June 2010 Archives

The Obama administration has begun a large-scale compliance review of US hotels.


After years of minimalist "mere compliance" on the part of hotels and hotel chains that did not adopt a Universal Design approach some are feeling threatened and responding with redoubled recalcitrance. Others will finally see the light and begin to realize that we are a valuable market:


Yet the proper answer has always been so simple:

http://www.slideshare.net/srains/success-ability

Assisted Grasp Orthosis

Broadened Horizons has produced a PowerGrip Assisted Grasp Orthosis.

Ministro Vannuchi e seis prefeitos assinam compromisso público com a acessibilidade, 1º de julho, às 10h, em Brasília

 

A Secretaria de Direitos Humanos da Presidência (SDH/PR) lança, em Brasília, o projeto "Cidade Acessível é Direitos Humanos", que terá início em seis municípios que já implementam políticas de promoção dos direitos da pessoa com deficiência: Campinas, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Joinville, Rio de Janeiro e Uberlândia. O lançamento será no auditório do 8º andar da SDH/PR.

 

As principais políticas, ações e projetos implementados pelas cidades que pretendem melhorar a acessibilidade se dão nas seguintes áreas: acesso à Saúde, Reabilitação, Educação, Transporte Público, Habitação, Trabalho e Emprego, Turismo, Esporte, Cultura e Lazer.

 

O projeto "Cidade Acessível é Direitos Humanos" será coordenado pela Subsecretaria Nacional de Promoção e Defesa dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência da SDH/PR.

 

Na cerimônia de lançamento estarão presentes o ministro Paulo Vannuchi, da SDH/PR, e os seis prefeitos das cidades: Hélio de Oliveira Santos (Campinas), Luizianne Lins (Fortaleza), Paulo Garcia (Goiânia), Carlito Merss (Joinville), Eduardo Paes (Rio de Janeiro) e Odelmo Leão (Uberlândia).

 

Os prefeitos e o ministro vão assinar o "Compromisso Nacional - Cidade Acessível é Direitos Humanos", com metas a serem alcançadas até o final de 2010 e que tornarão as cidades melhores para todos. Os municípios também se comprometerão a elaborar, em 90 dias, o Plano de Ação Municipal, além de criar, manter ou nomear uma instância que monitore o Compromisso, garantida a participação dos movimentos sociais e da sociedade civil organizada.

 

Histórico do projeto - O objetivo da iniciativa é divulgar, incentivar e dar visibilidade às ações de acessibilidade das cidades participantes do projeto que possam ser desenvolvidas em outros municípios. O Compromisso servirá como agente multiplicador de incentivo à gestão municipal que, em parceria com o governo federal, implementa as políticas públicas de inserção social, com qualidade de vida e bem-estar das pessoas com deficiência no país.

 

Desde abril de 2010, foi feito contato com os municípios para verificar o interesse e a disponibilidade política e de atuação em participar do projeto - todas as cidades contatadas aderiram espontaneamente ao Projeto, sem restrições ou exigências.

 

Como critérios de avaliação dos municípios, foram elencados marco legal, acessibilidade e eliminação de barreiras, acesso à Saúde e à reabilitação, acesso à educação especial na perspectiva da educação inclusiva, transporte público urbano acessível, habitação de interesse social acessível, trabalho e emprego, turismo, esporte, cultura e lazer, sendo aplicados questionários para todas as 6 cidades. Em seguida ao questionário, foi feita uma visita técnica aos municípios e reuniões com autoridades e sociedade civil.

 

Cidade Acessível é Direitos Humanos

Data: 1º de julho

Horário: 10 horas

Endereço: Auditório do 8º andar da Secretaria de Direitos Humanos da Presidência da República. Edifício Parque Cidade Corporate - Setor Comercial Sul B, Quadra 9, Lote C - Torre A.

 

Mais informações:

Assessoria de Comunicação Social

Secretaria de Direitos Humanos da Presidência da República

Telefones: (61) 2025-3684 / 9805

www.direitoshumanos.gov.br

corde@sedh.gov.br / imprensa@sedh.gov.br

Siga a SEDH no Twitter: @DHumanos


Solona is a suite of Internet-based tools that empower visually impaired people to independently negotiate inaccessible objects. We enable people to overcome obstacles that are encountered on a regular basis due to inaccessible images and web page design.

Each tool within Solona is Human-Powered. In other words, everytime a user submits an image to be solved, a sighted human operator is on the other side to translate the image.

RAIVE by Solona is an entirely new approach to accessibility. It is a service that empowers people to independently gain information that would otherwise be impossible to ascertain. Although software can do many things, there are some things that are simply beyond the scope of OCR or image processing. There are many other visual objects that are inherently inaccessible and may contain important information.

Multimedia is woven into the fabric of our communications. Emails contain images more than ever before. Dynamic Flash-based web pages are becoming more and more common. Web forms may be image-based and not properly labeled. Product packaging is inherently inaccessible. Advertisers, service providers, and companies alike use rich image-based delivery that can be completely inaccessible for a visually impaired person. There is no limit to inaccessibility in our digital age.

RAIVE, which stands for "Remotely Analyzing (and) Interpreting Visual Elements", enables people to independently extract information from inaccessible visual elements. Users can submit a 'Package' which contains any visual element (picture, file, screen capture, PDF) along with a question. If it can be captured, scanned, or saved, it can be submitted in a Package. A Solona Operator will promptly examine the image and the question and return the answer to the user. This ensures that the user will receive highly accurate information in order to make a decision. Users normally receive a response within 30 minutes. Responses are automatically processed and sent to the user's registered email address.


Find out more:

http://www.solona.net/

News of innovation from Travel Daily:


6/27/2010 12:30:00 PM

 
A new not-for-profit hotel group has been launched to specialise in accessible travel. 

Rebranded as Vision Hotels, the group's four AA three-star hotels are run by national charity Action for Blind People and are already equipped with all the needs for disabled guests, as well as families and couples. As a not-for-profit group, all the money is ploughed back into the hotels. "The charity has
windermere014.jpg
 operated the hotels for many years and some time ago we wanted to market them to people with disabilities, so we rebranded" Head of Vision Hotels Paul Morrison told Travel Daily. "Because our hotels have the facilities and are fully-accessible it makes commercial sense to market them this way". 

Although the group is not exclusive to accessible tourism, each hotel features a range of facilities for different guests. "If you benchmark our facilities to other accessible hotels then they are the same, including flat level access and wide-fitting doors," said Morrison. "We are different because as Heritage properties, we have tonal contrasts between the walls and floors, which is more pleasing for visually impaired guests. There is also special tactile flooring so people can feel the difference underfoot." Other facilities include liquid level indicators, information in various formats and a place for pet and guide dogs. 

However, the group has also launched a new website, which was custom-built to help visually-impaired users. "Lots of leading hotels have websites that are not DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) certified and these are not suitable for some users," said Morrison. "We have set up our website from scratch which meets the criteria and we have invested in online booking solutions to meet our client base." Through the new booking system, users can change the size of font or background colours to their needs. 

Looking towards the future, Morrison said the group has no plans to acquire new properties yet as a lot of money has been invested into the website and rebranding. However, it is looking to train agents in accessible tourism and build its available resources. "We work with Creative Travel in Devon and all its staff has gone through visual awareness training so they can manage clients needs better," he revealed. "We feel we have a lot of information to give the industry so we will be looking to develop those."

Last Hired, First Fired

Here's a sobering story as we approach the anniversary of the ADA:

A few years ago I assisted someone in finding a job restocking shelves during graveyard hours. The person had many years of experience working for a major chain of grocery stores but, unfortunately, the chain didn't exist in Washington and we needed to find a new employer.


Later, we met with the store's manager who confirmed, "Sorry, this person is deaf, we can't hire them."Based on the individual's résumé and impression in our meeting, I thought it would be a piece of cake to find a job. A few weeks later, much to my surprise, the person was denied an ideal position simply because of deafness.

The short version of this story is we took this up the ladder with the human resources supervisor who later apologized and offered the job. As is true with many employers, it was simply a manager failing to apply the company's written policy as prescribed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Given the ADA was enacted 20 years ago, it's disappointing to see there are still people who remain unaware of what the law requires in providing an equal opportunity.

Many portions of the ADA revolve around the key phrase of, "reasonable accommodation." However, I've noticed that few in the business world have a working knowledge of what that really means. There is a great deal of confusion, myths and fear of what the ADA requires in accommodating persons of disability. To clarify, I'd like to cover what a reasonable accommodation is, and what it is not.

With any job, there are essential day-to-day functions that must be performed or the person will be fired. For example, a piano player needs to be able to play the piano, and play it well. The ADA requires that qualified applicants be considered for the job if they can do the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. One of the big ongoing questions is this: How do we define "reasonable?"

Is it reasonable that someone who is deaf be allowed to use accommodations such as relay services to take a job where the primary duties require answering incoming calls? Even with an accommodation, I'd say probably no. The ADA also states that employers can take into consideration if the required accommodations create an undue burden.

For example, if a person is restricted to sedentary activity, it's not reasonable or safe to accommodate them with a position that will require frequent heavy lifting. However, on the flip side of the coin, employers are expected to make an effort in accommodating qualified applicants who can meet the job requirements.

With the case of the grocery stocker, the manager's sole concern was that someone who is deaf cannot communicate with a customer. However, customer service was not listed as an essential function, in fact, it wasn't listed anywhere in the job duties. Moreover, through various strategies such as using paper and pen, the disability barriers were eliminated. Even when accommodations are successful, there remains a great deal of reluctance in hiring those with a disability.

Frequently, qualified persons with disabilities are overlooked for promotions or positions simply because they have a disability.

Often enough, they are the last hired, and the first fired. Statistics have shown over the past five years that employers, including Washington state, have had a steady decline in the number of disabled persons included in their work force.

Today, unemployment for those with disabilities remains above 70 percent. The ADA was passed 20 years ago. Isn't it time and reasonable to give folks with disabilities a fair shake?

Stephen Roldan, a member of The Olympian's Diversity Panel, is statewide coordinator of deaf services for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. He can be reached at roldasj@dshs.wa.gov.

Call For Applications for IISE 2011 Program 

 

Do you have a dream of starting and leading your own social project? 

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others? 

If your answer is yes, then The International Institute for Social 

Entrepreneurs (IISE) in Kerala, India, is the study program for you. 

 

The IISE focuses on leadership training in order to create social change. 

The participants, all over 22 years of age, are inspiring visionaries who mainly come from developing nations. All of them have overcome significant life challenges ranging from vision impairment, disability, poverty, war, discrimination and exploitation. They have a passion to make the world a better place and the strength to be forces of good rather than victims of circumstance. 

 

Throughout IISE's 11-month programme, participants develop all the necessary skills to succeed as social innovators/entrepreneurs. Workshops and hands-on practice in the areas of management, public speaking, communication, leadership, fund raising, budgeting, bookkeeping, project proposal writing, marketing, public relations, computing with open software technology, and others, give IISE's participants all the necessary tools to start their own social projects. All selected participants receive a full scholarship, including travel costs, accommodation and a high-end course by internationalexperts. 

To ensure high quality training, IISE accommodates a maximum of 32 participants per academic year. 

 

Every IISE participant is an active, contributing, independent, self-confident and skilled adult visionary, possessing expertise in different fields. 

You, as a potential participant, are therefore not coming to IISE as a student, but as an expert. Our expectation of your participation and commitment to our programme is therefore very high. To this end, before proceeding to the application process, we want you to ask yourself the following questions: 

 

- Am I willing to spend 11 months of my life in a developing country working intensively in the pursuit of my social entrepreneurship/leadership skills? 

- Am I willing to participate in all activities giving every time the best of my knowledge, experience, creativity, and energy? 

- Am I willing to help others achieve their goals and develop their skills in areas I consider myself an expert? 

- Am I willing to come to the Institute with a spirit of exchange, contribution and teamwork? 

- Am I one hundred percent committed to making my goals, dreams, vision and social project come true, continuing even after I complete the program? 

 

If you answered YES to all the above questions, and if your English skills are good, then you are the right candidate and we would encourage you to apply for the IISE program. 

 

Join IISE and impact your future and that of others. 

 

Please find here the application form: 

 

IISE 2011 PARTICIPANT APPLICATION FORM 

 

Please copy the text below in a Word or Open Office document. 

Answer the following questions in your own words. 

Email the filled out form with your CV to: BrailleWB@gmx.net. 

On the Subject line, type: "application" and your first and surname. 

 

Deadline for Applications from outside India and Nepal is 30th JUNE 2010. 

Deadline for applications from within India and Nepal is 31st of July 2010. 

 

First name 

Surname 

Date of Birth 

Address 

Postal code 

City/Town 

Country 

Tel/Mob 

Fax 

Email 

Gender 

Any form of disability: 

 

Are you visually impaired 

If yes, Gradation of blindness 

Other disability 

No disability 

 

Language skills 

Highest Level of Education 

 

Please send two letters of recommendation, preferably from a present or former employer, teacher or colleagues, which include their contact details. 

 

Limit your answers to the questions 1 to 6 to one to two sentences: 

 

1. For which academic training year in Kerala are you applying for? 

You may apply for 2011, or for any of the years after. 

2. What is your current profession? 

3. Braille Language Skills: English and Local Braille 

Braille Level: Grade 1, Grade 2 

4. Languages Spoken with level: (basic, intermediate and fluent) 

Reading Level: Writing Level: 

5. How do you judge your mobility and orientation skills? 

6. Do you use computer technology? 

If yes, what are your skills? 

What software programmes do you use? 

 

7. Please answer questions 7a to 7k as detailed as possible. 

a. Tell us your reason(s) for applying for the IISE Programme in Kerala: 

Elaborate on your idea or vision of setting up your own social project 

or improving on an existing one. 

b. What is your motivation? 

c. Why are you the one who can realize your planned project? 

d. What challenges did you overcome in life? 

e. Where do you plan to set up your project? 

f. What target group will benefit? 

g. How long do you think it will take to set up your idea/vision? 

h. What are the reasons that make your idea important? 

i. How will you achieve your vision? 

j. What help will you need? Who can help? What resources will you need? 

k. Where would you find funding? 

 

See the full announcement at Barrier Break Technologies:
ncpedp awards.jpg


India's National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) has slowly and steadily become a name to reckon with in the disability sector since its inception as a registered Trust in 1996. The driving force at NCPEDP has been the need to move away from traditionally held views of charity and welfare to those of productivity and empowerment for disabled people. Needless to say, NCPEDP has played a pivotal role in the disability rights movement in the country.

 

Conservative estimates put the population of persons with disability in India at 70 million. Yet, it is only a minuscule percentage of the population that has been seen in the mainstream of any aspect of life in the country; be it the workforce, education or anything else. Any study undertaken to determine the reason for this would point to one direction and that would be the lack of access; primarily in the built environment.

 

A cursory study of history too would reveal that all great movements arose from the very lack of access to basic facilities, discrimination and the fight for one's dignity and belief that all humans are equal and born free - whether it was Rosa Parks who refused to bear the humiliation and indignity or the Father of our Nation who was thrown out of a train in Durban, South Africa and led us on the path to freedom. Today the disability rights movements advocates equal access for people with disability to social, political, and economic life which includes not only physical access but access to the same tools, services, organizations and facilities which we all pay for.

 

Over the years, Accessibility

 

  • has come to occupy the most identifiable cause that has unified the global approach towards disability - across social, political and economic lives of disabled people.
  • has become the most fundamental cause that any disabled person identifies with, irrespective of the disability.
  • has become the fulcrum to the disability rights movement globally.

 

NCPEDP proposes to institute the Ronald L Mace Awards to be given away every year to those who have been doing exemplary work towards the cause of accessibility and barrier free environments and thus ensuring a life of equality and dignity for disabled people. We are confident that in time, these Awards will have gained tremendous recognition and credibility in the disability sector and also outside.

 

Ronald Lawrence Mace is regarded as the father of the concept of universal design.  Afflicted by polio when he was 9 years of age, he became a wheel-chair user for the rest of his life. Refusing to let barriers get in his way, Ronald continued to strive for success, attending North Carolina State University and graduated in 1966 with a degree in architecture. After working for four years in conventional architecture he realized his calling in life. He then began working on "accessible architecture" that lead to the invention of "universal design concept".  Ronald's concept of universal design was to design all products and buildings to be visually pleasing and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. Ronald not only designed universally accessible buildings and products, but also developed America's first accessible-building code. As a dedicated advocate for this disability community, Ronald's work is also said to have been vital in the passage of federal legislation prohibiting discrimination against people with physical impairments. He also founded the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University, the pioneering research and development centre in universal design. His passing in 1998 was a great loss to the disability rights movements.

 

This award will be a tribute to this great visionary whose work has changed millions of lives. It will go a long way in continuing his good work and making his vision of a universally usable world a reality.

 

Over the last few years in India, accessibility has gained significant ground mainly through the rigorous pressure exerted by the disability movement in the implementation of The Persons with Disability Act 1995. Many individuals and institutions have taken up work on the issue of accessibility and have done a commendable job under demanding circumstances. With accessibility being such a core issue, we feel it is time to highlight these achievements among the general public not only to raise awareness but also to act as force stimulant in our goal of a barrier-free environment in India.

The award will have three categories:

 

  • Persons with disability - will be given to people with disability who have achieved significant success in accessibility/barrier-free issues in their personal/professional capacity. The person nominated should have done work that has positively impacted his/her own life or those of other fellow disabled people. The work that the person has done can be either in policy framework or grass-root level implementation or even rights movements. Self nomination is not acceptable and nomination can only be done either by one or more of the people whose lives have been impacted by the nominated person's action or by any NGO/institution who has overseen or been involved with such act/acts of the person. Every year this award will be given out to 3 people across the country. Any number of nominations can be made under this category, but only 7 nominations will be short-listed for the awards.

 

  • Working Professionals - will be given to people who work for the cause of accessibility and barrier-free environment for the upliftment of disabled people. He/she may be an employee of an NGO/corporate firm that has taken up the cause, or may be a consultant or freelancer who has devoted his/her time for the cause. His/her individual contribution to the cause is a major reason for the success achieved by the organization/firm/movement or can be an individual involved in the cause independent of any organizational support but has achieved significant success in the core objective of gaining accessibility for disabled people. Awards in this category will be given out to ensure that many dedicated people who have involved themselves in the cause get due recognition. This will not only help in sensitizing the rest of the non-disabled community, but will encourage young minds to join the cause as career option. Every year this award will be given out to 3 people across the country. Any number of nominations can be made under this category, but only 7 nominations will be short listed for this award.

 

  • Companies/organizations who have taken up the cause of accessibility - will be given to organizations which have adopted accessibility/ barrier-free policies and have implemented them within their organizations which has led to them recruiting people with disability and providing them equal opportunities to perform to the best of their abilities. These companies can be a role model for the rest of the corporate world, and recognizing their efforts and giving them the coverage will help the cause to reach out to many corporates. These can be any type of companies- private sector, public sector, joint sector, SME sector or even proprietorship/partnership firms. The selection criteria will not only be for adopting accessibility policies, but implementing them at their workplace. Every year this award will be given out to 4 organizations across the country. Any number of nominations can be made under this category, but only 7 nominations will be short-listed for the awards.  

Málaga aspira a convertirse en un lugar de referencia en la celebración de competiciones y exhibiciones de deporte adaptado, para con ello dar respuesta a las necesidades y demandas de las personas con discapacidad, garantizando su participación en actividades deportivas.


Participan 300 deportistas procedentes de toda Andalucía, entre ellos 8 paralímpicos.
Mañana comienza el Encuentro de Deporte Málaga Accesible, en el que participan más de 300 deportistas andaluces. Organizada por el Área de Accesibilidad Universal en colaboración con la Fundación Deportiva, se celebrará entre las 9:00 y las 20:00 h. en el Palacio de deportes "José María Martín Carpena", el Estadio Ciudad de Málaga, Centro Acuático de Málaga y el CEIP Campoamor.

Competirán deportistas andaluces con discapacidad física, sensorial, intelectual y parálisis cerebral, destacando 8 paralímpicos: Carlos Soler (esgrima sobre ruedas), Carmen Herrera (judo para ciegos), Virginia Polo (boccia), Antonio Henares (baloncesto en silla de ruedas) y Marcelo Rosado, Antonio Martín, Álvaro González y Pedro García (fútbol sala B1).

Además, el BSR Marbella, equipo de División de Honor del Baloncesto en Silla de Ruedas nacional, se desplazará a la capital malagueña para disputar un partido. Entre sus jugadores destaca la figura del malagueño Salvador Zurita, veterano que cuenta con un historial que le hace ser considerado como uno de los mejores de la historia, o de Pepe Salado, reciente fichaje del BSR Marbella, que llega al equipo de la Costa del Sol tras ascender a AMIVEL (Vélez-Málaga) a la máxima categoría.
 
A lo largo de esta jornada los espectadores malagueños podrán ver encuentros deportivos de atletismo, natación, baloncesto, esgrima, tenis de mesa, bádminton, boccia y tiro con arco, tanto en las modalidades de competición como de exhibición. Destacan especialmente el atletismo, que cuenta con mas de 100 participantes, las espectaculares handbikes (bicicletas de tres ruedas que se propulsa, dirige y frena con los brazos), la boccia, el jugo y el esgrima.

Además de las competiciones, este encuentro deportivo ofrecerá a los espectadores exhibiciones de diferentes disciplinas y el espacio Deporte para Todos, en el que personas con o sin discapacidad podrán participar.

Los objetivos de este encuentro son garantizar y facilitar la participación de personas con discapacidad en actividades deportivas, dar respuesta a las necesidades y demandas de las personas con discapacidad en relación con el deporte, así como promover el deporte adaptado como actividad de competición.

El Ayuntamiento apuesta decididamente por acercar el deporte adaptado a un colectivo que tradicionalmente no ha podido acceder a su práctica, salvo como elemento terapéutico o rehabilitador. Con acciones como esta se fomenta que la práctica del deporte se convierta en una oferta normalizada, realizando las actividades bajo el criterio de diseño universal para que el conjunto de la población pueda acceder a su práctica.

Source:

Map of EuropeA new European Award for Accessible Cities has been launched by the European Commission, aiming to promote accessibility for people with disabilities in four areas:

  • the built environment and public spaces,
  • transport and related infrastructures,
  • information and communication, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and
  • public facilities and services.

The four finalists of the European competition will be invited to attend the award ceremony that will take place in Brussels on 2 and 3 December 2010 at the European Day of People with Disabilities conference. The winner of the European competition will receive the 'European Award for Accessible Cities 2011' and will feature prominently in activities to promote accessibility at European level during 2011.

In addition, a special 'European Champion for Accessible Cities' award will be made to recognise the work of a network of cities or initiatives.

Accessibility is a broad concept that addresses the removal and prevention of barriers that cause problems for persons with disabilities in using products, services and infrastructures on equal terms as those without disabilities.

Accessibility to the built infrastructure, transport, services and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is essential for people with disabilities to be able to exercise their rights and participate fully in society. This includes the right to education, to engage in work, citizens rights related to voting, access to documents, and freedom of movement as well as access to leisure and cultural facilities (libraries, museums, theatres, cultural centres, concert halls, hotels, restaurants, etc.) Accessibility is also a fundamental part of the social sustainability of the urban environment.

More information about the awards will be made available shortly on theEuropean Commission's website.

You can already indicate your interest in the award and register to receive further information as it becomes available by sending your contact details to the EU Accessible Cities Award management team.

Source:

NIASA Presents

Workshop on UNIVERSAL DESIGN

Barrier Free Architecture


Workshop Co-ordinators: EKansh Trust, Pune


9-23 July, 2010

National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture, 

Pune


CDSA Campus, Survey.no.58 & 49/4, Bavdhan Khurd,

(off Chandni Chowk), Paud-Pirangut Road, Pune - 411021, 

Maharashtra, INDIA Tel.+91-20-6573 1088

Fax.- +91-20-2295 2262


niasa.2005@gmail.com / Niasa.ttp@gmail.com

  


http://www.ud2010.net/index.en.html Japan's first international Universal Design (UD) Conference was held in Yokohama in 2002. The declaration adopted on the last day stated that UD means the building of a social environment that respects the dignity of each individual, and that it was of urgent importance to create a more humane social system by rebuilding relations between users and designers and producers and by reinventing a system that places human beings at the center in all respects. Since then, we have all been involved in realizing the principles and philosophy contained in the declaration. Following on another successful Conference in Kyoto 2006, we will seek to achieve a higher plateau of UD society by coming together in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture in 2010 to share with our global friends and partners outcomes of our latest research and practices as well as to send our collective vision for the sustainable future through a cordial and constructive exchange of information among men and women committed to the realization of UD society everywhere. The theme of the third conference will be For the People and the Earth of Tomorrow - Towards a Sustainable Co-existence. We plan to have special lectures and keynote addresses at the public symposium on the first day and a very active dialogue and exchange of opinions throughout the plenary and sub-sessions.

The 3rd International Conference for Universal Design in HAMAMATSU 2010


Dates :Symposium / Concurrent Sub-sessions
October 30 (Sat), 2010 -- November 3 (Wed), 2010 
Exhibition in parallel: Open to public (for free)

Venue : ACT CITY Hamamatsu, etc. 
Host : International Association for Universal Design (IAUD)

Hamamatsu Logo.jpg



 

October 4 2010 has been set as the date for the first conference in New Zealand on Access Tourism. 

The conference will look at various aspects of Access Tourism, including some of the following:

  • The current situation NZ and worldwide
  • Website access and information best practice
  • Government strategy, policy, and obligations
  • Best practice in transport
  • Accommodation, and attractions access
  • Training for access in the tourism and hospitality sector
  • Legal aspects
  • Quality rating for Access Tourism products in New Zealand

It will also include brainstorming sessions on strategies for advancing the development of Access Tourism in New Zealand and developing collaboration as a tool to advance that development.  These topics are based on those most popularly picked from a list of possible topics in an online survey.   

The conference is being run by the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute at Auckland University of Technology, and will be a no frills sustainable event.  For more information, contact sandrarhodda@hotmail.com.

http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz

Survey Deadline - Friday 16 July
Arts Access Australia.jpg 
In October 2009, the Cultural Ministers Council of all nine state, territory and federal arts ministers, released the National Arts and Disability Strategy. The Strategy addresses the rights of people with a disability to have access to, and full participation in, arts and cultural activities in Australia. The National Arts and Disability Strategy was developed by the Cultural Ministers Council after a national public consultation process with over 100 responses in addition to input from peak bodies including Arts Access Australia.
 
The Ministers have agreed on four priority areas for action. These are:
- Addressing barriers to access and participation;
- Supporting artistic and cultural practice amongst those with a disability;
- Developing audiences for disability arts companies and individual artists; and
- Improving policy development and planning within governments.
 
The Strategy is also intended to align with the:
- National Disability Strategy
- Fourth National Mental Health Plan
- National Mental Health and Disability Employment Strategy
 
In addition, in 2010, Australia is developing its first national arts curriculum.
 
To read the full National Arts and Disability Strategy in a range of formats follow this link to the Cultural Ministers Council web page:http://www.cmc.gov.au/working_groups/national_arts_and_disability_strategy
 
Now what?
 
Now that the Strategy has been created it is vital that you share your views on the most important priorities for governments to strengthen, fund and support.
 
We have created the survey below for the purpose of collecting your response to priorities outlined in the document and so that you can let the government know what you want this Strategy to do for you.
 
Who Should Fill in the Survey?

- Artists
- People with a disability, mental health issue or who are deaf
- Art and cultural workers
- Art and cultural organisations
- Disability organisations
- Mental Health organisations
- Ageing organisations
- Employment services
- Community organisations
- Families and carers
 
If you can spend a little time (15 mins) filling out the survey Arts Access Australia and our state and territory members will be better able to support you and provide government with your ideas and comments. If you would like to receive this survey in an alternative format or record your responses via an interview, please contact Arts Access Victoria at info@artsaccess.com.au or phone 03 9699 8299.
 
Click here to commence the Surveyhttp://www.surveymonkey.com/NADS



NCPEDP in association with AccessAbility and BarrierBreak Technologies and supported by MphasiS has instituted the first ever 'The NCPEDP-MphasiS Universal Design Awards' to encourage those doing exemplary work towards the cause of accessibility and thus ensuring a life of equality and dignity for disabled people. The awards will cover accessibility in the following fields:

 

1. Built Environment

2. Transport

3. Information and Communication Technology

4. Services

5. Aids and Appliances

 

The awards will be given in 3 categories: Persons with disabilities, Working Professionals and Companies/Organisations.

 



Cuando Lorena pasea por una clase, pregunta a los alumnos cuál de sus dos piernas creen que es una prótesis. Los chicos y chicas se la juegan con mayor o menor atrevimiento, con la timidez que impone un tema desconocido y una muchacha que habla sin rodeos. Hecha la porra, Lorena dobla el pantalón y se obra el silencio: tiene las dos piernas amputadas y nadie se había dado cuenta. Ese es el mensaje adosado a la actividad que la Asociación de Amputados Sant Jordi lleva cuatro años organizando en las escuelas de Barcelona, esto es, la necesidad de que la sociedad se dé cuenta de que una persona con discapacidad debe y quiere pasar desapercibida, entre otras muchas cosas, porque puede llevar una vida igual de intensa que cualquier otro individuo.

zoomAlumnos de la escuela Verge de la Salut (Sant Feliu de Llobregat), durante la actividad sobre discapacidad.

Alumnos de la escuela Verge de la Salut (Sant Feliu de Llobregat), durante la actividad sobre discapacidad. LORENA RAINDO PORTILLO 

Con solo un 7% de esas escuelas adaptadas, es fácil que los niños no conozcan la realidad de este colectivo; no tanto por ausencia de voluntad como por falta de observación o de empatía. 

Mas:

http://www.elperiodico.es/es/noticias/barcelona/20100618/estudio-revela-deficiencias-graves-accesibilidad-escolar/333411.shtml

More on the history of the ADA from AAPD. Transcripts of the videos in the series are available at the YouTube site and closed captioning is provided on all videos.


 . 

AAPD is creating a video series to celebrate ADA. 


Here is an interview with Jenifer Simpson, Senior Director of Government Affairs at the American Association of People with Disabilities, AAPD. Transcripts of the videos in the series are available at the YouTube site and closed captioning is provided on all videos. (Of course!)

 

Brazil's Ministry of Culture will be awarding R $ 1 million for production, 
diffusion and distribution projects involving books in accessible formats 

The Culture Ministry reported in the Official Gazette (Section 3, pages 9, 
10:11), the Invitation for Promotion of Production, Dissemination and 
Distribution of Books in Accessible Format soliciting private and non-profit sector partnerships. 

Registration closes on July 22. 

 R $ 1 million w
ill be invested in projects that promote 
production, dissemination and distribution of books in accessible 
format for people with visual impairment, ie 
books converted by means of specialized techniques of 
adaptation, which provide description or narration of 
possible graphical representations present in the work, in 
Daisy format, Braille, talking book (or 
synthesized human voice 
) or other format that allows access to content for
all people, primarily those with 
visual impairment. Textbooks are excepted

According to the IBGE (Census 2000), Brazil has 
2.5 million people who are blind severely visually impaired. 

Recent research from the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) 
commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, revealed that 
only 9% of municipal public libraries have a
Braille section. During the past year, the
Directory of Intellectual Rights of the Secretariat of 
Cultural Policy (SPC / MinC), together with the 
Board Book, Reading and Literature, the Department 
Institutional Articulation (SAI / MinC), held a 
series of meetings with associations representing 
visually impaired persons and persons who work with 
production of accessible books and found a lack of 
literary works available in formats accessible to 
blind or have low vision. 

"The democratization of access to the book also includes the 
need for the provision of accessible formats. Therefore 
the edicts of the Ministry of Culture, in the area of book 
and reading, have contemplated the need for these books 
formats, "said the director of the Book, Reading and 
Literature SAI / MinC, Fabiano dos Santos PiúbaThe 
Director of Intellectual Rights of SPC / MinC, Mark 
Alves de Souza, adding that "it is possible to increase 
without demand to invest also in structures 
production and distribution of books, ensuring 
decentralized network and considering the peculiarities 
regional. " 

Categories of Notice 

In Class I - Infrastructure for the production of books 
accessible format will be selected at least three 
proposals up to $ 160 000 each. Resources 
can be used to create a center 
production of books in accessible format or its expansion. 
The books will be distributed exclusively to 
visually impaired people or entities that they 
meet (associations, libraries, etc.). 

The second category, focused on the production and distribution 
these books, will address adaptation projects and 
reproduction of books that should be distributed 
free to the public served by the institution. 
Will be selected at least two proposals, the value 
maximum of $ 200 000 each. 

The third category of the announcement is aimed at training 
and dissemination, being selected at least two 
initiatives and a maximum of $ 60,000 each. The 
projects may be training (through courses, 
trainings and other activities aimed at transcription, 
adaptation operation of programs and equipment 
involving the production and reproduction of books in format 
accessible) and diffusion (of information about books 
accessible, producing entities, existing collections or 
successful practices in this sphere). 

Entries must be made by email and 
all documentation must be sent by post. 
The selection of projects will be undertaken by a committee. After 
disseminating the results of each stage of selection, 
tenderer shall within five working days to lodge 
appeal. The result will be published in the Official Gazette 
Union and the site www.cultura.gov.br, and total 
responsibility of the bidder to follow update 
information on both. 

Other initiatives to support accessibility 

Until the 15th of June, the Ministry of Culture 
Bidding is to Culture More to Support Libraries 
open. In this announcement, only the request at all 
categories from a minimum percentage of the book accessible 
there is a specific category for the segment, facing 
supporting libraries accessible. Will be invested R $ 85 
thousand for each project, totaling 30. The value may 
be applied to purchase and collection of equipment and 
furniture for people with disabilities; 
employee training designed to improve the 
management and the care and services offered to users 
with disabilities; expansion or renovation of physical space, 
adapting it to people with special needs, and 
creation of socio-cultural programming. 

Along with the National Association for the Blind of Rio Grande do 
South (Acergs), MinC has developed the pilot project the  
National Network for Affordable Production of Books 
People with Visual Impairments. The project includes the 
structuring of a production center for books in formats 
accessible and qualification of human resources for 
working on this production. Along with the Association 
Brazilian Assistance Visually Impaired (Lamarão) 
Project develops the inclusion in the world of culture through 
access to writing and reading Braille, which provides for 
purchase and adaptation of Braille typewriters and 
production of explanatory material to enable 15,000 
students to have access to the blind world of reading 
through Braille. 

Moreover, accessibility is also addressed by requiring that all 
work published in Portugal should be available by publishers for sale to consumers  in an accessible or digital format.

http://www.cultura.gov.br/site/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/tabela2.jpg

Has someone been offering Melbourne Metro Trains drivers career counseling? Apparently at least one driver is attempting to make the career move from public service professional to "shock jock." In this case, one hesitates to give him even the traditional advice, "Keep your day job."

Ray Jordan told the Leader he was boarding a city-bound train at Reservoir Station two weeks ago when he copped a verbal spray from the driver.

"The driver said 'you people', which I took to mean people with disabilities, 'always make trains late'," Mr Jordan said....

The incident was almost identical to one described by a disability rights activist.

Martin Leckey said a train driver used the same phrases while abusing him at Heidelberg Station recently.He said: 'what are you doing out this late without your carer'," Mr Leckey said.

Source:

Driver Abuse Claim

AEDES (http://www.aedes.be/view/en/index.html) is a Brussels based consultancy specialized in public health. We are currently looking for an expert in disability, a technical assistant position to support the Disability and rehabilitation department at the Ministry of Health in Kabul.  The position is part of the European Commission support programme to Afghanistan and has the following characteristics :

 

-          120 working days spread over 8 months, plus a few weeks for reporting at home. Starting in July/August depending availability. The expert will be allowed to travel back to his home country during this period.  

-          Work as a technical assistant to the « Disability and rehabilitation department » of the MOH, position financed by the European Commission.

-          The profile requested :

-          Degree in disability studies or alternatively university degree in public health or community health or alternatively author of publications on disability. The focus on disability and health will be used for scoring

-          Fluency in English

-          Working experience in a post-conflict country

-          Minimum of seven years of progressive professional experience in the Field of Disability and/or Public Health. Please note that years in disability and years in general public health will be scored separately

-          Minimum of 5 years experience in the field of policy and planning in low income countries

-          AEDES is already active in Afghanistan, the expert will thus benefit from a local support structure.

-          Competitive fees offered.

-          The position is posted on our web site(http://www.aedes.be/view/en/Jobs.html)

 

In case you are interested by this position, please contact  Pierre Poivre (ppoivre@aedes.be) with your CV. The TOR are available upon request. The position is open until Monday June 21st.

 

Thanks a lot for your collaboration,

 

Kind regards

 

Pierre Poivre

Business manager

AEDES

Rue Joseph II, 34

B-1000 Bruxelles

 

www.aedes.be

Tel  +32 2 219 03 06

Fax +32 2 219 09 38

Formatos Acessíveis

MinC lança edital de fomento a obras para pessoas com deficiência visual

Serão investidos R$ 1 milhão em projetos de produção, difusão e
distribuição de livro em formatos acessíveis

Torcendo.jpgO Ministério da Cultura publicou nesta segunda-feira, 7 de junho, no Diário Oficial da União (Seção 3, páginas 9, 10 e 11), o Edital de Fomento à Produção, Difusão e Distribuição de Livros em Formato Acessível voltado para apoiar entidades privadas sem fins lucrativos. As inscrições encerram-se no dia 22 de julho.

Serão investidos R$ 1 milhão em projetos que fomentem a produção, difusão e distribuição de livros em formato acessível para pessoas com deficiência visual, ou seja, livros convertidos por meio de técnicas especializadas de adaptação, que proporcionem descrição ou narração das possíveis representações gráficas presentes na obra, nos formato Daisy, Braille, livro falado (voz humana ou sintetizada) ou outro formato que permita o acesso de todas as pessoas, prioritariamente aquelas com deficiência visual, ao seu conteúdo, excetuados os livros didáticos.

De acordo com dados do IBGE (Censo 2000), o Brasil tem 2,5 milhões de pessoas cegas
ou com deficiência visual severa

Pesquisa recente da Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV), encomendada pelo Ministério da Cultura, revelou que apenas 9% das bibliotecas públicas municipais possuem seção Braille. Aliado a isso, durante o ano passado, a Diretoria de Direitos Intelectuais da Secretaria de Políticas Culturais (SPC/MinC), juntamente com a Diretoria do Livro, Leitura e Literatura, da Secretaria de Articulação Institucional (SAI/MinC), realizou uma série de reuniões com associações que representam pessoas com deficiência visual e entidades que trabalham com a produção de livros acessíveis e constatou a carência de obras literárias em formatos acessíveis disponíveis para pessoas cegas ou com baixa visão.

"A democratização do acesso ao livro passa também pela necessidade de oferta de formatos acessíveis. Por isso que os editais do Ministério da Cultura, na área de livro e leitura, têm contemplado a exigência de livros nestes formatos", afirma o diretor de Livro, Leitura e Literatura da SAI/MinC, Fabiano dos Santos Piúba. O diretor de Direitos Intelectuais da SPC/MinC, Marcos Alves de Souza, acrescenta que "não é possível aumentar a demanda sem que se invista também em estruturas de produção e distribuição destes livros, garantindo uma rede descentralizada e que considera as particularidades regionais".

Categorias do edital

Na categoria I - Infraestrutura de produção de livros em formato acessível serão selecionadas, no mínimo, três propostas, de até R$ 160 mil cada uma. Os recursos poderão ser usados para a criação de um centro de produção de livros em formato acessível ou sua ampliação. Os livros deverão ser distribuídos exclusivamente a pessoas com deficiência visual ou entidades que lhes atendam (associações, bibliotecas, entre outras).

A segunda categoria, voltada à Produção e distribuição destes livros, contemplará projetos de adaptação e reprodução de livros que deverão ser distribuídos gratuitamente para o público atendido pela instituição. Serão selecionadas, no mínimo, duas propostas, no valor máximo de R$ 200 mil cada.

A terceira categoria do edital é destinada à Capacitação e difusão, sendo selecionadas, no mínimo, duas iniciativas, no valor máximo de R$ 60 mil cada. Os projetos poderão ser de capacitação (por meio de cursos, treinamentos e outras atividades visando a transcrição, adaptação operação de programas e equipamentos que envolvam a produção e reprodução de livros em formato acessível) e difusão (de informações sobre livros acessíveis, entidades produtoras, acervos existentes ou práticas bem sucedidas nessa esfera).

As inscrições deverão ser feitas por correio eletrônico e  toda a documentação deve ser enviada por correio postal. A seleção dos projetos será feita por uma comissão.  Após a divulgação dos resultados de cada etapa de seleção, o proponente terá prazo de cinco dias úteis para interpor recurso. O resultado será publicado no Diário Oficial da União e no site www.cultura.gov.br, sendo de total responsabilidade do proponente acompanhar a atualização de informações em ambos.

Outras iniciativas de apoio à acessibilidade

Até o próximo dia 15 de junho, o Ministério da Cultura está com o Edital Mais Cultura de Apoio a Bibliotecas aberto. Neste edital, além da exigência em todas as categorias  de um percentual mínimo de livro acessíveis, há uma categoria específica para o segmento, voltada para o apoio a bibliotecas acessíveis. Serão investidos R$ 85 mil para cada projeto, totalizando 30.  O valor poderá ser aplicado para a compra de acervo e de equipamentos e mobiliário destinados a pessoas com deficiência; capacitação de funcionários voltados para aperfeiçoar a gestão e o atendimento e serviços oferecidos aos usuários com deficiência; ampliação ou reforma física do espaço, adequando-o aos portadores de necessidades especiais, e a criação de programação sócio-cultural.

Junto com a Associação Nacional de Cegos do Rio Grande do Sul (Acergs), o MinC desenvolve o projeto piloto para uma Rede Nacional de Produção de Livros Acessíveis para pessoas com deficiência visual. O projeto prevê a estruturação do centro de produção de livros em formatos acessíveis e a qualificação de recursos humanos para trabalhar nesta produção. Junto com a Associação Brasileira de Assistência ao Deficiente Visual (Lamara), desenvolve o Projeto inclusão no mundo da cultura através do acesso à escrita e à leitura Braille, que prevê a compra e adaptação de máquinas de escrever Braille e a produção de material explicativo para possibilitar que 15 mil estudantes cegos tenham acesso ao mundo da leitura por meio do Braille.

Além disso, na regulamentação da Lei do Livro, a acessibilidade também está contemplada ao exigir que toda obra publicada em território nacional deva estar disponível pelas editoras para venda ao consumidor interessado, por meio de versões em formato acessível ou em arquivo em formato digital, bem como ao prever a expansão de bibliotecas acessíveis.

Veja o edital.


Shivani Gupta

Director, AccessAbility


In the flurry of preparing Delhi for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Delhi has been revamped. There is the new BRT Corridor, the low floor buses, huge overhead bridges, accessible pathways and the swanky metro. All of these have accessibility incorporated in them. I should feel fortunate being a wheelchair user that now public transport and the pedestrian environments is accessible to me. But the unfortunate reality is that none of these so called accessible facilities are really accessible to the disabled and hence have not brought the desired mobility. Money is being spent in the name of accessibility but what we have really got are 'teasers'. 'Teasers' being my way of describing facilities that are signposted as being accessible but are not usable by disabled people in reality.

 

Usability is the first and the basic requirement of accessibility and it is here that all these fail. Usability goes beyond blindly putting on ground accessibility standards, it is about how a user will actually interface with the given service/facility/infrastructure etc. it may also vary based on the social context, therefore what may be a working design in a developed country may not be so in a developing country. To increase usability is also the crux of Universal Design.

 

Just yesterday I went out on my wheelchair and thought of crossing to the other side from the overhead foot bridges that have been built all over Delhi. The bridge is about seven meters high with a ramp 89 meters long of 1:12 gradient to get onto the bridge and the same ramp on the opposite side.

 

In India most people will say "arre there is a ramp na to get on and off the bridge and that to of 1:12 gradient, then what more do you want?" What they fail to see is that a wheelchair user will need to wheel two hundred meters, that too up and down a ramp to cross just a 10 meter wide road. So its 10 meters verses 200 meters.

 

Major Design Flaws:

 

  • To provide a ramp to negotiate a level difference of more than 3 meters is impractical and not usable by the disabled and here it is more than double that height.
  • A ramp to negotiate a level difference of more than 3 meters must have a gradient no more than 1:18 here the gradient is 1:12
  • Landings must be provided after every five meters, here landing is provided after 40 meters. 

I am sure even athletes using wheelchairs will find negotiating this ramp difficult!

 

Here I will also like to point out that accessible parking is demanded & provided closest to the entrance to ensure that disabled car drivers and passengers do not need to walk extra, but when it comes to pedestrian environments adding 200 meters to the journey is reasonable. Why this disparity?

 

A resent press release by the Delhi metro said that there 'Delhi Metro provides wheel chair facility to old and physically challenged commuters at all Metro stations. On an average, 149 physically challenged people and 78 blind commuters use the Metro system daily' and 'On an average, it is carrying about 800,000 commuters everyday.' Just taking the figures published by them it is easy to calculate that there are only 0.02% people with disabilities who use this so called 'accessible transport system' to travel.

 

The pavements in Delhi are been refurbished and most with tactile guidance and ramps at the beginning and end. The amazing part is that the guidance breaks whenever there is an obstacle in the path like trees, poles etc., hence ensuring people with blindness bang into them and majority of the ramps are blocked by bollards, through which a wheelchair cannot pass.

 

I wonder when will people with disabilities stop compromising and accepting shoddy solutions to improve access. The UNCRPD talks about 'Persons with disabilities to have access, on an equal basis with others' its time we demanded it.

 


-- 
AccessAbility
D8/8073 Vasant Kunj
New Delhi  110070

(011) 2613 08 62
(0) 93102 45743

http://accessability.co.in

Bridge Road, Richmond, Australia

If you are available, you are invited to be involved in a video and photo event to demonstrate the inaccessible and narrow footpaths with many obstacles and the inaccessible tram stops on Bridge Road, Richmond when the footpath may be packed on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 1:00pm. 

We will meet at The Vine Hotel, corner of Bridge Road and Church Street, Richmond at 1:00pm and then travel up the north side of Bridge Road on the footpath, ending at the corner of Bridge Road and Hoddle Street, Richmond.

There is a wheelchair accessible toilet at The Vine Hotel.

I made a video of the journey on Saturday, June 12, 2010 at approximately 10:00pm to avoid the many daytime pedestrians and as a quick test run while driving my large 3 wheel electric scooter. I started the video from the Richmond Shopping Plaza and ended the video at the corner of Bridge Road and Hoddle Street, Richmond 3121.

The video shows the narrow sections of the footpath and pole obstacles to pedestrians on the north side of Bridge Road between Church Street and Hoddle Street, Richmond 3121.

Hopefully, in the 2010 to 2011 Budget the City of Yarra can fund the reconstruction of the narrow sections of the footpath and the removal of all the large pole obstacles demonstrated in the video to make the north side of the Bridge Road footpath more accessible for everyone. 

Bridge Road: Richmond footpath and tram stops HQ [1] on Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWQNQLeKR84

The Epworth Hospital, 89 Bridge Road, Richmond 3121 will be developed for $350 million and according to the Department of Transport, DOT and the Minister for Planning, Justin Madden, the Epworth development will include an independently accessible tram stop in front of or near the front of the Epworth Hospital. 

I apologise for the short notice of this video event.

It would be great if we could get a few wheelchair and scooter users in the video to demonstrate the inaccessible footpath and tram stops. 

Please confirm your attendance by this invitation or by email: mickem71@hotmail.com or by mobile: 0434 339 003. Thank you. 

Kind regards, 

Michael Merrett
Mobile: 0434 339 003
Email: mickem71@hotmail.com

The Dordogne with a Difference.


© Linda McLean 

(Reprinted with permission)

 

It is cold in Scotland in winter. There is no doubt about that. It is even colder for people who lack the ability to keep themselves warm through exercise, or walking. That is, those in wheelchairs. It is therefore part of the winter's exercise, that the winter nights are spent dreaming of somewhere warm...

Some years ago, I was friendly with a civil servant and his friend, and both were confined to wheelchairs -Phil and Roddy. They both wanted to go to the Dordogne, but for various reasons, needed someone to escort and assist them. Phil could drive, as could Roddy, but at the time I could not. However, one mad winter's night, we decided we would all go camping in the Dordogne. I had been several times before to a very friendly campsite, and I was sure that the owner would keep a place very near the toilets for the use of the disabled.

In the spring it had been duly booked and confirmed, and we readied all our stuff. We were towing a trailer tent and were sailing from Portsmouth to Le Havre, because one of the guys had friends there, and it meant we could stay the night for nothing. The car goes on the ferry for nothing if you are a member of the Disabled Drivers Club. So, that meant a cheap start to the adventure.

We arrived at Le Havre, and enjoyed our visit there tremendously. We were made very welcome, and had enormous fun blowing up the inflatable lilos, which were to be beds for the guys.

We left early next morning for our long trip south. It was almost eight o'clock in the evening when we approached the camp site, and I was getting very worried. I had to put a trailer tent up myself. I didn't know if there was going to be enough light left...and then, as the campsite came into view, I saw that the spot that I had specifically requested to be reserved for our use, had been taken. There was a pink caravan on it.

 I did not believe it. "Victor Meldrew" (a very irate TV character who loses his temper at anything) rose up within me, and I would have fought with anybody or nobody.

As we drove into the campsite, my rehearsed French was improving in leaps and bounds. I do not like fighting in a foreign language - it is much more difficult- so I decided to be very coldly angry -to articulate slowly and well. As we approached the site owner, I had probably reached about minus 20 degrees Centigrade mentally.

Before I got a chance to say a word, he welcomed me with open arms, kissed me on both cheeks, told me he had been waiting for us.....Slightly stunned, I responded, "What about the pink caravan?"

He literally hooted with laughter. Oh, yes...  The pink caravan - "la petite caravan rose". It had been put there to mark our spot, so nobody would take it. Feeling suitable chastened, I thanked him profusely, and said that I must get the tent up before nightfall.

"Do not worry - it is already done!" he responded. With a whistle he summoned his four sons, and the tent went up in the wink of an eye.

And so we were installed. The campsite worked well, even although it was on a steep hill. The part that we were using beside the toilet block was level and well maintained. There was a barn atop the hill, which was as a gathering place each evening. In the barn you met your neighbours drank wine and there were lots of games for the kids, who learned amazingly to play each others games even with no knowledge of their opponent's language. It was a warm and friendly place. The guys were the only ones allowed to take the car up there. 

The days were warm and the nights full of fun.

There was a little van came to the site every day to deliver fresh bread, and we quickly got into the habit of croissants and hot chocolate in the morning. Occasionally we had to go into town to restock our fridge, but apart from that, life was simple. Sunbathing down by the lake most days with friends we had made on the campsite. I would read part of a book during this time, and then condense what I had read and give a brief synopsis over tea, as there was no television. It was interesting how well this was received in this format. I always waited to see if they would ask, and they always said "Well, what happened today to Becky then?" or some other character in the book, and so I would launch into my narrative. This was so successful that there was quite a fight over the second book I had to read.

It was always fun watching new British arrive, because there was so much to tell them. "Market day is on a Wednesday" I informed a new couple, "but you have to be careful, because the town goes one way on a Wednesday."

They looked at me in disbelief.

"It can't go one way for one day only!"

"Oh, yes it does!" I assured them.

They chose not to believe me, and I watched these poor souls trying to drive the wrong way through the streets, being attacked with the odd bread stick by every Frenchman in sight.(I now knew why it was called a "baton".)

The owner had known me over the years, and if there was a problem with English, the person was sent to me. So it happened that Jennifer appeared one Saturday morning at the tent with her Mum. "She has terrible earache," her Mum explained. "We have got the address of the local doctor from the site owner, but none of us speak French. Would you come with us?"

From just one look at the child, I could see this was a hospital job, and the G.P. would not be able to do anything apart from refer on. There goes my Saturday! I thought.

So, we all went to the doctor, who did as I had predicted, thought it was an abscess, and sent us to hospital in Perigeuex. We set off, Mum and dad in the front and Jennifer crying beside me in the back...

Then, suddenly, there was an almost audible pop, and Jennifer looked startled. "Something happened."  She informed me.

"Let's see, then." I asked. Sure enough the abscess had burst, and the pain had gone. Jennifer was now quite happy.

"We had better continue anyway, seeing as how we have been referred," said the parents, and I agreed. The thought of a long wait in Accident and Emergency did not cheer me. However, the French do things differently. Instead of waiting in a general queue, once a G.P. has phoned the hospital, a Consultant comes out. You go straight to the Ear, Nose and Throat department and are seen instantly. There is no wait in Casualty. The room was clean, shining, and pristine. We would happily have eaten from the floor. What a difference from our hospitals at home.


THE EXPEDITION

 

Then both Phil and Roddy thought it would be interesting to see the "wet" caves in the region. I duly read up about them, found that they were very cold, and that the boat trip lasted an hour. There was no mention of the depth. So we arrived, with lots of extra clothing, unloaded, and got the guys out. I was regarded with some disbelief when I tried to book them on the tour.

"It is very difficult!" I was warned.  "There are a lot of steps"

"How many?" I wanted to know

"We've never counted. Hundreds."

AH. What did they want to do? I wondered.

"Give it a bash!" was the answer. (As if I didn't know!)

Going down was not a problem. We could leave the chairs at the top, and Phil was able to swing his legs clear of any approaching step. So, with one arm round my neck, and the other on the railing we ran down the stairs - and I saw what they meant by difficult. This was going to be tough going the other way! Getting into the boat was also tricky, but manageable. The commentary was only in French, so I spent the next hour interpreting.

I headed back up for Roddy, but someone had watched my performance, and decided that they could do likewise with him. So that was easy.

 

 

However, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done getting back up. If you know the Scott Monument in Edinburgh, or the Eiffel Tower in France it felt like an upside down version of that. Using the same method as I had going down, I could have sworn when I was only halfway up that this was further than we had come on the descent. I struggled on; very glad that the same person that saw Roddy down was taking responsibility for getting him back up. He had been bright enough to enlist help, though and had formed a fireman's chair.

After all this, some refreshment was called for and we all went into a local hostelry. The guys wanted beer, and I wanted a white wine with blackcurrant -a Kir.

I duly went up to the bar and ordered "Deux bieres et un Kir, s'il vous plait" I was given two beers and a spoon!( Cuilliere)

 

THE AMERICAN

The campsite we were staying on was very like the Highlands of Scotland very quiet and sedate, with lovely scenery. When, on a particular morning, an American came roaring up in a sports car and informed the owner that he had:

"I've just flown into Bordeaux, and hired myself a car, a tent and a woman!"  the news went round like wildfire. Of course, with our position next to the toilet block, she had to bounce her way past our tent frequently, and I could watch the guys' eyes glaze over and the jaws drop of my friends. Whatever activity was being pursued was abandoned for that short while - until she re-emerged and bounced back again. For some reason this whole event was marked by a deep sigh from the guys when it was finished - but there was always next time. This was the strangest thing I have ever encountered on a campsite. They did not seek to socialise with anybody, nor did anybody approach them. They were left in splendid isolation, which is perhaps, what they wanted!

 

HOMEWORK

Another incident that happened is worth recording. One day, as we were seated by the tent, some British people came and started talking to us. They were very kind, and we started the general sort of chinwag that happens on holiday. Eventually, they asked the question of the men: "Do you, er, um, manage to do any work at home?"

Roddy proudly replied, quick as a flash: "Oh, yes. I open the matchboxes and Phil fills them!"

They had responded with: "Ah! Very good!" before they had time to think. The conversation only went in fits and starts after that. They scuttled off embarrassed.

I am still unsure about this incident. While I understand the frustrations of someone like Roddy. Having developed polio as an infant, he had fought to be treated as normal all his life. He achieved staying in elementary schooling when it was almost unheard of, because neither he nor his mother would take no for an answer. He had to fight even harder. for secondary education - but he was bright and popular with  his peers.

He then spent his university years being carried up and down stairs to the Study. This obviously meant that he had to wait until one of the students  was ready to go, and similarly on the way back down. Simple things, like when he would be home, could never be stated with confidence.

 On his graduation, he felt that everything had been worthwhile, as he was invited to  join a law firm. As he increased in experience, it was now within his grasp to become a Partner. To his utter incredulity, however, he found that he could not be a Partner because "it would not look good".

From that day onwards, he always insisted that it was the able-bodied who had the problem.......

 When we complain about Equal Opportunities today, I remember how much this chap gave, how hard he tried, and how unresponsive we were as a Society.

48 HOURS

 

There was only one problem, from my point of view.  As week after week went by, I was more and more uncomfortable sleeping at night - I felt as if I were falling out the bed. This was pooh-poohed by both the guys, who decided between them that I was going slightly soft in the head.

 So that was all right then.

Eventually, after three weeks, it was time to make the homeward journey. The reason why I had felt I was falling out of bed became abundantly clear - we had a flat tyre on the trailer tent. Moreover and inadvertently, we had chosen to travel on a holiday weekend. We did not have a spare wheel for the trailer. (A point I had also raised earlier, to no avail)

"Let's just use foam," suggested Phil.

I became slightly apoplectic. "Foam will never last till we get back to Scotland!" I insisted.

"Well, we haven't much choice - everything is shut!"

"Will you please just take a detour through the town - there must be something open?" I appealed

"Absolutely not. Our ferry leaves at 7a.m. tomorrow. It is now 4p.m. By the time I have driven half way up France, and we have stopped for dinner and a bit of a relaxation, we will need the overnight time to get to the ferry early"

(Getting to the ferry early was important, so that the car could be placed as near the lift as possible.)

Unhappy, but resigned, I got into the car.

 

We had reached the Loire valley, and had a wonderful meal. The evening was mild, and there was singing and dancing taking place on the riverbank. We drank in the relaxing, happy scenes thirstily, after a long day in the car. It was so beautiful, with the lights playing on the water, and the reflection of the colours of the dancers, and the music was lovely. Reluctantly, we all loaded up again and set off for our final stage. It was at this point that I wished everything would stop forever. Them suddenly, just after we set off again:

Pssssssssssssst!

11p.m., The tyre gave out, it was now and this was difficult. How did you call the AA in France? Nobody except me spoke French, so the boys both looked to me to get them out of this spot. I felt like Queen Victoria, only I was seriously "not amused". I managed to explain our predicament to some local youngsters, who assisted me in making the phone call. I was by this time so irate, that it was not possible for me to sit beside the guys in the car.  I sat on a wall beside the river, swinging my legs, and trying to regain control of my temper. I remembered an old adage, oft quoted by a friend: " There's no point in losing your temper, you've just got to find it again!"
In due course, a very helpful man arrived, who explained what I already knew - we needed a new tyre, definitely. The next town was thirty miles away. There would not be a shop open until the morning, but he gave very simple and clear directions of how to find it.

"Drive slowly" he commanded. If you drive slowly, it might be possible..."

However, a few kilometres later, the tyre went flat again.

"That's it!" announced Phil, now furious. "We are not staying here. Just take the whole wheel off the trailer, and we will drive to the shop and be there when he opens."

"It is the middle of the night and pitch dark. Are you sure you want me to attempt to get the offside wheel off just now? I asked. "I won't be easily seen by other drivers. "We have missed our ferry anyway."

"Yes - take it off!" was the command.

So I leapt to it.

2a.m.

We drove off into the night leaving our stricken trailer tent abandoned.

A very sticky and sweaty night spent with everyone sleeping in the car. We all woke up in various stages of grumpiness, and awaited the tyre shop opening and waited.....and waited.....and waited.

9a.m., the adjoining record store opened. We asked when the tyre facility was opening, but he was unsure. The tyre place usually opened first, he said.. If he was not open now, he doubted that he would.

So, we headed into town, to Tourist Information. Tourist Information insisted that I did not need a tyre repair shop: I needed a caravan shop! I denied this vigorously, but they would not call anyone who had anything to do with tyres. It didn't much matter at the end of the day - everything was shut for the holiday weekend.

Apparently, my face spoke volumes as I approached the car. As things had proceeded from bad to worse, I was treated with more caution. The guys very meekly asked:  "Where to?"

"Take me to the Police!" I instructed. We drove there in silence.

I had really no idea now what I needed to ask for in French, and I was so upset, that it was difficult to sort out my thoughts. On arrival at the police station there was an older man at the window who was obviously very excited and agitated about something, and giving the officer a great deal of grief, which gave me time to study the various posters on the walls, and get my brain back into French again. Suddenly, I saw it - "service d'urgence" - emergency service.

When the older man had gone, I approached the gendarme, and as clearly as I could, while holding onto my anger very tightly, asked:
"There- must-be- an- emergency service- for -tyres- in -this- country- even- on- a public-holiday!"

"But, of course!" was the defensive reply. "Just a hundred metres down the road."

I left triumphant, that now at long last, the end was in sight. (I believed)

At the garage we were asked: "Did we want a new tyre or a new wheel?"

"New wheel" Phil decided. He would keep the old one as a spare.

As we had the old wheel with us, there were no problems about dimensions...

Then there was the problem about converting pounds per square inch into isobars. Fortunately, I had a book handy, and I spent some time double checking the figures: 3 isobars should do it.

10.30a.m., and we headed south again to get the trailer. I went to attack the problem with gusto, but found to my despair, that the new wheel, while the correct dimensions, had only three holes for bolts: our previous one had four. This new wheel would therefore not fit. Fortunately, we had kept the old wheel as a spare. But

we were now in serious difficulties. Nobody had any money left, and we were not even going to make the 5p.m. ferry unless we could get moving. Furthermore, the garages all shut for two hours starting at 12m.d. and we needed the new tyre on the old wheel.

"Right, guys!" I said. "It is time to go for the sympathy vote." I got them both out in their wheelchairs, and they sat and looked as pathetic as they could at the side of the road. It was not long before a couple stopped. Now I had  to explain the problem. We needed that tyre, but on that wheel, we needed it quickly, because we had to catch a ferry.... The couple that had stopped left in a cloud of dust with our various tyres, wheels etcetera, obviously on a mission.

11a.m.We were kicking our heels. I went for a short walk, for some space. I met a farmer, who indicated the trailer tent, and said: "I was up early this morning, and I saw your trailer, so I came back and said to my wife, someone has had a puncture." I had obviously been too angry for too long, because I remember distinctly thinking: "Gosh, there is a genius hiding in the backwoods of France" - such was my frame of mind.

I responded graciously that we had problems since the middle of last night. He then asked, literally: "Would you like to come and wash your hands in my garden?"

I was very puzzled, not having had many invitations like this. It was obviously not in the same category as "Would you like to come up and see my etchings?" My hands, I suddenly realised, were very dirty with tyres and wheels, so I agreed to go with him.

We entered his garden through an old wooden swing gate, and there in pride of place, surrounded by the most beautiful floral display, was an old hand pump. The water was lovely. He then asked if I had managed to have any breakfast. I had to confess that I had not. He produced three massive tomatoes - I had never seen anything like them - and instructed me to take them and share them with my friends.

12 Midday So, I returned, in a much better mood, to find the French couple had returned, the mission had been accomplished, and they helped me to sort the wheel. I was so grateful, and we had so little to give them by way of thanks.

We set of yet again, this time very aware that the clock was ticking, and we had nothing left for food or drink. We had to make the ferry.

 4.55p.m: We screeched into the dock at Le Havre with five minutes to spare - but not good news. This meant we were the last car to load, and so were furthest away from the lifts. How were we going to manage? However, with help it was done. We unloaded the wheelchairs, avoided all bonnets, bumpers, windscreens, while we lifted them towards the elevator. We got them open and ready and then we went back one by one  to carry the guys  over the same assault course.  Now, how were we going to co-ordinate getting off? This is the busiest time for the staff and the passengers. I suggested that we perhaps wait until the coast was clear of all other traffic, and then come down.  This seemed to meet with general, if casual, agreement.

We sailed, and arrived at Portsmouth at 11p.m. absolutely exhausted. It had been impossible to get any rest, as the boat was extremely busy and noisy. Our exit strategy worked well, and we were just psyching ourselves up for the next part of the trip when the Customs flagged us down.

1a.m. It is really difficult to explain now what I felt, apart from that I had somehow accidentally entered a comedy strip.  Customs Officers need to be taken seriously, however, and everything had to come to bits.  If I had had time I would simply have sat down and cried. I was very grateful that I had packed everything in the trailer tent, and the only thing in the boot was toiletries and wheelchairs.

I opened the boot, and the Customs Officer doing the inspection was immediately taken aback. He realised that the occupants could not exit the car.

"I'm sorry," he explained. "But I am being overseen" he indicated a camera.

"I will make this as painless as possible."  Once he had dismantled everything possible, prodded about in the petrol tank, asked an amazing range of questions, taken the cooker and trailer section apart, he let us go. He did help to put it all back again (door panels, etc.,), for which I was extremely grateful, because I know that strictly speaking, they are not obliged to replace anything they remove.

We tried to make up lost time, but both drivers were too tired to be safe, and eventually pulled in to the side of the road for a sleep.

4.30a.m. We took off again, keen to miss rush hours, but it was very slow going. Perhaps because of the levels of tiredness, neither driver was confident. We arrived home 48 hours after our departure, with not one of these hours spent in a bed, and wondering when we were going to get a holiday!

© Linda McLean

 

 

 

 

A disabled man has been thrown off an Auckland bus a day after the company apologised for 15 previous similar incidents.

Go Rider.gifBrett Edge, who has an intellectual disability and speech disorder, wanted to catch the bus at 4.15pm yesterday from near his Kohimarama home to the Glen Innes railway station to get to the funeral of a friend who played with him in the country's only special needs rugby team.

He gave the driver his disability concession card and a Go Rider card which the bus company had sent him, loaded up with 10 trips at the child rate as provided by the disability concession policy.

But his mother, Donna Marquardt, said the driver again refused to accept him because he is 26. "They told him to get off.

"He had no money on him because we had just loaded the card up with 10 trips, so he had to walk to Glen Innes," she said.

"Brett's really upset. He was going to a funeral, a boy from the rugby team died, and now this happens."

It was the 16th time bus drivers have refused to accept Mr Edge's concession card, and came just a day after an NZ Bus general manager rang Mrs Marquardt to apologise.

Mrs Marquardt said she emailed Auckland Regional Transport Authority communications manager Sharon Hunter on Thursday saying she was considering laying a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

"Within half an hour he [the NZ Bus manager] rang to apologise," Mrs Marquardt said. "He apologised profusely and said it would never happen again, and a day later it happened again.

"He wanted to come down and apologise to Brett. Then when I said actually I'm going to make a complaint to the [commission] ... he said that was my right to do that. Nobody bothered to come and see Brett."

She lodged the complaint with the commission yesterday.

NZ Bus spokeswoman Siobhan O'Donovan said last night that she was 

flabbergasted Mr Edge had been put off a bus again. "I just apologise again for the experience he's having, I can't imagine how he feels," she said.

"We will be working to ensure that all the drivers know what this card looks like."


Noticia de Turismo Adaptado:

A Turismo Adaptado está lançando um novo portal para passar informações a respeito de acessibilidade e inclusão, especialmente no lazer e turismo. 

A idéia é globalizar, e ter informações de todas as partes do mundo, e nos mais diversos campos relacionados à pessoa com deficiência e o lazer e turismo. Quem quiser pode registrar seu email e receber informações automaticamente, que serão publicadas com regularidade. 

Todos podem participar enviando qualquer tipo de colaboração, isso será bastante importante. Ajudem espalhar essa ferramenta, e assim estará ajudando toda a sociedade a compreender essas questões, além de manter informado todas as pessoas que já fazem parte.
 

Getting in Touch: Tactile Tiles

Yaad Nagish Ltd. develops tactile signs and design solutions.


 


The CBM-Nossal Institute Partnership for Disability-Inclusive Development aims to increase the ability of development agencies to include people with disabilities in their programs in an effective way.


Through its strong focus on capacity development and research, the CBM-Nossal Partnership works together with organizations in Australia and developing countries to build skills in inclusion of the concerns and rights of people with disabilities at every phase of a development activity; and the development of an evidence-base in disability-inclusive development.


The CBM-Nossal Partnership is seeking someone to assist with the planning, implementation and dissemination of an evidence base in disability-inclusive development, and provide high-quality training services to Australian development agencies and partner agencies in our region. 

You will have strong experience and post-graduate qualifications in development or disability, experience in planning and implementing research activities and demonstrated training skills.


This role will be supported by both CBM and Nossal, linking CBM's field experience and networks, advocacy and training skills, with Nossal Institute's experience in research, program design and management, education and training. This position is located across both organizations.


Position descriptions can be found at www.cbm.org.au.


Enquiries to Sally Baker, Partnership Coordinator, on +61 3 9035 5306


Applications to sm.baker@unimelb.edu.au

Applications close Friday 25 June, 2010

Amigos e parceiros,
 
repasso e solicito divulgação. Aos que puderem, a presença será uma honra.
Abraços
Alexandre Baroni 
Coordenador Executivo dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência do Estado da Bahia
================================
  
Convite

A Secretaria da Justiça, Cidadania e Direitos Humanos - através da Superintendência de Apoio e Defesa aos Direitos Humanos e da Coordenação Executiva dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência - e a Secretaria Municipal de Educação de Lauro de Freitas, têm a honra de convidar V.Sa. para o lançamento do Plano Copa Acessível Torcida Inclusiva, que visa integrar ações e idéias para preparar Salvador como sede da copa do Mundo em 2014, de forma a promover a inclusão da pessoa com deficiência e tornar a cidade acessível. 
 
Data: 14 de junho de 2010.
Hora: 14h 
Local: Ginásio de Esportes de Lauro de Freitas, Rua Euvald

Abidi.jpg


New Delhi, June 7, 2010: After eight months of consistent advocacy led by Disabled Rights Group (DRG), the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) finally conceded to the disability sector's demand for a brand new law on disability reflecting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). On April 30, MSJE formed a Committee to draft a new legislation to replace the Disability Act of 1995. However, while doing so, they overlooked the basic tenet of UNCRPD and the bedrock of the disability rights movement - 'Nothing about Us, Without Us.' The 27 odd member Committee has only 3 people with disabilities!

 

Javed Abidi, Convenor DRG, met Minister MSJE, Shri Mukul Wasnik on May 26 to convey the anxiety and disappointment of the entire disability sector at the choice of members of the Committee. But the Minister did not agree to reconsider or even to include more disabled people in the Committee. Disabled leaders from across the country and across disabilities held a candle light vigil on May 29 in front of the Minister's residence as a mark of protest. Following this, a delegation of 12 disabled leaders met the Minister on May 30, again without any conclusive outcome.

 

The Committee meets for the first time on June 10. To strongly protest against this move and to reiterate our demand that the Committee should be inclusive, 15 disabled leaders from the Southern States of India will sit on an indefinite hunger strike on June 9 outside Shastri BhawanConvenor DRG, Javed Abidi will also be joining them. As the word spreads, there is every possibility that more and more disabled people will join the Indefinite Hunger Strike.

 

They demand that disabled people should be an integral part of the decision making process of drafting the new law, that will determine the future of 70 million disabled people of the country for years to come. The voice of disabled people will have to be heard this time around.

 

For more information, please contact Javed Abidi at 9811038018 or Dorodi Sharma at 9811862407.

 

You can also speak/write to Rajiv Rajan (Tamil Nadu) at 09840630268 or dlu.south@gmail.com; to Paul Ramanathan (Karnataka) at 09035739540 or paulramanathan@gmail.com; and M. Srinivasulu (Andhra Pradesh) at 09440360507 or npdoap@gmail.com.

 


The film Wipe Out made it into last weekend's SuperFest disability film festival in Berkeley. It follows a series of snowboarders with traumatic brain injuries. This article by ProPublica provides a glimpse into the new generation entering the disability community. Just as the blind gained social institutionalization after the nerve gas of WWI increased their numbers and those using wheelchairs saw an increase in recognition after the war in Vietnam those with TBI are finding a voice:


Traumatic Brain Injury in Theater: When Blasts Damage the Brain

June 7, 2010 10:00 pm EDT

Traumatic brain injuries have been called the "signature wound" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While improvements in armor and battlefield medicine mean more soldiers are surviving bomb blasts that would have killed them in previous wars, the explosions are leaving some of them with permanent wounds. Mild traumatic brain injuries are difficult to detect as they leave behind no obvious signs of trauma. While many soldiers recover fully from the injury, others are left with persistent mental and physical problems.


Source: 

Resources:

Hundreds of artist communities in over 40 countries worldwide provide space
and time for artists to master their craft, and some incorporate public
programming such as workshops and performances. The Alliance of Artists
Communities offers an online database of U.S. and international residencies
that artists of various disciplines can apply for. 


Search for programs by ountry or by disability-related accessibility options at the residency
site.

Steve Wilkinson has a goal of promoting inclusion for more than those traditionally labeled as disabled. AccessiblePlacesLogo.jpg


His initiative is called Accessible Places and uses the self-reporting model and the criteria below:




Scott Rains as a Benetech Fellow


One of the recurring themes on this blog has been the need for accessible information for travelers . 

In part that means information that address details of interest to travelers with disabilities. In part it means having travel information in formats that those with disabilities can access.

An organization that is a pioneer in building resources for those with print-disabilities is Benetech's Bookshare. Some may have followed the series of "travelogues" on these topics here in Travelogues recently. By promoting the DAISY format and building a huge digital library of leisure titles and textbooks Bookshare is a major

Today Benetech posted an announcement of fellowship I have to work with them over the coming six months:

The Bookshare Volunteer Program is very pleased to have the continued assistance of Dr. Scott Rains, the well-known author and consultant on topics about travel and issues in the tourism industry of interest to people with disabilities. The operations team appreciated Scott's energy, creative new approach, and leadership so much that they decided to extend his interim contract and keep him on board as a Fellow. To support the growth of the Volunteer Program, Scott will develop a curriculum and training materials for volunteers, in addition to recruiting volunteers.

Full post at the Bookshare Blog:

For years I have enjoyed the surprised responses from audiences around the world when I tell them about the police officers in wheelchairs in Capitola, California. I had never captured a photo until now.


On my way home from eating at Zelda's Restaurant on the beach I came upon Oscar who agreed to represent "Capitola's finest" in my future slide shows.

Oscar-Portrait-1.jpg

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) has been spearheading a participatory model of grantmaking to advance the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). DRF is a unique collaborative grantmaker addressing disabled person's organizations (DPOs) in the developing world. The launch of the Fund in 2008 coincided with the entry into force of the CRPD, and its grantmaking has been supporting the first efforts of DPOs to advance the Convention at country levels. 

At the launch of the Fund, little was known about DPOs in the developing world and skepticism about their capacity to address rights advocacy was widespread. There was generally a lack of information about how best to fund people with disabilities and DPOs in the regions of the world where DRF makes grants; consequently, very little funding reached these populations. DRF was founded to address this funding gap through its grantmaking and technical assistance to DPOs. DRF also advocates with key stakeholders to build the field of disability rights. Since its launch, DRF has fielded 471 applications and made 115 grants to 87 DPOs in 14 countries. These grants have targeted partnership efforts, marginalized groups, emergent DPOs, and innovative tactics to advance the CRPD. 

A Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system will help to collect, measure, and document information about DRF's impact (as one of the only funders currently doing this work) as well as about successes and challenges in the Fund model. The information can also help to widen general knowledge and attention to the rights of persons with disabilities.

About the Consultancy

This consultancy offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with an innovative grantmaking initiative supporting the rights of persons with disabilities. The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) consultant will design and help institute a robust M&E system that will track and improve the effectiveness of the DRF in meeting its goals and objectives. 

This system will be based on DRF's framework document and strategic plan. It will also build on other key documents, including DRF's theory of change, meeting reports, and existing grantmaking processes, as well as external good practices in advocacy and development evaluation. The M&E system is intended to provide the means to collect data for an independent evaluation, which will be conducted at the end of 2012. 

The design and implementation of the system will also emphasize an organizational learning approach that is aligned with the CRPD principles and DRF's organizational values. The design of the system will be participatory and draw from consultations with and experiences of DRF staff, Advisors, and Steering Committee members. 


Objective of the Consultancy

The primary goal of the consultancy is to design an M&E system for DRF to maximize its capacity to meet its goals and objectives. It will primarily gather data about the impact of the organization itself, rather than about the impact of its grantees. The consultancy will focus on three objectives:

(1) To maximize DRF's capacity to meet its goals and objectives 
The consultant will design an M&E system that will enable DRF to both systematically collect data and information on its support to DPOs and to improve its own processes, strategies, and structure. 

(2) To assess grantee portfolio for lessons learned and its effect on DRF's objectives 
The consultant will identify trends and indicators for grantees' project success or failure as it relates to DRF's grantmaking processes and other factors. The methodology may include a desk review of key documents and interviews of a sample of grantees and with Program Officers. The information should serve as an input to the M&E system design (objective 1 above). 

(3) To improve DRF's ability to make an impact in field-building in disability rights 
The consultant will design an M&E system, which will enable DRF to gain insights into its impact on the disability rights field. Specifically, the M&E system will allow staff to track and monitor the quality of outreach that DRF is conducting with donors, the global disability community, and other key stakeholders.

Deliverables

1) M&E system for internal DRF use. The system will include (but not be limited to): indicators; data collection system; methods, tools, and reporting forms for data collection; clarification on roles and responsibilities; and an M&E manual for staff use. 
2) Report of desk analysis and an assessment of the grantee portfolio. The report should identify trends or indicators for project success or failure as it relates to DRF's overall impact. It will also help DRF to improve grantee's M&E capacity and relations between DRF and grantees. Report will include case studies which can be used to inform external stakeholders. 
3) Summary report with key findings. The report should include recommendations and feedback for DRF's strategy and operations as well as findings that may be applicable to the broader field of rights funders and disability rights organizations. The report's primary audience will be DRF staff, Steering Committee, and Global Advisory Panel. The secondary audience will be donors, grantees, DPOs, and other human rights organizations. 

The consultant will report to the Director of DRF and will work closely with other staff. The day-to-day supervision will be by the Operations Director. 

Timeframe

The consultancy is scheduled to start in July 2010. The review of the grant portfolio and preliminary findings should be ready to be presented to the DRF joint Steering Committee and Global Advisory Panel meeting in November 2010 in Boston. All deliverables should be finalized by March 2011. 


Skills and Qualifications

The ideal candidate may be a team of consultants (such as a consulting firm, nonprofit organization/NGO, or academic institution) specializing in evaluations. The successful applicant would ideally have the following skills and qualifications:
* Demonstrated experience in program management and evaluation, especially relating to disability rights, human rights, and advocacy in an international development setting
* Familiarity with disability rights and CRPD preferred
* Familiarity with international advocacy grantmaking, preferably for small grants in multiple countries 
* Advanced degree in an area related to the field, preferred
* Strong competencies and experience in data collection, processing, and management
* Good understanding of issues related to confidentiality, data safety, and other ethical concerns related to the sharing of sensitive data
* Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to successfully and effectively liaise with people in a wide range of functions in a multi-cultural environment. Demonstrated experience in communicating complex concepts to a range of stakeholders in multi-cultural settings
* Experience in communicating evaluation or research findings in clear, written format for multiple audiences 
* Fluency in written and spoken English

Compensation

Commensurate with experience

How to apply

Please submit a two-page proposal with proposed methodologies, budget, and qualifications and suitability for the position. Please include three references (with contact information and relationship) and sample evaluation report or similar product. Any travel costs should be included in the budget as part of the consultant fee. Indicate on the subject heading: Application for M&E Consultant. Submit the proposal by email to:
Diana Samarasan, Director, Disability Rights Fund
dsamarasan@disabilityrightsfund.org (please no phone calls)

Deadline: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2010. Only short listed candidates will be notified. 

Disability Rights Fund, a Project of the Tides Center, is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, and people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. People with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

DRF is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with staff located worldwide. 

Note: Hiring for this position is dependent on donor funding

For More Information Contact:
Nancy Gagnon
Tel: 705-735-2169
ngagnon@accessibletrav.com
www.commsolltd.com

Daniel Pearce posted this note at TTG:



A free online training course offering travel agents guidance on helping customers with mobility issues has been launched by Abta.


Accessible Travel Made Easy has been drawn up with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to offer Abta members a step-by-step guide to the whole customer journey and help agents to better understand how to identify customer needs.


Mark Tanze

r, ABTA chief executive said: "We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work with the Commission on training which will really help the industry to understand a wide range of disabilities - and how simple changes to behaviours and procedures can give all our customers access to a positive travelling experience."  


Visit 

Lançamento Guia de Acessibilidade

A Vida Brasil tem a honra de convidar você para o lançamento do "Guia de Acessibilidade e Cidadania de Salvador".

Dia 8 de junho de 2010 (terça-feira), das 15h às 18h

Local: Auditório do Centro de Pastorais, Arquidiocese de São Salvador da Bahia

Av. Leovigildo Filgueiras, 270, Garcia, Salvador/BA

Informações: (71) 3321-4382 e 3321-4688

Apoios: Secretaria da Justiça, Cidadania e Direitos Humanos (Governo do Estado da Bahia); Conselho Regional de Engenharia, Arquitetura e Agronomia do Estado da Bahia; Handicap Internacional (www.vidabrasil.org.br)