in the stadium seats' lifecycle - where they will not primarily be used by people with disabilities - so that it can fulfill its second stage properly as a wheelchair.

This is the same sort of thinking Boomers are applying to home purchases and remodels through the sustained support of AARP for Universal Design.

Because the Olympics are major events in the economics of tourism and the "byproduct" is a culture promoting legacy for groups distant from the event itself this proposal qualifies as a unique example of the Inclusive Tourism core of Geotourism. Together with projects like Adaptive Path's mobile phone project for emerging markets thinking long range along product - and human - lifecycles is emerging as a trend to follow.

Bravo Darren!

Maybe an orphaned idea born in Chicago can be adopted by the Olympics 2016 family in Rio.

Darren Brehm
came up with the idea. If the proposed Olympics of 2016 were to come to Chicago one of the stadia would be built to Olympic capacity but then downsized to accommodate a more typical Windy City-sized crowd. What to to with the up to 50,000 disposable seats created by the downsizing?

Simple. Green. Make them recyclable. Make them high durability wheelchairs!

Read the story at the Chicago Sun Times. Who will be the first nation in the world to apply
Darren's solution?

Seats in Olympic Stadium May Convert to Wheelchairs

Videotape Inclusive Tourism Stories

Flip Video Spotlight is giving away free Flip Video UltraHD 120 minute camcorders. Submit your short case study sharing how your organization is using video to make a difference. Click on the link for examples and send your case study to partners@flipvideospotlight.com before October 31.

Imagine the impact that video would make if every nonprofit organization had a camcorder to share with the world the problems that need to be solved, opportunities that need to be seized, abuses that need to be corrected, and people who need to be extolled - that is the mission of Flip Video Spotlight.

Here are a few examples of how our partners are using video:


Sarah Fuller and Wheel Away Travel

Head over to Wheel Away Disabled Travel and meet someone who really understands that inclusion in tourism is not just about people with disabilities:

The Wheel Away Disabled Travel - Hong Kong City Guide ...contains practical information about getting around Hong Kong, and is not only for people with disability, but also for seniors and families with children in strollers who struggle to find a straight forward way around.

This guide is a 'must' for all adventurous travellers, travel agents, health care professionals, recruitment agents, and human resources and diversity departments in multinational corporations.



About the author - Sarah Fuller

My father requires the use of a wheelchair following a stroke that occurred some 18 years ago. This resulted in paralysis and aphasia (the loss of language skills). I have travelled frequently and extensively with my father who is always accompanied by my mother, his primary caregiver, and also often by my sister. It takes the combination of all of us to make travel possible for my father.

I established Wheel Away Disabled Travel in Hong Kong to self-publish a travel guide about one of the most exciting cities in Asia. I'm truly passionate about travel because it brings me immense delight at being able to witness firsthand the diversity of our world. While born in Australia, I have been living in Hong Kong for 17 years and it has been from this vantage point that I have planned many successful voyages!

My parents are also passionate travellers and it is with this in mind that I began developing comprehensive itineraries so that they could visit me in Hong Kong. Over the years we have travelled throughout Asia. For each trip, I create a diverse, action-packed itinerary. I book all the flights and hotel accommodation, which takes considerable planning and research. This city guide will show you too how to plan travel that meets your needs.

Whether you're a nervous first-timer or an experienced, independent wheelchair traveller, it is possible to have a safe and enjoyable trip.

I acknowledge that the disability experience is different for different people. I have written this resource due to my father's experience, which I wanted to share with others, a knowledge gained over many years of organising travel to ensure access and ease. If I can inspire others to realise their dream to travel and see many of the amazing things I've seen, then this book has been a success!

I write from my heart and personal experience in a genuine effort to inform and encourage people who use a wheelchair to travel, and discover our world of opportunities.

Sarah Fuller

Founder and Author
Wheel Away Disabled Travel
Contact us at: info@wheelawaydisabledtravel.com

Gratitude to Marti Giaochi for bringing Wheel Away Travel to our attention

UNESCAP is currently working on an accessibility handbook that will be used to raise awareness and for capacity building on accessibility.  We would like to include true stories of the experiences persons with disabilities face in trying to gain access to public services including physical infrastructures, transportation and information, communication and technology.  These stories will be used to illustrate the difficulty many people have with accessing public services and the need for universal design allowing everyone to enjoy the same services.

      We are looking for specific instances where persons with disabilities have faced barriers in gaining access to public services.  For example, we know of one man who was denied access to board a plane because he was blind and traveling alone.  We would like to use these stories to educate policy makers on the reality of the situation of persons with disabilities so that they understand the importance and impact of universally designed systems.

      We ask that you submit your experiences in English and limit your words to one page.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to include all submissions in the manual.  We will inform you if your submission is selected.  We hope to publish the handbook sometime in the next year,2010.  In the handbook, we will acknowledge the people whose submission we include.

      Please send your submissions to Mr. Jonathan Foret at  jv4a@yahoo.com Include your full name and country in your email.  The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2009.


Man in Motion Takes the Plunge

From vanguard.com:

The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) is working to improve accessibility in the tourism sector by consolidating existing knowledge and giving all actors the opportunity to put this knowledge to use through collaboration, wherever they are based in the country.


Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director General of NTDC, in a chat with travel journalists during the World Tourism Day celebration  in Kano weekend, said with the accessible project they are embarking on that they want to help make Nigeria as a whole an accessible destination, where all travellers can move freely, enjoy new experiences and be sure of getting the service they need and expect.

"We believe that accessible tourism must be made a priority _ for the good of the tourists and for the long_term sustainability of the Nigerian tourist industry."

Asked what the project is all about, Otunba Runsewe said "Accessible tourism is intended as the set of services and facilities capable of allowing persons with specific needs to enjoy a holiday and their leisure time with no particular barriers or problems. Individuals with specific needs could be elderly people, disabled individuals and people with particular diets or with allergy problems, who need particular comforts and facilitations during their travels."

He added "Accessible tourism makes it possible for people with various disabilities to function independently of other people when on holidays. It relates not only to physically disabled people but also to seniors whose mobility might be limited."

For the full story:


AccesssAbility India on TV: Starting Up

I run this with gratitude to the work of my friend Shivani Gupta and in tribute to her recently deceased husband, and my friend, Vikas Sharma.

As you may imagine the death of Vikas is a loss for the entire Indian community of persons with disabilities. It is also an event requiring courageous reassessment by Shivani and their organization AccessAbility. I urge those with the means and the disposition to engage with Shivani and AccessAbility to assure their financial wellbeing so that they might continue to exert leadership in India and beyond.

Transit Access Training Toolkit

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to attach our newly-prepared Transit Access Training
Toolkit as part of its dissemination on behalf of the Disability and
Development Team within the Human Development Network of the World
Bank. This publication includes pocket-size guides, model posters,
public service announcements, and other resources to assist in training
bus drivers and other public transport personnel, thanks to an
initiative of the Bank using funds provided by the governments of
Norway and Finland. The document is also available in Spanish and
Portuguese, and in printed and CD versions. The CD version includes
the posters in various formats to assist in their use where desired.
As noted in the Toolkit, "this material may be reproduced without
permission for non-commercial purposes only, provided the source is
acknowledged." The source can be cited as the Human Development
Network of the World Bank.

Further resources are found at www.worldbank.org/disability and at

Best wishes,

Tom Rickert
Consultant for the Disability and Development Team for the Transit
Action Training Toolkit
c/o Access Exchange International, San Francisco
tel. (415) 661-6355
fax (415) 661-1543

Carolyn R Scheidies recounts a story on the difficulties of travel with a disability in :