March 2010 Archives

Forwarded by Sandra Rhodda of Access Tourism New Zealand:

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) gave its verdict on how well airports had implemented new European Union laws - introduced in 2008 - that make it the responsibility of airports to provide assistance to disabled travellers and passengers with reduced mobility.
European Union: adapted from original orthogra...

Image via Wikipedia

 
The CAA has urged travel companies to improve the provision and accessibility of information, and to make it easier for disabled passengers to pre-book assistance.

The number of routes available for passengers travelling with assistance dogs should also be increased, according to the report, while better signage and information at airports is also required. It also called for greater awareness among airport staff of the range of impairments covered by the legislation.

"This review is a further step in ensuring that disabled people and people with reduced mobility receive equal treatment while travelling by air," said Andrew Haines, the chief executive of the CAA.

Full article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/7353020/More-support-needed-for-disabled-travellers-says-CAA.html
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About Hear & There:

H&T Audio Mag finds the coolest places to go and describes them with details most would miss.  You can listen to an interview I did with Insight Radio in Scotland.  H&T is an adventure program that is centered on detailed descriptions.  Many of the places we go are accessible for people with disabilities.  We visit places all over the world. This site contains programs you can download and listen.

Have you been to a place that was accessible and fun?

I would really like to hear about your adventures.  Go to my blog and write about it.  Maybe someone else will like it too.

Dave Uhlman
 website  http://hearandthere.net/default.aspx
 
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Association crest

Image via Wikipedia

Brazil beware! FIFA is unrepentant - and poised to violate the Brazilian constitutional guarantees of inclusion for persons with disabilities as well as article 32 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at FIFA 2014.

Read from Rolling Inspiration magazine below on for what those of us who have been discretely working "within the system" with FIFA in South Africa have long known but been politely holding from public scrutiny in order to allow FIFA  chance to save face and "do the right thing."

 
In our previous issue we reported on the number of seats available for wheelchairs at each stadium.

It has subsequently been revealed that the figures supplied were doubled up as the auditor erroneously included the tickets of the care givers in his numbers.

This means that, for example, at the Loftus Stadium in Pretoria, where FIFA stipulates a minimum number of 250 seats for wheelchairs (0.5% of the total number of seating) there are only 12 wheelchair seats per game. No wonder you couldn't buy any tickets!!!

SAFA's (South African Football Association,) spin doctor, Mr Rich Mkhondo, says that they based the seating on past attendances at South African soccer games and so adjusted the seat numbers accordingly.

How on earth can you base wheelchair tickets on previous attendance figures when there has NEVER been accessible transport nor accessible stadia? And what about the soccer fans from overseas? Where do they factor into the equation? ....

On page 115 [of FIFA's protocol documents] it states: "A specialist accessibility consultant should be consulted to determine the designs of the stadium to ensure that they comply with internationally accepted standards." SADA (South Africa Disability Alliance) recommended a specialist accessibility consultant to the LOC some time ago and, when the LOC failed to employ the services of said specialist accessibility consultant, SADA paid the bill and provided the specialist free of charge!

Despite that, the stadia do not comply with internationally accepted standards and when this issue was raised at the protest march Mr Danny Jordaan berated SADA for airing the issue in public and insisted that the issue be raised in private at a meeting scheduled for 31 March between SADA and SAFA.
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What the Hell is This?

Logo of EasyJet

Image via Wikipedia

Easy Jet does it again!

A 38-year-old paraplegic woman was ordered off an EasyJet flight last Sunday because she was unaccompanied.

Marie-Patricia Hoarau was able to check in, proceed through departure and finally board the aircraft at a Paris airport before she was told she could not remain on the aircraft.

Ms Hoarau, who lives in Fréjus in south-east France, had made the flight to Paris from Nice without any incident. It was only on the return trip that she was told she could not travel.


Source (see the video):
http://www.france24.com/en/20100327-woman-wheelchair-ejected-easyjet-flight-france-halde

All the more ironic in light of the recent Easy Jet award to Amar Latif and Traveleyes

Related:

http://blog.wheelmap.org/2010/03/frau-im-rollstuhl-von-easyjet-flug-ausgeschlossen/
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In the Travelogue section of RollingRains.com I am writing about my encounters with "print disability" as a legal concept and as an impetus for social entrepreneurship. (Of course, we will eventually want to explore how it all relates to extending possibilities for people with disabilities to travel.)

Privileges are available for certain services to those in the US who qualify as having a print disability. Bookshare provides such services. Eligibility requirements are defined by copyright law.

As I apply my skillset to helping Bookshare.org continue to retain quality volunteers I am exposed to an ever-deeper understanding of the concept print disability.

It is the law that allows Bookshare.org to function legally. The basis for Bookshare's legal existence is an exemption in the U.S. copyright law called the , which is Section 121 of copyright law. Chafee allows a government or authorized entity such as Bookshare to provide alternative format books and media to individuals with print disabilities.
Below is guidance from the Bookshare website on the legal definitions of print disability.

Qualifications

If you have a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to read a printed book, you most likely will qualify for Bookshare® services. To confirm that you qualify, you, or the organization representing you, will be asked to provide your Proof of Disability (certified by a qualified professional) during the registration process.

The answers to common questions below provide guidelines for determining what qualifies as a print disability.

Frequently Asked Questions: Qualifications

   1. I have a vision disability; how do I know if I qualify?

      If you are legally blind, you qualify. In addition, if you don't meet the legal blindness standard, a functional vision assessment that indicates a significant problem accessing text is also acceptable.

   2. I have a learning disability; how do I know if I qualify?

      If you are a K-12 student in the U.S. who has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) with a specific language learning disability and a need for text accommodations, your school should be able to confirm that you qualify and sign you up for Bookshare membership. Post-secondary, adult, or non-U.S. students should be able to obtain equivalent qualifications if they have a significant learning disability that affects reading.

   3. I have a physical disability; how do I know if I qualify?

      If you can't pick up a book, turn pages, maintain visual focus on a book or don't have the physical stamina to work with printed material, you most likely qualify for Bookshare membership.

   4. So, who doesn't qualify?

      The 98% of the population who can pick up a book and read it (or could if they learned to read). The copyright exemption exists to help the small number of people whose disabilities have a major impact on their ability to read. Other people who don't qualify include:

          * People without disabilities
          * People who haven't learned to read yet, but could
          * People who don't speak the language they want to read
          * People with disabilities that don't impact the ability to read (for example, most hearing and emotional disabilities)

      Some people with these disabilities might qualify on another basis. For example, someone who is deaf and legally blind qualifies for Bookshare. Someone with a developmental disability and a learning disability might qualify.

   5. I'm a certifying professional. How can I access the technical requirements for certification?

      The full technical and legal details are available on the Chafee Amendment page. If you are certifying someone who has a physically-based disability (including dyslexia) that makes it difficult to read standard print effectively, he or she should meet the technical requirements and you should be able to confirm this in writing if your professional expertise is applicable to such a determination.

   6. Is autism a qualifying print disability?
      Does a hearing impairment qualify?
      Is dyslexia a qualifying print disability?
      Can you explain the Chafee Amendment?
      What are the requirements to verify a print disability? Which legal definition do you use to ensure an individual is qualified?


      It is very important to remember that eligibility requirements are defined by copyright law, not education law. While many of these questions imply that the requirements seem restrictive, the requirements come from the law, and it is the law that allows Bookshare to function legally. The basis for Bookshare's legal existence is an exemption in the U.S. copyright law called the Chafee Amendment, which is Section 121 of copyright law. Chafee allows a government or authorized entity such as Bookshare to provide alternative format books and media to individuals with print disabilities.

      This copyright law exemption tries to balance the needs of people who are unable to read normal print with the rights of publishers and authors. It is not based on who might benefit from access to accessible materials: it restricts the exemption to a group of people who are assumed to not be able to access regular print materials because of a severe disability. Publishers and authors don't receive a royalty under this copyright exemption, and have an interest in ensuring it stays narrowly focused on the one or two percent of the population who can't read standard print.

      Some people with very real disabilities that might benefit from accessible text may not meet this legal definition. People who are deaf, have cognitive disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism or mental illness do not meet this definition by virtue of those disabilities alone. It is quite possible that some people with these disabilities still qualify because of other factors. For example, a severe visual or learning disability could also be present in a person with these other disabilities. So, a person who is deaf and blind, or ADHD and dyslexic, could qualify.

      Bookshare puts the responsibility of certification on the professional signing the Proof of Disability form to confirm that each Bookshare Member meets the copyright definition. Here's a simplified guide on students who should be able to qualify for Bookshare services and have a certifying professional sign off on their qualification:

          * Students with visual impairments that keep them from reading standard print (blind, legally blind, or with other functional vision limitations).
          * Students with severe learning disabilities that keep them from being able to effectively read standard print. This includes students with IEPs that call for text accommodation to respond to specific language learning disabilities.
          * Students with physical disabilities that prevent them from reading print or using a print book. Such a limitation could be the result of a spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, a neurological condition, etc.
      There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about qualifications. For example, many people with learning disabilities do not meet the qualification, because their disability doesn't affect their ability to read print or their disability is not severe enough to meet the stringent language of the copyright regulations. Not all students with IEPs qualify for Bookshare services. For example, a deaf student with an IEP who is reading text at grade level would not meet the copyright definition of print disability, while qualifying for other services related to deafness.

      The Bookshare team believes strongly in the value of accessible media for students beyond those who qualify under the copyright exemptions. Bookshare is working with publishers to see if there's a solution for these students that provides publishers and authors with compensation. But, for now, Bookshare needs to operate in careful compliance with copyright law to ensure that Bookshare can serve students with severe disabilities today.

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South African Disability Alliance (Sada) members burnt tyres at Safa House, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday in protest against the lack of accessibility of 2010 World Cup stadiums to people with disabilities.
"We burnt tyres because they are our mobility, but they cannot get us into stadia," said Sada executive Ari Seirlis.

LOC [local organising committee] let us down," read one placard. Another read: "Stadia not accessible for disabled, no legacy for us."

Seirlis said the alliance was not burning tyres because it was fashionable, but because it showed the pain of the disabled atnot being able to attend any of the 2010 World Cup matches.

"We want to be there. We want to be part of the action, but the stadia are not ready to accommodate us," he said.

About 100 members of Sada sang liberation songs as they rolled their wheelchairs from the parking bays opposite Safa House to the entrance, where a memorandum of demands was handed over to LOC CEO Danny Jordaan.

'We care about you'
Accepting the memorandum, Jordaan said he would meet with the leadership of Sada on March 31 to discuss issues raised in the memorandum.

 

"We care about you," said Jordaan, explaining that there was a memorandum of understanding signed between Sada and the LOC.

"If there are issues, we need to sit down and talk them out ... we still have to meet to discuss," Jordaan said.

Sada has demanded that the LOC ensure a safe and equitable environment for all spectators with disabilities, including at fan park facilities.

It also wants an accessible transport plan approved and implemented by all host cities.

Sada chairperson Musi Nkosi said that during the Confederation Cup, transport from park and ride sites was not accessible to people with disabilities, with no facilities for deaf spectators and no communication services.

"Visually impaired persons are also not fully accommodated, are not allowed to bring a guide free of charge. They have to find someone who can afford to buy a ticket to accompany them."

Nkosi hoped the meeting next week would be fruitful and not turn into another talk shop.

"We do not want to disrupt the World Cup events. It might be the first and last for Africa in our lifetime. We want to be part of it. I hope from this protest something will be done for people with disability."

Before leaving, the protesters eyed Soccer City stadium, designed in the form of a calabash, which will host the opening march of the tournament between Bafana Bafana and Mexico on June 11. --



Jordaan said only three stadia were not accessible to the disabled, and that while people in wheelchairs had to buy tickets, the people pushing the wheelchairs did not.

 

http://www.mg.co.za/image/square/20100326protestjpg/300

Protesters on Thursday burn wheelchair tyres at Safa House at Soccer City in Johannesburg during a protest organised by the South African Disability Alliance over the lack of accessibility of 2010 World Cup stadiums to people with disabilities. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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WeAdapt Adapted Fashions


http://www.weadapt.eu/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=30&lang=en

http://www.weadapt.eu/

The recent seminar in Maputo, Mozambique on disability, development, and Inclusive Tourism was ony the first in an increasingly public set of dialogues and interventions to highlight the cross-cutting relationship of disability to development.

In April 2011 a follow-up event will take place in Rio de Janeiro with participation in REATECH 2011 and a field experience in Socorro, Brazil. In the meantime, the Community of Practice (CoP) formed around Inclusive Tourism as a tool for national development continues to debate issues such as the following:

An exclusive concentration on inequalities in income distribution cannot be adequate for an understanding of economic inequality.

Consider an example. Being disabled has a double effect, in reducing the person's ability to earn an income (the "earning handicap") and in making the conversion of income into good living that much harder, thanks to the costs of assistance, and the impossibility of fully correcting certain types of disadvantages caused by disability (the "conversion handicap"). A person who happens to be physically disabled may need to pay for assistance, and even then may not become able to move around freely. The conversion handicap is routinely missed in poverty relief programmes that concentrate only on the lowness of incomes.

As Wiebke Kuklys, a brilliant young student at Cambridge, has recently shown (she died tragically shortly after completing her work), the conversion handicap for British families with disabled members is four or five times as important as the income handicap, in terms of their respective impacts on deprivation.

A system of poverty removal that concentrates only on the lowness of income, in particular whether a person's - or family's - income is below the poverty line, will catch the earning handicap, but not the conversion handicap, and this could make the poverty relief programme fundamentally inadequate. Indeed, the nature of every serious economic and social problem may be significantly influenced by taking the importance of freedom and capabilities seriously.

Full story:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/mar/23/social-justice-philosophy-freedom


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Projeto Acessa Fácil: parceria para praias acessíveis

A Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência assina convênio hoje, às 16 horas, em Cubatão (SP), com a SABESP (Companhia de Saneamento Básico do Estado de São Paulo) para implementação do Projeto Acessa Fácil em todos os municípios da Baixada Santista. A SABESP repassará o valor de 3,8 milhões de reais para a AGEM (Agência Metropolitana da Baixada Santista), órgão vinculado à Secretaria de Estado de Economia e Planejamento.


A finalidade do recurso financeiro é desenvolver e executar obras necessárias para instalar 139 esteiras que facilitarão o acesso de pessoas com deficiência ou mobilidade reduzida ao mar. A consultoria técnica do projeto é da Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência.

O coordenador de Programas da Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência, Flávio Scavassin, participará da cerimônia de assinatura, representando a Secretária Dra. Linamara Rizzo Battisttella. Também participam o vice-governador do estado de São Paulo Alberto Goldman, o presidente da Sabesp Gesner Oliveira e a Secretária de Estado de Saneamento e Energia, Dilma Pena

SERVIÇO


ASSINATURA DE CONVÊNIO ENTRE SECRETARIA DE ESTADO DOS DIREITOS DA PESSOA COM DEFICIÊNCIA E A SABESP


Dia: 26/03/2010

Horário: 16h00

Local: Rua Waldemar Luiz Martins, s/n

Bairro Afonso Schimidt - Sítio Capivari

Cubatão - SP


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Elder Guru: The UD Building Boom

Writing about the current appeal of UD in homes in the US:

Interest in universal design for homes has been increasing as the global population gets older. This trend shows no sign of abating. Baby boomers with funds to spare will increase this move toward universal design as they look to build their retirement homes with the hope of aging in place. Simple supply and demand economic factors may create a "universal design building boom." North Carolina State University's Center for Universal Design even offers college classes on the subject, and their site hosts variety of information and downloads for those interested in specifics.

Source:
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Assistive Technology Study Invitation

An invitation to participate in a study for developing assistive technology:

Dear All,

The DiaSpace project in Bremen is running a quick (15 minute) online
web study into how people give route instructions in dialogue. The
goal is that our findings will help us develop more responsive
wayfinding systems so that people who can't manually control their
wheelchairs can interact via dialogue instead. Another application
which we're working on is about helping elderly people find objects in
their home by describing where they are in an understandable way. So
it's all in a good cause!

Please participate, and just as important, please forward this email
on to your friends! We're really having a hard time getting enough
participants who are native English speakers, as DiaSpace is based in
Germany. The only conditions for participation are that participants
be native or very fluent speakers of English and 18 years old or
older, and not visually or cognitively disabled.
Here's the link to the experiment:

http://kognition.informatik.uni-bremen.de/diaspace/CR/

The experiment only takes 15 minutes, and if you're using Windows
Vista, you'll need to run it on Firefox, as it won't work on Internet
Explorer for Vista. (It works on Internet Explorer for other operating
systems than Vista though.)

Thanks very much for your help, and please feel free to send any
questions about this experiment or research to:

Dr Kavita Thomas
kathomas@uni-bremen.de
the DiaSpace project:
www.diaspace.org
University of Bremen

2010 DiabetesMine™ Design Challenge

The 2010 DiabetesMine™ Design Challenge is an online competition to encourage creative new tools for improving life with diabetes.

This competition is sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), an independent philanthropy organization committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California and beyond.

It is also endorsed by Medgadget.com, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies, and supported by the world-renowned design and innovation firm IDEO, with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA.


The Particulars

You can read the press release here.

The contest is open for submissions from March 1, 2010, to April 30, 2010, at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Winners will be announced on Friday, June 11th, 2010. Submissions are accepted in the form of a 2-3 minute video to be uploaded to the DiabetesMine YouTube channel, or a 2-3 page written "elevator pitch" plus supporting graphics, also to be uploaded online via our Scribd group.

For details on entering the contest, visit the Contest Rules and Enter the Contest pages.
 
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Air france regional - Toulouse - France

Image by Stéphane Giner via Flickr

Up at the BBC site "Ouch!" Phil recounts the now familiar story of discrimination with "Easy Jet" inserted in the villain's role:

When I arrived at Toulouse Airport, to get my flight back. I was greeted by the lady on the check in desk. Saying sorry I don't think Easy Jet allows disabled on their own. Which I replied you know your breaking the law.

She then replied. "I don't work for Easy Jet. But I know your right. I see what I can do.

When she came back and said they have refused me on the grounds that I'm disabled travelling alone, I made my own way back to where I came from. Then e-mail went backwards and forward. In email they said if I flew back with air France they would refund my money.

How can they say my disability is serveer without asking me any question of what I am capable of..?

Full story:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/messageboards/F2322273?thread=7388211
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Una Introducción al tema de la discapacidad en turismo por la Nelida Barbeito.


Actually, I would love to attend CSUN's 25th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference! There is nothing like it anywhere in the world when it comes to technology and disability. There are always new products, projects, and contacts to make it worthwhile. And it is only a short flight from hoe for me.

But I am not going this year because I have the privilege of working with Benetech.

Benetech specializes in using technology to address unmet social needs using a model similar to a technology startup - grounded in their Return on Humanity business model:

business_venn_b.jpg

Together with partners and supporters worldwide, we use technology innovation and business expertise to solve unmet social needs. Leveraging the intellectual capital and resources of Silicon Valley, we create solutions that are truly life-changing. Our global endeavors have been instrumental in improving literacy, human rights and landmine detection. With expanded support, we can accomplish much more.
For an 8-week period I will assist Bookshare.org volunteers  get matched up with opportunities to serve.

If you want to volunteer as a book scanner or to describe graphics; if you are a publisher with books to donate to their online catalog of DAISY-fornatted works, or if you want to support their work financially have a look here:

http://www.bookshare.org/_/contribute/overview
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Monica Wharton, Host of Disability News & Views Radio Show, interviewed Betsy Beaumon of Bookshare.

You can listen to the interview at the link below. (Preview: Watch for a "backstory" tomorrow):

Betsy Beaumon, Vice President, Bookshare is the world's largest online accessible library for individuals with print disabilities, such as blindness, low vision, a physical or reading disability that makes it difficult for them to read standard print.

Bookshare is free to qualified U.S. schools and students through a $32 million award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The library has tens of thousands of books including best sellers, textbooks, teacher-recommended reading and periodicals along with two software applications that read digital books.

Listen to the interview to find out more how individuals, parents and educators can sign up. "Providing books without barriers"

http://www.bookshare.org/signUpType

Listen to the interview with Betsy here:

http://www.disabilitynewsradio.com/BooksharesFeb242010.mp3
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Acaba de ser lançado o primeiro portal inclusivo do país. Chamado de "Vida Mais Livre", o site tem a proposta de contribuir para a inclusão digital e social de pessoas com deficiência. Mara Gabrilli.jpg
Idealizado pela agência Espiral Interativa, com o apoio do Instituto Mara Gabrilli, o portal traz conteúdo direcionado, como reportagens especiais,dicas de lugares acessíveis, políticas públicas e entrevistas com especialistas.

Segundo o IBGE (Censo de 2000), só no Brasil são cerca de 27 milhões de pessoas com algum tipo de deficiência, ou seja, 14,5% da população brasileira, que enfrentam uma série de limitações para navegar e se comunicar com outras pessoas pela Internet. "Isso acontece principalmente porque a maioria dos sites não é construída utilizando as recomendações para acessibilidade do W3C - comunidade internacional que determina padrões para Web", explica Rodrigo Leme, coordenador de Projetos da agência e líder da equipe de desenvolvimento.

O Vida Mais Livre permitirá, por exemplo, que as pessoas com deficiência visual ouçam as reportagens, com a ajuda de tecnologias assistivas como os leitores de tela, bem como os surdos leiam as transcrições dos conteúdos em áudio e vídeo. 
O portal incluirá ainda recursos de zoom de tipografia, navegação por meio do teclado e contraste de cores para daltônicos e pessoas com dificuldade de leitura. 

 "A acessibilidade não é só fisica, mas também de informação. Com a internet cada vez mais  presente em nossas vidas é importanteproporcionar as mesmas ferramentas para que todos possam realizar sua própria inclusão digital. Nesta cidade (São Paulo-SP) em que o ir-e-vir ainda é dificil, nada mais oportuno que este novo canal de informação", diz Mara Gabrilli. "

http://www.vidamaislivre.com.br/colunas/post.php?id=318&/a_um_clique_da_inclusao


Google Lists Bike Paths


Bicycle lane sign in New York City

Image via Wikipedia

In the United States, designated bike lanes and a growing bike culture have started to garner mainstream attention. And bicyclists now have a giant ally--Google.

At the 10th Annual American Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. last week, Google announced their maps feature will include bike routes for 150 U.S. cities. The feature includes 15,000 miles of off-street bike trails gathered by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that has collected trail info for its website since 2007.

Google made the decision after receiving a petition with more than 50,000 signatures for bike routes to be added to its maps. Google Maps introduced driving directions in 2005, and in 2007 the site added transit routes. Pedestrian navigation followed a year later. Now, it's the bikers' turn.

Source:

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/03/ebg031710.html


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Useful Travel Tips

Eliza Hussman at the SF Chronicle lists some good travel tips in Surviving last-minute trips overseas:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/19/TRNQ1BUDT6.DTL

Simi Linton, artist, scholar, and activist within the disability rights movement, has been nominated for an EPIC Emerging Artist Award via the White House Project. 


his recognition is for the forthcoming documentary Invitation to Dance, a film about disability and dance, produced and directed by Christian von Tippelskirch and Simi Linton. The film is a personal portrait, and more broadly it is about disabled people’s quest for equality, justice, and a place on the dance floor. 

 From Simi:
 
This is a contest and we want your vote!!! 
 Go to http://www.thewhitehouseproject.org/epic/emerging_artist.php 
 To view the clip, we suggest you first click on the right arrow underneath the movie frame and scroll to Invitation to Dance. Select it, then click on the YouTube icon inside the frame to see a larger version. 
 Make sure you vote: First select Invitation to Dance then click the vote button. That's it.
 The top three finalists will attend a gala sponsored by Lifetime Television on April 7th where the winner will be announced.

Forbes Remembers Universal Design

From Forbes magazine:

"People in their 50s and 60s, even 70s, are downsizing now with the anticipation that they can stay in their downsized house longer than their current house, potentially forever," says Christopher, who has earned the Realtors' Seniors Real Estate Specialist certification. Boomers buying for the long haul are looking for good access to transit, medical care and recreation; for high-speed Internet access and security systems; and for energy-efficient appliances and such green touches as solar water heaters... Another investment that can pay off: universal-design elements that will let you age in place gracefully. These don't have to be expensive, especially if you're asking a builder to put include these features into a new home from or a planned remodeling job. These elements include wide doorways; flush thresholds from room to room; lever door handles; adjustable closet shelves; kitchen cabinets with roll-out drawers; and good lighting. For more advice on universal design, click here.
Full article: http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/16/downsizing-boomers-taxes-retirement-places-personal-finance-downsizing.html

So nice to read someone who understands the terms they are using and does not perpetuate the confusion that equates mere accessibility with Universal Design:


Nowadays, we are used to accessibility:

    • wheelchair signs in parking lots
    • automatic door-opening buttons
    • seated shopping carts
    • touch screens
    • closed captioning
    • American Sign Language interpretation
    • Braille numbers in elevators
    • service dogs

An even more inclusive concept, universal design, is being used to design buildings, spaces and products that are people-friendly for all.

Source:

http://www.theithacajournal.com/article/20100319/NEWS01/3190356/1126/news/Independent+Living++Design+and+aids+help+provide+a+workplace+for+all

Brasil: Avenida Paulista (Portuguese)

Mara Gabrilli lança cartilha online da avenida, que hoje é a mais acessível da América Latina


Com objetivo de orientar as pessoas sobre a importância da acessibilidade na principal avenida do País, a vereadora Mara Gabrilli lançou, na internet, a cartilha "Olhe a Paulista - Avenida Universal". O material, disponível no endereço www.maragabrilli.com.br/paulistainforma como a calçada dali deve ser mantida, além de trazer dados históricos a respeito da via, que tornou-se a mais acessível da América Latina depois da reforma pela qual passou entre 2007 e 2008.

Entre as principais mudanças da reforma dos 55 mil metros quadrados de passeio da avenida está a retirada do mosaico português, piso feito de pedras que prejudicava a circulação devido a seu formato desnivelado e irregular, além da dificuldade de manutenção. Este material, que estava na Paulista desde a década de 70, foi trocado por placas de concreto armado moldadas in loco, um material de nível único e liso. Além disso, foram implantados pisos podotáteis para pessoas com baixa visão e cegas, guias rebaixadas, gradis de segurança e a troca das travessias de pedestres, que hoje são mais seguras para o usuário.

"Conseguimos construir um ambiente totalmente acessível em nossa metrópole. Hoje, a Paulista é um símbolo urbano de inclusão e respeito ao cidadão paulistano, tenha ele deficiência ou não. Vamos lembrar que, além de cadeirantes, cegos, anões, entre outros, a avenida também ficou melhor para o trânsito de idosos, mães com carrinho, mulheres de salto alto e até mesmo distraídos. Nada mais justo que mantê-la assim", diz Mara Gabrilli.

A cartilha "Olhe a Paulista - Avenida Universal" foi feita nos formatos digitais Flash e PDF, este dirigido às pessoas com deficiência visual. O endereço para a versão acessível éwww.maragabrilli.com.br/paulista.pdf . O material é interativo e traz imagens da Paulista antes e depois, dados históricos e curiosidades. O conteúdo informa, também, especificações técnicas para que as concessionárias (luz, gás, TV a cabo, entre outros) que precisem quebrar o piso e fazer intervenções em suas redes, recoloquem-noda maneira ideal sem danificar o passeio. A cartilha também tem lente de aumento para aqueles que têm baixa visão.

Desde 2008, quando a reforma foi finalizada, a manutenção do local sempre foi uma preocupação da vereadora. No ano passado, em uma iniciativa inédita, Mara Gabrilli contratou a publicitária e cadeirante Julie Nakayama para ser a Guardiã da Paulista, com o objetivo de fiscalizar os locais que não estivessem cumprindo as normas de acessibilidade.

Fonte: Portal Mara Gabrilli
http://www.cavenaghi.com.br/acontece/detalhes.asp?id=65
 

Stylish Bed Lifts for Hotels

Design makes all the difference! For those who don't understand the Norwegian just watch the images of the Integra lifter. It looks just like a furniture removing the stigma of "hospital appliance" from a necessary assistive device. 


When will we see this in hotels?


Image representing Yahoo! as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

"My goal in having people come in here," Brightman tells me before having me slap some vision-imparing goggles on my head, "is that when they walk out of here, they don't see the world in the same way ever again." ~ Mike Cassidy in the San Jose Mercury News

Mike Casssidy interviews Alan Brightman at Yahoo:

Brightman points out that the interest in accessibility isn't just about doing the right thing. There are 60 million disabled people in the United States, he tells me right off, citing a number in line with U.S. Census figures.

"Those 60 million people have an annual aggregate income of $1 trillion," he says, again referring to figures from the National Organization on Disability, a nonprofit advocacy group. "Two hundred twenty billion of that, Mike, is discretionary. You can see now why Yahoo might care about these folks."


They seem to care enough that they have brought in some quality staff and built a lab:


The 2 1/2-year-old lab -- an effort similar to those under way at many large companies and organizations -- aims to make Yahoo's Web sites easier to navigate for those who can't see well, or at all, or who have trouble hearing or who can't move their arms or work their fingers.

While attention to computing accessibility has grown in recent years, the overall results have been mixed. And as the Web evolves -- becoming more interactive, using improved programming language and featuring more multimedia -- the effort to keep it accessible requires vigilance.

Source :
http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_14698496?nclick_check=1

Disability consultant Michael Janger goes into more depth with a review of Alan Brightman's DisabilityLand here at Abledbody:

LEAD 2010.jpg


August 25-29, 2010
San Diego, California

Pre-Conference Sessions: August 25, 2010
Conference: August 26-28, 2010
Capacity Building Workshop: August 28-29, 2010

Conference sessions on August 25-27 and the Capacity Building Workshop on August 28-29 will take place at the Courtyard Marriott San Diego Airport/Liberty Station. Conference sessions on August 28 will take place at cultural arts organizations in Balboa Park.

Join Us!

Come to San Diego, California August 25-28 for the 2010 LEAD Conference! The conference opens with eight in-depth pre-conference workshops followed by three full days of interactive discussions, including the ever-popular legal session with a representative from the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Each day is packed with opportunities to network and experience the latest accessible technologies - there's even a chance to take an accessible tour of the San Diego Zoo!

New to LEAD this year is the first of what will become a series of capacity building workshops. These hands-on sessions are open to individuals who work with arts administrators to provide high-quality accessibility services. Our inaugural seminar will train new describers and provide professional development for those who are experienced.

Contact us to be added to the mailing list and to receive updates about conference events!


More Information:
http://www.kennedy-center.org/accessibility/education/lead/conference.html

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In the quotidian saga of being a mild-mannered day-to-day Superhero-for-disability-rights-in-disguise Graeme Innes goes about the normal tasks of daily living in Sydney.

Hubris crumbles in his wake:


A Sydney cabbie is in the doghouse after refusing to allow a guide dog and its high-profile owner - Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes - into his vehicle.

James Young could not have picked a worse person to turn away than Mr Innes, who is a lawyer and human rights advocate.

He promptly reported the cabbie to the Department for Transport, which launched a prosecution.

Today, Young was fined $750 and ordered to pay $2500 in costs at a Sydney court.

It is by no means the first time Mr Innes and his golden Labrador Jordie have been refused a cab - an offence under federal and state law.

A recent Guide Dogs NSW/ACT survey showed one in three guide dog owners were turned away by cabbies in the past 12 months, with Sydney drivers the worst offender

Full story:
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-cabbie-collared-by-disability-boss-20100317-qf2u.html
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Shaka Surf Camp: Costa Rica

It was just brought to my attention that I never actually published a post about the wonderful work of Shaka Surf Camp in Costa Rica:


PACKAGES: Each cabin is equiped with a private bathroom, AC, hotwater, private safe, ceiling fan, high quality linens, kitchen counter and sink, closet, spacious terrace and bench, and a hammock... Surf Resort Packages 
 ACTIVITIES: Although beach activities are the main theme of the camp, there are many other activities to enjoy while vacationing in this amazing area. Here are some of the activities our staff can help arrange if you decide to take a break from surfing... Surf Retreat Activities 
 ADAPTIVE SURF SCHOOL: Shaka Surf Retreat has also taken the time to construct according to ADA guidelines for handicap accessibility. Shaka also participates in non-profit work with children with autism, cancer, and disabilities for week long camps through out the year. Interested in organizing your own surf camp, yoga camp, or adventure camp contact us...
  Shakacr@gmail.com 
Shaka Surf Camp supports & endorses: Oceans Healing Group

Happy St Patrick's Day sailors!

At Access Tourism NZ read about new guidelines making maritime travel more accessible for people with disabilities published by Ireland's Department of Transportation and the National Disability Authority (NDA).

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Travability Goes on a Bird Walk

Tour Operator Bill Forrester of Travability is an extraordinarily productive chronicler of tourism opportunities for people with disabilities. Take a tour with some penguin friends of his in this post from his site:

Since the 1920's Phillip Island to the south east of Melbourne has hosted one of nature's great spectacles, the Little Penguins waddling ashore at sunset to their burrows buried in the San dunes. The Penguins live year round in burrows in large colonies. They fish all day returning under the cover of dusk to feed their young and avoiding their land based predators. The Little Penguin, also often referred to as the Fairy Penguin is the smallest Penguin in world standing at only 17 inches high.
The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island is now a world renowned attraction with over 650,000 local and international visitors enjoying the spectacle every year.

Full story:

São Paulo, quarta-feira, 17 de março de 2010



TENDÊNCIAS/DEBATES


Pagar por quatro nunca mais

MARA GABRILLI


Em ocasião assim, temos a oportunidade de detectar como os mecanismos excludentes são comuns em nossa sociedade


LEIDE MOREIRA , minha amiga, advogada e poeta, tem esclerose lateral amiotrófica. Só possui o movimento dos olhos, e com eles se comunica. Nessa ação não está incluído o piscar, que ela não executa, de modo que sua linguagem consiste apenas na movimentação de seu globo ocular. Seus assistentes precisam piscar-lhe os olhos e pingar colírio a todo momento e, se essa tarefa falhar, Leide corre o risco de cegar, perdendo, então, a única forma de comunicação que possui.
No lançamento de seu segundo livro, "Poesias para me sentir viva", no auditório desta Folha de S.Paulo, em novembro de 2008, combinamos de fazer um programa juntas. Um cineminha, quem sabe. Leide me surpreendeu com o convite para assistir a um show de Ney Matogrosso.
Esse foi seu primeiro programa após o lançamento do livro, e lá fomos nós juntas ao espetáculo. Para isso, ela contou com ambulância e todo um aparato que utiliza para continuar viva. Ela é ligada permanentemente a um equipamento que a auxilia na respiração, máquina que a acompanha sempre.
Foi transportada em uma maca móvel, utilizada também durante o show. Com a musculatura paralisada e atrofiada, a poeta sente desconforto quando fica sentada por muito tempo, por isso, sempre que sai, também utiliza a maca.
Na ocasião, o Citibank Hall lhe cobrou quatro ingressos, alegando que ela ocuparia o espaço de uma mesa.
Ainda argumentaram que estariam dando um desconto de 50%, já que a mesa era de oito lugares e eles cobrariam "somente" quatro ingressos.
Apesar de não considerar justo e por conta de sua empolgação pelo show, por sair de casa e pela nova experiência, Leide aceitou arcar com os quatro ingressos para si, sem contar com os de sua equipe.
Já para o show da Maria Bethânia, realizado recentemente no teatro Abril, Leide pagou um ingresso, como todos os outros espectadores, utilizando a mesma maca móvel, entre os outros recursos.
Leide decidiu que veria, após essa ocasião, o novo show de Ney Matogrosso, novamente no Citibank Hall, mas pagando o preço justo, ou seja, apenas seu ingresso, e não os quatro que pagara anteriormente somente para si. Novamente, as entradas de seus funcionários foram devidamente pagas.
Após uma semana de conversas com Ministério Público, associações que defendem os direitos das pessoas com deficiência e um contato meu com a diretoria do local, no qual inclusive fui muito bem atendida, a casa de espetáculos concordou em receber Leide pagando um ingresso, assim como outros consumidores.
Afinal, fomos novamente juntas ao espetáculo, realizado neste domingo, 14 de março, e tudo ocorreu dentro da normalidade. Além disso, o cantor veio pessoalmente cumprimentar-nos e autografou um CD para Leide.
Ela, porém, não foi atendida no pedido de ressarcimento, em forma de desconto, dos três ingressos cobrados indevidamente na ocasião anterior, para o primeiro show. Desconfia ainda que poderá enfrentar situação similar em uma eventual próxima oportunidade, já que foi informada pela casa de espetáculos que, "dessa vez, foi aberta uma exceção".
Nesse caso, o fato de Leide ter conquistado o direito de uma pessoa pagar por um ingresso foi interpretado como uma concessão.
Possivelmente, dentro de alguns meses, esse abuso será passível de multa, já que nesta semana irei protocolar na Câmara dos Vereadores de São Paulo um projeto de lei municipal que proíbe casas de shows de cobrar mais de uma entrada para pessoas em situações semelhantes à de Leide.
Numa ocasião como essa, temos a oportunidade de detectar como os mecanismos excludentes são comuns em nossa sociedade. Mesmo que, em relação à inclusão das pessoas com deficiência, a legislação brasileira esteja bem avançada, na prática, a inclusão social exige o enfrentamento de grandes barreiras e desafios, configurando-se numa luta diária para conseguir apenas o elementar.
Porém, sabemos que essa é uma causa de todos nós, e estamos comprometidos com o desenvolvimento de uma sociedade cidadã e justa.
Por isso, Leide, eu e tantas outras pessoas para as quais essas barreiras são ocorrências corriqueiras acreditamos que podemos comemorar mais uma importante vitória, sabendo que ainda temos muitos desafios nessa jornada de lutas.

MARA GABRILLI, 42, tetraplégica, psicóloga e publicitária, é vereadora da cidade de São Paulo pelo PSDB. Fundadora da ONG Projeto Próximo Passo, hoje Instituto Mara Gabrilli, foi secretária municipal da Pessoa com Deficiência e Mobilidade Reduzida de São Paulo (2005 a 2007).

Os artigos publicados com assinatura não traduzem a opinião do jornal. Sua publicação obedece ao propósito de estimular o debate dos problemas brasileiros e mundiais e de refletir as diversas tendências do pensamento contemporâneo. debates@uol.com.br


Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2010 
September 8-10, 2010, Portland, Oregon, USA

  1. In today's ever-smaller world with endless means of communication tools, how can I select the right online and social marketing approaches? Where do I start?
  2. How can I secure funding for my conservation and sustainability initiatives and my tourism social enterprise ideas? What do I need to know?
  3. What's the best way to go about finding the right partners that can help maximize the potentials of my projects? What works and what doesn't?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed at the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2010 (ESTC 2010) - Portland, Oregon, USA, September 8-10, 2010. Through innovative sessions on approaches to sustainability in travel and tourism, the ESTC 2010 will present the latest on sustainability tools, solutions and best practice ideas.  

The largest and only annual conference in North America focusing on sustainable tourism, the ESTC is the meeting place for tourism professionals where 500+ sustainability experts, business leaders and policy makers from across the industry gather to shape the roles of tourism in building a sustainable future.

Looking for effective networking and partnership building opportunities? Have innovative new ideas and solutions to share? Want to stay on top of the latest trends and opportunities? Mark your calendar now to participate in the ESTC 2010 and be part of the largest sustainable tourism who's-who event of the year. 

Registration will open in April. You can visit the ESTC 2010 website, sign up for the ESTC eNews, and join ESTC groups on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on conference news and to connect with key industry players. 

The ESTC 2010 is organized by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) with the support of the ESTC sponsors and partners. Contact TIES conference team for more information at estc@ecotourism.org

Too often talk related to disability emphasizes mobility impairments and wheelchair users when sensory impairments are numerically more common. This is true when speaking of travel and disability also. Given the lack of material on sensory imairments in Inclusive Travel literature it becomes necessary to draw inferences from other fields. In tnis case a study in higher education provides some insights:


Sensory access in higher education: guidance report 2009
Making sure the campus environment doesn't disadvantage sensory impaired staff or students
Research into the experiences of disabled students suggests that students who are blind or partially sighted, deaf or hard of hearing, or within the autistic spectrum can be disadvantaged by their campus environment.
This guidance was developed following an investigation to explore and understand some of the barriers to inclusion currently experienced by sensory impaired staff and students in higher education. The investigation revealed recommendations for estates managers, but also for a range of departments across institutions, including recommendations for management, support service providers and learning managers.
Areas covered include:
Management issues
Support service providers
Learning managers
Estate managers
Technical glossary
Sources of further information
Download:
Microsoft Word document DOC: Sensory access in higher education: guidance report 2009 (243.5 kB)
PDF document PDF: Sensory access in higher education: guidance report 2009 (701.2 kB)

Source:

LUDHIANA, 12 March: Despite several notifications by the local bodies department, the administration and municipal authorities have proved to be a failure in providing ramps and lifts in the government buildings for the convenience of senior citizens and disabled people. In such a situation, it becomes very difficult for disabled people and senior citizens to visit the government offices for their work. 

Sources said in most of the government departments, including district administration complex, various MC zones except zone D, district transport office and civil hospital, the ramps were yet to be built. The authorities promised to do it several times but till now nothing had been done. 

In February, 2006, the then deputy commissioner Anurag Verma had first asked MC and other officials to prepare these slanted structures in all the important public buildings in the district to facilitate disabled people as per the directions of the Commission for Persons with Disability. 

Leaving aside a few departments, the ramps for the elderly and invalid have not come up anywhere. The officer had also directed the town planners to ensure that the buildings that would be constructed in future would also provide lifts. 

''There should be facility of ramps in government departments for people like us who cannot climb up and down the stairs but the authorities hardly care for such daily problems,'' said Manjit, a physically-diabled person. It is because of lackadaisical attitude of the authorities that till now they could not provide the facility of ramps in all the government departments and people, especially disabled and elderly people, have to climb the stairs, asserted Dr Neelam Sodhi, director, Ashirwad, a city-based NGO. 

Sodhi asserted that they had requested about it to the authorities several times but to no avail. ''I could not comment about other buildings and as far as my office is concerned there is one ramp for the convenience of disabled people or senior citizens but do not know about other offices,'' said MS Jaggi, MC joint commissioner.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Inclusive Tourism at ITB 2010

Photograph of panellists at the ITB SessionOn Friday the 12th March, Tourism for All UK participated in a two hour workshop at the largest tourism trade exhibition of its kind - ITB Berlin.

In front of an audience of visitors to the trade show, the session investigated the experience of the panellists as to how Europe was meeting the needs of disabled visitors, which was followed by an in-depth Q&A session hosted by SAT 1 TV presenter Bettina Cramer.

Principally this session was about good practice and how the requirements of disabled people are being met in Europe, the barriers to tourism for disabled people and how these might be overcome.

Participants included:

Dirk Janczewski, Founder of Barrier-Free-Tourism.eu (www.barrierfree-tourism.com/);

Lillian Muller, President of ENAT - the European Network for Accessible Tourism (www.accessibletourism.org/);

Mohammed Al-Tarawneh Vice-Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (www.ohchr.org/);

Dr Rudiger Leidner - President of the Coordination Board on Tourism of the German Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (http://natko.de/);

Angel David Herrera González - Counsellor of Tourism for Arona in Tenerife (www.arona.org/)

Brian Seaman of TFA.


Source:

http://www.tourismforall.org.uk/ITB-Berlin-Accessible-Tourism-Market-Potential-and-Best-Practices-BusinessNews.htm

DMramplogo_WEB - cropped.jpg
Honorees Announced
Springboard's 4th Annual Disability Matters Awards
Co-hosted by KPMG LLP and Adecco Group North America, two 2009 Disability Matters Honorees 
March 8, 2010, New York, NY -- Springboard Consulting LLC is pleased to announce the honorees of its fourth annual Disabilities Matters Awards Banquet and Conference which will take place on April 8, 2010 in New York City.

The honorees are...

In the Marketing category:
Prudential
Toys "R" Us Inc.
Verizon Communications, Inc.

In the Diversity category:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)
Northrop Grumman Corporation  

In the Work-Life category: 
Cisco
PepsiCo, Inc.
The Dow Chemical Company

Springboard is also pleased to announce the event's inaugural Small Business awards.
These honorees are: 
Carolina Fine Snacks
J. Lodge, LLC
Max's Positive Vibe Café
Parrott's Trophies 

As the mother of two children with special needs and the Founder and President of Springboard Consulting LLC, Nadine Vogel says, it is so personally gratifying to see the incredible commitment to our awardees in supporting the disability community in so many aspects of their businesses. It illustrates their recognition and commitment to the inclusion of a community that represents the largest minority market in the world and to Springboard's mission to mainstream disability.

Considered one of the nation's leading authorities in the field of media and public advocacy and the prior administration's head of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Neil Romano will serve as this year's keynote speaker.  

The four panel discussions will focus on a variety of work/life, diversity and marketing initiatives relative to people with disabilities and their families in the workforce, workplace and marketplace.  They will include disability issue experts from Corporate America, Academia, the Federal Government and the Non-Profit sector. In addition to the event's Platinum level host-sponsors, KPMG LLP and Adecco Group North America, Springboard is pleased to announce the Gold-level sponsors: Colgate Palmolive, EMC, and Prudential and the Silver-level sponsors, AOL, Cisco, CVS Caremark, L'Oreal, McDonalds, Northrop Grumman Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  

Those interested in purchasing tickets or obtaining additional information should contact, Ivette Lopez at 973-813-7260 x102, or at ivette@consultspringboard.com. 

 

by YUKO NARUSHIMA AND BELLINDA KONTOMINAS

March 15, 2010


SHOPS, hotels and offices will soon be forced to widen corridors, install ramps and renovate toilets under new rules to improve access for the elderly, families with prams and people with disabilities.


The federal government will announce minimum access requirements today for public buildings built or renovated from May 1 next year. For the first time, there will be uniform building rules across Australia to end the isolation felt by as many as 4 million people who cannot properly use public facilities. The rules go beyond buildings to swimming pools, cinemas and common areas of blocks of flats available for short-term rent.


The parliamentary secretary for disabilities, Bill Shorten, said the laws would help end years of ''practical apartheid'' that excluded people with disabilities.


''If you couldn't enter a building because of your skin colour or gender, there'd be a human outcry,'' he said. ''Yet every day, people with disabilities have that sort of embarrassment.''


Mr Shorten gave examples of ''unthinking barriers'' such as a step that stopped people entering a shop, or the narrow restaurant door that forced diners to the back entrance, or escalators that moved too fast.


''What does that tell you about yourself?'' he asked. ''When we talk about disability and access it also includes young mums with kids, lots of older people with mobility not as good as it once was.'' The costs on businesses would be minimal and could be recouped in increased trade, Mr Shorten said. ''We're really opening doors. This opens up a lot more buildings to a lot more customers.''


The executive director of the NSW Property Council, Ken Morrison, said there would be extra costs for building owners but the council had opposed some of the more costly and ''unreasonable'' standards before they were removed from draft legislation.


''In early drafts there was a requirement for a total upgrade for disability standards across a whole building, even when one or two floors were being refurbished,'' he said. ''We thought that was too expensive.''


Another ''crazy'' element of the legislation, since removed, required the height of many shopping car parks to be increased, Mr Morrison said.

''Yes, it will cost building owners more money when they do these refurbishments but we believe it is better to have some certainty for builders and building owners.''


Graham Wolfe, executive director of the Housing Industry Association of NSW, said the standards would not be much different from the existing code.

Aude : l'accueil des visiteurs handicapés Aude : l'accueil des visiteurs handicapés
Publié le : 02/03/2010 
Auteur(s) : Emmanuelle Dal'Secco
Résumé : Quelles sont les actions menées par le département pour favoriser l'accueil et le confort des visiteurs handicapés ? Dans ce domaine, l'Aude se montre plutôt performante et innovante.
 

• Onglet « Tourisme et handicap » sur la page d'accueil du site internetwww.audetourisme.com.

• Un nouveau site en juin. A cette même adresse, la nouvelle version du site internet du CDT de l'Aude-Pays cathare sera en ligne en juin 2010. Elle intègre un mini site dédié exclusivement au handicap, particulièrement complet, plus ergonomique et plus lisible. Répondant à la norme « Accessiweb V1.1 », il permet, entre autres :

- Une présentation vocale du département en MP3, téléchargeable.
- Une vidéo détaillée de tous les secteurs en langue des signes.
- Une rubrique pour préparer son séjour (accès en avion, services Accès plus de la SNCF dans trois gares du département, contacts utiles sur les agglomérations de Narbonne et Carcassonne...).
- La liste des offices du tourisme labélisés.
- L'annuaire des services spécialisés et d'aide à la personne.
- La liste des zones de baignades accessibles (plages et piscines).
- Une rubrique « Actus » recensant tous les infos spécifiques et les actions des prestataires labélisés.

• Brochure Tourisme & Handicap de l'Aude Pays Cathare (version papier ou téléchargeable sur le site), éditée depuis 2003. La grande nouveauté de la cette édition est la mise en valeur des structures labélisées situées à proximité du Canal du Midi. Leur diversité et leur complémentarité permettent à une clientèle en situation de handicap physique de composer un séjour en toute confiance. Elle recense tous les sites labélisés, avec un descriptif et une carte du département. La brochure 2010 est disponible le 12 mars.

• Mémento de l'accueil touristique en LSF (Langue des signes française), disponible depuis 2007, en version papier ou téléchargeable sur le site. Une première en France ! Destiné aux professionnels du tourisme et agents des offices du tourisme, initiés à cette langue lors de formations, ce manuel pratique permet de répondre à des situations concrètes face à des personnes sourdes et malentendantes. Il propose un florilège de photos présentant les expressions les plus courantes : bonjour, merci, bonnes vacances, restaurant ou feu d'artifice...

• Présentation du département avec vidéo en LSF sur le site. L'Aude fut l'un des premiers à proposer un tel service d'information ! Dans de courtes vidéos, une interprète en langue des signes présente les différents pays qui composent le département, les sites majeurs et l'histoire de la région.
www.audetourisme.com/FR/tourisme_et_handicap/lsf/le_pays_carcassonnais.aspx

• Sensibilisation des professionnels à l'accueil des visiteurs handicapés à l'occasion de courtes formations à l'initiative des offices du tourisme et du CDT. Elles abordent le cadre légal, les obligations imposées par la loi handicap de 2005 et un accompagnement technique pour mettre leurs sites en conformité. Sur le nouveau site du CDT, une rubrique « Espace pro » proposera dès juin 2010 une multitude d'informations et de documents (certains disponibles en version papier) pour les aider dans leurs démarches : photos, schémas et plans des adaptations, liste des fournisseurs spécialisés sur toute la France, guide pour l'accueil des visiteurs handicapés...

• Participation active à des salons spécialisés.
Prochains rendez-vous :
- Salon Autonomies à Liège (Belgique), les 25, 26 et 27 mars 2010 où le CDT de l'Aude présentera sa brochure 2010 sur la plate-forme « Tourisme & Loisirs adaptés ».
- Salon Autonomic à Paris, Porte de Versailles les 9, 10 et 11 juin 2010.

• Trophées « Autonomic, Innov 2008 » et « Les étoiles de l'accueil, trophée de la Maison de la France (Rn2d) » en 2006 qui ont récompensé la présentation filmée du département en langue des signes.

 En savoir plus sur notre dossier « Tourisme et handicap » dans l'Aude :

Aude : « Un tourisme pour tous ! » et contacts
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3166.php

Aude : Editorial d'Alain Coste, directeur du CDT + projets
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3167.php

Aude : le tourisme adapté en chiffres
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3168.php

Aude : les sites incontournables et leur accessibilité
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3170.php

Aude : Carcassonne, notre ville coup de cœur
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3171.php

Aude : Narbonne, des actions positives
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3172.php

Aude : calendrier des grandes manifestations
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3173.php

Aude : bastion gastronomique
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3174.php

Aude : sports et loisirs adaptés
http://tourisme.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3175.php


Siource:

http://informations.handicap.fr/art-tourisme-culture-15.0.0.0-3169.php

The World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) and PATA are joining forces in the drive towards 'real sustainability' in destinations across the Asia Pacific region. A Memorandum of Understanding signed at ITB Berlin thius week by Greg Duffell, Chief Executive Officer of PATA  and André Vallerand, President of CED was witnessed by UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.

Greg Duffell considers the partnership, as exemplified by this agreement, to be extremely significant in the development of destinations across the Asia Pacific region. "Not only will we be able to develop and provide practical tools for use by our industry as it grows but we will also be able to do so at a level that recognises and works towards real sustainability whilst maintaining a sharp competitive edge" he said.

Andre Vallerand believes the partnership 'registers perfectly with the development plan of the CED mission to contribute to bring destinations of the entire world towards excellence'. "SMED offers the assessed destinations concrete and feasible recommendations that will allow them to reach their targets of sustainable development, to develop their competitiveness, to improve the quality of the experience given to tourists and to reinforce their geographical character," he said.

The CED, based in Montreal, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the research and creation of tools to support the development of sustainable tourism for destinations around the world. The CED was created with the support of the UNWTO and National Geographic. 

Further information: www.ced.travel


Source:


African delegates at the FITUR Exhibitions in Madrid, Spain have chosen Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, director general of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), to head a newly formed continental body known as the African Tourism Promotion Initiative, which was formed the participants at the event.

The body was formed after a meeting held at the Nigeria stand, which came in the heels of the INVESTOUR Forum held  at Feria de Madrid, venue of the global tourism event.
 
 INVESTOUR, which debuted for the first time this year, was initiated by the Spanish Outboard Tourism Authorities, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Casa Africa.
 
The forum was formed as a result of the increasing interest on African destinations by Spanish investors and tourists and is expected to afford African destinations the opportunity to present their various destinations and business opportunities to the investors, and its focus was on the Economic Community of West Africa States (Ecowas).

The objectives of the new tourism body are to market and promote tourism; build and develop contacts and relationships among the various destinations in the continent. This is in addition to carrying out joint promotions and marketing of tourism products and services of member nations; and to support each member at exhibitions platforms across the globe.
 
The body also resolved that it would henceforth engage in the understudy of member nations' destinations with the aim of helping to grow, develop and promote the continent as one destination.
 
The need to jumpstart the process of having a formidable voice in the global tourism through the new body was emphasised with members pledging to do everything possible to ensure the success of the new initiative.
Also to jumpstart this, Zimbabwe formally announced the hosting of Miss Zimbabwe beauty pageant by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) with formal invitation extended to all the members and countries of Africa by Karikoa Kaseke, chief executive of ZTA,  who is also the vice president of the new body.
 
The Gambia Tourism also announced the hosting of the Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress by May with formal invitation to all the members while countries such as Burkina Faso announced the hosting of a tourism expo later in the year with all the members invited to exhibit ex-gratis.
 
It was also agreed at the forum that English and French languages would be the official languages for the conduct of business.
The secretary of the body is Stella Christiane Drabo from Burkina Faso while Mr. Ida Jang Njie from Gambia Tourism is the public relations officer.
FITUR is an annual exhibition platform which is dedicated to the development and promotion of global tourism destinations, products and services.

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News from the IDeA Center

The IDeA Center is happy to announce that two new publications available in 2010.

Inclusive Housing: A Pattern Book (W.W. Norton & Co.) will be released in April 2010 and is a resource for designing communities to accommodate social diversity and provide equitable opportunities for all residents, or, inclusive design. It focuses on design of housing to provide accessibility to people with disabilities and, at the same time, provide benefits to all residents. The book emerged out of a lengthy discussion within the Congress for the New Urbanism about accessible housing design in the urban context. This discussion identified the need for information that would help incorporate accessibility for people with disabilities into neighborhood and housing design practices without compromising other important design goals. For ordering information, please go here:

Direct from Publisher, W.W. Norton and Co.
Borders
Barnes and Noble
Amazon
Google listings

The State of the Science: Emerging Research and Developments in Universal Design (Bentham Sciences Publishers, Ltd.) will contain the latest research related to universal design that was presented at the RERC-UD's State of the Science events. The publication has over twenty contributing authors from around the world and emphasizes the growing need for evidence based practice in the field.

Continue to other upcoming publications >>

Research Updates: RERC-UD

female participant using a cabinetThe RERC-UD's R2 team has begun a 1-year study that will evaluate the usability of 18 household products for four user groups: wheelchair users, persons with vision impairment, older adults, and healthy young adults. Photo of full scale bus simulation at IDEA Center For R2 researchers, the principal aim of this project is to establish the discriminant validity of the Rapid Assessment of Product Usability and Universal Design (RAPUUD). The RAPUUD is a 13-item tool based on the Principles of UD. The team began developing the RAPUUD in 2007 as part of its long-term goal to encourage product developers to integrate inclusive design principles into their product designs.

Continue to complete article on RERC-UD>>

Research Updates: RERC-APT

Data Collection Underway in CMU Lab on Modality Preference for Rider Report on Transit Accessibility Problems

full-scale simulated bus shelterA was built at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to studyrider documentation of bus shelter accessibility barriers. The first round of publications from this team was presented at a poster session at this year's Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in January.






For more information about the RERC-APT go to http://www.rercapt.org

Construction of New Full-Scale Bus Simulation Complete--Research Underway

full scale bus platformA full scale model of a simulated bus and platform were recently constructed at the IDeA Center at The University at Buffalo. The apparatus will allow us to test the impact of various ramp slopes and lifts on the usability of transit systems.




Continue to complete article on RERC-APT >>



RERC-APT Partners with Easter Seals Project ACTION

project action seal logoThe RERC-APT recently developed a collaborative relationship with Easter Seals Project ACTION.  Easter Seals Project ACTION promotes cooperation between the transportation industry and the disability community to increase mobility for people with disabilities under the ADA and beyond. Recognizing our common goals, we worked together to develop, "Universal Design & Accessible Transit Systems: Facts to Consider When Updating or Expanding Your Transit System." The guide is targeted towards those involved with transportation infrastructure and capital investment purchases of equipment. It provides useful information on accessibility and the benefits of universal design, and contains recommendations and guidelines for transit agencies to consider when updating or expanding their systems. It is available online and as a print publication. Since fall 2009, over 10,000 fact sheets were mailed out and over 1000 copies were distributed at various conferences. In addition, Mary Leary, Senior Director of Project ACTION & Transportation Initiatives, joined the RERC-APT Advisory Board.
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Principles for Upgrading Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
 in the Historic Patrimony of
São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil

Scott Rains - RollingRains.jpg

Disability is defined as an interaction between what levels of functionality a person may have and the environment.


The lack of vision, for example, may not constitute a disability in any meaningful sense to a blind person in a well-designed or familiar environment.

Not all functional abilities involved in disability are the same.

Typical  medically-oriented categories used to group people who may share broadly similar accessibility and inclusion requirements include:

1.    Visual
2.    Auditory
3.    Cognitive/emotional
4.    Mobility

A complimentary approach avoids the implicit paternalism of a medical model and looks at the lifecycle of individuals to guide design solutions by the demographics of infant-child-youth-adult-senior. This segmentation also accounts for more temporary changes in a persons' functionality through things such as pregnancy, a broken limb, pushing a stroller, illiteracy in the local language, or intoxication.

Not all disabilities require the same design solution.

In fact, an ideal solution for one group (items lowered to be reached easily from a wheelchair, sidewalk ramps with a smooth texture and no lip) can be a danger to another group with a disability (collision danger with low objects for blind users or lack of tactile clues on ramps for canes.)

Good design requires a team of experts working directly with users.

As a result, all design solutions seeking access and inclusion require experts in Universal Design. Universal Design is user-centered design process that involves persons with disabilities in the design, construction, and ongoing maintenance monitoring process.
 Universal design is defined as:

Universal Design is a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design.

Permanent esthetically-integrated design solutions are preferred

While permanent esthetically-integrated design solutions are preferred and temporary aesthetically incongruous are to be avoided change is sometimes necessary. Best practices include designing for ease of maintenance, building with modularity that allows for upgrades, and constructing with hidden structural reinforcement permitting future expansion.
In fact, although observation demonstrates that most non-disabled users intentionally use accessibility features such as ramps, many individuals with significant sensory or mobility limitations through aging do not consider themselves disabled and avoid "ugly" stereotyping accessibility features.
In other words, esthetically-integrated design solutions are preferred both by persons with disabilities and those whose primary concern is the preservation of the integrity of a historic patrimony site.

If a user can't find it, it doesn't exist


Navigation through proper signage and environmental design is an essential element of the fully inclusive tourism destination.

Also essential is the existence of material describing the destination in modes that are accessible to visitors with disabilities: captioned photos and video, audio-described graphics, text in Braille. Studies exist on what constitutes the destination features that must be described for travelers with disabilities and how they are best published for use by this demographic. Experts in Inclusive Design are familiar with these emerging standards and best-practices and can provide guidance.

All this material must be available in accessible format online in the language of the desired client group before any Inclusive Destination project or itinerary can be considered complete.

Marketing should include persons with disabilities.

There is a "bonus" market hidden here.

Of all traveler niches persons with disabilities rely more heavily on word-of-mouth recommendation than any other group.

People with disabilities travel with an average of 1.5 people accompanying them.  Consider, for example, that an entire family with a member who has a disability will avoid an inaccessible hotel or destination causing those businesses to lose multiple times the income to be gained by not accommodating one person with a disability. Consider further that word-of-mouth dis-recommendation by the disability community guarantees that those economic losses will continue to multiply over time until accessible environments and inclusive practices are implemented.

In addition travelers with disabilities are more loyal return customers, spend an average of one day longer at a destination than other groups.

Inclusive Design in areas marked for historic preservation is an example of Geotourism.

Geotourism is defined as:

National Geographic defines geotourism as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place -its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism -that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations- while allowing for enhancement that protects the character of the locale. Geotourism also adopts a principle from its cousin, ecotourism -that tourism revenue can promote conservation- and extends that principle beyond nature travel to encompass culture and history as well: all distinctive assets of a place.

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Among the many talented experts this work introduces to me around the world is the unassuming Katia Espindolla (es-PIN-do-la) of São Luís, in the Brazilian state of Maranhão.
Katia-at-VIP.jpg
Trained in tourism she specialized in the Geography of Tourism. Her work has been almost completely devoted to Inclusive Tourism.

She recently lectured in Cuba, in Spain, and will present some of her research this week in Portugal.

Before graduation she proposed a project to revitalize the UNESCO-designated historic patrimony site of the old central São Luís, Maranhão as a destination for travelers with disabilities. This proposal has now become a reality which Katia will begin to tackle once she returns home in a few days. I invite readers to take an active part in contributing their knowledge to its success.

Design opportunities include creating wheelchair access without changing the facades of separate buildings that share three exterior walls.  In some places these run as a unit for an entire block. Many of the buildings have no capacity to accommodate a normal-sized elevator. There are no internal doorways between buildings that would allow sharing of a single elevator between these 2-3 story structures.

In addition, the entire historic center is cobblestone pedestrian mall. As happens in many places around the world, the sidewalks become blocked to wheelchair passage by merchants' tables, chairs, and kiosks making what sidewalk ramps exist useless because the sidewalk itself is.
Aveiro.JPG
Currently researching and speaking at INVTUR 2010 in Aveiro, Portugal Katia is looking for exemplary best practices from around the world involving vertical and pedestrian circulation in historic settings. She also seeks design alternatives to physical access such as virtual tours or centralized interpretive centers with representative historical materials accessible to people with both physical and sensory disabilities.

If you wish to contribute to this project contact me at srains@oco.net or Katia Espindola (in Portuguese or Spanish) at katiaespindolla@hotmail.com .

A slide show of photos from the area by Tony Galvez:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonygalvez/sets/72157603258211664/show/

A custom Google map of São Luís do Maranhão by Serafín Fernández M. Layola:

http://www.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=us&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=106247914136727024359.00044d95009929dff950c

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Accessible Madrid

Turismo Inclusivo:
http://www.esmadrid.com/descubremadrid/portal.do?TR=A&IDR=1&identificador=471

Hoteles Acessibles
http://www.esmadrid.com/es/tratarBuscadorHotel.do?soloConAccesibilidad=1

Via Rail Canada

Design makes all the difference! For those who don't understand the Norwegian just watch the images of the Integra lifter. It looks just like a furniture removing the stigma of "hospital appliance" from a necessary assistive device. 


When will we see this in hotels? Let me venture some guesses.

 
  • Is Magnus already looking at the Integra lister for Scandica?
  • Roy for Microtel?
  • Niranjan for Welcome/ITC?



accomobility logo.png



Sandra



www.VisualTravelTours.com

By far the most flexible and accommodating venue we found in Maputo as we planned the Inclusive Tourism Seminar was Residencial Kaya Kwanga. "Kaya Kwanga" means (in Soto, I believe) "Your Home."

The homey feel was evident in the rapidly-executed modifications undertaken to accommodate 15 wheelchair-using guest from 17 countries. We left the infrastructure upgraded for accessibility in the process. For those wanting an affordable, if slightly challenging, family-oriented base to work from in Maputo Kaya Kwanga might be an option.
Afrin Hotel.JPG
Other wheelchair-users stayed at Cardoso, Southern Sun, Avenida, Hotel Turismo, and the Holiday Inn with varying degress of satisfaction with their limited accessibility.

Now let me change glossaries and pull out the superlatives to describe a new hotel that we discovered while driving past - it is not even in this year's Maputo telephone directory!
Afrin-Hotel-Bed-1.jpg
Within minutes of moving into my room at Hotel Afrin there was a housekeeping team at the door to welcome me. That was followed by the head of housekeeping doing a total furniture makeover adding a lower table to the kitchen and innumerable small touches to enhance the accessibility of the environment.

And it didn't need much!

The room was huge. No carpets. Easy to open wall-sized curtains to a (inaccessible) balcony.

My home won the 2006 Universal Design Award for Silicon Valley based on a remodel of our master bathroom. I am glad I did not have to compete with this hotel's design. I would have lost!

The photos show a superbly designed wet room. The unfortunate flaw was using a Portuguese standard for door widths (70 cm) and then losing an addition 1.5 cm through moulding. Once again hoteliers, build for the clientelle who you want to attract and exceed their expectations. Never be satisfied wth mere compliance with minimum standards.
Afrin-Hotel-Bath-1.jpg
Now, as important as architecture is, as appealing as the hotels excellent art and fair food was, the coup de grace of staying at Hotel Afrin were my daily visits from the two owners Iboo and Fortunato.

It did not slip past my attention that my first encounter with Iboo was as an empty pair of black loafers outside the door to the mini-mosque across the hall from my room. When Fortunato sought me out one night to inform me that he planned to support our work he was palming his prayer beads. Successful, exceedingly sharp businessmen, these two gentle Sufis were the highlight of my perfectly comfortable stay at Hotel Afrin.
Afrin-Hotel-Kitchen-1.jpg
Five stars plus for design and service!


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Nilesh Singit Consultancy Services [NSCS], was started by Nilesh Singit and is supoorted by a group of professionals who understand the needs of persons with disabilities and activists with disabilities who provide their expertise on project and assignment basis.

About Nilesh Singit He has a Masters degree in English from University of Bombay, and has completed a PG course in Human Rights and is a Novell Certified Internet Professional [NCIP] He has worked for over 12 years in the field of disability with a special focus on access audits, accessibility and inclusive design, disability diversity/equality/rights training and research into disability issues.

He is

  • A Founder Member of the ADAPT Rights Group.
  • member of National Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities - India (NRCPD India) a committee setup by National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP)
  • a Zonal Technical Resource Trainer [ZTRT] conducting trainings for National Trust, India
  • Ex co-ordinator of Disability Rights Initiative (Bombay) at the India Centre for Human Rights and Law
  • Founder Member of Disability Research and Design Foundation.

He maintains a blog on disability issues.



http://nileshsingit.com/default.aspx
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Mostrar como uma pessoa com deficiência pode praticar turismo em uma cidade acessível. Este é o objetivo do documentário Livre Acesso - Viagens que Superam Limites, produzido pelos alunos do 4º ano de jornalismo da Universidade Municipal de São Caetano USCS) Gabriel Guirão, Fernando Chirotto, Bruno Fekuri, Leandro Scopetta, Ricardo Scopetta e Carla Cosentino.

O formato escolhido foi o vídeo-documentário. Entre cenas que mostram como o Brasil está preparado para atender este público, os entrevistados dão seus depoimentos relatando suas experiências - boas e ruins.

A cidade de Socorro, localizada no interior de São Paulo, foi escolhida para ser a base do documentário, já que o Ministério do Turismo designou o município para ser um projeto piloto de acessibilidade para pessoas com deficiência. "Em 24 minutos, conseguimos abordar diversos tópicos relacionados a acessibilidade no turismo: as dificuldades encontradas, o projeto acessível de Socorro e as perspectivas futuras sobre a questão", explicam e concordam os universitários. "Trata-se de um produto que transmite o aspecto humano envolvido no tema, visto que contém relatos de experiências únicas vivenciadas pelos entrevistados", completam.

De acordo com pesquisa feita pelo Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE), aproximadamente 14,5% da população brasileira possuem algum tipo deficiência. Isso representa 27 milhões de pessoas. "Acreditamos na relevância do tema e, ao buscar um diferencial, optamos por produzir um documentário que fosse acessível", explicam os membros do grupo, referindo-se ao fato de o produto possuir Libras (Língua Brasileira de Sinais) e áudio-descrição. "Entendemos que as Libras atendem as necessidades das pessoas com deficiência auditiva, ao mesmo tempo que a áudio-descrição possibilita a compreensão das pessoas com deficiência visual", complementam. Vale destacar que o documentário não é voltado para pessoas com deficiências intelectuais, conhecidos popularmente como deficientes mentais. "Em vista da diversidade de tipos de deficiências intelectuais - autismo e síndrome de Down, por exemplo -, percebemos que perderíamos o foco do produto", encerram.

O documentário "Livre Acesso - Viagens que Superam Limites" está disponível para consulta na biblioteca da USCS - campus 1 - av. Goiás, 3.400 - São Caetano.

Fonte: Clique ABC

From The Hindu:

KOCHI: A national policy on electronic accessibility, aimed at removing barriers and ensuring that the differently abled have equal access to products and services in the realm of Information and Communications Technology and Electronics (ICTE), is on the anvil.

The draft of the National Policy on Electronic Accessibility has been under the consideration of a committee, which has representatives from the Department of Information Technology, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, NGOs, and industry organisations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry and Assocham.

Broadly, the policy is expected to cover ICTE products and services of all government institutions, both at the Centre and in the States, and also public sector undertakings, the private sector, research and development agencies, public-funded organisations and the academic community, in the areas of universal design, assistive technology and independent living aids.

Promoting universal design and accessibility standards and guidelines will be an important part of its mandate. Besides awareness creation and capacity- building, it is expected to deal with education, research and development, funding and implementation and monitoring. It is also expected to ensure that the content in print and electronic formats and educational materials, including textbooks, are produced in accessible formats.

Significantly, the private sector was involved in the process, and industry bodies such as the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) and the Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology (MAIT) have responded "very positively" to the draft, says Javed Abidi, honorary director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People. He hopes it should not take too long for the policy to see the light of day.

The differently-abled may find it difficult to use even devices and gadgets that play an important part in everyday life, such as mobile phones and ATMs, if accessibility issues are not addressed. All the big international manufacturers are making electronic products that cater to the needs of the disabled users but such products are not readily available in India. Such a policy should go a long way towards making them available in the country, and in a manner that is not discriminatory in pricing, Mr. Abidi explains.

"The gap today is that assistive technology is available in India, but persons with disabilities need to have schemes that will provide these to them," says Shilpi Kapoor, managing director, BarrierBreak Technologies, who is also involved in the draft policy discussions. Incentives need to be provided to get more companies to take up research and development of technologies and products for persons with disabilities, and the policy should help to provide the required framework.

As far as the Internet and web sites are concerned, change is "slow," though the National Informatics Centre released accessibility guidelines for all government web sites a year ago, she says. Websites of companies and private sector institutions have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to accessibility, with the global standards-setting organisation, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), having released version 2 of its web content accessibility guidelines in 2008. The policy might give a much-needed push on this front too.

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A View To Sea Cottages

Tammy and Bill Pickering sent Global Access News word of their new wheelchair accessible cottages on Canada's Prince Edward Island (PEI). View photos and learn more about their facilities at http://www.globalaccessnews.com/PEI%20a_view_to_sea_cottages.htm

A View To Sea Cottages
3515 Route 20, Se- View, Kensington RR#2 PEI C0B 1M0
1-877-412-8822 toll-free
http://peivacations.ca/

YouTube Goes Universal Design

From YouTube March 4, 2010:

The Future Will Be Captioned: Improving Accessibility on YouTube

Tens of millions of people in the U.S. experience some kind of hearing impairment and recent studies have predicted that over 700 million people worldwide will suffer from hearing impairment by 2015. To address a clear need, the broadcast industry began running captions on regular video programming in the early 1970s. Today, closed captions on video are more prevalent than ever. But generating captions today can be a time-consuming and complicated process.

Making video easily accessible is something we're working hard to address at YouTube. One of the first steps we took was the development of a caption feature in 2008. In November of last year we released auto-captioning for a small, select group of partners. Auto-captioning combines some of the speech-to-text algorithms found in Google's Voice Search to automatically generate video captions when requested by a viewer. The video owner can also download the auto-generated captions, improve them, and upload the new version. Viewers can even choose an option to translate those captions into any one of 50 different languages -- all in just a couple of clicks.

Today, we are opening up auto-captions to all YouTube users. There will even be a "request processing" button for un-captioned videos that any video owner can click on if they want to speed up the availability of auto-captions. It will take some time to process all the available video, so here are some things to keep in mind:

Continued here: http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2010/03/future-will-be-captioned-improving.html
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El turismo constituye una de las formas principales de movilidad, tanto a nivel regional como internacional, promoviendo contactos sociales, culturales y étnicos en una escala antes desconocida.

¿Por qué negar entonces este derecho a una parte significativa de la población?.

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Recadinho aos nossos Governantes Pessoas Com Deficiência o descaso continua por falta de conhecimento e estrutura. Nós Cidadãos brasileiros ligados diretamente as "pessoas com deficiência e crianças com deficiência" Classificamos essa decisão do MEC de irresponsável "ou decisão SEM RESPONSABILIDADE" Alunos Especiais sofrem dentro das Escolas com o descaso por parte do poder Público, as Escolas da rede regular de Ensino não oferecem condições adequadas aos Alunos com deficiência e deixam Mães, Pais e familiares desesperados. Para o Ministério da Educação as Adaptações e as adequações devem ser feitas com os Alunos Especiais já dentro das Escolas, OU SEJA, EXEMPLO: Vejam Bem, Primeiro Jogam as crianças em auto Mar sem coletes Salva Vidas, "exemplo as Escolas sem estrutura". Depois abrem Licitação para comprarem os coletes Salva Vidas para serem colocados nas crianças já lançadas ao Mar, Depois abrem um concurso Público para contratarem Professores de Natação e profissionais Salva Vidas. Infelizmente é isto que vem acontecendo com as nossas crianças com essa decisão, (Chamada pelos Técnicos da Educação de "INCLUSÃO") Nós Cidadãos brasileiros em Geral Perguntamos, ISTO Que estão fazendo com as nossas crianças com deficiência é Correto? O Correto não seria preparar uma estrutura nas Escolas e depois receberem esses Alunos? Visto que, É de conhecimento de todos que essas crianças necessitam de cuidados especiais, perguntamos O porquê estão lançando essa responsabilidade aos professores sem lhes oferecer o mínimo de respaldo? Estão lançando uma grande responsabilidade em cima dos professores, professores que muito lutam e fazem um trabalho duro para ensinar as crianças "NORMAIS". Como os senhores Governantes podem colocar mais essa grande responsabilidade nesses valorosos profissionais, sem lhes dar o mínimo de estrutura? União, Estados e Municípios estão cometendo crime contra a vida e o bem estar dessas crianças, e estão cometendo uma grande injustiça com nossos valorosos professores. A Falta de Profissionais treinados e qualificados para o atendimento ao ensino das pessoas com deficiência junto à falta de estrutura e a falta de Adaptações nas Escolas da rede Regular de Ensino tornam-se um crime contra a vida e o bem estar dessas crianças Alunos com deficiência, PERGUNTAMOS, O QUE ESTÃO FAZENDO COM ESSAS CRIANÇAS É CORRETO??? No caso em questão, deixamos aqui uma Sugestão, 1º-Criar um plano de carreira aos Professores da rede regular de ensino. Criar uma nova Classe de Pedagogos com especialização em deficiências múltiplas e técnicas básicas em enfermagem, a fim de, darem suporte adequado a cada aluno com suas diferentes deficiências. A União, Estados e Municípios terão a obrigatoriedade de custearem os cursos ou faculdades para a formação e qualificação desses novos profissionais, garantindo-lhes uma remuneração maior assim que formados e estiverem em atividade. Sendo justa a maior remuneração a esses profissionais por buscarem e terem melhor qualificação do que professores sem essas qualificações. Assim estaremos estimulando os professores a buscarem uma melhor qualificação, melhores salários e estaremos a caminho da solução do problema principal que é ter profissionais especializados e aptos a desempenharem um ensino com segurança e qualidade as nossas crianças com deficiência. Aguardamos esclarecimentos do poder Público. Atenciosamente Valdir Timóteo

Afar

Pauline and Arthur Frommer, daughter and father in that well-known travel family, had a lively disagreement on Sunday, August 23, about Afar's approach to travel. Pauline likes it; Arthur not so much. Here's what happened: Pauline taped an interview and talked about Afar's mission to help experiential travelers get beneath the surface and connect more deeply with a place and its people.


The Afar Blog:

http://www.afar.com/blog/page/2/

Frommer vs. Frommer:

http://www.afar.com/blog/2009/08/frommer-vs-frommer-first-family-of-travel-disagrees-about-afar/

Afar

http://adage.com/video/article?article_id=134705


Camping Tips at Disaboom.com

offers tips on camping in her article, Camping 101: Vital Adaptive Equipment and Knowledge for Campers with Disabilities:

Before you begin your camping adventure, it's pertinent to know that camping for people with disabilities is as inexpensive as accessible travel gets.  The National Parks system offers free entry and half-price camping, and many State Parks systems have followed suit with discounted annual or lifetime passes for entry as well.

In addition to discounts, the National and State Parks have wonderful access in general, with flatter, wider tent sites near the restrooms, paved or crushed-surface observation trails, and reliably accessible Visitors Centers at every location.  Some parks even offer raised tent beds.


For the full article:
http://www.disaboom.com/Living/travel/Camping-101-Adaptive-Equipment-and-Info-for-Disability-Camping.aspx?IADID=HomePage_Right_Featured_Content
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THE fact that someone who is not in the industry
has found it necessary to develop a website about
accommodation in New Zealand for people with
disabilities highlights the regrettable state
of access tourism in this county. So says Tai Poutini
Polytechnic research manager, Sandra Rhodda.
"Congratulations must go to Lianne Kalivati for her
initiative in developing www.accomobility.co.nz, which
will launch July 1.

"The website is a small first step towards addressing
the need for information about New Zealand accessible
accommodation. However, much more needs to be
done to develop what is potentially a very lucrative
market that New Zealand virtually ignores."

Overlook at peril


Ms Rhodda says we overlook the market at our peril.
With the ageing of the huge Baby Boomer generation
worldwide, there will be an increase in the number of
people with disabilities. But the industry is not set up
to take advantage of those who will demand accessible
tourism products.

"Already 17 percent of our population reports a
disability, and worldwide, it is estimated that about 10
percent of people have some form of disability.
"Ageing and increasing disability are not only
happening in our traditional markets such as
Australia, the UK, and Japan, but in countries we are
increasingly trying to attract, such as China."
Age

The age of visitors in or to New Zealand shows that
already, almost 50 percent are 45 years old or older,
and that over the last few years, this percentage has
been steadily increasing. "About 56 percent of short
term visitors from China, and over 70 percent of cruise
ship visitors - both markets which are growing - are
over 45," she points out.

Ms Rhodda believes other factors go in to making the
access tourism market one we should be sitting up and
taking notice of.

"The first of the Baby Boomers hits retirement age
in 2011 and Boomers have always been interested in
travel.

Forever Young


"They are not going to sit on the couch and knit in
their old age. After all, this is the generation that
wrote all those roady songs, and songs like Forever
Young. And they are not going to leave as much to
their kids as their parents are now leaving to them.
"They are going to spend it on such things as Harley
Davidsons, hip replacements in exotic countries
(medical tourism), and other tourism and travel
adventures. They are going to increasingly want
accessible tourism products as they age, and they will
tell the world through blogs and the like when they
don't get them. Already, accessibility in tourism in
New Zealand is painted in a bad light on some of the
numerous international websites devoted solely to
access tourism."

There are sound economic reasons for developing an
access tourism industry.

"Currently, people with disabilities have money to
spend on tourism and would spend more if products
were available. Studies show that people with
disabilities in Australia have a disposable income of
A$26,000 million, in America have US$175,000 million,
and in the UK have £80,000 million.

"The Europeans reckon their access tourism industry is
worth €166,000 million per year, and the United Arab
Emirates is worth US$3,000 million. These figures and
others like them can only go up in future as worldwide
disability increases."

Not only that, but people with disabilities tend to
travel with other, non-disabled companions, who bring
their own spending power.

"Yet in New Zealand," she adds, "we are not
gearing up for this market at all. Nationally, we have
no strategy or policy in this area, and very little
research."

Wellington


Wellington has recognised the importance of access
tourism and mentions it several times in their newly
released visitor strategy. But there is no action plan,
no KPIs, and no timeline.

"They also recently canned an access tourism website
that was in development. Overall, we are way behind
not only our major tourism rivals, but also some upand-
coming tourism destinations when it comes to
access tourism."

For example: countries in Asia, Europe, North and
South America have national, provincial, and local
access tourism websites or print material describing
access tourism product; international agencies such as
the UNWTO, EU, and ASEAN actively research and are
increasingly interested in access tourism; worldwide,
there are hundreds of dedicated access tourism
businesses with website information available to
people with disabilities.

Worldwide

"We have very few like it in NZ, and some tourism
businesses which claim they are accessible are not
so'; Worldwide, there are dozens of businesses that
organise national and international tours and cruises
just for people with disabilities, and for the related
seniors market; Since 2001, there have been at least 18
international and regional conferences and symposia
devoted to access tourism and/or seniors tourism.
"NZ has not sent a representative to any of these";
our tourism publicity focuses on the young, the fi t,
the active; boomers and seniors are rarely featured,
and people with disabilities (PWDs) never; worldwide,
national, regional, and local governments as diverse as
the Ministry of Tourism in India and in Tasmania have
access tourism strategies and policies.

In-depth

"Many provide in-depth information to operators
wishing to develop or upgrade to become accessible."
In many countries, she points out, tourism businesses
are rated on their access in a Qualmark-type system,
and some even have annual tourism awards for best
accessible tourism businesses.

For example, the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence
in "Access For All" have just been announced (www.
enjoyengland.com/)
from a number of provincial winners.

There are also dozens of websites devoted
to discussing/blogging/advising about worldwide
access tourism. These daily post information about
world access tourism experiences, including those had
by people with disabilities in New Zealand.

Welcome

Ms Rhodda welcomes initiatives such as Ms Kalivati's
website, but notes that we need to do a lot of work
before New Zealand can begin to see itself as an
accessible tourism destination.

To further that end, a multi-organisational advocacy
group has been set up to connect with and apprise
government and industry about the economic benefi t
of developing access tourism here and the economic
dangers of no or poor access tourism development.

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Deficiente visual vai de Brasília a Paraty de bicicleta

Adauto Belli pedalou 1,6 mil km em bicicleta dupla, com o parceiro guiando.
Ciclistas fizeram trajeto da Estrada Real em 18 dias; aventura virou livro.

Do G1, em Brasília

 

Adauto Belli, deficiente visual, viajou 1,6 mil km guiado por Weimar Pettengill

O convite partiu de um desconhecido. Quando o empresário Weimar Pettengill, 37 anos, ligou para o deficiente visual Adauto Belli chamando-o para uma viagem de bicicleta de Brasília a Paraty, se surpreendeu com a resposta. "Partimos quando? Amanhã? Hoje não dá. Estou ocupado", disse Adauto, 38 anos, adestrador de cães. Na bicicleta de dois lugares (modelo conhecido como 'tandem') a dupla seguiu para Minas Gerais e, de lá, rumo a Paraty, no Rio de Janeiro. Completaram o trajeto em 18 dias, a maior parte feita em estrada de terra.

Adauto, deficiente visual desde o nascimento, tem apenas 35% da visão. "A confiança ali é tudo. Eu pedalo tendo certeza de que, se for bater, ele (Weimar, o ciclista que vai guiando) vai bater no macio, se cair, ele vai tentar fazer com que eu me machuque menos", conta. "Quando a gente está em uma descida no cascalho a 110 km/h, tem que ter muita confiança. Se fosse com uma pessoa que vê perfeitamente, a viagem não teria dado certo", afirma Weimar.

Entre as experiências registradas no trajeto, Adauto lembra das vezes em que sua pouca visão o enganaram. "Você acaba vendo o que quer ver. A gente ia descendo perto de um vale e eu dizia 'Nossa, é um lago muito bonito', e o Weimar começava a rir e dizia 'que nada, isso aí é uma favela!'", conta. 

Foram pouco mais de 1,6 mil km cruzados em 18 dias, de 29 de janeiro a 16 de fevereiro. A aventura rendeu até livro. Na última quinta-feira (21), Weimar Pettengill lançou em Brasília o resultado de suas memórias da viagem, entitulado 'Brasília-Paraty - Somando pernas para dividir impressões' (editora Thesaurus). "Quero agora fazer o áudio-book, pra que o Adauto possa 'ler' e dizer se está tudo certo", brinca o autor. A obra também será lançada em Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro e São Paulo.

Antes de partirem em cima da bicicleta, os dois eram praticamente desconhecidos. Haviam se encontrado cinco vezes, apenas duas delas com a bicicleta para fazer testes. Weimar já planejava pedalar o trajeto da Estrada Real -rota histórica de povoamento e exploração do interior do Brasil, criada no século XVII-, e decidiu incluir uma companhia no desafio. "Lembrei da bicicleta tandem e resolvi ir com um DV (deficiente visual) para compartilhar a experiência", conta o empresário. Ele chegou a Adauto através de amigos do projeto 'DV na trilha', que promove a inclusão social de cegos através de bicicletas duplas em Brasília.

Adauto sempre gostou de praticar esportes, e não pensa na deficiência como um obstáculo. Pelo contrário. "Muitas vezes é até uma vantagem, porque eu tenho que ficar mais concentrado", diz. Ele pratica o ciclismo desde 2007, mas seu esporte mesmo é a corrida. "Depois que eu o arrastei pra esse desafio, ele já arrumou o próximo, agora correndo. Vamos fazer a travessia dos Andes no final do ano", afirma Weimar.

 Fonte:

http://g1.globo.com/Noticias/Brasil/0,,MUL1164101-5598,00-DEFICIENTE+VISUAL+VAI+DE+BRASILIA+A+PARATY+DE+BICICLETA.html


"Jan" Budsakayt INTARAPASAN is a Dean at the School of Architecture and Design, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi Bangkok, Thailand.

Her ongoing doctoral work is on Universal Design and its application in historic sites of the Greater Mekong Region. Jan's research - and abundant photography - provide a valuable benchmark for quality of service and Inclusive Tourism best practices in SE Asia. Jan is quite generous with her expertise contributing the following photo essay and this invitation to collaborate on project:

I will be happy to discuss how my education and match my experience to your needs. If you have further questions, I would be more than wiling to talk with you. I may be reached at deaignoflife@gmail.com
Interest areas:
    • Interior Design
    • Ergonomics Safety and Human Disabilities
    • Public-Universal Design
    • Architectural Heritage Management and Tourism

Find more photos like this on Tour Watch
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Turismo adaptado pode ganhar mais destinos

Sem a visão assistencialista, empresas de turismo e destinos de viagens estão cada vez mais preparados para receber deficientes

Ricardo Shimosakai, 41, sempre gostou de viajar com família.

Mas, aos 33 anos, a vida dele mudou completamente. Vítima de um sequestro relâmpago, levou um tiro e ficou paraplégico. Durante a fisioterapia, Ricardo teve de escolher um esporte como parte do tratamento, e acabou se interessando por tênis de mesa.

O esporte logo se tornou uma paixão que o levou a viajar pela primeira vez, depois de ficar paraplégico, a disputar os campeonatos, em diversas partes do País. Com o tempo, ele percebeu que poderia fazer turismo como antes tanto pelo Brasil quanto para outros países.

Para atender à necessidade de pessoas com deficiência como Ricardo, empresas oferecem roteiros de turismo adaptado cujos destinos dão total acessibilidade. A agência de viagens Freeway Brasil é uma empresa pioneira em oferecer roteiros de turismo adaptado. Segundo a operadora, as cidades indicadas para deficientes são Foz do Iguaçu (PR), Pantanal (MT), Itacaré (BA) e Bonito (MS) porque possuem infraestrutura como rampas de acesso, calçadas adaptadas, transporte inclusivo e outras facilidades que permitem ao visitante total acessibilidade aos passeios. Mas se o turista quiser outras opções de destinos acessíveis, a empresa faz indicações de locais e roteiros com tudo o que o viajante precisa para aproveitar ao máximo a viagem. O governo federal também vem fazendo a parte dele para promover o turismo adaptado.

No Plano Nacional de Turismo que compreende os anos de 2007 a 2010, a inclusão social é uma das principais metas. Além disso, também foi lançado o projeto "10 Destinos-Referência".

A ideia é dar aos destinos estruturas com padrão de qualidade internacional para que sirvam de modelos indutores para o desenvolvimento turístico regional. O destino adaptado entre os "10 Destinos –Referências", já em pleno funcionamento, é a cidade Socorro, a 138 km de São Paulo, que é muito procurada para a prática de turismo de aventura.

Por conta disso, foi implantado na cidade o "Aventureiros Especiais". Coordenado pela ONG Aventura Especial, ela adequou os destinos que oferecem esportes radicais na região, possibilitando aos deficientes a prática de alguns deles. Para realizar as atividades nos locais adequados, a operadora de turismo Rios de Aventura organiza os roteiros das aventuras acessíveis em Socorro. Ela oferece aventuras para deficientes visuais e cadeirantes como rafting, trilha e tirolesa, que é praticada por meio de uma cadeira especial e com auxílio dos monitores.

Os destinos são o Hotel Fazenda Campo dos Sonhos, o Parque dos Sonhos e o Parque Ecológico Monjolinho. Até o final de 2010 serão oferecidos mais destinos a todos os turistas: Pesca, em Barcelos (AM); Cinema, em Brasília (DF); Cultura, em Parati (RJ); Intercâmbio, em São João Del Rei (MG); Negócios, em Ribeirão Preto (SP); Rural, em Anitapolis, Santa Rosa de Lima, Rancho Queimado e Urubici, todos em Santa Catarina. Além de ecoturismo, em Santarém (PA); Aventura, em Lençóis (BA); e a Praia de Jericoacoara (CE). Em Pernambuco, a cidade Garanhuns figura na lista de projetos do Ministério do Turismo para ser uma dos próximos destinos adaptados.


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