December 2009 Archives

United Breaks Guitars Song 2

Their saga of airline mishandling of luggage was brilliantly retold in their video "United Breaks Guitars."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-UoERHaSQg

The concert hall of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. De...

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Inclusive Tourism is a kind of "hyphenated tourism."
 

At its simplest, "hyphenated tourism" is a way of dscribing niches and demographics with the pattern "[adjective] + tourism."

But nothing is ever so simple, is it?


Inclusive Tourism is:



Inclusive Tourism is the only hyphenated-tourism that has an emergency management plan in place for when the Silver Tsunami crests over the tourism industry.
 
It is braced for the shockwave of Boomer travel behavior as it dopplers and meets with the increase in their physical limitations.

Tourism, the world largest service industry, is a 21st century experiment in massive wealth redistribution. Inclusive Tourism assures that the industry's physical infrastructure and business values are appropriate and sustainable throughout the normal human lifecycle of all people - including changes in their functions and abilities.


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Happy New Year

The year 2009 closed with series of conversations with author Josie Byzek. Now 2010 is opening with her article "Building Bridges" as the January 2010 cover story for New Mobility magazine.

Scattered throughout are accounts of travel with a disability and quotes by some of my most active colleagues:

  • Jennae Bezuidenhout of Access2Africa Safaris
  • Sherri Backstrom of Waypoint Yacht Charter Services
  • Patricia Narciso of the Children's Museum of San Jose
  • Terri O'Hare of O'Hare Comunications
I get to tell a few stories my way too - but mostly is Josie embarrassing me with kindness and making me laugh with her witticism as New Mobility public exposes me as their Person of the Year for 2009.

Scan through this issue of New Mobility an be truly impressed by our people.

Honestly, I don't have the stamina and skill of the Andy Yohe, Steve Cash, Lonnie Hannah, or Taylor Lipsett of the US Sled Hockey team or the discipline and willpower of Chris Waddell summiting Kilmanjaro.

I'll never be as handy on a farm as Amanda Stewart Tye; as sexy as Maria Palacios; as photographically skilled as my Flickr friend Gudrun Gisladottir.

I draw strength from having friends as transparently nonviolent in their campaigns for justice and unrelentingly redemptive in their intentions as my friend Arwen Bird.

I aspire to the kind of truth-telling that Tim Gilmer advocates in his Bully Pulpit on authenticity in portraying our reality.

 A few days ago I watched Invictus with pride for my friends there. In South Africa my disabled friends remind me matter-of-factly that "apartheid was successfully dismantled here for all groups but those with disabilities." They keep on with the struggle.

Watching the movie I smiled to myself - the smug smile of a social disruptor - as Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela climbs into a car in front of the Union Building in Pretoria on his way to a plot-changing confrontation. I smiled because, while Clint Eastwood symbolically killed those pesky gimps who puckishly insisted he make his Carmel restaurant and California resort wheelchair accessible in one movie he couldn't edit out the post-apartheid wheelchair ramp visible over Freeman's shoulder. In fact, he still doesn't have a clue how that visual accident reveals our true character more memorably than his Million Dollar Baby could ever hope to falsify it.

It's not about how much publicity we get. It's never giving up. 


To everyone else covered in the January 2010 issue of New Mobility who make it such a good read: OK, in this issue I got the most column inches,photographs, and became "New Mobility centerfold of the month" but it is for you, and because of others like you, that I do what I do around the world.

Keep it up.

And thank you New Mobility! 
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quarta-feira, dezembro 30, 2009

ANDREI BASTOS

Foi bonito de se ver. Na semana que antecedeu o Natal fui duas vezes ao shopping comprar presentes e tive gratas surpresas. Depois de batalhar por uma vaga reservada para pessoas com deficiência, todas ocupadas, tive que esperar na fila para usar o banheiro adaptado e vi muitas cadeiras de rodas circulando pelos corredores e lojas.

Não é à toa que o símbolo de acessibilidade mais difundido e conhecido é uma cadeira de rodas. Claro que outras pessoas, com outras deficiências, também foram às compras, mas a idéia de um espaço acessível conquistado é facilmente passada pela imagem dos cadeirantes circulando com facilidade.

Mais do que uma simples inclusão nos templos do consumo, esta nossa maior afluência aos shoppings resulta da irreversível elevação da nossa autoestima, tanto por conquistas de natureza pessoal como política. Nossa determinação e luta constante fizeram com que chegássemos à atual situação e vão nos levar mais longe ainda. A porta do consumo é a mais fácil de ser aberta, pois a chave é o dinheirinho nada desprezível de 25 milhões de brasileiros e seus familiares.

É preciso que tenhamos clareza em relação a esse poder econômico, significativamente aumentado por nossa inclusão cada vez maior no mercado de trabalho, e saibamos usá-lo para efetivar todas as outras conquistas já consolidadas nas leis. Se associarmos essa compreensão às questões de direitos do consumidor e de que somos tão pagadores de impostos quanto os outros, a despeito de isenções fiscais plenamente justificadas que nos atendem, potencializaremos nossa força política na luta pela cidadania plena.

Por outro lado, também sabemos que usuários de vagas reservadas em shoppings ainda representam uma minoria entre nós e que, por isso, devemos fazer com que a acessibilidade desse comércio de luxo seja implementada em todas as construções e transportes das cidades. Afinal, nenhum dos sorridentes cadeirantes "consumistas" deve ter chegado de ônibus. Mas, de qualquer maneira, foi bonito de se ver porque a diferença foi grande "em relação ao mesmo período do ano anterior", marcando 2009 como o ano em que muitos cadeirantes saíram da toca.

Na minha última incursão consumista, ao sair do elevador me deparei com um congestionamento de cadeiras de rodas. Foi divertido porque, sem perceber, de repente estávamos num papo solto como se fôssemos velhos conhecidos, rindo e brincando com nossas cadeiras e muletas, e atrapalhando o trânsito, é claro. Foi quando um jovem e bem humorado cadeirante do grupo, olhando para a confusão, expressou o que percebíamos ao dizer que "a moçada está saindo".

É isso mesmo: estamos saindo para a vida, para o mundo, e tudo indica que 2010 será o ano em que provocaremos congestionamentos também nas avenidas, ruas e pontos de ônibus, lutando por acessibilidade para todos. Vocês já imaginaram o impacto que apenas dois ou três cadeirantes podem provocar se tentarem pegar, ao mesmo tempo, o mesmo ônibus adaptado sobre chassi de caminhão? É primeira página na certa.

Fica o aviso para governantes incompetentes e máfias do transporte coletivo: a moçada está saindo e vai ganhar as ruas.

Feliz 2010 acessível!


Fonte:

http://www.inclusive.org.br/?p=13210&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-mocada-esta-saindo

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The year is coming to an end with deja vu. I recall Greyhound bus company fighting inclusion for travelers with disabilities as far back s 1974.

Don't we wish the excerpt below was just fiction and not the travelogue of a person with a disability:


City and County of San Francisco

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On 12/5/2009, I left San Francisco via Greyhound heading to Pittsburgh, PA, due to arrive on 12/8/2009. My ticket included a round trip/return trip portion to return to San Francisco on 12/16/2009. Because I use a power wheelchair, I called the disability services line and arranged to have a lift-equipped bus along the various schedules that spanned my trip. They advised me that I should be careful not to miss any connecting buses because these modified buses had to be requested 2 days in advance.During the trip at various times, I was cursed at by Greyhound employees when I requested to be let off the bus at rest stops (they didn't want to take the extra time required to load and unload me, and they let me know it) and ignored (and as a consequence, virtually trapped on the bus).

For the full story and discussion:
http://consumerist.com/2009/12/man-in-wheelchair-unimpressed-with-greyhound.html
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Middle East, G8 Greater Middle East and associ...

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Frequently our stories here on Universal Design in the built environment come from North America, Europe or Australia and those on UD in consumer products from Japan or South Korea. It was encouraging to find this articulate piece on Universal Design coming from a consultant in the Middle East.

Steve Maslin is an access consultant and inclusive design manager for Stride Treglown (www.stridetreglown.co.uk). Here is an excerpt from an interview published at Construction Week Online:

When it comes to making designs inclusive, what advice would you give to interior designers in this region?

Go beyond just wheelchair user access to sensory and psychological aspects of inclusive design.

Understand the relevance of inclusive design to the sustainability agenda, the relevance of the cultural context and the relationship between capital investments made by your clients, the productivity of their staff and the willingness of their clients do business.

Encourage clients to employ access consultants, so as to provide advice that includes an understanding of their needs, the design and construction process, and the needs of their staff and customers - including disabled people.

Source:

http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-7264-inclusive-design/


Japan Pavilion Exhibition at Ambiente the World's Largest International Trade Fair for Household Products and Accessories

At International Trade Fair for Household Products and Accessories "Ambiente", as part of a new Japanese government program, 12 Japanese manufacturers of household products and accessories will exhibit their wares at the Japan Pavilion.

"The key focus of Japanese product design is providing witty solutions for the problems people face in their daily life."

In line with the catchphrase "CONNECT TO JAPAN DESIGN", the Japan Pavilion has an objective of introducing to the people of Europe the design techniques and products that Japan is sending out to the global community and clear the way for a new business stage.

Kazuya Shimokawa, chief editor for Japan's monthly magazine on design strategy and information, NIKKEI DESIGN, and the producer of this project, comments on the products on exhibit at the Japan Pavilion and the characteristics of Japanese product design.

"The key focus of Japanese product design is providing witty solutions for the problems people face in their daily life.

Never requiring over-the-top devices or hordes of space, Japanese product design offers a convenient and comfortable way of life in quiet harmony with the user.

Japanese product design aims first for usability. Due to Japan's rapidly aging population, consumers seek products that can be easily used by anyone, from children to the elderly, left-handers and right-handers, pregnant women and temporarily injured people alike.

As an advanced country in universal design, Japanese product design reaches a higher dimension and achieves usability. This is the value that will be sought after world-wide in the future.

Furthermore, the primary feature of Japanese product design is the consideration of the environment. The market seeks products which are energy-conserving, resource-saving, and moreover, brimming with ideas on how to generate the least amount of rubbish possible. It is the mission of Japanese product design to answer these demands. This type of product design is beginning to receive high acclaim on the international stage, creating a new value of "Made in Japan".

It is the fusion of tradition and state-of-the-art technology that has achieved high usability and environment-friendliness. To a solid foundation of age-old shop-floor manufacturing techniques and lifestyle, technology of the modern world like computers, robots, biotechnology and so forth has been intertwined, providing us, the users, with futuristic functions that have added value.

Source:

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20091228005097&newsLang=en



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Promoting Indian Sign Language (ISL)

Ekansh in India has launched an awareness campaign: ISL (Indian Sign Language) is a complete language in its own right. It has various applications and benefits . It is not difficult to learn. ISL -try it! More information here: www.ekansh.org

Serbia's Tourism and Inclusion Conference

The Second International Conference on Accessible Tourism - Tourism for All was held on November 26-27 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Topics discussed included: training and education, accessibility, standards, economic crisis, profitability and examples of good practice in the tourism industry.

The Tourist Club of Association of Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Dunav organized the conference with the support of Ministry of Economy and Regional Development.


The following presentations in PDF format from the ENAT site:

  • "Accessible Ada Ciganlija: An Oasis in Belgrade".
  • Mr. Ivor Ambrose, ENAT:  "Cooperation and Competitiveness in European Tourism for All"
  • Prof. Jovan Popesku, Singidunum University, Belgrade: "The need for tourism workers' education and training".
  • Ms. Sanja Jakovljevic, Belgrade Chamber of Commerce, adviser: "Adjustment of Persons with Disabilities in Tourism".
  • Mr. Srdjan Dživdžanović, generalni sekretar, Association of Travel; Agencies of Serbia: "Accessibility, Tourist Agencies' Point of View, Today and the Future".
  • Svetozar Krstic, Belgrade Chamber of Commerce, "Tourism for All in Europe"
  •  

Noticing Us As A Market

Disability Information Services logo

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TheAge.com.au gives the tip of hat to the travelers with disabilities market:

While many of us take for granted the ability to take a spontaneous trip or "wing it" when travelling, for those with a disability it is not that simple. Travelling with a disability, or accompanying a disabled traveller, takes a good deal of planning, research, patience and humour, but where there is a will, there is nearly always a way.

Thankfully, it is getting easier, with more services available for disabled travellers (though some would say it is not changing fast enough).

Source:

Where there's a will
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Here at Tour Watch we tend to focus on transportation and lodging infrastructure, the adoption of Universal Design and, increasingly, the impact of large scale sporting events such as the Olympics or the World Cup. What about the arts as a component of Inclusive Destination Development or Inclusive Destination Management?

To date museum accessibility initiatives have emphasized barrier-free venues, human resources training, and inclusive programming. As full inclusion becomes the norm and the artistic production of people with disabilities becomes mainstreamed museums will need to learn about audience development in the disability sector. Even before marketing and positioning for the disability demographic matures there are several groups creating resources.

 Art Education for the Blind is one such resource in English. Museologia.Porto is another in Portuguese. One excellent paper in English at the latter site is by Dr Regina Cohen and reproduced below.

Art Education for the Blind (AEB) and its Art Beyond Sight Institute and Lab make art and visual culture accessible for children and adults with vision loss and other disabilities. Its methods, curricula, tactile diagrams and other teaching tools are used at museums and schools worldwide. Current programs include a Multi-Site Museum Accessibility Study, consultancies/trainings at museums, the online publication of American Identities (a new volume of AEBs multi-sensory art encyclopedia), a hands-on art/occupational therapy project to teach daily living skills to children with vision loss, New York Beyond Sight, coordination of the Art Beyond Sight Collaborative and its annual Awareness Month, and a biennial conference (co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art) on multimodal approaches to learning.

Dr Cohen introduces the concept of "atmospheres" and notes the problematic:

...there are some organized groups - running museums around the world - that take into consideration a ubiquitous spacial inclusion and work towards providing a sense
of affection, belonging, identity, and "appropriation" of cultural assets.
Nevertheless, in spite of some innovative initiatives, it is common to see persons with disabilities being prevented from having full independence in their sensorial, intellectual, and physical activities in Brazilian museums.

Consequently, persons with disabilities end up being excluded from these atmospheres...

In order to introduce some aspects that have guided our actions in the study of museographic atmospheres, we hereby aim at presenting the main concepts that are the groundwork of our ideas: accessibility, universal design, inclusive architecture, atmospheres, routes and passageways.

The Lights of Africa Tour


luzesdaafrica.gif
Lights of Africa is an 8-month media expedition throughout Southern and Eastern Africa. Its purpose is to seek out, produce and disseminate inspiring and creative media stories about this compelling region.

Four major themes - Biodiversity Conservation, World Heritage sites, Desertification, and Sustainable Tourism - will drive the media stories sought out in the region. While many journalists focus on the economic, political and social challenges that plague the continent, the heart of this project is to uncover the many faces of light and hope which shine in Southern and Eastern Africa.

In 2010, hundreds of millions of people from all continents will focus their attention on the region as South Africa hosts one of the most popular international sporting events, the FIFA Football World Cup. This represents a unique opportunity to rework the mindset of the international media and public opinion, highlighting the positives changes that are already happening in the continent and showing examples of success.


Themes

While there are many facets of the life in Africa that reflect light and hope, none better than those which focus on the intrinsic relationship between its people and natural resources. Considering this perspective and the professional expertise of the team, four major themes were chosen:

Biodiversity and Conservation: Raise awareness for the International Year of Biodiversity 2010

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has proclaimed 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity - IYB2010. This region in Africa is a biodiversity critical area. Its huge deserts, dense tropical forests, and vast savannas are home to plants, mammals, and birds that cannot be found anywhere else in the planet. The Lights of Africa media expedition seeks to further the CBD's goals for IYB2010:

  • Raise awareness of both the importance of biodiversity and accomplishments to save biodiversity
  • Promote innovative conservation solutions found in the region
  • Report on the steps being taken to reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity

World Heritage: Highlight key cultural and natural riches throughout Southern and Eastern Africa

Logo of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites, adopted by UNESCO in 1972. In this region there are over fifty UNESCO World Heritage sites. In support of UNESCO's World Heritage mission, Lights of Africa seeks to:

  • Raise awareness to help promote conservation to safeguard World Heritage sites
  • Document and share stories of local population involvement in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage

Combating Desertification: Emphasize success stories of the fight against desertification

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification is an international effort to mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies. It has been long recognized that desertification is a major economic, social and environmental problem of concern to many countries in all regions of the world, especially in Africa.  A major impact of desertification is biodiversity loss, migration of communities and loss of productive capacity. The Lights of Africa media expedition seeks to further UNCCD goals:

  • Raise awareness about the major causes of desertification, such as overgrazing, over drafting of groundwater and diversion of water from rivers for human consumption and industrial use, all of these processes fundamentally driven by overpopulation.
  • Promote success stories of local community mitigation of drought

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism: Focus on case studies of tourism development that enhance bio-cultural conservation

Languages of Africa map

Image via Wikipedia

Although there are significant differences in tourism development the various countries in this region, most nations in Southern and Eastern Africa have seen significant benefits from tourism. Sustainable tourism and ecotourism have been proven effective tools in community development, poverty alleviation, and biodiversity conservation. Lights of Africa seeks to:
  • Further research on positive trends in ecotourism and sustainable tourism development
  • Highlight successful and innovative multi-stakeholder approaches that are contributing to responsible tourism
  • Shed light on the various challenges faced by communities, government agencies, conservation organizations and private sector operators and outfitters in developing sound ecotourism projects
More information:

http://lightsofafrica.com/

http://luzesdaafrica.com/

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Thank You DREDF!

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The true Christmas spirit was never fluffy Santa Clauses and cherubic babies smiling in pristine beds of straw.

Dorothy Day had it right when she characterized her work as "Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable." So has DREDF (Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund) for the past 30 years.

Merry Christmas. Peace on Earth!

DREDF.jpg



For three years, "Living Buildings"--buildings that generate their own energy from renewable resources, capture and treat all the water they use, reclaim pre-developed sites, and fulfill a host of other requirements--have set the standard for green building.

But like other green building certification programs, the first iteration of the Living Building Challenge focused on individual buildings. The Cascadia Region Green Building Council--in conjunction with the International Living Building Institute--just announced the newest version of the Living Building Challenge with an even bigger goal: to fundamentally change the built environment.

Living Building Challenge 2.0 is both more comprehensive and more expansive, applying 20 "imperatives"--such as urban agriculture, limits to growth, ecological water flow, and net zero energy--to everything from small in-home remodels to community- and campus-wide initiatives, as well as infrastructure projects like bridges, roads, and parks.

The new Living Building Challenge standard is designed to address critical social and 
economic issues, including the collapse of domestic manufacturing, global trade imbalances, urban sprawl, the marginalization of those that can't purchase the 'American dream,' and the lack of community distinctiveness and culture.

Version 2.0 is the first green building certification program to integrate urban agriculture, social justice, and universal access issues as mandatory requirements. A new section addresses equity, examining ways to create equal access for all citizens, incorporate Universal Design considerations, promote culture and interaction, and end economic segregation of public and semi-public places. The new standards even require unrestricted access to rivers, lakes, and shorelines, as well as other important natural elements--even when built on private property.
Omega Center for Sustainable Living
Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, New York, is a 6,200 square foot building housing a classroom and laboratory, and a 4,500 square foot greenhouse. The Greenhouse contains Omega's Eco Machine which will treat over 5 million gallons of wastewater every year.
Find out more about the Omega Center for Sustainable Living.
The expanded breadth of version 2.0 brings more people to the table. The standard is a unifying tool, bringing together many disciplines and players for the first time under one green building standard--architects and developers with urban planners and landscape architects, environmentalists and social activists, as well as affordable housing advocates and preservationists--to form a visionary pathway to a restorative future.

The program also introduces a new focus on urban agriculture, requiring a minimum amount of site square footage be dedicated to food production except in the densest urban 
environments--the more suburban a site is, the more food production is required. A new 'car-free living' imperative does not mandate the elimination of cars from development; 
rather, it is defined by the potential for a majority of people living in a neighborhood to have a productive and rich lifestyle without needing a car.

Version 2.0 represents the collective wisdom and feedback of the community of design professionals who have been working on Living Buildings over the last three years. Many of the changes incorporated into the new version were spurred by commentary from project teams within the Living Building Community on the International Living Building Institute website. The "imperatives" for new projects now include:
  1. 
Limits to Growth: Projects may only be built on greyfields or brownfields--previously developed sites that are not classified as wetlands, primary dunes, old-growth forest, virgin prairie, prime farmland, or within the 100-year floodplain.
  2. Urban Agriculture: All projects must integrate opportunities for agriculture appropriate to the scale and density of the project.
  3. Habitat Exchange: For each hectare of development, an equal amount of land must be set-aside in perpetuity as part of a habitat exchange.
  4. Car-Free Living: Each new project should contribute towards the creation of walkable, pedestrian-oriented communities.
  5. Net Zero Water: One hundred percent of occupants' water use must come from captured precipitation or closed loop water systems that account for downstream ecosystem impacts and that are appropriately purified without the use of chemicals.
  6. Ecological Water Flow: One hundred percent of storm water and building water discharge must be managed onsite to feed the project's internal water demands or released onto adjacent sites for management through acceptable natural time-scale surface flow, groundwater recharge, agricultural use, or adjacent building needs.
  7. Net Zero Energy: One hundred percent of the project's energy needs must be supplied by on-site renewable energy on a net annual basis.
  8. Civilized Environment: Every occupied space must have operable windows that provide access to fresh air and daylight.
  9. Healthy Air: Renovations, buildings, and neighborhood projects must promote good indoor air quality.
  10. Biophilia: The project must be designed to include elements that nurture the innate human attraction to natural systems and processes.
  11. Materials Red List: The project cannot contain any chemicals from a prohibited list, which includes lead, mercury, phthalates, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and more.
  12. Embodied Carbon Footprint: The project must account for the total footprint of embodied carbon from its construction and projected replacement parts through a one-time carbon offset tied to the project boundary.
  13. Responsible Industry: The project must advocate for the creation and adoption of third-party certified standards for sustainable resource extraction and fair labor practices. Applicable raw materials include stone and rock, metal, and timber. For timber, all wood must be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), or come from salvaged sources or from the intentional harvest of timber onsite for the purpose of clearing the area for construction.
  14. Appropriate Sourcing: The project must incorporate place-based solutions and contribute to the expansion of a regional economy rooted in sustainable practices, products, and services.
  15. Conservation and Reuse: All project teams must strive to reduce or eliminate the production of waste during design, construction and operation, and the end of life phase in order to conserve natural resources.
  16. Human Scale and Humane Places: The project must be designed to create human-scaled, rather than automobile-scaled, places so that the experience brings out the best in humanity and promotes culture and interaction.
  17. Democracy and Social Justice: All primary transportation, roads, and non-building infrastructure that are considered externally-focused must be equally accessible to all members of the public regardless of background, age, and socioeconomic class, including the homeless, with reasonable steps taken to ensure that all people can benefit from the project's creation. Access for those with physical disabilities must be safeguarded through designs meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  18. Rights to Nature: The project may not block access to, nor diminish the quality of, fresh air, sunlight, and natural waterways for any member of society or adjacent developments.
  19. Beauty and Spirit: The project must contain design features intended solely for human delight and the celebration of culture, spirit, and place appropriate to its function.

  20. eco_sense_house.jpg
    The Eco Sense House in BC, Canada. The builders say about their house: "The solar and wind power, solar thermal heating of the floor and domestic hot water, living roof, rain water harvesting, grey water re-use, composting toilets, organic gardens, and passive solar design are the core to helping us attain status of a 'Living Building'."
    Find out more about the house at eco-sense.ca.
    Inspiration and Education: Educational materials about the performance and operation of the project must be provided to the public to share successful solutions and to motivate others to make change. Landscapes, infrastructure, and neighborhood projects, and non-sensitive areas of buildings must be open to the public at least one day per year to facilitate direct contact with the Living Building Challenge.


There are approximately 70 projects pursuing certification under previous versions of the Living Building Challenge throughout North America, as well as one registered project in France. The Challenge is gaining international interest, with program ambassadors emerging in additional countries, including Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, India, Colombia, and Mexico. Three projects have completed construction and have entered their verification phase: Tyson Living Learning Center in Eureka, Missouri; Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, New York; and Eco-Sense, a private residence in Victoria, British Columbia. To be certified, buildings must operate as planned for at least twelve months.

Jason McLennanJason McLennan wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit magazine that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Jason serves as the CEO of the Cascadia Green Building Council, a chapter of both the US Green Building Council and the Canadian Green Building Council. He is the author of the Living Building Challenge and co-creator of Pharos, the most advanced building material rating system in North America. He is a former Principal at BNIM Architects, one of the founders of the green design movement in the United States, where he worked on LEED Platinum, Gold, and zero energy projects.

Here's what happens when there is no room for people with disabilities even on the way to the inn.

 

--The Coordinator of Research at the US Access Board explains how the Americans With Disabilities Act applies to sidewalks.

 --A lawyer in Barden v. Sacramento discusses the lawsuit, which determined that sidewalks are a government program covered by the ADA.
 
--A plaintiff in Barden v. Sacramento describes the negotiations that led to the settlement.

 "Perils For Pedestrians" appears on public access cable stations in many cities across the United States; and on DISH Network 9411 -- The Universityhouse Channel -- Tuesdays at 9:30 PM Eastern, 6:30 Pacific. You can purchase a DVD of this program by contacting the producer.

"Perils for Pedestrians" is a public affairs series promoting awareness of issues affecting the safety of people who walk and bicycle. We interview pedestrian and bicycling advocates, planners, and government officials about problems such as missing sidewalks and crosswalks, dangerous intersections, barriers to children walking to school, and obstacles to wheelchair users and people with disabilities -- and solutions to those problems.


A TRISTE DÁDIVA

Andando pelas ruas do grande Maputo nota-se claramente que as vias de acesso foram projectadas somente para pessoas que não possuem nenhum tipo de deficiência física, principalmente ao que se refere  a pessoas que usam cadeiras de rodas.

Locais especiais para estacionar veículos conduzidos por/para  PPD´s  ou projectados para este grupo social  também são raros, bem como táxis e autocarros especialmente equipados para tal fim. Nunca se viu, no país inteiro, único machimbombo especialmente dotado de porta que baixe uma rampa para um deficiente possa entrar no semicolectivo.

As dificuldades crescem ainda mais para uma PPD visual que passa por muitas vergonhas. Porém, somente agora, coisas simples, como adaptação das entradas de alguns ministérios estão sendo feitas. Mas o cego que entre num elevador não vai conseguir premir os botões.

Esta observação, ainda que simples, permite descortinar que a vida dos deficientes é cercada de inúmeras contrariedades que não se resumem ao acesso a prédios públicos ou outras instituições, mas também ao livre acesso às ruas da cidade.

João Magaia, presidente do Fórum das Associações Moçambicanas de Deficientes, FAMOD, reage quando o acompanhamos numa das suas difíceis viagens pela vida, tempo e pela cidade de Maputo.

Às nossas perguntas, Magaia responde com várias e diferentes expressões faciais: ora com um olhar de espanto, quando se depara com um obstáculo, seguida de um olhar carismático quando é digno da rara bondade do próximo. E, quando ninguém lhe presta auxílio, um olhar de surpresa, pela falta de humanismo dos egocêntricos.  Quando todo o esforço for em vão, uma vez cercado por inúmeros degraus e labirintos que não lhes proporcionam alternativas de saída, aquele olhar de um desamparado.

UM LABIRINTO CHAMADO CAMINHO PARA O TRABALHO

Desemprego, competitividade, descriminação: o mercado de trabalho está renhido. E para o profissional conseguir - e garantir - o seu posto precisa estar bem qualificado e sempre actualizado. Se isso é exigido a pessoas normais, a situação é ainda preocupante quando o candidato a emprego é uma PPD que sofra ciclicamente de problemas visuais, auditivos, mentais ou orgânicas.

João Magaia (re)conta a amarga experiência que vive(u): à semelhança de Jonas, ele concorreu para uma  vaga anunciada num jornal. Porém, quando se aproximou com as suas velhas muletas o guarda barrou-lhe a porta que dá acesso à secretaria da empresa. "Eu tinha as qualificações exigidas no  anúncio", garante  Magaia, que não compreende  que esse tipo de descriminação deva ocorrer também nas empresas que desejaria que fossem modelos na sociedade em considerar e respeitar a prestações previstas no artigo 77 da Lei de Trabalho de 8/98.

Magaia acredita que a descriminação a que foi vítima não é única forma para o grupo social que faz parte. Sabe também que empregadores ouviram a existência da supracitada lei que os obriga a promover o emprego em postos ou tarefas compatíveis de cidadãos cuja capacidade de trabalho foi alterada em consequência de acidente, doença prolongada, ou por outras razões. O presidente do FAMOD lamenta, porém, que não exista ainda nenhuma fiscalização - nesta área - o que permitiria penalizar com pesadas multas em dinheiro aos empregadores que não (re)conhecem a supracitada lei nem a capacidade de um deficiente. E acredita que isso iria moralizar a sociedade.

CARIDADE NÃO, MAS COMPETITIVIDADE SIM!

O grande problema de acesso ao mercado de trabalho é o preconceito e a visão distorcida sobre as PPD´s. Estudo demonstram que em qualquer actividade este grupo social pode trabalhar. "Basta dar-lhes as condições necessárias e acreditar nas suas potencialidades", declaram os psicólogos, para quem um deficiente não é o pior nem o melhor que as outras pessoas.

Isso também pensa o líder da FAMOD, ao explicar que o que as instituições e os projectos de formação e encaminhamento profissional de deficientes não querem, de jeito nenhum, é emprego por caridade ou pena.

Magaia diz haver por aí iniciativas de empresas querendo abrir um sector só para deficientes para os donos poderem aparecer em manchetes de jornais e revistas ou abrir telejornais como bons samaritanos. E há quem fatigado de tanto ser angustiado pelo estigma vá mais longe e questione: "será que essas empresas sabem, por exemplo, que a PPD produz melhor quando está entre pessoas normais?"

Cientistas confirmam que existem vários casos comprovados de pessoas portadoras de deficiência que melhoraram seu desempenho na escola e em  casa - e na sociedade em geral -  depois que começaram a trabalhar ao lado de pessoas ditas normais.

OS RECEIOS DE TRABALHAR AO LADO DE UM DEFICIENTE

Que a situação de emprego no país está difícil para todos já não pode ser manchete de um jornal: com tanta gente desempregada é mais fácil para uma empresa contratar o melhor candidato diante de muitas opções. Agora, está claro que na hora de contratar uma PPD, a empresa manifesta alguns receios, como o momento da demissão e homologação frente a um juiz. "Como uma multinacional encararia a possibilidade de responder à Justiça na hora de demitir um deficiente?", questiona um jurista sondado sobre a matéria, que não quis se identificar por imperativo de exclusividade contratual com a empresa onde é consultor.

Segundo Shareef Malundah, consultor na área de deficiência e HIV/SIDA, o que tem dificultado a entrada de deficientes é a descrença na capacidade profissional destas pessoas, barreiras arquitectónicas das empresas, que quase nunca estão preparadas para receber estas pessoas. A falta de esclarecimento quanto ao diagnóstico das doenças vem completar a bola da neve. 

O que acaba também interferindo muito na orientação profissional dessas pessoas, de acordo com Malundah, é que o mercado de trabalho está cada vez exigindo graus médios e superiores completos". A isso acrescente-se sólidos conhecimentos de Inglês, Francês, Russo e Grego. Se tem tudo, ainda não se deve sorrir: "então só faltará ser bom programador de computador", lamenta Malundah, sublinhando que "a maioria das PPD´s em Moçambique não consegue concluir o primeiro grau do Sistema Nacional de Educação".

O mercado de trabalho fica mais fechado para PPD´s que sofrem de doenças orgânicas como os hemofílicos, por exemplo - como a Ana e o Jonas -, que têm limitações de membros superiores ou inferiores. "É claro que as pessoas portadoras de deficiências precisam de alguns cuidados especiais, e isso todo o empregador faz questão de saber", afirma Malundah, para quem, porém, ninguém já procurou saber da excepcional capacidade de organização que este grupo social tem no trabalho, somado à sua criatividade ilimitada.

IGNORADOS NOS TRANSPORTES

Os  semicolectivos (vulgos "chapa", que agora se sabe que não são empresas)  e os TPM que interligam os bairros do grande Maputo não estão cumprindo com as normas que obrigam que parte das frotas sejam dotadas de elevadores e cadeiras reservadas para acomodar PPDs,  idosos e crianças.

A denúncia, que estoira do FAMOD - com Magaia a servir-lhes de porta-voz -  indica que actualmente nenhum dos dois sistemas oferece o almejado serviço. Ou melhor: " quando entramos neles não só não há cadeiras reservadas, como também os passageiros (ditos normais) não se levantam para nos ceder os lugares". Consequência: "temos de andar, longas distâncias apoiados nas nossas muletas", lamenta Magaia.

O presidente do FAMOD diz que o sofrimento deste grupo social não esgota aqui: "os autocarros, quer os "chapa" como os TPM não param quando nos vêem". Magaia diz saber que eles fazem isso porque não querem nos aturar nas eventuais demoras nas manobras que temos que fazer para entrar neles, uma vez que não estão adaptados para nos facilitar a nossa já difícil condição de ser deficiente". E mais: "os motoristas e cobradores sabem que os passageiros normais não querem viajar connosco por acharem que somos incómodos".

Magaia afirma, por exemplo, que para minorar o sofrimento, a instituição que dirige tentou negociar um acordo tipo "gently-man agreement" com a empresa TPM. Nesse combinaram que a TPM passaria a reservar uma pequena parte dos seus lugares não só para PDD´s como também para idosos e crianças. Debalde: "nem para nós, nem para velhos e muito menos para crianças: ninguém quer implementá-lo".

A GÉNESE DO PROBLEMA

Reportagens publicadas recentemente em vários jornais dão conta, na sua globalidade, que a deficiência em Moçambique está vinculada ao elevado nível de pobreza. Não há, no país, um banco de dados percentuais de fácil acesso, mas sabe-se que a deficiência tem como origem sequelas de doenças, problemas na gestação, acidentes de trabalho e de (a)viação e guerras que já produziram quase dois milhões de afectados.

Shareef Malundah -  quem já  coordenou um projecto de prevenção, diagnóstico e cirurgias às doenças visuais em Sofala sob auspícios da Light for World, uma ONG cristã austríaca - afirma  que estudos apresentados por oftalmologistas revelam que, se todas as pessoas pudessem, por exemplo, fazer exames de glaucoma a cada ano a deficiência visual seria reduzida para metade. O mesmo vale se fossem feitas consultas pré-natais e acompanhamentos correctos de partos, testes de pezinho para identificar futuras paralisias cerebrais e outros problemas poderiam ser evitados.

A VISÃO E ESFORÇO DO GOVERNO

Ainda que concordasse com João Magaia -  presidente do FAMOD -, o director nacional da Acção Social,  Miguel Maússe, revelou recentemente estarem em curso esforços multissectoriais visando responder às necessidades especiais dos deficientes. Resultado disso é que, de acordo com Maússe, actualmente está a elevar-se o número de crianças com várias deficiências a frequentarem nas escolas especialmente projectadas para este grupo social, o que ajuda a levantar a sua auto-estima.

É  no combate contra todas as formas de violência que o Governo está igualmente a implementar projectos sociais, quer culturais, como desportivos. Maússe reconhece as dificuldades que o país enfrenta, mas entende que mais do que provisão de bem e infra-estruturas, o momento é de se investir cada vez mais para mudar as mentalidades discriminatórias quer nas famílias, comunidades e na sociedade em geral. Para ele, isso iliba a Imprensa, que diz também não apresentas modelos alternativos de acesso de informação e comunicação para as PPD´s.

A visão e desafio do Governo, segundo Maússe, é continuar a incluir os líderes  das organizações das pessoas portadoras de deficiências na mesa onde se definem e se desenham políticas e projectos para este grupo social.

O sentimento que fica subjacente é que em mais uma Semana Campanha Africana para Pessoas Portadoras de Deficiência que arranca amanhã, pode ser uma oportunidade para as PPD's.

    * Anselmo Cachuada - Colaboração

****************************************************

Em mais uma semana da campanha africana, a pessoa portadora de deficiência, PPD, volta a exigir tratamento igual em todas as esferas sociais. É luta de há décadas, cujos frutos continuam a vir a conta-gotas. O Governo diz que vai continuar a  promover acções para este grupo social, mas recomenda que maior ênfase deve ser dada na mudança de mentalidades discriminatórias.

  Helena está debaixo da chuva. Ela espera por um "chapa-100" que a leve do Khongolote para a "Zona Vede" ou Benfica. Se chegar lá vai tomar outro que a leve para baixa da cidade de Maputo. Ela implora para o "chapa" parar. O motorista abranda a marcha, mas mal o cobrador nota que a viajante não tem pernas e por isso está apoiada em duas muletas de ferro, fecha a porta e ordena a marcha. O motorista cumpre a ordem  do  comandante cobrador. Dois minutos depois o autocarro, de 16 pessoas como lotação máxima, pára: mais duas, três, talvez dez apertam-se e entram. Aliás, cerca de vinte e cinco pessoas viajam enroscadas como macarau.

Jonas lê um anúncio de uma vaga num jornal para o mesmo (jornal). Não obstante reunir todos os requisitos exigidos, não chega ao entrevistador porque o guarda lhe barra a entrada que dá  acesso à secretaria. Devido ao empurrão dado pelo segurança, Jonas quase que cai, uma vez que  anda apoiado em duas velhas muletas de madeira.

Contrariamente à Ana, Jonas teve sorte porque apanhou autocarro dos Transportes Públicos de Maputo (TPM). Ana não teve essa sorte porque lá onde (sobre)vive esses autocarros ainda são uma novidade e desejo velho como o  tempo, visto que também faltam estradas.

Mas Jonas não teve tanta sorte assim: de Marracuene a "Anjo-Voador", também na baixa da cidade, teve de se apoiar nas suas pernas de madeira. Ninguém se dignou a  cedê-lo uma cadeira para se sentar. Como não pôde ter acesso à secretaria do jornal, tem de lutar para regressar, nas mesmas condições para a longínqua vila de Marracuene.

Manuela, cerca de 30 anos de idade, está acompanhada do seu sobrinho de 10 anos, que a conduz de loja em loja para pedir esmola na  cidade de Maputo. Já tentou um emprego, mas sem sucesso, não obstante ter frequentado muitos cursos promovidos na sua associação, onde é membro. De Hulene - onde mora - para "baixa" - onde pede favores a vários indianos ainda bons - Manuela e seu sobrinho-guia andam a pé porque ou não têm com que  pagar ou,  ainda que tenham, ninguém lhes "liga".

Ana, Jonas e Manuela: três nomes fictícios, três histórias verdadeiras no grande Maputo.

Essas pessoas portadoras de deficiências PPD´s, que muitas vezes pedem clemência para sobrevivência, sabem o que é pobreza absoluta acompanhada de desprezo total à sua pessoa: vêm à cidade porque não têm nada em casa. Se é que têm casa! Fazem isso porque para eles é o melhor: andar, batalhar pela vida fora, incomodar a quem quer que seja. Nem sabem como isso se diz, mas é o melhor que sabem fazer.

Não são as únicas a fazê-lo no grande Maputo e noutras cidades do país, mas é o grupo que mais dá nas vistas. Seminários, campanhas, conferências e "workshops" sobre PPD´s enchem arquivos e ouvidos de todos, ante a conivência de quase todos. Todos falam e reflectem. Acusam e apontam soluções. Às vezes, quando o prejuízo não lhe cai em cima até acham graça e riem-se delas.

O Manual de Orientação de Turismo e Acessibilidade, do MTur. 

Project goal

The main goal of the ATHENA project is the creation of conditions and tools for human resources development and employment in the accessible tourism sector in the Czech Republic.

athena_logo.png

This will be achieved by transnational cooperation with ENAT and exchange of experience and good practice with European countries.

The knowledge gained on the transnational level will be further disseminated to promote and to enhance awareness about accessible tourism among target groups in Moravian Silesian, Southern Bohemian and Hradec Králové Region and the Capital City of Prague via project partners.

Project partners:

KAZUIST, spol. s r.o., Regional Consulting and Information Centre, Třinec (project coordinator)
www.kazuist.cz

OS TRIANON civil association (NGO) , Český Těšín
www.ostrianon.cz

TRIANON - ČECHY civil association (NGO) , Vimperk
www.trianoncechy.cz

Czech National Disability Council
 
Transnational partner:

European Network for Accessible Tourism
 
The target groups / beneficiaries:
  • Regions, municipalities and their organizations
  • Public service authorities and appropriate organizations involved in tourism and social integration
  • Non-profit organizations and employers of disabled people
  • Educational institutions
  • Job centres and institutions providing employment services
  • Disabled people
  • General public
Project duration
06/2009 - 05/2011 (24 months)
 
Project location
Czech republic
 
Funding
This project is financed by the European Social Fond through the Human resources and employment operational programme and by - the state budget of the Czech Republic.
 

 
Activities / Final products

Information about activities, as well as public deliverables, will be added under this heading in due course.
 
Activities
  • Exchange and sharing of experience, tools and methods in the field of education (staff training), motivation of tourist service providers, engagement of local government, accessibility standards etc.
  • Comparison of information systems/databases providing information about accessible offers, destinations, events etc. 
  • Publication of a brochure promoting accessible tourism and its importance.
  • Creation of methodology for development of the national information system about accessible tourism.
  • Motivation of people with special needs to share their travel experience and validate information about destination accessibility.  
  • Organization of workshops for NGOs and employers of disabled people focused on (social) entrepreneurial and employment opportunities in the accessible tourism service chain.    
  • Dissemination of project results and experience within the conference, round tables, project presentation and publicity.
Expected results 
  • Brochure about accessible tourism
  • Methodology for development of information system in accessible tourism (accessibility information standard)
  • E-library (collection of European towns and regions travel guides and information systems )
  • Compendium of European good practices from the field of education, staff training, accessible tourism services etc. 
  • Workshop methodology

Links / Contact

Project Office
KAZUIST, spol. s r.o.
Družstevní 294, 739 61, Třinec, Czech republic
Tel: +420 558 335 479
E-mail: kazuist@kazuist.cz

Contact person:
Ms. Ilona Ostruszková
E-mail: ostruszkova@kazuist.cz

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This is news nobody wants to hear.

"Wait", you say, "This is good news. Accessibility is being achieved!"

But what were the costs to human lives so many decades after Universal Design was created? What about current US economic stimulus spending on infrastructure that still settles for "mere accessibbility" and minimal compliance as if Universal Design was a new esoteric concept? How many millions of people would have been positively affected if Caltrans had adopted good design to e emulated around the world years ago?

Caltrans said it would spend $25 million a year in each of the first five years making upgrades statewide. More would be spent each year after that.

Disability Rights Advocates, a Berkeley-based nonprofit law firm that represents people with disabilities, called the settlement unprecedented.

Ben Rockwell of Long Beach was one of two named plaintiffs who said they experienced dangerous conditions in their everyday travels. He regularly navigates Southern California's busy Pacific Coast Highway.

"People like myself who are wheelchair users look forward to the day when we do not have to travel in the street with vehicular traffic because sidewalks are inaccessible," he said in a statement.

The AARP also joined the class-action suit "because with 77 million aging baby boomers in this country, we need to make sure our communities are places where everyone can live and get around," Julie Nepveu, an attorney for the litigation branch of the AARP Foundation, said in a statement.

Source:

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/sidewalks-89994-spend-california.html


Two Studies

Two studies, when read together, provide some powerful conceptual framing for travel with a disability. Simon Darcy's discussions of the "experience economy" and Regina Cohen's introduction of "atmospheres in the article below:COHEN, R.; DUARTE, R.; BRASILEIRO, A._2009

Wheelchair Dancing


Wheelchair dancing or adaptive dancing as it is also called is growing rapidly in popularity and has been in existence for more than twenty years. There are many different forms. Sometimes it's a matter of two people doing their own spontaneous "thing". If the man is a wheelchair user his partner may sit on his lap and they dance seated. Then there is also line dancing when everyone executes pre-arranged moves.

Ballroom dancing is yet another form of wheelchair dancing. Even such dances as the waltz, foxtrot and rhumba are possible. Wheelchair dancing is an international competitive sport involving athletes with a physical disability that affects the lower limbs...

For the full article:
http://www.dance-to-health-help-your-special-needs-child.com/wheelchair-dancing.html

Chamonix Valley in the Alps

Chamonix Valley.jpg

From the web site:

You wish to spend your holidays in the Chamonix Valley but need services for persons of reduced mobility or specially equipped infrastuctures ?

To better welcome disabled people, the Chamonix Tourist Office has adapted its equipment, trained its staff and created special brochures.

We are the first alpine tourist office to obtain the official seal of approval for disabled tourism. This label covers mobilty, visual, auditive and mental handicaps.

Source:
http://www.chamonix.com/page.php?page=125&r=tourisme_adapte&ling=en

Ecuador for All

Touring with Ecuador for All:


Google's Street View Trike


Google's Street View trike is hitting the road throughout the U.S., and the company is seeking your input as to where it will go next.

In the past, Google Maps' Street View has largely restricted your virtual trips to spots accessible by car. But the company's trike, a 250-pound tricycle outfitted with GPS and a camera that looks like a submarine periscope, can virtually take you places you can't drive--anywhere from a school campus to a theme park.

To help its cyclists go where no trike has gone before, Google needs your help in deciding where it should travel next.

The company is asking you to vote on the locations you'd most like to see from among six categories:

  1. Parks & trails
  2. University campuses
  3. Theme parks & zoos
  4. Pedestrian malls (i.e. outdoor shopping areas, boardwalks)
  5. Landmarks
  6. Sports venues (i.e. golf courses, racing tracks, stadium grounds)

You have until October 28 to cast your vote at Google.com/trike. Google will then pick a winner for each category and send its trike cyclists on their mission.

The trike was initially launched as a 20 percent project by Daniel Ratner, a senior mechanical engineer on Google's Street View team.

"I began thinking about building a bicycle-based Street View system after realizing how many interesting places around the world--ranging from historic landmarks to beautiful trails to shopping districts--aren't accessible by car," said Ratner in a statement. "When I'm riding the trike, so many people come up to me and ask where it's off to next or how they can get imagery of their favorite spot, so I can't wait to see what our users come up with."

Google already offered a similar vote in the U.K. in May. Now it's the U.S.'s turn to pick its favorite virtual spots.


From Bulgarian National Radio:

"To share the horizon... with friends" is a pilot initiative of Zaedno - Communication for Support and Development Foundation. It aims at introducing a unique practice for social inclusion of people with disabilities in Bulgaria, called "solidarity tourism."
Zaedno.jpg
Between 10 and 12 percent of people in Bulgaria suffer form lasting disabilities, statistic data shows. These people are compelled to live in isolation, as the state cannot provide adequate conditions for independent and fulfilled life. For the majority of these people the experience of reaching a mountain top and enjoying the intoxicating view that is revealed, is just a cherished dream.

The team of Zaedno Foundation are people who believe that making one's impossible dream come true gives meaning to our lives and expands our own horizons. This is what motivated them to start the project "Sofia -a European capital: shared space for all of us", which is financially supported by the Municipality of Sofia. Five campaigns for solidarity tourism in the Vitosha Nature Park were organized as part of the project, fulfilling the dream of several young people to cross the vertical border towards the top and have a wonderful day in the mountain shared with friends.

Full story:
http://bnr.bg/sites/en/Lifestyle/Life/Pages/101209_Solidarity.aspx


From the blog "High Gloss Blue."

Friday, December 18, 2009

This Is GOOD Design: An Accessible Treehouse



Meet Amy Leathers, senior associate at Lord, Aeck & Sargent right here in Atlanta.  Amy designed this treehouse for Camp Twin Lakes. Located around the corner from Atlanta in Rutledge, Georgia, every summer Camp Twin Lakes welcomes kids with special illnesses, disabilities, and other challenges that would exclude them from partaking in the celebrated summer ritual elsewhere.

Let me tell you this- with solar panels, a rooftop garden and a rather glamorous spiral staircase, this isn't your dad's treehouse...  

This blog entry marks the beginning of a new series on High Gloss Blue called 'This is GOOD Design' that seeks to highlight projects making the world a better place, specifically those taking place right here around the Southeast.  For  a while I have been looking for a way to incorporate projects and ideas motivated by humanity, instead of capitalism and function, rather than just form.  As inherent problems solvers, designers hold a great ability to impact the world through the betterment of the world's built environment. 

Whether its low income housing, green design, universal design or just a dude coming up with an easier, better way to build a ramp to a front door-I will work to recognize and share the projects here every Friday.  I welcome and encourage (did I say implore yet?) your involvement and submissions.  These projects don't get written up in Architecture Digest,  but the people behind them deserve all the credit we, designers and design lovers, have to give.


Full story:

http://highglossblue.blogspot.com/2009/12/this-is-good-design-accessible.html

Nathan Rabin was, for a time, the opposite of  traveler with a disability. He was in a mental institution. Today as a skilled writer with a biting sense of humor his memoir, The Big Rewind, has achieved success.

Not many travelogues have been published by a voyager with a mental illness. With that gap to be filled here is an excerpt from what amounts to his anti-travelogue offered for what it says about the joys of simply anticipating travel:

My life had reached such a nadir that I would sometimes daydream about the perfect mental hospital. In my fantasy world the mental hospital would be a rustic place of relaxation and reflection, full of immaculately tended gardens and rolling hills. It'd be an oasis of calm and tranquility away from the madness of the outside world, a place where classical music wafted peacefully in the background, where contented patients whiled away the hours playing croquet, painting, practicing tai chi, or sculpting when not achieving a hard-won sense of inner peace and contentment with the help of kindly, deeply empathetic round-the-clock psychiatrists. Who knows, once there, maybe I'd fall in love for the first time, make friendships that would last a lifetime, or find myself. You know, all that hackneyed coming-of-age shit. And the television would be something out of my wildest dreams: fifty inches at least! It'd be the perfect place to heal wounded psyches and tormented minds.

My fantasy mental hospital was a cross between an Ivy League campus and a pricey day spa, only with straitjackets and padded rooms and a wider selection of psychotropic drugs. How desperately sad do you have to be to fantasize about the perfect mental hospital? Sad enough to imagine that any change in locale would represent a step up, even one most people would consider a nadir.

But my fantasy mental hospital seemed a universe away ...
For the full story and a National Public Radio interview with Nathan Rabin

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111208380&ft=1&f=1033

A Fundação Planetário, no Rio de Janeiro, promove o programa Uma Viagem pelo Espaço, especialmente desenvolvido para pessoas surdas com idade acima de 8 anos. Produzida em Língua Brasileira de Sinais (Libras), a atividade tem a participação do ator surdo Nélson Pimenta.

Utilizando o projetor de estrelas Universarium - capaz de exibir até 9 mil astros simultaneamente - e vários projetores auxiliares, o ator percorre o espaço apresentando os planetas, as estrelas e constelações, além dos mitos a elas associados.

As sessões de Uma Viagem pelo Espaço devem ser agendadas previamente, pelo telefone 2540-0610 com direito a meia-entrada no valor de R$ 6,00.

Uma vez por mês o Planetário também promove um projeto denominado Planetário Social onde oferece para instituições filantrópicas acesso gratuito às sessões e Museu do Universo. A instituição que tiver interesse em participar do programa deve ligar para o telefone (21) 2270-0046 Ramal:232 e falar com a Bete, que é a pessoa responsável pela inscrição. Neste mesmo dia uma das sessões será destinada exclusivamente para a projeção do programa Uma Viagem pelo Espaço.

Making Ahmedabad an Inclusive City

From DNA:
A team from 'Samarthyam', a Delhi-based organisation working as a national centre for creating accessible environment, was in the city recently to train 35 architects and interior designers and discuss ways for making existing public and private buildings disabled-friendly.

The three-day training session guided city-based architects, engineers and interior designers on how to conduct 'access audits' of buildings to make them more accessible to persons with disabilities; senior citizens; group of persons with reduced mobility like families with young children; people carrying heavy luggage; pregnant women or people suffering from chronic physical ailments.

The group has obtained permission from AMC in order to revive the by-laws to hold organisations responsible for not implementing the rules and regulations in favour of the disabled. Anjlee Agarwal, executive director of 'Samarthyam', said: "About 65% of the country's population consists of 'people with reduced mobility'. The concept of 'universal design' is something which should be adopted by each architect before designing the building in order to make them serviceable for one and all."

The sessions attended by multi stake holders from Ahmedabad and Vadodara intend to make the entire state disabled-friendly in the coming years.

Full story: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_accessible-ahmedabad-inclusive-city_1324220

From the Australian Human Rights Commission:

Wednesday, 15 December 2009


With the release of the Australian Government's Aviation White Paper today, Disability

AUS HR logo.gif

Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, urged the government to ensure airlines and airports have self regulating access facilitation plans for equal treatment of people with disability in place by mid 2010, or face government regulation if they don't.

"For many Australians with disability, flying is not the pleasant experience it should be," said Commissioner Innes. "We have seen incidents of inappropriate and undignified treatment of people with disability by airlines feature in the media during the past month, and they are only the tip of the iceberg."

Commissioner Innes said these incidents had included paralympian, Kurt Fearnley, having to crawl through Brisbane airport when his wheelchair was taken from him, as well as people being stranded because of an airline's refusal to allow a guide dog to travel.

"Airlines have been aware of problems experienced from check-in to check-out for several years, and some have been too slow in dealing with them." Commissioner Innes said. "The Government's announcement on travel for passengers with disability, as part of its aviation white paper today, is therefore very welcome."

Commissioner Innes said he congratulated the Australian Government for working, in partnership with the aviation industry and the disability community, to set up a process for the voluntary lodgement, by both airlines and airports, of Disability Access Facilitation Plans. He said these plans, to be made available on the Department of Transport website, will be a public promise, by airlines and airports, of how they will provide equal services for customers with disability.

Calling for these action plans to be lodged by mid 2010, Commissioner Innes said, "If this does not occur, or if their promises are not fulfilled, it will be time for government to regulate equal treatment".

Mr Innes said there was absolutely no excuse for airlines and airports to have processes in place that make people with disability feel as if they were second class citizens.

UK: A Human Rights-based Approach

Notice in the following how rights-based approached to travel so long championed by UNESCAP and our Asian network of disability advocates has appeared in a program in the UK:

Using human rights to tackle poverty and improve services

The Commission is working in partnership with the British Institute of Human Rights, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Oxfam UK in a two year programme to test the value of using a human rights-based approach to tackle poverty and improve services.

The project objective is to test the application of practical human rights-based models for anti-poverty groups across London who are actively seeking to support the participation of the most excluded people in service delivery and policies.
 
Pilots selected include a range of poverty issues and groups (for example poor housing, access to public services, women with criminal justice histories, and gypsies and travellers) where using a human rights-based approach has the potential to make a difference.
 
To find out more please go to: www.bihr.org.uk/projects/poverty

Source:
Equality and Human Rights News issue 18

A certificação "Turismo e Deficiência" O certificado "Turismo e Deficiência" permite dar aos portadores de deficiência uma informação confiável, homogênea e objetiva acerca da acessibilidade dos pontos e das instalações turísticas, para os quatro grandes tipos de deficiência (motora, visual, auditiva e mental). Favorecendo uma oferta turística adaptada, permite o surgimento de produtos e serviços turísticos realmente abertos a todos, ao mesmo tempo em que garante a cada um o máximo de autonomia.

O certificado também valoriza os esforços dos profissionais de turismo em matéria de acessibilidade e de acolhimento de clientelas específicas. Eles são ao mesmo tempo atores e embaixadores da recepção do público portador de deficiência. Seu compromisso é para eles um meio de obter uma vantagem suplementar sobre a concorrência no plano nacional e europeu.


Para quem é o certificado ?

O certificado dirige-se a todos os profissionais de turismo que desejem abrir seus estabelecimentos ou seus locais a um público mais amplo. Ele diz respeito:

- aos alojamentos: hotéis, vilarejos de férias, casas de família, quartos de hóspedes, centros de recepção de jovens, albergues da juventude, residências de turismo, aluguéis de mobiliados e de pousadas, campings, etc.
- ao setor de alimentação: restaurantes, bares, cervejarias, hotéis-fazendas, etc.
- aos pontos turísticos: monumentos, museus, salas de exposição, castelos, locais notáveis, jardins, etc.
- locais de lazer: parques temáticos, salas de espetáculos, instalações esportivas e recreativas, piscinas e instalaçõess balneárias, centros de lazer, sala de esportes, etc.


Como é o certificado ?

Todos os profissionais de turismo e prestadores de serviços podem solicitar o certificado. É um processo voluntário da parte deles, que os compromete a garantir, de maneira perene, uma acolhida de qualidade à clientela portadora de deficiência que deseje receber.

Cada profissional interessado recebe em primeiro lugar um questionário de auto-avaliação que lhe permite apreciar o estado de acessibilidade da instalação, para os diferentes tipos de deficiência (motora, visual, auditiva, mental). Esse questionário descreve alguns critérios básicos de acessibilidade e acolhida, essenciais e necessários à autonomia dos portadores de deficiência - e isto em cada área de deficiência.

Se a auto-avaliação for positiva, o profissional pode entrar no processo de certificação propriamente dito. Recebe então a visita dos avaliadores (especializados e formados) encarregados de recensear, com a ajuda das instruções de obrigações e da tabela de avaliação específicas para a estrutura, as providências já realizadas ou a realizar para um ou vários tipos de deficiência.

Os critérios utilizados têm por objetivo identificar as instalações onde os turistas portadores de deficiência podem utilizar os serviços à disposição, do modo mais autônomo possível, e isto em cada área de deficiência.

Estabelecido o diagnóstico, a instância regional examina o relatório detalhado dos avaliadores, levando em conta ao mesmo tempo a regulamentação e também uma abordagem humana e de bom senso.

A associação "Turismo e Deficiência" confere o certificado e envia uma carta de compromisso da entidade certificada, contrato de obrigações que garante a acolhida e a preservação da acessibilidade permanente do local.

O certificado pode ser concedido para uma, duas, três ou quatro deficiências (motora, visual, auditiva e mental), ao qual é associado um pictograma particular. É atribuído por um prazo máximo de cinco anos, renovável após verificação da manutenção dos critérios de acolhida e de acessibilidade.


Para mais informações: tourisme.handicaps@club-internet.fr

Fonte: Sobre a Deficiência Visual

Accessibility Becoming a Greater Priority Worldwide

That accessibility is becoming a greater global priority is apparent in the increased consultation and coordination among nations and international groups.  The U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, a comprehensive treaty establishing legal standards on disability rights and a framework for international cooperation, and other initiatives are bringing about increased awareness and activity in this area.   Many countries are working to implement or improve protections to ensure equal access for people with disabilities.

The Board regularly meets with foreign delegations to share information on accessible design and occasionally travels abroad.  In December, the Board hosted officials from the Ukraine, China, and the Canadian province of Ontario to discuss how accessibility in various areas, including the built environment and transportation, has been addressed in the U.S. 

Many countries are especially interested in the Board's process for developing its guidelines and standards.  Recently, Board Chair Douglas Anderson traveled to Tel Aviv as a guest of Access Israel, a nonprofit organization, to be the keynote speaker at its first national conference.  The Board also was part of a delegation to a joint seminar by the U.S. and the European Union on employment of people with disabilities held in Belgium and addressed a regional U.N. conference on access to electronic and information technologies in South Korea.   The Board has been particularly active in coordinating the update of its requirements for information and communication technologies with other countries and international standard-setting bodies since standardization across markets worldwide is critical in this realm. 

"The Board welcomes the opportunity to exchange information and to work together with other countries and international groups," noted David Capozzi, the Board's Executive Director.  "Cooperation across borders will go a long way in making accessibility a worldwide reality."  For more information, contact the Board at info@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0080 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY).


Board Sponsors Studies to Examine Wheelchair Travel and Transfer


The Board is sponsoring research by the Department of Veterans Affairs Human Engineering Research Laboratory (HERL) at the University of Pittsburgh to lay the groundwork for studies on wheelchair transfer and the effects of cross slope on wheelchair travel.  Board staff recently met with Dr. Rory Cooper and other researchers at HERL for briefings on these projects and related research activities.

Study on Wheelchair Transfer 


The Board is interested in gathering data on factors that affect transfer from wheeled mobility aids.  Existing access standards address the height of elements such as toilet and shower seats and benches based on the seat height of standard wheelchairs and required clear floor space for transfer positioning.  However, little is known about how the relationship of transfer surfaces affects access to many elements, including seats in vehicles and amusement rides.  In particular, information is needed on the impact of vertical differences and horizontal gaps between transfer points, the proximity of positioning space, and elements requiring multiple transfers, among other factors.  HERL researchers consulted previous studies through a literature review and are developing a methodology for subject testing.  This work includes development of an adjustable testing device to assess transfer orientation and techniques and to measure exertion levels under a variety of conditions.  Adjustable features will be used to simulate transfer between a range of heights and lateral distances, both separately and in combination, as well as the availability of hand holds or similar supports and the presence of constraints such as side guards.  Through other funding sources and research partnerships, HERL plans to recruit up to 300 individuals for testing.

Study on the Effects of Cross Slope on Wheelchair Travel


Studies indicate that surface slopes running across the direction of travel, often referred to as the cross slope, have a major impact on manual wheelchair propulsion.  The Board funded a preliminary investigation by HERL to review existing research and to survey people who use wheelchairs to gather information on the interaction of slope, surface, and weather conditions on wheelchair travel in preparation for a follow-on project involving subject testing.  In the Board's study, which was completed last summer, HERL researchers found that the test protocols of previous studies varied greatly and that the measures used do not fully capture the complex effects of cross slope.  Further, few studies included testing in outdoor environments over a range of surfaces.  Results also confirmed that terrain features interact in complex ways and that the effects are more pronounced among certain populations, particularly older adults, women, and people with progressive conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, or upper extremity impairment.  Based on the initial study, researchers developed a protocol for subject testing to measure the effects of cross slope on a range of cross and running slopes and surface conditions.  This follow-on testing phase, which is utilizing devices developed by HERL to measure work, energy, distance-per-stroke, and pushrim forces, is currently underway with additional support from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

HERL representatives will also participate in a Board workshop on human factors and the wheelchair rollability of surfaces, including roughness and vibration, to be conducted at the Transportation Research Board's annual meeting in January. 

For further information, contact Lois Thibault, the Board's Research Coordinator, at thibault@access-board.gov or visit HERL's website at www.herlpitt.org.


Cruising Past the Disability Market

Failure to understand that the use of a wheelchair for mobility is as much a "medical situation" as the use of Nikes or Guccis (or a bicycle by a fish) may result in Voyages of Discovery being denied access to a large, lucrative, and growing market:

 

PASSENGERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Voyages of Discovery will always try to accommodate passengers with special needs.  However, the following conditions apply:

 

Medical Situations: Any physical disability or medical condition that requires special treatment or medical apparatus must be reported to the company's Reservations Manager in writing along with the first deposit, which is due at time of booking. These include, but are not limited to, wheelchairs, oxygen therapy, dialysis, guide dogs, etc.  Failure to disclose a medical situation at time of booking may result in your being denied boarding at port of embarkation.

Trying  to accommodate a demographic with "special (sic) needs" begins with succeeding at understanding the psychographics of that market.

Inclusive Destination Management

To the extent that destination management includes the realization that Universal Design is necessary for social sustainability and geotourism's commitment to inclusion is succeeds in approaching an Inclusive Destination development approach. The following reports on progress in the area of coordinating sustainable corporate social responsibility in the tourism industry.

 Destination Stewardship, Deliberated

Leaders in the tourism industry convened last month for a Destination Stewardship Think Tank -- co-convened by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) and Sustainable Travel International (STI), and facilitated by Tony Charters and Associates.

The two-day Think Tank was held aboard RCCL's flagship Oasis of the Sea cruise ship, with participants focusing on how the tourism industry can and should support destination stewardship, including ways to coordinate efforts and make practical and proven tools and methodologies available to leaders in the public and private sector world-wide. 

The group identified the cultural, political, and market barriers to widespread adoption of sustainability initiatives at a destination level.  Looking at the big picture, the group noted that decentralized communication among different sectors of the travel and tourism industry and a lack of cohesive dialogue or leadership to help galvanize the movement is a huge barrier. The need for a long-term strategy and developing a clear industry plan to move forward were identified as immediate needs to help bring destination stewardship into the mainstream.

Think Tank participants then looked at several case studies, reviewing examples of effective destination stewardship examples, models and methodologies. Presented by select Think Tank attendees, these included STI and the Geotourism and travelers' philanthropy projects it's helped to implement in the Americas and Africa, Elperwood International's efforts in El Salvador, Solimar International's destination stewardship initiatives in Jordan, Conservation International's holistic approach in the Riviera Maya, and the Green Team's work to promote responsible tourism in Ecuador, among others. 

The group discussed the challenges and possibilities of scaling sustainability initiatives, including the need for establishing both universal and sector specific methodologies and frameworks that can be applied at the destination level. It was decided that the group would proactively address this need by working collectively to create a blueprint for destination stewardship. The Think Tank defined a Knowledge Management System for Sustainable Development of destinations to facilitate the implementation process.

In moving forward with making destination stewardship a priority in the tourism industry, participants plan to formally establish the Think Tank working group, define the long term role, membership composition, governance, meeting frequency, etc. Important next steps were assigned to members of the group. And can look forward to seeing progress made toward destination stewardship as a widespread and attainable reality in the coming months.

To learn more about how you can support destination stewardship, please contact Brian T. Mullis via email or call +503-488-5500.

Source:
http://sustainabletravelinternational.qm4.net/members/ViewMailing.aspx?MailingID=122073#title4

ENAT Congress 2009 (English & German)

With an introduction in German here is an interview with Ernesto Carvalinho of Lousã., Ivor Ambrose, Lillian Muller, Angelika Laburda,, and Mohamed Al-Taranweh.

Innovation in Accessible Transport For All

The Innovation in Accessible Transport For All conference will be held 14 January 2010 at the World Bank Headquarters 1818 H Street, NW USA-Washington DC

Disabled travellers often pay more for public transport The International Disability and Human Rights Network reports in the May 2009 issue of their newsletter Our Rights: The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign organised more than 100 young disabled campaigners from all over the UK who spent three months carrying out an undercover investigation into the state of the public transport system.

Their report End of the Line reveals their results and findings. The End of the Line report can be downloaded from the Trail Blazers website in PDF (http://tinyurl.com/qk3xxj)

The following report and editorial comment is from DAA:

Disabled People Train Journalists in the Gambia

 

At the beginning of July [2009], the Gambia Federation of the Disabled, working with the UK's Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), put on a one-day training session on disability issues for journalists at the Alliance Franco Gambien.

 

Mr. Muhammed Kora, the Chairman of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled, described the training as very important and timely, noting that the role of journalists in disability reporting cannot be over-emphasised.

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/journalists-trained-on-disability-issues

 

Interestingly, quite soon after this workshop, The Daily Observer of Gambia ran a series of articles detailing all the provisions of the CRPD.

http://observer.gm/africa/gambia/article/disability-digest-convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-contd

 

And there is yet more positive news from the Gambia!

Draft National Disability Policy for the Gambia

 

On the 3rd of July participants from various institutions, organisations and agencies in the country, including the Gambia Federation of Disabled, met in the capital, Banjul, to discuss the draft integrated national disability policy document 2009-2018 at a forum organised by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

 

The policy document, which is said to be the first of its kind, aims at promoting equal opportunities for enhanced empowerment, participation and protection of the rights of the persons with disabilities irrespective of gender, age and type of disability. This is in recognition of the fact that disabled people can perform to their full potential under the same conditions and opportunities irrespective of their social, economic or cultural background.

 

Prominent among the objectives of the policy document - soon to be put into use - is for a helpful environment for the participation of persons with disabilities in sports and recreational activities, inclusive education and training rehabilitation, health care services as well as employment. It also seeks to ensure that resources for initiatives that target disabled people and care givers are mobilised and effectively utilised, as well as to promote timely access to information for disabled people using all forms of communication.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200907030474.html

Editorial Comment

However, as is shown throughout the world, national disability polices,  anti-discrimination legislation and/or ratifying the CRPD must, in the end, be judged on how they are implemented and the impact they have on the day-to-day lives of disabled people. Up to now the record is on the whole extremely poor. Once all the official documents have been signed, the laws passed and the politicians have made their speeches, it remains for disabled peoples' organisations to ensure all disabled people know their rights and are supported in their struggle to realise full equality.

 

This issue is highlighted in our next report from Ghana.

Still waiting for disability rights in Ghana

 

Ghana has had disability legislation since 2006, but according to the President of the Ghana Federation of Disabled (GFD) Mr. Samuel Kwesi Asare, it is yet to be implemented. This is why the theme of the country's National Disability Day is, "Call to action: implementation of the National Disability Act". What is needed, says the GFD leader, is the political willingness on the part of the state to ensure the implementation of the National Disability Act. Further delays would serve as an obstacle to the agenda of mainstreaming disability concerns to national development.

 

Mr. Kwesi Asare also said that members of the GFD believe that the rights and social image of disabled people would be enhanced if the poverty and misery among the majority of them are tackled and alleviated. Disabled people, he said, need the same chances as those given to other people to be able to reach their dreams and aspirations.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200907030474.html


ccess Tourism New Zealand reported that at last week's UN "ESCAP Takayama Congress on the creation of an inclusive and accessible community in Asia and the Pacific," a committee of eleven representatives created a declaration laying out 20 recommendations aimed at improving accessibility for people with disabilities (PwDs) in the region, including accessibility to tourism and travel products.

The committee, chaired by Aiko Akiyama, Social Development Division, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific, included members from Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Japan, and New Zealand. Congress participants from 15 Asian-Pacific countries subsequently adopted the declaration at the UN meeting. The committee and other congress participants represented access tourism organizations, academic and research institutions, governments, the private sector, disabilities organizations, individuals with disability, and/or development organizations.

The "Takayama Declaration on Development of Community for All" lays out recommendations on regional networking, advocacy, policy development, research and data collection, capacity building, and resource mobilization on improving accessibility. The Congress was held from November 24-26 in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture in central Japan, using the host city as an example of a success story in creating an accessible environment for PwDs, especially in tourism.

A mountain resort, Takayama has been promoting accessible tourism for the last 18 years, creating economic opportunities, as well as a more barrier-free environment for persons with disabilities. The local authorities, working in partnership with the private sector and civil society organizations, made improvement to facilities in the city to make them more barrier-free and purchased accessible devices and means of transportation. Mayor Mamoru Tsuchino, who pioneered these initiatives, spoke at the conference.

During the three-day meeting, about 200 participants - policy makers, tourism professionals, experts on accessibility, and persons with various disabilities - made field visits to various accessible facilities to learn from Takayama's experiences. They also had opportunities to meet local residents whose awareness of and respect for the needs of persons with disabilities have contributed to the success of making Takayama a barrier-free community for its own citizens and for visitors to the city.

The theme of the 2009 International Disability Awareness Day served to bring to light the needs of people with disabilities in relation to the Millennium Development Goals. As the lead sentence of the article below from the African Safari Lodge Foundation affirms tourism can be effective in rural poverty alleviation. That effectiveness will be enhanced through application of the guidelines and best practices developed by those working in Inclusive Tourism:

The ASLF and tourism best practice

It is  widely accepted that nature tourism, also referred to as ecotourism, has enormous potential to alleviate poverty in rural areas of developing countries. Around the world countries with significant natural beauty are developing models to help ensure a fair spread of benefits to neighbouring communities. The ASL Foundation has identified the need and the opportunity to improve the best practice information sharing through the links established in certain countries by the work of the Ford Foundation.

The Ford Foundation is actively involved in supporting human rights and poverty alleviation projects and programmes in India and southern Africa. Through its offices in these countries, the Foundation seeks to encourage an exchange of ideas and strategies by practitioners - so that they can learn from each other about how to improve the performance of the different projects they work in.

The African Safari Lodge Foundation in South Africa is one of the Foundation's grantees. The Foundation's African Safari Lodge and Rural Development Programme works to enhance the ability of the safari lodge industry in southern Africa to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in the region.

Although African Safari Lodges are a specific type of industry geared to the conditions that exist in African national parks and protected areas, they do share features with nature tourism enterprises of the type that exist in other developing countries such as India. In addition, some of southern Africa's biggest (and most socially responsible) lodge development companies have begun to explore the possibilities of developing similar enterprises in India and Latin America.

In view of its experience in analyzing and implementing integrated conservation and rural development programmes in a part of the world where there are examples of global best practice, the ASL Foundation is able to organize an exchange of analysis, experience, practice and lessons between practitioners of pro-poor tourism in India and southern Africa.

As part of this exchange programme, The African Safari Lodge Foundation recently hosted a practitioner's workshop in Johannesburg  with many of the foreign participants going on a field trip at the end of the workshop to visit the community-owned lodges, Thakadu River Camp and Buffalo Ridge Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve in North West Province.

Various case studies had been commissioned and were presented to the participants from India, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa over 3 days:
  


Source:

http://www.asl-foundation.org/news.php?id=241

Terri O'Hare Makes Me Smile (Again)

The following slideshow is a collection of variations on the theme of the international accessibility symbol. Check back as graphic artist Terri O'Hare keeps updating it.



Disability and Being 'Normal': A Response to McLaughlin and Goodley
Ruth Bridgens

Sociology
Volume 43(4): 753-761

Excerpt:
"In a recent issue of Sociology, McLaughlin and Goodley (2008: 318) argue
that some feminists and disability scholars are critical of postmodern and
post-structuralist 'celebrations of contingency, fluidity and deconstruction' in
the case of marginalized groups, 'advocating in contrast the political necessity of
certain truth claims and collective identities'. Marginalized groups 'are assumed
to require a level of certainty, which others in more privileged positions can live
and thrive without'. The authors describe the postmodern use of symbols, such
as homelessness and the nomad, to signify freedom and celebration, and also
describe critics' arguments that the real homeless, and other marginalized people,
do not have this freedom of choice. The authors suggest that more empirical
research is needed to explore how identities are managed in difficult everyday
situations, and that 'the debate has become stuck in an "either/or" scenario in
which one either advocates transient fluidity or permanent structures of oppression'.
In this article I argue that, in order to avoid seeing disabled families as victims,
the authors seem to be creating another either/or argument, advocating a
freedom that rarely exists for disabled people living in the 'normal' world, because
of the paradoxes inherent in their situation" (p. 753).


Treinamento de pessos com deficiencias e preciso para desenvolver um turismo inclusivo. Esta pesquisa demonstra a falta de cegos empregados no Brasil e tambem uma tendncia incorporar inclusao em e-learning.

A pesquisa deste mês identificou como as organizações têm aplicado a acessibilidade nos projetos de e-Learning para beneficiar portadores de necessidades especiais, principalmente os deficientes visuais. A amostra analisada possui uma distribuição variada de organizações, pertencentes às cinco regiões brasileiras: Sudeste (52%), Sul (22%), Nordeste (13%), Centro-Oeste (12%) e Norte (1%). O resultado mostra que 71% das organizações não possuem colaboradores portadores de deficiência visual.
Acessibilidade nos projetos de e-Learning

1. Objetivo

A pesquisa deste mês identificou como as organizações têm aplicado a acessibilidade nos projetos de e-Learning para beneficiar portadores de necessidades especiais, principalmente os deficientes visuais.


2. Resultados

2.1 Existência de portadores de deficiência visual na organização


- 71% das organizações não possuem colaboradores portadores de deficiência visual.

2.2 Acessibilidade nos projetos de e-Learning

- 55% das organizações pretendem promover acessibilidade para os deficientes visuais nos cursos de e-Learning nos próximos anos;
-45% das empresas não pretendem criar esse recurso.

2.3 Desenvolvimento de cursos on-line considerando a acessibilidade

- 70% optou por não desenvolver um curso on-line considerando a acessibilidade para portadores de deficiência;
- 13% desenvolveram com acessibilidade para todos os usuários com necessidades especiais
- 7% somente para deficientes visuais;
- 6% desenvolveram cursos adaptados para deficientes auditivos;
- 5% para deficientes físicos. Confira no gráfico:

2.4 Acessibilidade para portadores de deficiência visual no LMS

- 45% das organizações não possuem LMS;
- 40% afirmam que não houve preocupação dos desenvolvedores em tornar a interface do LMS acessível;
- 15% tornaram a interface do LMS acessível.


2.5 Preocupação dos designers com a acessibilidade dos portadores de deficiência visual

- 76% das organizações afirmaram que os designers não se preocuparam com esse recurso;
- 24% declararam que os designers se preocuparam em criar a acessibilidade para deficientes visuais.


2.6 Motivos para a implementação da acessibilidade no LMS ou nos cursos on-line

- 49% quer permitir a inclusão digital;
- 11% implementaram esses recursos para estar de acordo com o decreto de lei de acessibilidade (nº 5296), em que sites e portais de administração pública têm prazo de 12 meses para ser acessíveis a deficientes visuais.


2.7 Desafios de implementação dos recursos de acessibilidade

- O maior desafio foi a integração multimídia, apontada por 36% das organizações pesquisadas;
- 33%, o maior desafio foi a acessibilidade no Gerenciador LMS.

2.8 Motivos para não ter implementado a acessibilidade

- 31% afirmou não ter se preocupado com esse quesito porque nenhum de seus colaboradores possui necessidades especiais;
- O desconhecimento dos padrões de acessibilidade também foi outro item bastante lembrado pelos pesquisados (15%);
- 8% apontam que a falta dos recursos de acessibilidade ocorre porque a ferramenta de autoria não possui esse recurso.


2.9 Grau de conhecimento sobre os padrões de acessibilidade

- 50% das organizações, o grau de conhecimento sobre os padrões de acessibilidade que estabelecem regras gerais para o design de conteúdo acessível para os usuários com deficiência é insatisfatório;
- 28% consideram regular;
- 14% satisfatório;
- 8% consideram ótimo.

3. Conclusão

A pesquisa deste mês identificou como as organizações têm aplicado a acessibilidade nos projetos de e-Learning para beneficiar portadores de necessidades especiais, principalmente os deficientes visuais.

A amostra analisada possui uma distribuição variada de organizações, pertencentes às cinco regiões brasileiras: Sudeste (52%), Sul (22%), Nordeste (13%), Centro-Oeste (12%) e Norte (1%).

O resultado mostra que 71% das organizações não possuem colaboradores portadores de deficiência visual.

Cinquenta e cinco por cento das organizações pretendem promover acessibilidade para os deficientes visuais nos cursos de e-Learning nos próximos anos, mas 45% das empresas não pretendem criar esse recurso.

Na fase Desenvolvimento de cursos on-line considerando a acessibilidade, a grande maioria (70%) optou por não desenvolver um curso on-line considerando a acessibilidade para portadores de deficiência, porém 13% desenvolveram com acessibilidade para todos os usuários com necessidades especiais, 7% somente para deficientes visuais, 6% desenvolveram cursos adaptados para deficientes auditivos e 5% para deficientes físicos.

Para 40% dos entrevistados, não houve preocupação dos desenvolvedores em tornar a interface do LMS acessível, sendo que apenas 15% tornaram a interface do LMS acessível. Outros 45% não possuem LMS.

A acessibilidade ainda parece um grande desafio, pois 76% das organizações afirmaram que os designers não se preocuparam com esse recurso. Apenas 24% declararam que os designers se preocuparam em criar a acessibilidade para deficientes visuais.

A maioria das organizações (49%) queria permitir a inclusão digital, 11% implementaram esses recursos para estar de acordo com o decreto de lei de acessibilidade (nº 5296), em que sites e portais de administração pública têm prazo de 12 meses para ser acessíveis a deficientes visuais.

Durante o período de criação do curso, o maior desafio foi a integração multimídia, apontada por 36% das organizações pesquisadas. Para 33%, o maior desafio foi a acessibilidade no Gerenciador LMS.

A amostra quis identificar o motivo pelo qual as organizações não implementaram os recursos de acessibilidade. A grande maioria (31%) afirmou não ter se preocupado com esse quesito porque nenhum de seus colaboradores possui necessidades especiais. O desconhecimento dos padrões de acessibilidade também foi outro item bastante lembrado pelos pesquisados (15%). Já 8% apontam que a falta dos recursos de acessibilidade ocorre porque a ferramenta de autoria não possui esse recurso.

Para 50% das organizações, o grau de conhecimento sobre os padrões de acessibilidade que estabelecem regras gerais para o design de conteúdo acessível para os usuários com deficiência é insatisfatório, 28% consideram regular, 14% satisfatório e apenas 8% consideram o conhecimento ótimo.


Fonte: http://www.elearningbrasil.com.br/pesquisa/resultados/pesq_result_92.asp

Gesner Oliveira, 2002

O turismo doméstico poderia crescer rapidamente nos próximos anos desde que houvesse investimento em infra-estrutura e capacitação de mão-de-obra.



A visão tradicional de que o turismo é uma atividade a ser empreendida na ausência de outras alternativas econômicas, como uma espécie de prêmio de consolação às regiões mais exóticas do planeta, não poderia estar mais distante da realidade.

Em um país como o Brasil, o turismo constitui um dos segmentos essenciais de uma estratégia bem-sucedida de desenvolvimento. O turismo bem planejado pode produzir diversos efeitos positivos sobre a economia.

Em primeiro lugar, pelo potencial de criação de empregos e renda, o que é particularmente importante para as regiões mais pobres do país. Em segundo lugar pelo benefício ao balanço de pagamentos, ao gerar ingresso de divisas trazidas pelos turistas estrangeiros e sobretudo investimento externo, principalmente no setor de construção na área de hotéis e parques temáticos e na infra-estrutura de recepção.

Além disso, o turismo é um segmento no qual o esforço de substituição de importações pode ser muito eficaz. O turismo doméstico poderia crescer rapidamente nos próximos anos desde que houvesse investimento em infra-estrutura e capacitação de mão-de-obra. A mudança do regime cambial, aliada a políticas modernizantes no setor, melhorou o saldo da conta viagens internacionais do balanço de pagamentos.

O déficit superior a US$ 4 bilhões em 1998 foi reduzido para US$ 1,5 bilhão em 2001. Lembre-se de que essa conta não reflete de forma precisa a contribuição do setor para o resultado externo, pois esses montantes incluem o saldo de gastos com cartões de crédito que frequentemente não estão associados a viagens, como é o caso das compras por meio de catálogos ou aquisições de livros pela internet. Além disso, não contêm o saldo com o câmbio manual efetuado pelo turista e, mais importante, não incorporam o ingresso de capitais de longo prazo associado com o segmento.

Conforme assinalado pelo presidente da Embratur, Caio Luiz Carvalho, o potencial de benefício sobre as contas externas é ainda maior quando se leva em conta que a OMC (Organização Mundial do Comércio) não coibe políticas públicas de estímulo ao turismo. Em terceiro lugar, o turismo constitui um espaço privilegiado de marketing do país e de seus produtos, fortalecendo aquilo que é genericamente chamado de "Marca Brasil". De frutas a aviões, o Brasil tem um enorme potencial de expansão de suas vendas externas, que pode ser multiplicado pela maior exposição do país no exterior.

Ressalte-se que a agregação de valor no comércio internacional, assim como no plano doméstico, está se deslocando cada vez mais para a esfera do consumo e da distribuição -para o que o desenvolvimento da marca é essencial. Apesar de todas essas vantagens e de uma melhora de desempenho nos últimos anos, o turismo ainda não recebeu a devida atenção no Brasil. Segundo dados da Organização Mundial do Turismo, o Brasil foi o principal destino em 5,3 milhões de chegadas, contra 20,6 milhões do México, 48,2 milhões da Espanha e 75,5 milhões da França.

Nesta última quinta-feira o Palácio do Alvorada, residência oficial do presidente da República, foi aberto à visitação pública. Trata-se de iniciativa positiva em uma cidade com potencial turístico tão inexplorado como Brasília. Atrações semelhantes em capitais como Washington geram enorme fluxo de turismo doméstico e internacional.

As oportunidades com a globalização da economia estão curiosamente associadas à capacidade de construção e valorização da identidade de uma nação. O êxito de alguns países com o turismo residiu precisamente na capacidade de integrá-lo a uma estratégia nacional de desenvolvimento.

Gesner Oliveira, 45, é doutor em economia pela Universidade da Califórnia (Berkeley), professor da FGV-SP, consultor da Tendências e ex-presidente do Cade. Contatos:
www.gesneroliveira.com.br E-mail gesner@fgvsp.br
Fonte: http://www.etur.com.br/conteudocompleto.asp?IDConteudo=387


For the love of Goldfish on stage
Lauren Williams and Michael Vitaly Sazonov in For the Love of Goldfish, the 2009 Playwright Discovery Award recipient.
Photo: Scott Suchman.

The VSA arts Playwright Discovery Program invites middle and high school students to take a closer look at the world around them, examine how disability affects their lives and the lives of others, and express their views through the art of playwriting.

Playwrights may write from their own experience or about an experience in the life of another person or fictional character. Scripts can be comedies, dramas, or even musicals--be creative! Young playwrights with and without disabilities are encouraged to submit a script.

Entries may be the work of an individual student or a collaboration by a group or class of students.

The winning play will be professionally produced or staged at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The winning playwright receives $2,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to see his or her play performed. All submissions must be received by April 15, 2010, for consideration.

Download the official rules and guidelines here.
Download the official application here.

This Flash Eurobarometer survey (Flash Eurobarometer 258 on the "Survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism") was conducted at the request of Directorate General Enterprise and Industry to collect citizens' ‟...views, details of holidays and travel in 2007 and 2008 and their plans regarding holidays in 2009".
eurobarometer_logo.jpg
The report includes the average results for the EU and highlights variances in responses based on the interviewees' country of residence, their socio-demographic background and fundamental attitudes towards holidays and travel. It also examined how EU citizens chose a holiday destination.

This analytical is therefore more than the title suggests, as it goes beyond simply recording 'attitudes' by including respondents' self-reported tourism activities in the the two years prior to the survey. It also addresses questions about searching habits when looking for travel information and deciding on future destinations.

A special emphasis was put on the financial aspect of taking a holiday, as this is becoming the prime concern for travellers as well as for the tourism industry in the midst of a serious economic downturn affecting all economies of the EU.

The fieldwork was conducted from 14 to 18 February, 2009. Over 27,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 and over were interviewed in the 27 EU Member States. The sample size varied within Member States, ranging from 2000 in the largest to about 500 in the smallest countries.

Interviews were predominantly carried out by telephone.

Little Clarity About Access Issues

Since the survey did not ask direct questions about factors concerning the accessibility of destinations, attractions or accommodation, there is little information which informs the reader about the holiday-taking of visitors who are, for example, disabled or having long-term health problems. Demographics used in the survey include the category of "older people". This group is typically:

  • more likely to choose destinations in their home country
  • more likely to read travel guide books
  • use travel agents for bookings
  • travel for "social reasons"
  • less likely to use the internet to find destinations and offers
  • more likely not to have decided their holiday plans for 2009.      

Broader Travel Trends

Overall, in 2008, two-thirds of EU citizens (67%) made a private trip where they spent at least one night away from home; 58% took a vacation, defined by a stay somewhere away from home for at least four consecutive nights for private reasons.

In the more affluent parts of Europe (e.g. most of the pre-2004 countries), it is normal for more than three-quarters of citizens to take at least one trip per annum; in the rest of the Union (primarily the post-2004 Member States, but including Portugal) - about half of the citizens travel each year.

The most popular holiday destinations of the EU holiday makers in 2008 were Spain, Italy, France and Greece - and these countries dominate the current plans made for 2009.

As to how many people will actually take a vacation in 2009, the picture is not clear. At the time of the survey (February 2009), 28% of EU citizens were undecided about the type of vacation they want to take. Many of those yet to make a decision are probably hesitating as to whether or not they will take a vacation, rather than making a choice about the type of holiday. Unfortunately no earlier data exists that could support any projections about the likely percentage of the undecided groups who will eventually not take a vacation away from home. (For the same reason it is also unknown whether or not the current number of undecided citizens is above the „normal‟ proportion characteristic to this period of the year.)

At the time of the survey, the proportion of those who are certain that they will not travel in 2009 (19%) was below the proportion of non-travellers in 2008 (32%). It remains to be seen what proportion of the currently undecided ones (28%) will eventually take a holiday.

Four in ten Europeans travelled in 2008 and have holiday plans for 2009. However, 17% travelled last year but are still hesitating about a holiday in 2009 - their eventual decision will be critical for the European tourism industry. This segment amounted to a relatively high percentage (of all residents) in some of the largest Member States in terms of tourist "output".

The survey showed that 23% of Dutch and Italian, 21% of Spanish, 17% of French and 16% of German and British respondents belong to this "vulnerable" tourist category in terms of prospects.
 

Table of contents
Main findings 
1. Travel profiles of EU citizens in 2008
1.1 Proportion of EU citizens who travelled in 2008
1.2 Short private and holiday trips in 2008
1.3 Travel frequency of short private and holiday trips
1.5 Holiday travel (including short private trips) in 2008 - an overview
2. Reasons for not taking a holiday in 2008
2.1 Main reasons for not having gone on holiday in 2008
3. Characteristics of EU citizens' main holiday trip in 2008
3.1 The major motivation for going on holiday in 2008
3.2 Destination of holiday trips in 2008 
3.3 Methods of transport used for 2008 holidays 
3.4 Main periods for holiday travel in 2008 
3.5 How EU citizens organised a holiday trip in 2008
4. Financial aspects
4.1 Amount of money spent on holidays in 2008
4.2 Impact of changes in the cost of living on 2008 holiday plans
4.3 How EU citizens would save on their holiday budgets
4.4 Types of holiday trips that would the first to be cancelled if savings were needed
4.5 Types of holiday leisure activities that would be given up first
5. Considerations when planning a holiday and choosing a destination
5.1 Sources of information used when making holiday plans
5.2 Key considerations
5.3 Choosing a destination
5.5 Anticipated benefits of emerging destinations
6. Vacation plans for 2009
6.1 Types of vacation 
6.2 Financial constraints on holidays in 2009
6.3 Planned destinations 
I. Annex tables
II. Survey details
III. Questionnaire

128 pages.

Source ENAT:

http://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.reports.625


Global Deaf Muslims - Dubai Conference 2010


Global Deaf Muslims - Dubai Conference 2010
Date: Feb 14 - 16, 2010

further contact:
Global Deaf Muslim,
P.O. BOX 46759,
Cincinnati, OHIO 45246, USA.

Email: contact@globaldeafmuslim.org


Interested people can find more detail and can get register online at the above mention website.

Jared Diamond is a professor of geography at the University of California at Los Angeles and the author of "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse." In a New York Times opinion piece he writes:

My friends in the business world keep telling me that Washington can help on two fronts: by investing in green research, offering tax incentives and passing cap-and-trade legislation; and by setting and enforcing tough standards to ensure that companies with cheap, dirty standards don't have a competitive advantage over those businesses protecting the environment. As for the rest of us, we should get over the misimpression that American business cares only about immediate profits, and we should reward companies that work to keep the planet healthy.
He goes on to elaborate convincing arguments and rebuttals in an article well worth reading "Will Big Business Save the Earth? "

The current Copenhagen conference on global climate change has ecological sustainability in the air even as concern for social sustainability wanes. Both are essential as the concept Geotourism affirms. Both have their own reasons for needing Universal Design. To the extent that we succeed in engaging the social and ecological sustainability arguments with each other the disability community will benefit.

The following report by IBM concludes with three ways to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) sustainable. Articulating the interests of people with disabilities within the eco- and social sustainability movements will embed them in CSR:

In order to attain sustainable growth through CSR, companies must:

1. Align and incorporate CSR with business strategy and integrate it across all operational
functions, thus making it easy to invest (not spend) the funds necessary to achieve its objctives.

[How do we change PwD and their interests from being perceived as business costs to being sought after as business investments?]

2. Implement an open information strategy for more transparent information sharing with
multiple stakeholders

[How does an open information strategy incorporate accessible media and Universal Design for Learning?]
 
3. Leverage transparency to increase the level of engagement of key constituents and
customers.

[What does the company know about the demographic that is people with disabilities and techniques to engage this demographic?]

Disaboom's Disability Organizations Directory identifies over 300 organizations, ranging from local to international, that work to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

The Directory is divided into three categories: Major Disability Organizations, Disability-Specific Organizations, and Organizations for Living with Disabilities.

Major Disability Organizations includes the all-encompassing national organizations like the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD).

The Disability-Specific Organizations section focuses on organizations (within 22 categories) that are geared toward a specific condition or disability, from cerebral palsy to spinal cord injuries.

The final section, Organizations for Living with Disabilities, includes those groups that cover all the ins and outs of everyday life, from organizations that help you learn to play adaptive sports to those that will make your transition as a college student with disabilities a little easier. This section's 18 subcategories include accessible travel, caregiver resources, fitness and wellness, and service animals, among others.

Each organization's listing contains brief information about the organization, its mission and services, and a link to the organization's website. Both nonprofits and government agencies are included.

Disaboom's Disability Organizations Directory can be found at http://www.disaboom.com/Resources/DisabilityOrganizations/Default.aspx

Sailing with Geoff Holt

Bon voyage, Geoff!

From his site:

Leaving today, 10th December 2009, Geoff Holt embarks on Personal Atlantic, setting sail on a 60ft, purpose-built, wheelchair-accessible catamaran on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.   The 3,000 mile journey will take him up to a month to complete, across some of the most hostile waters in the world.

In completing his Challenge, Geoff Holt will become the first quadriplegic to make the journey, unassisted in every aspect of the sailing.





Having sailed the Atlantic Ocean three times before an accident in 1984 which left Geoff confined to a wheelchair, this will be an emotional voyage for Geoff Holt as he attempts the journey for the first time as a disabled yachtsman.  But his overriding desire in attempting the voyage, is to inspire others to do something positive with their lives.

As Geoff says, "It's not about being disabled. It's not about sailing the Atlantic Ocean. It's about demonstrating that disability need not be a barrier to achieving something positive in your life"

Geoff on Impossible Dream

It will be a matter of complex logistics for the shore-based support team and a feat of personal endurance and sailing skills for Geoff.  Although both physically able to navigate and sail the boat competently, Geoff is unable to look after his own physical requirements. He can not get himself out of his wheelchair to sleep, to use the loo or to shower without help. To overcome this, Geoff will be accompanied on the voyage by a professional, medically trained carer to aid him with the physical aspects of his life. The carer will play no part in the sailing of the yacht.



http://www.geoffholt.com/

FreeWheel

MTur lança cartilha de acessibilidade O objetivo é adequar destinos e equipamentos turísticos para turistas com deficiência ou mobilidade reduzida Para o ministro Luiz Barretto, "acessibilidade no turismo precisa ser integral".

O Ministério do Turismo (MTur) lançou nesta segunda-feira (07), durante o 2º Encontro Nacional de Segmentação, em Brasília, a cartilha "Turismo Acessível". Em quatro volumes, o manual reúne informações sobre a legislação e direitos da pessoa com deficiência e, além de normas técnicas e orientações para promoção da acessibilidade em estabelecimentos turísticos.

A cartilha é destinada a gestores públicos e iniciativa privada. O objetivo é adequar destinos, roteiros e equipamentos turísticos para turistas com deficiência ou mobilidade reduzida. Os livros são resultado de um projeto piloto desenvolvido pelo MTur em parceria com a Prefeitura Municipal de Socorro, município paulista que está sendo estruturado para se tornar destino referência no segmento de Aventura Especial.

O secretário Nacional de Políticas do Turismo, Airton Pereira, ressalta que esse é um mercado que pode e deve crescer. "São milhões de pessoas que querem viajar, tem poder aquisitivo para isso, mas não encontram produtos turísticos preparados para recebê-los", enfatizou.

De acordo com o Censo 2000, do IBGE, o Brasil possui cerca de 24,5 milhões de pessoas com algum tipo de deficiência, com rendimentos médios entre R$ 506,00 e R$ 700,00. Desse total, cerca 2,5 milhões tem carteira assinada, 2,1 são trabalhadores informais, 481 mil são funcionários públicos e outros 2,75 milhões trabalham por conta própria.

Para o ministro do Turismo, Luiz Barretto, o setor turístico é um importante meio de inclusão: "É fundamental que a gente tenha acessibilidade de forma integral. O turismo é universal, por isso estamos trabalhando com os municípios para que eles tenham acessibilidade nos atrativos turísticos. É um direito de todo brasileiro".

Mais informações para a imprensa:

Assessoria de Comunicação do MTur
imprensa@turismo.gov.br
              (61) 2023 7055         (61) 2023 7055
Siga o turismo no Twitter: www.twitter.com/MTurismo

Recently I have been immersed in Mozambique. That's not a bad fate as the first snow falls here in the San Francisco Bay Area in decades!

Our community of PwD lives in Mozambique, for the most part, in misery lacking accessible infrastructure, appropriate educational, transportation, employment, and medical, and political voice. As stark a contrast as the daily poverty and resort luxury can be working in the tourism industry can be a path toward a more independent life for some.

With that in mind we are crafting the agenda for the March 1-3, 2010 Maputo seminar on Development, Tourism, and Disability and I am searching for the tourism career entry points available to Mozambican PwD. To build a system with such entry points will require adoption of Universal Design -- specifically "Universal Design for Learning."

So, for my colleagues at the faculdades de turismo (Tourism Departments) at the Universidade Católica de Moçambique with pedagogies incorporating blended learning and problem based learning and my colleagues at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane engaged in repesando (rethinking) here is an excellent article on UDL from the University of Colorado

The History and Philosophy of UDL

The History of UDL

The principles of Universal Design (UD) were first developed during the early 1990s by the architect Ron Mace at North Carolina State University's Center for Universal Design. According to Mace, "Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design."

Educators and instructional designers have since adapted Mace's original principles of "universal design" to create Universal Design for Learning (UDL) also known as the Universal Design of Instruction. These principles include the following (Sheryl Burgstahler, Universal Design: Principles, Process, and Applications, Do-It, University of Washington):

  1. Equitable Use. The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities. For example, a professor's website that is designed so that it is accessible to everyone, including students who are blind and using text-to speech software, employs this principle.
  2. Flexibility in Use. The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. An example is a museum, visited as a field trip for a course, that allows a visitor to choose to read or listen to the description of the contents of a display case.
  3. Simple and Intuitive. Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. Science lab equipment with control buttons that are clear and intuitive is an example of an application of this principle.
  4. Perceptible Information. The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities. An example of this principle being employed is when multimedia projected in a course includes captions.
  5. Tolerance for Error. The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions. An example of a product applying this principle is educational software that provides guidance and background information when the student makes an inappropriate selection.
  6. Low Physical Effort. The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue. Doors to a lecture hall that open automatically for people with a wide variety of physical characteristics demonstrate the application of this principle.
  7. Size and Space for Approach and Use. Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of the user's body size, posture, or mobility. A flexible science lab work area designed for use by students who are left- or right-handed and with diverse physical characteristics and abilities is an example of employing this principle.

According to Burgstahler, these UDL principles "can be applied to the overall design of instruction as well as to specific instructional materials, facilities, and strategies such as lectures, classroom discussions, group work, Web-based instruction, labs, field work, and demonstrations." They underscore the need to provide all students fair access to information and opportunities to learn. They also reassure us that, using these principles, the goal of equal access can be achieved without extreme measures or undue burden on the faculty.

Universal design can thus be applied to three realms, all of which are pertinent to higher education:

  1. The design of environments (buildings, classrooms)
  2. The design of tools (documents, websites)
  3. The design of learning (courses, activities, assignments, assessments)

UDL in Higher Education

Students today arrive at the university with very different sets of skills, life experiences, abilities, and learning styles. For some, English is a second language. Others learn better through visual or kinesthetic representation of ideas rather than verbal lecture (Detweiler, 2005). Still others--more than 700 students at CSU--have some form of disability, either apparent or non-apparent.

According to the tenets Universal Design for Learning, this diversity can be addressed most effectively by providing alternative modalities for learning. According to Rose (2002), we must give students "a range of options for accessing, using, and engaging with learning materials." Specifically, university instructors should:

  1. Present content to students in multiple ways and in a variety of formats
  2. Encourage students to engage with new ideas and information in multiple ways
  3. Allow students to express themselves and their understanding of the material in multiple ways

These three pedagogical principles (multiple means of content representation, student engagement, and student expression) are based in part on the work Tracey Hall (Hall, 2002), Senior Research Scientist at the National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum, and David Rose and Anne Meyer (2005 and 2002) of the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). Their early work focused on pedagogy at the K-12 level. However, many researchers (including Burgstahler, University of Washington; Silver, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Madaus, Scott, and McGuire, University of Connecticut; Izzo, Ohio State University; and others) have found broad applicability of UDL principles to higher education. (See What is Universal Design for Learning?, Center for Applied Technology (CAST).)

Universal design for learning (UDL) is a set of principles and instructional strategies designed to improve the academic experience of students with disabilities by making instruction, and instructional materials, more accessible to all students. In other words, the UDL model predicts that strategies designed to improve learning for students with disabilities will have equal benefit for other students in the class (see Universal Design for Learning).

UDL and Pedagogy

The principles of universal design for learning correlate strongly with modern theories of pedagogy. They also dovetail with the commonly accepted principles and practices of instructional design. UDL teaching methods include a wide range of "best practices," such as innovative strategies for creating engaging lectures, facilitation of class discussions both in-class and on the web, promoting student engagement through the use of problem-based learning, fostering greater in-class participation through the use of "clickers" and group presentations, and enlarging the repertoire of student assessment through the use of journals, portfolios, videos, etc.

Universal design for learning also promotes "active learning," which is one of the widely acclaimed "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" (Gamson and Chickering, 1987). By providing multiple forms of representation, a professor gives her students alternative media to convey essential concepts. This allows them to grasp the material in their preferred learning style and at their own pace. By offering multiple forms of engagement, she allows students to connect with the material at various levels of knowledge and skill. For example, by tying class topics to current world events, the instructor taps into her students' interests. Finally, by allowing multiple modes of student expression, she permits students to demonstrate comprehension and mastery of course content in ways other than traditional quizzes and exams.

UDL and Instructional Materials

In addition to advocating innovative instruction and multiple modes of student engagement, universal design for learning encourages the use of "accessible" and "usable" course materials. These are documents saved in electronic formats (e.g., Word, RTF, PDF, HTML) and formatted so as to enhance their usability for the largest possible audience.

A single presentation method can prove limiting, as exemplified by the traditional paper syllabus. Because a "hardcopy" can only be used in one mode (that is to say, it must be seen to be read), it is inaccessible to students who possess visual impairments. The same syllabus, however, saved in an electronic format, can be read aloud by screen reader software and translated into Braille, which can in turn be printed or read at the computer using a refreshable Braille keyboard (available in several locations at CSU). The same document can be posted on the web to help students who have simply misplaced their copy. By offering a syllabus in multiple formats, the instructor makes the information available and accessible to everyone.

Experience with universal design for learning also reveals that when we design for a wide range of abilities and learning styles, content becomes compatible with a wider range of technologies. For example, when we separate the content and structure of a web page from the codes that govern its appearance, we also make our content accessible to PDAs and cell phones. When we create captions for a video, we make it accessible to people watching in a noisy airport or in a quiet computer lab. And because the captions are text, we've also made the content of the video available to search engines and archival database systems. Finally, when we add alternative text descriptions to images, we make our pages accessible to speech synthesis software.

Conclusion

Universal design for learning integrates accessibility, usability, and research on effective teaching methods. The universal design concept, which began as a way to provide greater access to the physical world through inclusive architecture and product design, has broadened in scope to include access to computers (assistive technology), access to the Internet (web accessibility), and ultimately access to learning. As a framework for inclusive pedagogy, universal design for learning strives to benefit not only students with disabilities, but all students.

Universal design for learning is a valuable paradigm for helping maximize scholastic achievement and retention while maintaining the highest standards of academic excellence.

References

  1. Burgstahler, Sheryl. (2001). Universal Design of Instruction: Definition, Principles, and Examples. (Taken from the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology (Do-It) website at the University of Washington: http://www.washington.edu/doit/Resources/udesign.html)
  2. Burgstahler, Sheryl. (2005). Steps toward making distance learning accessible to students and instructors with disabilities. Information Technology and Disabilities E-Journal (published by EASI). Vol. XI, No. 1.
  3. Chickering, A.W., & Ehrmann. (1996, October). Implementing the seven principles: Technology as lever. AAHE Bulletin, 3-6. (Electronic version retrieved online June 4, 2004, from http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/seven.html)
  4. Chickering, A.W., & Gamson, Z.F. (1987, March). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 3-7.
  5. Rose, D.H., & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
  6. Rose, D.H., Meyer, A., & Hitchcock, C. (2005). The universally designed classroom: Accessible curriculum and digital technologies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
  7. Detweiler, Richard. (2004). At Last, We Can Replace Lectures, Chronicle Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2004.
  8. Detweiler, Richard. (2005). The Rewards of the Digital Era. Chronicle of Higher Ed. December 9, 2005.
  9. Hall, T. (2002). Differentiated Instruction. Wakefield, MA: National Center on Accessing the General Curriculum. (Retrieved September 8, 2006 from http://www.cast.org/publications/ncac/ncac_diffinstruc.html).
  10. Madaus, J.W., Scott, S. & McGuire, J. (2003). Addressing student diversity in the classroom: The approaches of outstanding university professors (Tech. Rep. No. 02). Center on Postsecondary Education and Disability, University of Connecticut.
  11. McGuire, J., & Scott, S. (2002). Universal design for Instruction: a promising new paradigm for higher education. Perspectives, 28(2), 27-29.
  12. Silver, Patricia. (2003). The Challenge of Implementing Universal Instructional Design in Higher Education. (Retrieved September 8 from Brown University's "Ivy Access Initiative" website.)
    1. (Note: The Ivy Access Initiative was a joint venture of Brown University, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Stanford. The grant activities concluded in September, 2003. Like CSU's ACCESS Project, the Ivy Access Initiative was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, through their Demonstration Project to ensure students with disabilities receive a quality higher education.)
  13. Silver, P., Bourke, A., & Strehorn, K.C. (1998). Universal Instruction Design in Higher Education: An Approach for Inclusion. Equity & Excellence in Education. 31(2): 47-51.
  14. The Center for Universal Design (2006), North Carolina State University (http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/index.htm).
    1. (Note: the term "universal design" was coined by the late architect, Ron Mace. For more information, see http://www.design.ncsu.edu/cud/about_us/usronmace.htm.)


http://accessproject.colostate.edu/udl/documents/philosophy.cfm

Espana de Silla de Ruedas

Barrera Cero.es apresenta turismo y ocio sin barreras.Alojamientos y actividades accesibles en silla de ruedas, accesibles para todos.

Evento:

Aldeia Inclusiva:

Iniciativa cultural e de conscientização, demonstração de que uma sociedade inclusiva é possível.


Dia: 11 de dezembro de 2009, das 8 às 12h
Local: Praça José de Alencar, Centro, Fortaleza-Ce


A Assembléia Geral da Organização das Nações Unidas (ONU), através da Resolução 47/3, de outubro de 1991, declarou o dia 3 de dezembro como o Dia Internacional das Pessoas com Deficiência, comemorado a partir de 1992 em todo o mundo com vistas a dar visibilidade e fomentar a efetiva inclusão de pessoas com deficiências na sociedade e promover o respeito aos seus direitos humanos.

O Dia Internacional das Pessoas com Deficiência não se resume a um único dia de celebração. Ele funciona como um ponto de referência para se realizar uma série de atividades em toda a sociedade durante 12 meses por ano e tem gerado maior conscientização a respeito da imagem, das potencialidades, das necessidades e das contribuições das pessoas com deficiência para a sociedade.

Desde 1998, o dia Internacional da Pessoa com Deficiência passou a ter um tema para reflexão. Em 2009 o tema escolhido pela o Onu foi "Making the MDGs Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world", numa tradução livre Tornando inclusivas as Metas de Desenvolvimento do Milênio: Empoderando as pessoas com deficiência e suas comunidades ao redor do mundo. Um lembrete de que as pessoas com deficiência não podem ser esquecidas no processo de desenvolvimento econômico e um convite a pensar a inclusão das pessoas com deficiência de forma sustentável e articulada.

Em Fortaleza, no dia 11 de dezembro, um grupo de entidades de defesa dos direitos das pessoas com deficiência realiza, das 8 ao 12h, na Praça José de Alencar, Centro, o evento Aldeia Inclusiva, com o apoio do Cedef - Conselho Estadual dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência do Ceará  e do Gabinete da Primeira Dama do Estado,  uma iniciativa cultural e de conscientização, demonstração de que uma sociedade inclusiva é possível.

Atrações culturais e artísticas se apresentam em palco armado enquanto atividades de sensibilização e divulgação dos direitos das pessoas com deficiência acontecem, simultaneamente, em seis stands abordando as diversas tipologias de deficiência (Intelectual, Física, Auditiva, Visual, Orgânica e Multipla).

A idéia é chamar atenção da sociedade convidando a todos para um novo jeito de encarar as pessoas com deficiência, não mais como coitadinhos, mas como sujeitos de direitos.
Maiores informações: Sandra Tavares (Universo Down) - (85) 9998-8587 - sandratm@terra.com.br

Saiba mais:

No Ceará existem 17,3% de pessoas com deficiência, mais de 1.300.000 . No Brasil são 14,5%
.
Fonte:
http://inclusaoediversidade.blogspot.com/2009/12/fortaleza-aldeia-inclusiva-dia-11-de.html

Audiodescription for Bollywood

Audio Description - Have you heard of it?


...How can we give a person who is visually impaired the experience and enjoyment of the movie/television show?

We can add audio descriptions which is basically a narration of what is happening in a movie / television show. Audio Descriptions are delivered where there is a gap between the dialogues.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People, UK, conducted a research report - "Bollywood for all: an RNIB project on demand for audio described Bollywood films in cinema and on DVD"

Watch a great audio-visual which simulates the need for audio description



When will we be able to have this experience for the visually impaired people of India?

Reference:
This Accessibility Knowledge Series has been provided by Mamta Tandel, Accessibility Project Lead, BarrierBreak Techologies

Source:

http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=27479e71bdf066109b1136d49&id=8e21e52ea8&e=878895a938

El proyecto Santander Diseño Universal se inició en diciembre de 2008 con la fase de diagnóstico de la accesibilidad urbanística, e incluye actuaciones como la instalación de nuevos pasos de peatones con semáforos, eliminación de obstáculos, rampas complementarias, ensanchamiento de aceras, etcétera.

La Junta aprobó las bases y la convocatoria del concurso para el otorgamiento de 12 licencias de autotaxi adaptadas, y también dio el visto bueno al listado definitivo de adjudicatarios y lista de espera de las plazas del aparcamiento para residentes del aparcamiento subterráneo de la plaza del Ayuntamiento.

En el primer caso, las 12 licencias para taxis adaptados a personas con discapacidad se concederán de forma progresiva, de manera que las cuatro primeras podrán prestar servicio desde julio de 2010; otras cuatro, en noviembre de ese año; y las cuatro restantes, en abril de 2011.

El precio de cada licencia es de 100.000 euros, el mínimo establecido por el Servicio de Intervención, indicó Arasti, quien especificó que podrán optar a ellas conductores asalariados del sector con dedicación exclusiva; y personas físicas que no hayan sido titulares de una licencia de taxi en los últimos diez años y tengan permiso municipal de conductor de autotaxi. Tendrán preferencia los asalariados, por antigüedad.

Las solicitudes se podrán presentar durante los diez días siguientes a su publicación en el Boletín Oficial de Cantabria (BOC). Santander cuenta con 218 taxis.

Además, la Junta aprobó el listado definitivo de adjudicatarios de plazas de residentes en el aparcamiento subterráneo de la plaza del Ayuntamiento. En concreto, se han adjudicado tres plazas para personas con discapacidad y 133 para residentes en la zona. La lista de espera recoge 142 solicitudes, más cuatro de personas con discapacidad.


Fuente:

http://noticias.terra.es/local/2009/1209/actualidad/el-ayuntamiento-da-el-visto-bueno-a-la-construccion-de-un-centro-civico-y-un-parking-en-cazona.aspx

Later I will present Dr Regina Cohen's work in context. Here I excerpt a large portion of one of her recent papers to introduce the concept "atmospheres" as a tool for educating on the value of Universal Design.

Here we have a much more developed concept than the neologism "ambioception" that I introduced.

Ambioception included a notion of skill development related to judgments about body-in-space. Atmospheres looks more at the phenomenology of perception. The concept of atmospheres conifers socio-linguistic validation on the process of the arising of perceptions and mental states that constitutes the datum of Vipassana meditative practice. By "freezing" the reality of these subtler mental proceeses into an accepted concept "atmospheres" it becomes possible for one to retain a gaze on the gestalt of affective tone and sustain discourse on emotional design, experience economy,and disability culture in tourism:

 The concept of Atmospheres

"Atmosphere is the foundation of sensibility, because it associates the one who perceives with the perceived object. An atmosphere is born from the encounter between the physical surroundings, my corporeity with its ability to feel, move, and become an affectionate tonality".

Jean-François Augoyard. La construction des atmospheres quotidienne: l'ordinaire de la culture. In CULTURE ET RECHERCHE No. 114-115


Scholars of the spacial characteristics which influence people's behavior have long abandoned a purely Cartesian approach, one which analyzes solely the physical constraints of the environment. Thus, a search for a new concept and paradigm associated to it has begun. One which also involves the body in motion, its motor expressions, its sensorial and kinesthetic paths, its ability to feel, being enveloped by these emotions and sensations in its search for identity and ownership of these spaces.

The concept of atmospheres expresses the material and moral environments which include the thermal, light and noise sensations. (Amphoux Pascal, 2004). Its first academics sought interdiscipline in the development of their research, thus seeking to show that architecture and the city are based on nterdependencies between the built and the perceived shapes.

Atmospheres can be perceived through a special light or a particular sound when we approach or reach a certain space. This space, according to the perceived sensations, may present itself as a calm and peaceful atmosphere, or, on the other hand, a confusing and disturbing one. According to Nicolas Tixier (2007), an atmosphere is always unique and irreducible, varying according to the day, time, people and our actions. Despite all of these variations, there are characteristics that bestow it with an identity, making it possible for us to recognize it. According to Tixier, the notion of atmosphere contradicts any strict definition. "Our perceptions, senses, actions, and representations are perceived in a singular way, as a whole, not as individual entities." (Tixier, 2007, p.10).

To Jean-François Augoyard (2007), one of the first academics to work with this concept, the activities or materialization of life are already possible, but include many more feelings. "From subject to object, subject to subject, body to body, empathy is our first primitive and irreflective way of being a part of the world" (Augoyard, 2007, 60).

Firstly, according to his conception, we meet with the other, the atmosphere, and we become involved and affected by those around us, "we become part of it". This is a process in an intuitive world. The atmospheres proposed by Augoyard strive to take into account the perceived sensorial qualities of the environment, such as light, sound, tactile matter and spaces that call for kinesthesia and posture.

Seen from this point of view, the museum atmospheres that will be discussed here fit with precision in the context of disabled people, absorbing the intersensorial dynamics.

Following this trend, the French sociologist Jean-Paul Thibaud (2004) works with a pragmatic
perspective of urban atmospheres, taking into consideration the need to look for ways in which the city can be approached in a sensitive manner. He proposes an interdisciplinary approach that is based on the phenomenology of perception - which searches for a way in which to position the body so that it may learn the world.

Thus, this concept resembles the notion of space presented in a large number of contemporary essays on a variety of disciplines, which criticise the abstract space and goals. Furthermore, Thibaud (2004), states that orientation, paths, and the mobility of individuals through or along spaces and atmospheres embrace the corporeal advancements in a character's perception of time and space context.
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Accessible Hawai'i

LAssociazione L.I.F.E. onlus di Acireale (CT) sta organizzando una raccolta fondi attraverso gli SMS Solidali, il segretariato sociale della RAI ha dato il suo benestare e lo stesso hanno fatto i gestori telefonici TIM VODAFONE WIND TELECOM ITALIA. La raccolta fondi servirà alla costruzione di una imbarcazione accessibile ai diverso abili soprattutto con disabilità motoria. L1 agosto la trasmissione Linea Blu di Rai 1 ha trasmesso uno spot sulla raccolta fondi, siamo in attesa di ricevere il consenso da parte di altre reti nazionali per ulteriori passaggi televisivi. La raccolta ha avuto inizio l1 agosto e si concluderà il 16 agosto 2009, il costo di un sms è di 1 € da telefono cellulare personale per operatori (Tim, Vodafone, Wind e Telecom Italia) Oppure da telefono fisso al costo di 2 € con una chiamata e di 1 € con linvio di un sms da telefono abilitato. Per quanto sopra si chiede una Vostra collaborazione alla realizzazione del progetto OPEN SEA. Martino Florio 393-9678134 Cari amici, lassociazione L.I.F.E. di cui mi pregio rappresentare sta raccogliendo dei fondi attraverso gli SMS solidali per la costruzione di una barca accessibile, anche tu puoi dare il tuo contributo, inviando un SMS al 4 8 5 8 5 e facendo girare questo SMS tra i tuoi amici, il tuo aiuto servirà ad illuminare il progetto OPEN SEA (un mare da vivere). Grazie Sostieni lAssociazione LIFE ONLUS con l'invio di un SMS al 4 8 5 8 5. La tua donazione contribuirà alla costruzione di unimbarcazione accessibile. "PROGETTO OPEN SEA"

Skydiving

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La plaza de la Virgen, uno de los enclaves más pintorescos e históricos de Valencia, cambiará de imagen en los próximos días con el objetivo de dejar de ser terreno vetado para los minusválidos.

El Ayuntamiento iniciará en las próximas semanas una importante remodelación de este espacio. Así, los trabajos consistirán en eliminar el escalón que da a la calle del Miguelete mediante una pendiente de un 2% de inclinación. Esta misma solución se ejecutará en los tres escalones que quedan a espaldas de la fuente (en la imagen). En ambos casos se usará piedra caliza similar a la que hay actualmente. Además, se cambiará el asfalto de la calle Bailia por baldosas similares a las de la plaza, dotándola de continuidad. Así, quedará señalizado un paso de vehículos mediante bolardos.

Según ha explicado a 20 minutos el concejal de Urbanismo, Jorge Bellver, «esta actuación tiene como objetivo fundamental la mejora de la accesibilidad para personas con movilidad reducida. Igual que en esta obra, todas las que estamos llevando a cabo en el centro histórico de Valencia implican la eliminación de barreras arquitectónicas».

En este sentido, el presidente de la Confederación de Discapacitados de la Comunitat (Cocemfe), Carlos Laguna, aplaudió la iniciativa: «Todo lo que sea ganar en accesibilidad nos parece bien y más si se trata de un lugar tan visitado como la plaza de la Virgen».

Laguna destacó que, hasta ahora, sólo había una rampa entrando por la calle del Micalet a la izquierda, «pero es muy poco operativa porque es muy resbaladiza y no da acceso a toda la plaza». El presidente de Cocemfe agregó que «hay muchas residencias de ancianos cerca que agradecerán esta actuación».


Fuente:
http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/570118/0/plaza/virgen/valencia/

Ergonomía y Diseño Universal (Spanish)

A todos nos ha pasado más de alguna vez durar pocos minutos sentados en una silla. Esto ocurre porque el humano, cuando se sienta, concentra el 75% de su cuerpo en un espacio pequeño, y si la silla no cuenta con un buen diseño se corta la irrigación sanguínea.

La ergonomía se presenta entonces como una solución. Ha sido descrita como la ciencia de la vida cotidiana que utiliza el conocimiento de la actuación humana en relación con el diseño y la ingeniería para crear sistemas, productos y servicios que sean seguros, eficientes y agradables de usar. Nuestro tamaño y forma, cómo nos movemos, lo que vemos, oímos, sentimos y también cómo pensamos, es información que se recopila y se aplica por ergonomistas para ayudar al diseño de objetos cotidianos y extraordinarios.

"Más antiguo que el hilo negro", es como define Carlos Hinrichsen, director de la Escuela de Diseño DuocUC y presidente de ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design), la intención, desde tiempos inmemorables del hombre, de relacionarse de la mejor manera con los espacios y objetos.

El arquitecto francés Le Corbusier avanzó en el tema con el sistema Modulor, siguiendo tratados de la antigüedad, como lo fue lo instaurado por Vitruvio y la regla áurea, usada para conseguir escenarios de trabajo con proporciones equilibradas. Así, el Modulor usó como unidad el tamaño del hombre, estableciendo con ello las alturas correctas de los objetos que usamos y de los elementos de una construcción arquitectónica. Sistemas que fueron la antesala de la ergonomía, una ciencia fundamental dentro del diseño.

En el mundo, la ergonomía da para exhibiciones, demostrando lo esencial que es su aplicación; ejemplo de ello es la del Design Museum de Londres en conjunto con la Universidad de Brunel, que estará abierta hasta el 7 de marzo del 2010. Esta exposición revela la exploración de la teoría, los principios y los métodos utilizados y aplicados para crear artículos de calidad. Desde la típica huincha de medir y el control remoto de la televisión, hasta las zonas de gran envergadura y complejidad de los sistemas de transporte y atención médica, por ser la ergonomía el estudio de la forma en que se interactúa con los productos, la relación entre el hombre y la máquina, cuyo objetivo principal es optimizar esta afiliación simbiótica.

"Con relación al impacto de la ergonomía en el desarrollo de productos, servicios y experiencias de diseño, me parece importante mencionar que esta es una clave variable si se parte de una simple constatación u observación de que todo ser humano necesita de un conjunto de objetos, utensilios, elementos, productos, familias o sistemas de productos y/o equipamientos, con distintos grados de simpleza o sofisticación, para desarrollar actividades tan cotidianas como, por ejemplo: trabajar, dormir, comer, reposar, meditar, leer, cocinar, trasladarse, hacer deporte, bañarse, etc., y que este conjunto de elementos lo ayude a desenvolverse en la vida con plenitud y eficiencia, desde que nace y durante toda su vida", afirma Carlos Hinrichsen, ejemplificando que "uno identifica que un producto está mal desarrollado cuando te deja marcas en el cuerpo. La mejor muestra de esto es decir que el buen zapato es el que no se siente".

En Chile existen buenos ejemplos de lo que es la ergonomía. Empresas como Ducasse Industrial, enfocada en el diseño de soluciones integrales para la industria del mueble, y Virutex Ilko, dedicada a la producción y distribución de productos de aseo y cocina, han marcado pautas en el tema.

"La ergonomía se relaciona con el diseño universal por sus potencialidades y proyecciones, ya que busca dar respuesta a necesidades de la tercera edad, discapacitados y seres humanos sin limitaciones", rescata Carlos.

La ergonomía es el héroe anónimo del buen diseño. Es una línea delgada que si se está a un lado habla de éxito y del otro puede ser catastrófico o pasar sin pena ni gloria.



Fuente:
http://www.latercera.com/contenido/737_206751_9.shtml

Quem quiser lançar turismo inclusivo em Moçambique precisa saber quais são as Áreas Estratégicas de Investimento Turístico e o que e Potencial para o Investimento do Turismo:

Áreas Estratégicas de Investimento Turístico
mocambique.JPG
1. Zona costeira de Matutuine - Maputo
2. Parque Nacional do Limpopo (Área de Conservação Transfronteiriça) - Gaza
3. Corredor dos Parques Nacionais de Banhine, Zinave e Bazaruto- Inhambane/Gaza
4. Reserva de Pomene- Inhambane
5. Costa Morrungulo - Inhambane
6. Vilanculos -Inhambane
7. Praia do Tofo - Inhambane
8. Cidade de Inhambane
9. Arquipélago de Bazaruto - Inhambane
10. Parque Nacional de Gorongosa - Sofala
11. Reserva de Marromeu- Sofala
12. Ilha de Moçambique- Nampula
13. Chocas Mar - Nampula
14. Pemba - Cabo Delgado
15. Ibo - Cabo Delgado
16. Lago Niassa- Niassa
17. Reserva do Niassa - Niassa

Fonte: http://www.visitmozambique.net/pt/investimentos/areas_estrategicas_de_investimento_turistico

Potencial para o Investimento do Turismo no Plano Económico Nacional

* Projecto de Desenvolvimento do Corredor de Maputo que oferece grandes oportunidades para o aumento da capacidade de alojamento turístico e serviços similares e complementares. O projecto vai contribuir para uma maior atracção do mercado turístico regional.
* Projecto Integrado do Vale do Zambéze com elevado potencial turístico, principalmente para o desenvolvimento do eco-turismo ao longo do Rio Zambeze, na Reserva de Marromeu, na Reserva de Gilé e na Albufeira de Cahora Bassa;
* Promoção dos Corredores de Desenvolvimento de Nacala e de Ntwara os quais oferecem oportunidades para a implantação de hotéis, restaurantes e de outros serviços de turismo;
* Programa de revitalização das áreas de conservação que cria oportunidades para o desenvolvimento de safaris nas zonas centro e norte do país, com particular ênfase ao Parque Nacional de Gorongoza e zona norte da província de Cabo Delgado;
* Criação de mecanismos que facilitem a livre circulação de pessoas entre os países da região, o que aumentará ao fluxo turístico vindo dos outros países para Moçambique.

Fonte: http://www.visitmozambique.net/pt/investimentos/potencial_para_o_investimento_do_turismo_no_plano_economico_nacional

Precisam entender tambem o que e Turismo Inclusivo e Desenho Universal:


New Delhi: The Planning Commission today said it will set up an expert group to assess the needs of the physically challenged and come out with a status report.

"As part of the mid-term appraisal (of the 11th Five-Year Plan 2007-12), I am setting up a special mechanism (expert group) which can consult with them (physically challenged) and we will bring before the government the status position," Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters here today.

Whatever recommendations had been made in the 11th Five- Year Plan for the disabled should be implemented, he said after a delegation from the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) called on him accusing the government of neglecting the welfare of the disabled besides failing to take measures as promised.

"I think they have issues, they wanted to review the promises made. Today is the World Disability Day. In the 11th Plan for the first time certain recommendations have been made. It is their view that not enough has been done. Whatever has not been done should be done," he said.

Ahluwalia said the country needed one universal design institute and also an institute for sign languages and he would take up the matter with the ministries concerned.


"They have raised a special focus on the universal design institute and also an institute for for sign language. I think that India needs these things. I have promised them that we will talk to the ministry concerned and we should do this," he said.

Source:
http://www.zeenews.com/news584419.html 

Shared Adventures

Founded on the belief that recreation, fun, challenge and access to the outdoors are an essential part of a healthy and fulfilling life, Shared Adventures is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people living with disabilities. This video commemorates how much Shared Adventures has grown over the past 15 years! To learn more, please visit: www.sharedadventures.org


From China Daily:

Every year, December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Disabled people in Beijing, however, would have a hard time going out to celebrate it.

"As a country with a large disabled population, China should do more to improve social security and social service for its people with disabilities," Cheng Kai, vice president of the China Disabled Persons' Federation (CDPF), said on Tuesday.

The United Nations dedicated the International Disabled Day in 1982. So far, the world has about 650 million disabled people, or 10 per cent of the global population. Of those, 83 million are in China.


Although preparations for hosting the Beijing Olympics and the Paralympics made the ancient capital more accessible to the disabled, Beijinger Guan Yan still feels inconvenience when she leaves her home.

The 37-year-old Dongsi Shisantiao Hutong resident, who has been paralyzed from the waist down due to spinal cord compression for the past 23 years, has to sit in the wheelchair wherever she goes. But as an English teacher, Guan goes out a lot by taking different transport vehicles.

Subways and taxis are her most frequent means of transport, ever since Beijing's subway network was expanded and the country's first barrier-free taxi fleet hit the capital's roads last year.

Taking buses is much cheaper than taxis, but she seldom take buses because the city has few low-floor accessible buses and few bus stops indicating which bus is the accessible one.

To get a taxi, she has to book one several days in advance. The city only has 70 barrier-free taxis.

"Such a taxi has bigger interior space, and a ride in the barrier-free taxis costs 2 yuan ($0.3) per km, the same amount as an ordinary taxi... so, some people with no disabilities claimed they are disabled but use it to carry their large amount of baggage or cargo," Guan said, adding that a driver of a barrier-free cab told her such details.

To book an accessible taxi, one has to call the Beijing taxi dispatching center's hotline (961001) from 7 to 8 am at least one day in advance. The operator will contact the taxi companies and phone the caller back about whether a taxi is available or not, an operator with the center said.

Xie Zhanyuan, a 53-year-old retiree who has suffered polio since 11-month-old, said most wheelchair hoists installed at subway stations in the capital stopped operation after the Paralympics.

"It took almost an hour for my two friends in wheelchairs and me to take the wheelchair hoist, which is too long and inconvenient for the disabled," said Xie, who volunteered with another 61 citizens in Dongcheng district to check the city's barrier-free facilities.

At the Imperial Palace, barrier-free pathway and elevators were installed to allow wheelchairs-users to reach the top of main buildings. But Xie found the elevators were out of service due to equipment failure on this National Day holiday.

"Disabled people are encouraged to integrate into society, which is hard if we can not even walk out of our homes without barriers," Guan said.

Early last month, similar inconvenience for long-distance travel even prompted two disabled men from Liaoning province to sue the Ministry of Railways (MOR) for failing to provide reserved seats for the disabled.

Luan Qiping and Xie Wenqiang, who have to walk with crutches because of lower limb disabilities, tried to go by train from Beijing to Shandong on October 16. They were unable to secure seated tickets and had to travel standing up. They finally disembarked at Tianjin station, only two hours after boarding the train, because they weren't able to stand any longer.

They sued MOR after finding out many disabled had similar experiences. But they soon withdrew the lawsuit for unclear reasons, said Zhou Wei, a Sichuan University law professor who offers them free legal help.

"Despite the withdrawal, their action did increase citizens' awareness of the rights and interests of the disabled," Zhou told China Daily.

"Public places should install relevant barrier-free facilities to ease travel outside, which is a basic right for people with disabilities and has been stipulated in relevant laws and regulations. But of course it can't be achieved in a short time," he said.



Source:
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-12/03/content_9105142.htm

The recent coverage of JetStar's treatment of gold medal athlete Kurt Fearnly might have seemed like an aberration - today it is starting to sound like a new business policy as "Jetstar apologises for refusing to book guide dog on flight" Could it be that this is there way of celebrating the UN's International Day of Persons with Disabilities - 3 December 2009?:

Only just recovering from being criticised over its wheelchair policy, Jetstar has now had to apologise to a visually impaired couple who were not allowed to book their guide dog onto their flight. Melbournians Glen Bracegirdle, who is visually impaired but does not require a guide dog, and Kathryn Beaton, who does require a guide dog, were recently denied their guide dog when attempting to book a Jetstar flight. This is despite the fact that in Jetstar's own terms and conditions declaring "we [Jetstar] do provide limited special assistance services to accommodate customers who... need to travel with an accredited service dog". Jetstar stipulates that that those intending to travel with a guide dog must "advise Jetstar that they have a disability" and the couple claim that was exactly what they did when they contacted the Jetstar call centre but were told "no dogs, no dogs, no dogs" by the Jetstar reservation team member.
For the full story: http://www.etravelblackboard.com/showarticle.asp?id=99951

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Bill Shorten, says he has been disappointed by the latest claims against Jetstar.

He says the airline clearly has some questions to answer.

"Jetstar tells me that these are two isolated incidents, but I think other people will say they've had two strikes in two weeks," he said.

"I think it is worth myself, being the Government spokesperson, and the Human Rights Commissioner meeting with the leader of Jetstar to identify how things can improve. I think it's embarrassing."

Source:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/12/03/2761041.htm


As the World Health Organisation declares today the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, ABTA is calling on customers with disabilities to let their travel agent, tour operator or airline know at least 48 hours before travel if they need assistance at the airport. Travel companies are happy to provide assistance and also have an obligation under the Persons with Reduced Mobility Regulations, but they have found that customers can be reticent in expressing their need for help.

The PRM regulations were introduced on 26 July 2008 and placed an obligation on travel, agents, tour operators and airlines within the European Union not to refuse a booking to anyone with restricted mobility and to ensure that air travel is fully accessible. However if advance notice is not provided, resources such as wheelchairs and airport staff may not be readily available often causing delay and inconvenience to customers. 

Casia Zajac ABTA Head of Communications said "Persons with Disabilities are incredibly important to our industry and we are more than happy to remove any barriers to their ability to travel. Letting transport providers at the airport know of any requirements in advance is an easy and sensible way to help us to do that"

Source:
http://www.traveldaily.co.uk/AsiaPacificNews/Detail.aspx?Section=15789

Peregrinación a la Tierra Santa - 2009


Asi comineza una historia de uma pegrinacion unica:


Hace algo más de un año, Ana Palacios, directora de la Hospitalidad, se dirigió a mí para ver cómo podríamos acercar esta experiencia de Peregrinación a personas con discapacidades o enfermedad. Ella estaba empezando a formar lo que hoy es una estupenda realidad: La Hospitalidad Jesús de Nazaret. Se dirigió a mí como experto en accesibilidad. Mi pregunta fue obvia: ¿Qué barreras nos vamos a encontrar allí? Y sin perder su sonrisa me respondió claramente: TODAS.

Sentindo

Scandic Hotels

Advance registration for ASCLA accessibility workshop, lower registration fees end Friday

Registration rates will go up after this Friday, Dec. 4, for "Breaking Down Barriers: Best Practices in Universal Design for Libraries," a half-day workshop sponsored by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) and held in conjunction with the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting.

Library directors, trustees, friends and leaders interested in low cost, high impact ways to make a library fully accessible should attend this event, which will cover information and communication accessibility, as well as physical accessibility. Attendees will learn how to incorporate accessible accommodations into strategic planning, as well as building renovation and expansion plans. They'll also have a chance to present their library's unique accessibility challenge and receive on-the-spot consultation from expert speakers.

This workshop, made possible through a partnership between ASCLA and the Institute for Human-Centered Design (ICHD) (formerly Adaptive Environments), will feature speakers from the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), the Perkins School's Braille and Talking Book Library, The Carroll Center, the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

"Breaking Down Barriers" will be held 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at the ICHD, located at 200 Portland Street, Suite 1, in Boston. The MBTA's North Station is only a few blocks away, providing easy access to the Green and Orange lines, as well as several commuter rail lines. Subway, commuter rail and other pertinent transit information and schedules are available at the MBTA website.

Register for this event now at www.ala.org/midwinter. Interested participants should note that the institute (event code ASC2) is a separate ticketed event; registration for the Midwinter Meeting is not required in order to attend this event. For institute-only registration using the online form, select "Institute and Ticketed Events Only" as the registration type, and proceed to select this event from the list. Advance registration is $155 for all attendees and ends Dec. 4. On-site registration costs $185 and is available from Dec. 5 to Jan. 8.

IHCD is an international non-profit organization, founded in Boston in 1978, committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities. IHCD's work balances expertise in legally required accessibility with promotion of best practices in human-centered or universal design.


Source:

http://ascla.ala.org/blog/2009/12/mw10-universaldesign-reminder/

Disability Rights: The Rural/Urban Link

It may not yet be apparent but an exodus is taking place.

Campaigns waged for generations to make urban environments at first merely accessible - and now fully inclusive - are sprouting up in rural and wilderness environments.

The US Access Board is circulating draft guidelines on outdoor access while the maritime industry absorbs the Waypoint-Backstrom Principles. Yet the real dynamism has left the US and sunk deep roots in other regions:

Equal Adventure (UK)
http://www.equaladventure.org/index.html

Accessible Whistler (Canada)
http://www.whistlerforthedisabled.com/

Disabled WinterSport (Australia)
http://www.disabledwintersport.com.au/

Alpine Accessibility Toolkit
http://www.disabledwintersport.com.au/Pages/AATP/Toolkit/start_here.html

Adventure Tour Operators Association of India
http://www.atoai.org/

Brazilian Adventure Society
http://www.bas.org.br/

Siyabona (South Africa)
http://www.krugerpark.co.za/Kruger_Park_Travel_Advisory-travel/kruger-park-travel-article-disabled-traveller.html

This year the thrust of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is making the Millennium Development Goals inclusive. The incidence of disability and poverty is high in rural areas. Successful campaigns for inclusive recreational facilities and programs  in these rural and wilderness areas brings income and the example of self-determining independent people with disabilities. It has a positive transformative impact on the economy and culture of rural areas or people with disabilities

Kurt Fearnly - 2

Object Lesson: Interdependence is the core value of disability culture. Witness Kurt Fearnly:


 

TAKING ACCESIBILITY TO NEW LEVELS: OASIS OF THE SEAS--WORLD'S LARGEST, MOST INNOVATIVE CRUISE PASSENGER VESSEL

 

By Andrew Garnett, founder Special Needs Group, Inc.

Royal Caribbean International's (RCI) much anticipated next generation cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas is ready for passengers. Rising sixteen decks high, she is the largest vessel afloat---and among the most accessible.

We toured the ship recently and can report first hand that the Oasis of the Seas offers the largest number of accessible staterooms of any ship, a total of 46.  For the newer ships in the fleet, RCI has consistently maintained a standard of 1.7 percent of all staterooms designated as accessible, the highest percentage in the industry. Wider doorways, roll-in showers, grab bars and other assistive features ensure barrier-free vacations for guests.  We especially like the fact that on the Oasis of the Seas, accessible staterooms are distributed throughout the decks, ensuring ample choices for location and category.  One of the more deluxe choices is the ultra-modern, two-story Crown Loft Suite measuring 737 square feet--substantially larger than its non-accessible counterparts--and equipped with an elevator to transport guests between the upper and lower floors of the loft.

Of the 46 accessible staterooms on the Oasis of the Seas, 33 have balconies; eight with Central Park or Boardwalk views.  Since most persons with disabilities travel with others, RCI designed half of the accessible staterooms on the Oasis of the Seas to accommodate more than two people. The ample number of family suites and adjoining staterooms facilitates multi-generational travel, a growing cruise trend.  Twenty-two percent of all accessible staterooms connect to an adjacent non-accessible stateroom.  

There are 24 dining venues onboard the Oasis of the Seas, all designed to accommodate guests in wheelchairs.  Viewing space in lounges and theatres, including the ice rink, are configured for wheelchairs, as are card gaming tables in the casino. For those using "wheels" who want to ride the first Carousel at sea, there's a ramp to help you do just that. As on every RCI vessel, at least one pool and one whirlpool have lifts.

The ship's ease of accessibility is inviting news for travelers with limited mobility, and even those passengers who may not use wheelchairs or scooters at home, including show walkers, may want these aides to help navigate the Oasis of the Seas --she measures 1,184 feet from bow to stern. 

When the Oasis of the Seas visits port and RCI's private islands it's easy to roll off/roll on via the gangway ramp for those in wheelchairs or on power scooters.  No tendering.

The Oasis of the Seas and her staff effectively accommodate guests with physical disabilities relating to hearing, vision, breathing problems and other limitations. Like all vessels in the Royal Caribbean International fleet, the Oasis of the Seas is outfitted for people who are blind or have low vision.  Menus, daily activity schedules and ship directories are available in both Braille and large print.  Braille signage, including stateroom numbers and elevator information is a standard RCI feature.  Your fingertips can even identify which deck you are on via Braille deck numbers on the staircases.  The ship provides a 4 x 4 foot relief box for service animals.

State-of-the art, advanced technologies for people who are deaf and hard of hearing are available in staterooms and public rooms.  If you are traveling with oxygen, the Oasis of the Seas welcomes all types onboard.  Just alert the cruise line in advance of the quantity and type, and the method of delivery.

"Our goal is to allow persons with disabilities to enjoy a complete vacation experience," according to RCI spokespersons.  

As a preferred supplier for Royal Caribbean International, Special Needs at Sea / Special Needs Group is proud to help support the goal of a complete vacation experience for persons with disabilities.  In fact, echoing a statement by Ron Pettit, Access Manager of RCI, taking a cruise onboard the new Oasis of the Seas is a chance to take a vacation from disability.

Welcome, Oasis of the Seas.  We are glad this ship has come in.

Andrew J. Garnett is the founder and CEO of Special Needs at Sea/Special Needs Group., Inc.  He is passionate about dissolving barriers and dedicated to helping persons with disabilities travel the world.  Special Needs at Sea/Special Needs Group Inc. is a member of CLIA, OSSN and FCCA and a sponsor of SATH.

 

Inclusive Tourism in the State of Georgia

 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009
9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
8:00 AM registration & continental breakfast

Download Event Agenda


 

           

         Renaissance Concourse Hotel Atlanta       Airport
One Hartsfield Centre Parkway
Atlanta, Georgia 30354
driving directions

Free Parking

 

This event is by invitation only.
Your response is greatly appreciated.
Please respond by December 9, 2009
Valerie Meadows Suber
Public Information Director
Georgia Council on Developmental     Disabilities
vmsuber@dhr.state.ga.us

For more information, call 404.657.2122


 

 

Kindly include in your email response:
Subject line, please enter RSVP
Your Name, Company or Organization,
Position/Role, Telephone Number, Email Address.

Also, let us know if you prefer a vegetarian   lunch or
if you require accommodations for a disability.

 

 

 


 

Why travel? Why tourism?

 

"Making Accessible Travel and Tourism a Reality in Georgia" is a half-day executive seminar focusing on accessible travel, tourism, transportation and technology, ensuring that all destinations are available to anyone, regardless of ability. Americans with disabilities spend nearly $14 billion annually. In Georgia, tourism is the second largest industry. Each year, visitors spend an estimated $20 billion in Georgia. Accessible travel is the world's largest untapped travel and tourism market.


PwD in Canadian Parks

Bringing the woods to all

Posted By Hamish MacLean

Posted 4 hours ago


A Kananaskis Country outreach coordinator is being honoured in Calgary this week for his work on getting more people into parks.

Don Carruthers Den Hoed is not helping to bring just anyone in though, his work brings in people who otherwise might not be able to experience Alberta Parks.

Carruthers Den Hoed will receive a Premier's Council Award of Excellence in Public Awareness Dec. 3, (International Day of Persons with Disabilities) for his work on Alberta Parks' two-year Push To Open initiative. He said he viewed this award as a chance to continue to make more people aware of provincial parks efforts to make parks more open. The theme of Alberta Parks' inclusion strategy is "Everyone belongs outside."

"Getting diverse groups involved in parks is making our parks experience better," Carruthers Den Hoed said.

Carruthers Den Hoed has been involved with Alberta Parks for almost 17 seasons, but has been in the outreach position for two-and-a-half years.

His role provincially is to create an inclusive parks system, one in which all marginalized groups can participate in -- a new priority for Alberta Parks.

"What's great about it is that we've got encouragement to develop things locally and regionally, which can then be transferred to a broader picture," he said. "Because you can't really be inclusive from a head office in Edmonton.

"So we've got really good support from the province to take the lead down here."

And as far as removing barriers goes, Alberta is already doing quite well, but the goal though, the outreach coordinator for Kananaskis Country said, is not to remove all barriers. Now, one tool that Carruthers Den Hoed is using is an audit kit developed for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics that ensures that new barriers are not built.

"You can't make everything barrier free and in fact people with disabilities don't want us to," he said. "They want it to be natural, but they don't want us to do something dumb like put in a set of steps when we don't have to."

But the audits, and making small fixes makes more time for Tourism, Parks and Recreation workers to get to more places and the important changes can now happen more readily.



"The whole idea in the provincial parks system, and what's in our inclusion strategy, is you make sure we have a diverse set of universally accessible experiences," Carruthers Den Hoed said. "So not every single alpine meadow, but at least one of them; not every single mountain waterfall, but at least one of them; not every single grassland, but at least one of them -- so everybody has universal inclusion."

The Premier's Council sponsored Carruthers Den Hoed's graduate work; his master's thesis on educational contexts, completed in 2007, included the first inclusion strategy for Parks. That strategy now has evolved into a larger inclusion strategy with a fleshed out suite of initiatives, of which Push to Open is one.

The new comprehensive strategy, he said, is making Alberta Parks a leader in the world.

His work focuses on improving access and inclusion in Parks.

Alberta Parks' strategy is not just about access, he said. It's about connection to nature.

"It's always going to be a challenge to get people into the back country," he said. "But it's not a challenge to get people to think that's a good idea."

And there is a variety of equipment being used in Kananaskis Country to get more people into parks.

Mount Lorette Pond is a barrier-free fishing pond in Kananaskis Country, there's William Watson Lodge in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, a barrier-free overnight facility, there's Allen Bill Pond in the Elbow Valley, that has just been re-vitalized with barrier free trails and there's Elbow Falls.

One impact of being a part of the programs he runs which gets individuals beyond these starting points for Parks experiences is that he has changed his outlook on what his work means.

Carruthers Den Hoed said he has now come to view himself as a "TAB" or temporarily able-bodied person.

There are times in everyone's life, he said, when we face barriers.

"This is about me," he said. "It's not just about the 12 or 13 per cent of people who technically have a permanent disability, it's actually everyone of us who will face a barrier."


Kurt Fearnley - 1

As I always say, "All travel is adventure travel when you have a disability." Kurt Fearnley demonstrates just how adventurous daily life is for those of us with disabilities:

 

Something is wrong with this picture. There is no category for wheelchair accessibility:

NatureFind.jpg


Significant changes are underway in the US regarding basic outdoor accessibility. This is an area of disability rights advocacy that we strategically sidestepped in the 1970's to focus on what would become the ADA.

On December 3, the National Network of ADA Centers will host a webinar covering the Draft Final Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas recently released by the U.S. Access Board. There is a period of public comment through December 18. The registration information follows at the end of this message and with the attached registration forms.

Provisions have significantly changed between the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2007 and the latest final draft issued October 19,2009.

Significant scoping and technical changes have been made regarding access to trails. There are also different technical provisions based on whether the surface is concrete, asphalt, boardwalk or an alternative loose-fill surface such as natural stone screenings and soil. The scoping requirements for picnic tables have significantly decreased, as have the technical provisions for outdoor benches. There are new requirements for documentation and notification to the Access Board when not all portions of a trail may be able to be made accessible.

Public comments can be viewed as they are submitted through www.regulations.gov  see http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#docketDetail?R=ATBCB-2009-0006


----------


The US Access Board and the National Network of ADA Centers are pleased to announce that Registration is now available for the December 3rd Webinar titled:  "UNDERSTANDING THE DRAFT FINAL ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR OUTDOOR DEVELOPED AREAS" The session will be held from 2:30pm-4:00pm Eastern

On October 19, 2009, the U.S. Access Board released draft final guidelines for trails, picnic and camping facilities, and beach access routes. Once finalized, these guidelines will apply to outdoor sites managed by the Federal government, including national parks and recreation areas covered by the Architectural Barriers Act. This webinar session will provide participants with the opportunity to better understand the draft guidelines. This session will also highlight how the conditions for exceptions apply to trails and beach access routes, review "outdoor constructed features", and discuss the requirements for outdoor recreation routes and beach access routes.

Registration for this initial program will be done via a paper registration process due to some technical problems with the On-Line Registration process.

Forms can be submitted by fax (312-413-1856) or email (adaconferences@adagreatlakes.org).   

The Series is provided at no cost.  Individuals who are seeking Continuing Education Recognition may incur a fee.  This session has been registered for AIA CES (Approved Course #ACCES1) and LA CES has been applied for.  The cost of receiving either AIA CES or LA CES is $25.00 each.   Certificates of Attendance will be issued at no charge.

Instructions for accessing the webinar program on December 3rd will be sent via email to registered individuals prior to the session.

Questions regarding the registration process or if you experience problems with the registration process can be addressed via email to adaconferences@adagreatlakes.org or by telephone at 877-232-1990 (V/TTY).


AccessibilityOnline
Registration Form
December 3, 2009 Session

First Name: _______________________________
Last Name: _______________________________
Organization: _______________________________
Position/Title: _______________________________
Address Line 1: _______________________________
Address Line 2: _______________________________
City: _______________________________
State/Province: _________
Zip Code: _________
Email Address: _______________________________
Telephone Number: _____________________


Continuing Education Recognition

This course has been registered for the following professional education designation(s):

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Course # ACCES1 Landscape Architecture CES Applied For

The seminar is provided at no cost. However, continuing education recognition for the above designations is provided at an additional cost or $25.00 per person/per designation.

A Certificate of Attendance is provided at NO COST

Please check all that apply:
___ Certificate of Attendance No Charge
___ AIA CES $25.00
___ LA CES $25.00 (Applied For)
___ Total x $25.00 = _____

Credit card payment accepted (Visa/Mastercard) (Great Lakes ADA Center appears on Billing Statement)
Name on Card: ________________________
Card Number: ________________________
Expiration Date: ____________
CV code: ________________ (From back of card)
Billing Zip Code: ________________

OR Mail Check to: DBTAC-Great Lakes ADA Center, 1640 W Roosevelt Road, Room 405, Chicago, IL 60608 (CE Recognition will not be issued until Check is processed)

Fax Registration to: 312-413-1856
Email Registration to: adaconferences@adagreatlakes.org

Questions Regarding the Registration Process call 877-232-1990 (V/TTY) or send a email to adaconferences@adagreatlakes.org

Em Portugal a praia da Manta Rota, em Vila Real de Santo António, recebeu o prémio para a «Praia mais acessível», atribuído pelo Instituto Nacional para a Reabilitação, pelo Instituto da Água (INAG) e pela Fundação Vodafone Portugal, anunciou a autarquia.

Com este prémio, atribuído no âmbito do projecto «Praia Acessível - Praia para Todos», a Manta Rota foi considerada como «um modelo a seguir em termos de requalificação e acessibilidade», acrescentou a Câmara de Vila Real de Santo António.

«Este prémio pretende reconhecer as praias que, durante a época balnear, se venham a distinguir ao nível de boas práticas instituídas na área das acessibilidades», sublinhou ainda a autarquia.

Fonte:

http://diariodigital.sapo.pt/news.asp?section_id=114&id_news=423023

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