July 2010 Archives

The the European Parliament extended passenger rights on July 6:

Assistance for disabled passengers

The European Parliament also extended the initial proposal to cover assistance for disabled passengers.

"Disability may not be used as a reason for denying a passenger the right to board," reads the new EU regulation, adding that "free assistance must be provided to disabled people in ports".

The new rights for disabled will be restricted, however, "on condition that the carrier or the port operator is notified when the reservation is made or at least 48 hours before boarding". The rules will also apply to cruise passengers.

The full article:

  • Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President in charge of transport, said: "This regulation on the rights of passengers travelling by sea and by inland waterway will extend passenger rights to further transport modes. This means that passengers travelling by water will benefit from the same basic quality service standards wherever they travel in the Union. We hope that the European framework of passengers' rights might soon be completed by the adoption of a regulation on rights for passengers travelling by bus and coach."

  • The new rights include amongst others:

    • guarantee of reimbursement or rerouting in situations of cancellation or of delay at departure of more than 90 minutes,
    • adequate assistance (such as snacks, meals, refreshments and, where necessary, accommodation up to three nights, with a financial coverage up to € 80 per night) in situations of cancellation or delay at departure of more than 90 minutes,
    • compensation, between 25% and 50% of the ticket price, in situations of delay in arrival or cancellation of journeys,
    • non-discriminatory treatment and specific assistance free of charge for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility both at port terminals and on board ships, as well financial compensation for loss or damage of their mobility equipment,
    • minimum rules on information for all passengers before and during their journey, as well as general information about their rights in terminals and on board ships;
    • establishment by carriers and terminal operators of complaint handling mechanism available to passengers,
    • establishment of independent national bodies for the enforcement of the regulation, through, where appropriate, the application of penalties.

President Obama on the ADA

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good evening, everybody. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Well, we have a gorgeous day to celebrate an extraordinary event in the life of this nation. Welcome, all of you, to our White House. And thank you, Robert, for the wonderful introduction. It is a pleasure and honor to be with all of you on the 20th anniversary of one of the most comprehensive civil rights bills in the history of this country -- the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Applause.) I see so many champions of this law here today. I wish I had time to acknowledge each and every one of you. I want to thank all of you. But I also want to thank our Cabinet Secretaries and the members of my administration here today who are working to advance the goals of the ADA so that it is not just the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law, that's being applied all across this country. (Applause.) I want to thank the members of Congress in attendance who fought to make ADA possible and to keep improving it throughout the years. (Applause.) I want to acknowledge Dick Thornburgh, who worked hard to make this happen as Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush. (Applause.) And by the way, I had a chance to speak to President Bush before I came out here, and he sends heartfelt regards to all of you. And it's -- he's extraordinarily proud of the law that was passed. He was very humble about his own role, but I think it's worth acknowledging the great work that he did. (Applause.) We also remember those we've lost who helped make this law possible -- like our old friend, Ted Kennedy. (Applause.) And I see Patrick here. And Justin Dart, Jr., a man folks call the father of the ADA -- whose wife Yoshiko, is here. (Applause.) Yoshiko, so nice to see you. (Applause.) I also notice that Elizabeth Dole is here, and I had a chance to speak to Bob Dole, as well, and thank him for the extraordinary role that he played in advancing this legislation. (Applause.) Let me also say that Congressman Jim Langevin wanted to be here today, but he's currently presiding over the House chamber -- the first time in our history somebody using a wheelchair has done so. (Applause.) Today, as we commemorate what the ADA accomplished, we celebrate who the ADA was all about. It was about the young girl in Washington State who just wanted to see a movie at her hometown theater, but was turned away because she had cerebral palsy; or the young man in Indiana who showed up at a worksite, able to do the work, excited for the opportunity, but was turned away and called a cripple because of a minor disability he had already trained himself to work with; or the student in California who was eager and able to attend the college of his dreams, and refused to let the iron grip of polio keep him from the classroom -- each of whom became integral to this cause. And it was about all of you. You understand these stories because you or someone you loved lived them. And that sparked a movement. It began when Americans no longer saw their own disabilities as a barrier to their success, and set out to tear down the physical and social barriers that were. It grew when you realized you weren't alone. It became a massive wave of bottom-up change that swept across the country as you refused to accept the world as it was. And when you were told, no, don't try, you can'the -- you responded with that age-old American creed: Yes, we can. (Applause.) AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.) THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we can! Sit-ins in San Francisco. Demonstrations in Denver. Protests in Washington, D.C., at Gallaudet, and before Congress. People marched, and organized, and testified. And laws changed, and minds changed, and progress was won. (Applause.) Now, that's not to say it was easy. You didn't always have folks in Washington to fight on your behalf. And when you did, they weren't as powerful, as well-connected, as well-funded as the lobbyists who lined up to kill any attempt at change. And at first, you might have thought, what does anyone in Washington know or care about my battle? But what you knew from your own experience is that disability touches us all. If one in six Americans has a disability, then odds are the rest of us love somebody with a disability. I was telling a story to a group that was in the Oval Office before I came out here about Michelle's father who had MS. By the time I met him, he had to use two canes just to walk. He was stricken with MS when he was 30 years old, but he never missed a day of work; had to wake up an hour early to get dressed -- AUDIENCE MEMBER: So what. THE PRESIDENT: -- to get to the job, but that was his attitude -- so what. He could do it. Didn't miss a dance recital. Did not miss a ball game of his son. Everybody has got a story like that somewhere in their family. And that's how you rallied an unlikely assortment of leaders in Congress and in the White House to the cause. Congressmen like Steny Hoyer, who knew his wife Judy's battle with epilepsy; and Tony Coehlo, who waged his own; and Jim Sensenbrenner, whose wife, Cheryl, is a tremendous leader and advocate for the community. And they're both here today. (Applause.) Senators like Tom Harkin, who's here today, and who signed -- (applause) -- who signed part of a speech on the ADA so his deaf brother, Frank, would understand. And Ted Kennedy, whose sister had a severe intellectual disability and whose son lost a leg to cancer. And Bob Dole, who was wounded serving heroically in World War II. Senior officials in the White House, and even the President himself. They understood this injustice from the depths of their own experience. They also understood that by allowing this injustice to stand, we were depriving of our nation -- we were depriving our nation and our economy of the full talents and contributions of tens of millions of Americans with disabilities. That is how the ADA came to be, when, to his enduring credit, President George H.W. Bush signed it into law, on this lawn, on this day, 20 years ago. That's how you changed America. (Applause.) Equal access -- to the classroom, the workplace, and the transportation required to get there. Equal opportunity -- to live full and independent lives the way we choose. Not dependence -- but independence. That's what the ADA was all about. (Applause.) But while it was a historic milestone in the journey to equality, it wasn't the end. There was, and is, more to do. And that's why today I'm announcing one of the most important updates to the ADA since its original enactment in 1991. Today, the Department of Justice is publishing two new rules protecting disability-based discrimination -- or prohibiting disability-based discrimination by more than 80,000 state and local government entities, and 7 million private businesses. (Applause.) And beginning 18 months from now, all new buildings must be constructed in a way that's compliant with the new 2010 standards for the design of doors and windows and elevators and bathrooms -- (applause) -- buildings like stores and restaurants and schools and stadiums and hospitals and hotels and theaters. (Applause.) My predecessor's administration proposed these rules six years ago. And in those six years, they've been improved upon with more than 4,000 comments from the public. We've heard from all sides. And that's allowed us to do this in a way that makes sense economically and allows appropriate flexibility while ensuring Americans with disabilities full participation in our society. And for the very first time, these rules will cover recreational facilities like amusement parks and marinas and gyms and golf facilities and swimming pools -- (applause) -- and municipal facilities like courtrooms and prisons. (Applause.) From now on, businesses must follow practices that allow individuals with disabilities an equal chance to purchase tickets for accessible seating at sporting events and concerts. (Applause.) And our work goes on. Even as we speak, Attorney General Eric Holder is preparing new rules to ensure accessibility of websites. (Applause.) AUDIENCE: Yes, we can. THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we can. We're also placing a new focus on hiring Americans with disabilities across the federal government. (Applause.) Today, only 5 percent of the federal workforce is made up of Americans with disabilities -- far below the proportion of Americans with disabilities in the general population. In a few moments, I'll sign an executive order that will establish the federal government as a model employer of individuals with disabilities. (Applause.) So we're going to boost recruitment, we're going to boost training, we're going to boost retention. We'll better train hiring managers. Each agency will have a senior official who's accountable for achieving the goals we've set. And I expect regular reports. And we're going to post our progress online so that you can hold us accountable, too. (Applause.) And these new steps build on the progress my administration has already made. To see it that no one who signs up to fight for our country is ever excluded from its promise, we've made major investments in improving the care and treatment for our wounded warriors. (Applause.) To ensure full access to participation in our democracy and our economy, we're working to make all government websites accessible to persons with disabilities. (Applause.) We're expanding broadband Internet access to Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. We've followed through with a promise I made to create three new disability offices at the State Department and Department of Transportation and at FEMA. And to promote equal rights across the globe, the United States of America joined 140 other nations in signing the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities -- the first new human rights convention of the 21st century. (Applause.) America was the first nation on Earth to comprehensively declare equality for its citizens with disabilities. We should join the rest of the world to declare it again -- and when I submit our ratification package to Congress, I expect passage to be swift. (Applause.) And to advance the right to live independently, I launched the Year of Community Living, on the 10th anniversary of the Olmstead decision -- a decision that declared the involuntary institutional isolation of people with disabilities unlawful discrimination under the ADA. (Applause.) So HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan have worked together to improve access to affordable housing and community supports and independent living arrangements for people with disabilities. And we continued a program that successfully helps people with disabilities transition to the community of their choice. (Applause.) And I'm proud of the work that the Department of Justice is doing to enforce Olmstead across the country. And we've finally broken down one discriminatory barrier that the ADA left in place. Because for too long, our health care system denied coverage to tens of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions -- including Americans with disabilities. It was time to change that. And we did. Yes, we did. (Applause.) So the Affordable Care Act I signed into law four months ago will give every American more control over their health care -- and it will do more to give Americans with disabilities control over their own lives than any legislation since the ADA. I know many of you know the frustration of fighting with an insurance company. That's why this law finally shifts the balance of power from them to you and to other consumers. (Applause.) No more denying coverage to children based on a preexisting condition or disability. No more lifetime limits on coverage. No more dropping your coverage when you get sick and need it the most because your insurance company found an unintentional error in your paperwork. (Applause.) And because Americans with disabilities are living longer and more independently, this law will establish better long-term care choices for Americans with disabilities as a consequence of the CLASS Act, an idea Ted Kennedy championed for years. (Applause.) Equal access. Equal opportunity. The freedom to make our lives what we will. These aren't principles that belong to any one group or any one political party. They are common principles. They are American principles. No matter who we are -- young, old, rich, poor, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled or not -- these are the principles we cherish as citizens of the United States of America. (Applause.) They were guaranteed to us in our founding documents. One of the signers of those documents was a man named Stephen Hopkins. He was a patriot, a scholar, a nine-time governor of Rhode Island. It's also said he had a form of palsy. And on July 4, 1776, as he grasped his pen to sign his name to the Declaration of Independence, he said, "My hand trembles. But my heart does not." My hand trembles. But my heart does not. Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Words that began our never-ending journey to form a more perfect union. To look out for one another. To advance opportunity and prosperity for all of our people. To constantly expand the meaning of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. To move America forward. That's what we did with the ADA. That is what we do today. And that's what we're going to do tomorrow -- together. So, thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. Let me sign this order. (Applause.)

 Câmara Municipal, por iniciativa do vereador Jooji Hato, tem a hora de convidar-lhe para a solenidade na qual será homenageado o Diretor da Turismo Adaptado, Ricardo Shimosakai, pelos serviços prestados à cidade de São Paulo.

O evento acontecerá dia 13 de agosto de 2010, às 19h00 no Salão Nobre. Após o término da sessão, será oferecido um coquetel de confraternização no Restaurante Escola São Paulo, no 1º subsolo deste prédio. Todos estão convidados.

Local: Palácio Anchieta

Viaduto Jacareí, 100 - 8º andar (Salão Nobre)

Bela Vista - São Paulo/SP

Data: 13 de agosto de 2010

Horário: 19h00

Celebrating ADA with Braun

Many wheelchair users in the US know of Braun Corporation's longstanding status as an innovator and reliable supplier of accessible vehicles. This press release presents further evidence of their commitment to the transportation needs of people with disabilities. Thank you, Braun!


 Multidisciplinary Gathering Examines Current and Future Mobility Needs on

20th Anniversary of the ADA



WINAMAC, IN, July 26, 2010--The Braun Corporation, the world's largest manufacturer of wheelchair-accessible vans, ramps and wheelchair lifts, today published key insights from  a symposium hosted recently in Washington, D.C. titled "ADA 20/20: Looking Back, Looking Forward on Mobility." In anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the panel of key thought leaders from government, medicine, academia and business exchanged insights on current thinking around future mobility needs for Americans with disabilities.


The event was co-sponsored by Braun and The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), which represents approximately 39,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants and occupational therapy students. 



Discussion covered topics such as the long-term life benefits of mobility, current technology/support systems, gaps in education, current attitudes toward disability and future needs of Americans with disabilities. Five key themes resonated from the discussion:


  1. We've made progress, but we have far to go.

Though accessibility began as an issue of meeting requirements, it is evolving to a moral virtue and national imperative. However, while the institution of ADA led to the adoption of much needed policies and technologies (i.e., modifying public transportation to be accessible to people in wheelchairs), the journey to full accessibility and mobility for people with physical disabilities has been frustratingly slow.  


  1. Universal Design creates economic and daily life benefits for everyone.

The concept of universal design is to develop products, services and environments in ways that maximize access for all and enhance safety and livability. Applying universal design to mobility products, including the hospitality industry and wheelchair-accessible minivans, was viewed as a necessary means to integrating people with physical disabilities into broader society as well as a collective benefit.


  1. Need for ongoing collaboration between business, academic and government sectors.

Traditionally, the "disability rights movement" has served as an umbrella under which government agencies, associations, businesses, etc. promoted different agendas.  A new era is needed where the private and public sector unite to reach common goals of inclusion, accessibility and improved mobility for Americans with disabilities. 

  1. Need to increase awareness of technology and mobility options.

Personal independence and freedom are linked to the ability to transport oneself, and as the number of Americans with disabilities increases with the returning of injured military veterans, and baby boomers taking care of their parents, there is an even greater need to raise awareness of technology and mobility options. For young Americans with disabilities, mobility is particularly important, as it can affect their employment, social standing, acceptance and the chance for a productive and independent life.


  1. Business has the opportunity to lead the way to shifting perceptions.

When the ADA was passed 20 years ago, many business leaders predicted that conforming to its policies might mean bankruptcy for corporations.  The business community holds increasingly positive views of employing and meeting the needs of the disabled community, leading a general shift in perception of people with disabilities from "problem" to "opportunity." It is important for companies to have the knowledge to support and keep valued workers on the job as they grow older.


"We have made great strides in providing accessibility to people with physical disabilities," said Ralph Braun, Founder/CEO, Braun Corporation. "But it's been a slow journey...too slow.  We need to find ways to accelerate the process so that 20 years from now the world is significantly more accessible than the one we live in today.  People with physical disabilities may need special consideration but they are not asking for special treatment...just equal access to all the world has to offer." 


To review the full findings from the event, please visithttp://www.braunability.com/ada-20-20.cfm.

 The 5th Annual Florida Open Tournament for Golfers with Disabilities is scheduled to take place on August 28th, 2010 at PGA Village on the PGA Golf Club's Tom Fazio Designed Wanamaker Course. The PGA Golf Club is located at 1916 Perfect Drive, Port St. Lucie, FL. 34986.

This tournament is also for golfers without disabilities! In a conscious effort to be all-inclusive, golfers without disabilities are encouraged to play in the open tournament, along with their friends with disabilities. All golfers are eligible to compete for the Low Gross Awards. Everyone with a USGA Handicap is eligible to compete for the Low Net Awards. Stroke Survivor Ian Halliwell is the 2009 defending Open Champion and will be there to defend his title.

Raising money is definitely not the goal of the annual golf tournament. The $50 entry fee includes 18 holes of golf on the PGA Golf Club's prestigous Wanamaker Course, Cart Fee, Rangeballs, Prizes and the Awards Banquet. , the goal of the open tournament is to "have fun while raising awareness of accessibility issues concerning golfers with disabilities and/or mobility challenges."

Sposored by Florida Golf Magazine, Titleist, and Bridgeburg Golf and also supported by the NAAG, PGA, USICD, EAGA, NAGA, the Adaptive Golf Foundation of America, and the Adaptive Golf Academy. Golfers can enter the tournament online or by phone. Seehttp://www.floridagolfmagazine.com/open or call 863-227-2751.

Joseph A. Stine, Tournament Director
Florida Open for Golfers with Disabilities and/or Mobility Challenges
Call anytime: 863-227-2751, or 863-293-2621
604 Country Lane NE, Winter Haven, FL 33881

As part of the wider celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Judith Heumann, the new Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the State Department, has posted a video message (captioned) on the Facebook page of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  You can access the video here: http://www.facebook.com/stateDRL

The Special Advisor for International Disability Rights is responsible for leading  the Obama Administration's efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote the rights of persons with disabilities internationally; coordinating an interagency process for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; ensuring that foreign assistance incorporates persons with disabilities; leading on disability human rights issues; ensuring that the needs of persons with disabilities are addressed in international situations; and conducting public diplomacy, including with civil society, on disability issues.

Bookshare Celebrates 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

with Free Membership Offer

Offer Extended to Any Qualifying American

July 26, 2010, Palo Alto, CA - In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Bookshare announces a free membership opportunity for all Americans with qualifying print disabilities, regardless of age or student status.  With this offer, Bookshare celebrates the huge strides forward towards inclusion and equality for Americans with disabilities resulting from this act.

Individuals with print disabilities including visual impairments, physical disabilities, or severe learning disabilities are invited to sign up for a free membership, good for 20-book downloads per month for 3 months.  The promotion begins on August 1 and runs for 30 days. This 20-3-30 free trial creates an opportunity to try accessible books without an upfront commitment to a year-long membership.

"We'd love to see seniors, veterans, and other adults with print disabilities experience the joy of accessible reading," said Jim FruchtermanCEO of Benetech, the nonprofit organization that operates Bookshare. "I'm honored to have been invited to the White House today to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ADA with President Obama."

The Bookshare collection includes many titles of interest to Americans with disabilities of all ages. To see suggested titles, visit Bookshare's Facebook page. With hundreds of books flowing into the collection every week from digital files contributed by publishers and volunteer book submissions, new members will find accessible books they want to read. 

"Bookshare's contribution to humanity is noble," said Eddy Aboudi, an environmental engineer in New York and member of Bookshare. "This organization is building a better world for people with disabilities. Through the large collection of accessible books and this free trial membership, I have renewed hope that more accessible books and reading experiences are within everyone's reach." 

Participating individuals will have access to over 77,000 current, copyrighted books, including fiction, non-fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as two free software applications that simultaneously highlight words and read them aloud using high-quality, human-like voices. In addition to the complimentary Bookshare-provided software, (Victor Reader Soft and Read:OutLoud) individuals can read the accessible books with many of the commonly available assistive devices and software applications. The Getting Started pages on Bookshare's website have information about these tools. Short video tutorials on the Training pages demonstrate how to use the free software tools.

"Before Bookshare, our family could count on one hand the number of books we had read together," said Valerie Maples, a Mississippi resident who has severe dyslexia.  Valerie, her husband, Doug who is a quadriplegic, and daughter, Nichole with cerebral palsy, are all Bookshare members. Valerie and her husband are also Bookshare volunteers.  "We enjoyed our books from Bookshare so much that we wanted to improve the choices available for everyone who wants electronic text. We became volunteers and have taken great pride in scanning and proofreading books, knowing that we have helped to make more books available to others."       

To participate in Bookshare's 20-book-per-month, 3-month, 30-days-to-sign-up free trial, people with qualifying print disabilities should:

1.     Sign up at (http://www.bookshare.org/signUpType). Select the over 18 membership option.

2.     Complete the contact forms online. Be sure to enter ADA20 in the promotion code field.

3.     Agree to the terms of use online.

4.     Fax proof of disability by providing either an NLS certification, an RFB&D member number, or the Bookshare proof of disability form signed by a qualified professional to 650.475.1066.

At the end of the 3-month trial, Bookshare will reach out to new members to explore alternatives for continuing memberships, such as an individual membership for $50/year or an organizational membership from a sponsoring organization. Bookshare will waive the $25/ first year set up fee for individuals who want to continue their membership. Full details of this offer are online.

About Bookshare

Bookshare is the world's largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Through its technology initiatives and partnerships, Bookshare seeks to raise the floor on accessibility issues so that individuals with print disabilities have the same ease of access to print materials as people without disabilities. In 2007, Bookshare received a $32 million five-year award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), to provide free access for all U.S. students with a qualified print disability. The Bookshare library now has over 77,000 books and serves more than 100,000 members. Bookshare is an initiative of Benetech, a Palo Alto, CA-based nonprofit which creates sustainable technology to solve pressing social needs.

About Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed July 26, 1990 as Public Law 101-336 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq ) and became effective on January 26, 1992. The ADA is landmark federal legislation that opens up services and employment opportunities to the 43 million Americans with disabilities. The law was written to strike a balance between the reasonable accommodation of citizens' needs and the capacity of private and public entities to respond. It is not an affirmative action law but is intended to eliminate illegal discrimination and level the playing field for disabled individuals.  Learn more.

DREDF, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, is one of many organizations celebrating the anniversary of the Us's landmark civil rights law The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For a review of transportation advocacy and DREDF's role in advancing accessibility see:


Dear Friends,

Today the nation celebrates the 20th anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. On this day, we recall not only the legislative triumph of the ADA and the changes it has wrought for people with disabilities, we also honor the Congressional leaders, disability community advocates, and supporters who transformed the vision of a comprehensive disability rights law into the reality of the ADA.

We also join with colleagues, allies, and family and friends around the country as we pause to acknowledge one of the most important achievements of the Disability Rights Movement and to re-envision a future where disability discrimination and second class citizenship is a distant memory.

From Disability Scoop:

Text Size  A  A

The first member of the House of Representatives with quadriplegia will preside over the governing body on Monday in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., will be the first person using a wheelchair to take the helm of the House. The opportunity is possible because of recent alterations to the House Speaker's platform making it wheelchair accessible through a series of lifts.

"I have long said that I may be the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress, but I won't be the last," Langevin, a five-term congressman, said in a statement. "This is an extremely proud moment for me and helps renew my spirit as we continue to remove barriers and strengthen the ADA for millions of Americans with disabilities in the decades to come."

A recurring theme here is that home design influences hotel, restaurant, resort, and cruise ship design. Here, from the Star Tribune, is an insight into the sort of Design That's Within Reach that will transform the hospitality industry as the proportion of aging-but-traveling public increases globally.

Bemidji UD.jpg

Rod Tolman never has to bend down or reach above his head when he's cooking in 

his new kitchen.

Pots, pans and even the microwave are stored in low pull-out drawers. The wall oven is at shoulder height, and Tolman has easy access to the sink.

These universal design elements allow Tolman, a paraplegic, to do everything from his wheelchair,

Sandra Rhodda at Access Tourism NZ has picked up on this story about Sonja Gregory of the Hytte reading the signs of the times - right to the bank - and picking up some professional recognition for seeing the future of Inclusive Tourism:

 Usually self-catering occupancy runs around 55% - The Hytte achieved 87% in the first year and 97% in the second, a success Gregory puts down to positive word of mouth.  The Hytte has received regional and national awards in recognition of their commitment to access for all, including a gold Enjoy England Award in 2009.  

"I see things better with my feet."
James Holman, The Blind Traveler

Wendy David can't stay home.

Sites Unseen.jpg

Even with a rewarding job as a psychologist for the Veterans Administration in Seattle, she keeps her suitcase packed - just in case. Together with her partner, Larry, who is also blind, they have been to Europe 6 times, Hawaii 4 times, and have traveled all over the United States and Canada, visiting glaciers, swimming with dolphins, even kissing sea lions.

Now she wants to share what she has learned along the way with other blind travelers in Sites Unseen: Traveling the World Without Sight. "Every time I leave on another trip," says David, "blind friends and acquaintances pepper me with questions: 'How do you get around countries with no public transportation? How do you deal with different types and sizes of currency? How do you travel overseas with a guide dog? Who describes the unique sights to you?'"

In Sites Unseen, David covers the territory. Drawing on her extensive experience, she helps you decide where to go, when to go, how best to get there, how to find accessible travel websites and social networks; gives tips for navigating busy airports, sleeping overnight on trains, enjoying today's more comfortable bus lines, selecting a theme-based cruise, using accessible GPS, and more. "There are so many resources out there," says David. "People just don't know about them."

With this book, you can travel the world with confidence.

Buy the book from National Braille Press:


Henrique Saraiva of Adapt Surf surfing at Barra Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A ONG ADAPTSURF foi convidada para participar do documentário ALOHA!, realizado pela Oficina Querô, um Projeto Social desenvolvido em São Paulo, nas cidades de Santos e Guarujá. 

O curta-metragem apresenta o surf adaptado com parte do tema, mostrando alguns personagens representantes da modalidade e também dois surfistas profissionais engajados em Projetos Sociais. Os surfistas convidados participaram das filmagens nas praias do Guarujá, apresentando suas histórias de vida e, principalmente, surfando altas ondas juntos. 

Henrique Saraiva, sócio-fundador da ONG ADAPTSURF e surfista, juntamente com Valdemir Corrêa, surfista cego de Santos e Robson Careca, referência no surf adaptado, local do litoral norte de São Paulo, foram escolhidos para representar o surf adaptado no Brasil. 

 O filme contará com a participação mais que especial do surfista Otaviano Bueno, o Taiu, que voltará a surfar após o seu acidente, que o deixou tetraplégico em 1991. Para completar a turma foram convidados os surfistas profissionais Jojó de Olivença, ex-campeão brasileiro, e Jair de Oliveira, local de Santos. 

O grupo permaneceu unido durante três dias, hospedados na Praia da Enseada, saindo sempre bem cedo para gravar e pegar ondas. O clima de fraternidade e união esteve presente durante toda a filmagem, que aconteceu durante os dias 16, 17 e 18 de junho de 2010.

Over the last thirty years, there has been a boom in mobility in Europe. For millions of citizens 

Your Rights.jpgtravel has become a reality, indeed a right.

Passengers need a common set of principles, so that they can be more easily aware of their rights if something goes wrong with their trip, regardless of the mode of transport they use or whether a journey takes place wholly within a single Member State or goes through an intra-Community or external frontier.

Commissioner Siim Kallas

Siim Kallas
Vice-President of the Commission,
responsible for transport

In the light of this, the EU has committed itself to placing users at the heart
of transport policy.

Fiurther information:


WASHINGTON, July 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Blockbuster Inc. to ensure equal access to its stores nationwide for individuals with disabilities who use service animals.

The settlement agreement, which resolves a complaint filed under title III of the ADA by an individual with a disability, requires, among other things, that Blockbuster provide comprehensive training to employees at more than 3,000 retail stores throughout the United States to ensure individuals with disabilities who use service animals have full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services and facilities.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees equal access to individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by service animals, but too often those individuals are subject to discrimination because of misperceptions or a lack of understanding of the law," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. 

The agreement, which will remain in effect for three years, requires that Blockbuster:

  • Implement a comprehensive nationwide nondiscrimination policy regarding service animals for people with disabilities;
  • Distribute the policy and train employees across the United States on the rights of service animal users and employee obligations to ensure full and equal access to Blockbuster goods, services and facilities;
  • Provide the same training to new staff during the hiring process;
  • Post its service animal policy on its website and in its stores, and post a "Service Animals Welcome" sign in each of its stores;
  • Create a toll-free ADA complaint line;
  • Establish, implement, and monitor a grievance procedure for ADA-related complaints from customers;
  • Pay $12,000 in damages to the individual who filed the complaint resolved by this settlement; and
  • Pay $10,000 as a civil penalty.

A service animal is individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.  Service animals - most commonly dogs - perform a wide variety of functions.  Examples of these functions include guiding persons who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, warning persons about impending seizures or other medical conditions, performing a variety of tasks for persons with psychiatric disabilities, and picking up items, opening doors, flipping switches, providing physical support and pulling wheelchairs for individuals with mobility disabilities.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination by retail stores, restaurants, hotels, taxi and bus companies, doctors, hospitals and other private businesses and nonprofit organizations that provide services to the public.  Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination by public entities, including state and local governments and public transportation providers.  All of these entities are prohibited from excluding individuals with disabilities from their facilities, services and programs because the individuals use service animals.  If any of these entities has a rule excluding pets or other animals, it must make an exception to that rule and permit an individual with a disability to be accompanied by a service animal anywhere on the premises that other customers are permitted to go.

"The ADA's 20th anniversary is July 26, 2010," said Assistant Attorney General Perez.  "As we celebrate the anniversary of this landmark civil rights law, we are pleased that Blockbuster has affirmed its commitment to ensuring that individuals with disabilities benefit fully and equally from its goods, facilities, and services, including individuals who use service animals."

More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at the website www.justice.gov/crt.  More information about this agreement, the ADA, and ADA rights and responsibilities relating to service animals is available on the ADA home page at www.ada.gov.  This information includes two publications specifically addressing access for individuals accompanied by service animals: "ADA Business Brief: Service Animals" and "Commonly Asked Questions About Service Animals in Places of Business."  Those interested in obtaining copies of these documents or additional information may also call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

The team at Global Dialysis has launched a renewal effort because they are convinced that the need for dialysis should not keep people from traveling. 

From their web site: 

Global Dialysis is the premier resource for people looking for information about haemo and peritoneal dialysis around the world.  This is invaluable for people planning trips for travel, holidays and business.


Created in January 2000 and born out of our frustrations at being unable to find dialysis centres for travels, our database of dialysis information and centres has grown to almost 15,000 in over 300 countries.  We are now the premier resource for the dialysis community with over 1/2 million unique visitors each year.

 New developments We are undergoing an exciting redevelopment of our site at the moment and are planning regional profiles from areas of the world where people like to go for their trips away.  If you want us to feature a particular part of the world or you are a group of dialysis centres in a region and want to raise your profile just drop us a line! 

 Discover more at:


For the remainder of 2010 the U.S. Department of Justice has issued four advance notices of 
proposed rulemaking (ANPRMs). They seek public comment on: 

  • Accessibility of Web Information and Services Covered by the ADA
  • Movie Captioning and Video Description
  • Accessibility of Next Generation 9-1-1 
  • Equipment and Furniture

Web Accessibility

State and local governments, businesses, educators, and other 
organizations covered by the ADA are increasingly using the web to 
provide information, goods, and services to the public. In the web 
accessibility ANPRM, the department presents for public comment a 
series of questions seeking input regarding how the department can 
develop a workable framework for website access that provides 
individuals with disabilities access to the critical information, 
programs, and services provided on the web, while respecting the unique 
characteristics of the internet and its transformative impact on 
everyday life.

Next Generation (NG) 9-1-1

9-1-1 centers are moving towards an Internet-enabled network to allow 
the general public to make a 9-1-1 “call” via voice, text, or video 
over the Internet and directly communicate with personnel at the 
centers. The NG 9-1-1 ANPRM seeks information on how the centers may 
be able to provide direct access to 9-1-1 for individuals with 
disabilities as they implement new communication technologies.

Captioning and Video Description in Movies Shown in Movie Theaters

Recent technologies have been developed to provide closed captions and 
video description in movies being shown at movie theaters. Movie 
studios have begun to produce and distribute movies with captioning and 
video description. However, these features are not generally made 
available at movie theaters. In the captioning and video description 
ANPRM, the department asks for suggestions regarding the kind of 
accessibility requirements for captioning and video description it 
should consider as proposed rules for public comments, particularly in 
light of the industry’s conversion to digital technology.

Equipment and Furniture

Full use of the nation’s built environment can only be fully achieved 
by the use of accessible equipment. There is now improved 
availability of many different types of accessible equipment and 
furniture, ranging from accessible medical exam tables, chairs, scales, 
and radiological equipment and furniture to “talking” ATMs and 
interactive kiosks. In the equipment and furniture ANPRM, the 
department poses questions and seeks comments from the public, covered 
entities, equipment manufacturers, advocacy and trade groups about the 
nature of accessibility issues and proposed solutions for making 
equipment and furniture accessible to persons with disabilities.

Details on the ANPRMs are available on the DOJ web site:

Aeroporto do Galeão disponibiliza vídeo informativo em língua de sinais.

O Aeroporto Internacional do Rio de Janeiro/Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim disponibiliza desde o último dia 16 vídeos informativos na Língua Brasileira de Sinais (Libras) para seus usuários.A mensagem - contendo orientações sobre onde o usuário pode buscar informações, é veiculada 24 horas por dia, a cada 30 minutos, em 13 monitores, localizados nos Terminais de Passageiros 1 e 2. O filme também traz legendas em português e inglês. 

Dear Rolling Rains Readers,

I am working for the Belgian Center for Equal Opportunities and we defend individual cases here for persons with a disability.

Recently we have received a complaint of a person who is deaf and would like to travel in group with an organization to the Middle East. The trip is guided but there are also some moments where the participants might spend some hours alone in a city for example. The travel organization refused his participation because they say that it will be impossible for him to talk to the people of the region -and therefore declare it unsafe. They suggest he takes an assistant with him for the whole trip on his own expenses. The plaintiff refuses to do so because he wants to be independent and go by himself just like everyone else.

My question toward you is the following: 

Would you have any good examples/real stories of persons who travelled in group with an organization and that were deaf or hard of hearing?

We really need to overcome and counter the stereotypes and prejudices that the organization has in our country and a good example would be the perfect way to do it.

Thank you very much for reading this email and for your answer.

Kind regards,

An-Sofie Leenknecht


Dienst Discriminatie -  Dienst 2L

Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding

Koningsstraat 138


Tel: 02 212 31 49

Fax: 02 212 30 30


From Australia Aging Agenda:

Older Australians are set to gain from the release of new voluntary standards for universal housing design.

Leaders from the housing industry and the disability sector worked together to develop the standards through the federal government's National Dialogue on Universal Design.

Master Builders Australia and the Housing Industry Association have also agreed to a target to make all new homes compliant with universal design principles by 2020.

The livable housing guideline establishes three levels of standards - silver, gold and platinum.

To meet the baseline silver standard, houses must have a stepless entry, wide doors and corridors, a ground-floor toilet and a bathroom with a hobless shower and reinforced walls.

The Older Persons Affordable Housing Alliance - made up of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Council on the Ageing (COTA) - said the decision was a milestone for older Australians.

COTA has been campaigning for a broad application of universal design principles for over a decade and COTA was directly involved in the development of the guidelines.

CEO, Ian Yates said the guidelines followed common sense and would prove useful for older Australians.

"One of the big issues that always gets raised is that it costs money to do this but in fact, the industry tell us that the cost is only two or three thousand dollars extra for each house and the more it is adopted, the less that cost will be," he said.

"At the moment, a lot of these things are non-standard items but if they are used more, they will become standard items and the cost will decrease.

"The amenity gained from these design characteristics far outweighs the cost and I would predict that in a few years, people will ask why on earth we didn't do this earlier because it will bring about enormous savings on retro-fitting."

The Older Persons Affordable Housing Alliance is now focusing on ways to upgrade existing homes to make them accessible.

ACSA CEO, Greg Mundy said the federal government should consider consolidating the various programs for renovating and restoring current building stock.

"There are lots of government programs that support home modification for older people but they are a little bit piecemeal and a little bit underdone," he said.

"It would be a good area for strategic investment because these modifications just require a one-off cost and they have the potential to be quite cost effective."

The federal government will contribute $1 million towards the establishment of an organisation that will promote the new livable housing guidelines.

Quais cidades brasileiras já implementam ações inovadoras e apresentam resultados expressivos com relação à inclusão de pessoas com deficiência? Acesso à Saúde, Reabilitação, Educação, Transporte Público, Habitação, Trabalho e Emprego, Esporte, Cultura e Lazer: quais os avanços mais significativos e quais os desafios a serem enfrentados com relação à acessibilidade e eliminação de barreiras para pessoas com deficiência pelos municípios brasileiros?


Para responder a essas e outras perguntas, no dia 1º de julho de 2010, às 10h no auditório da Secretaria de Direitos Humanos da Presidência da República, será lançado o projeto Cidade Acessível é Direitos Humanos. O projeto, executado pela Subsecretaria Nacional de Promoção dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência (SNPD/SDH), tem início com seis municípios que já implementam políticas, programas e ações de promoção dos direitos das pessoas com deficiência: Campinas, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Joinville, Rio de Janeiro e Uberlândia. 

Barrier Free Architecture: Seminar in Pune ( NIASA + Ekansh)

The National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture along with Ekansh are organizing a seminar in Pune, India from 19th to 22nd at the CDSA campus. 

The schedule is as follows: 

19th July 2010: Shivani Gupta: Architect and tireless advocate for Inclusive Environments. Founder partner of AccessAbility, Delhi 

Expertise: With a double graduation in Hotel Management and Architecture, and a PG degree in Inclusive Environments from UK under her belt, Shivani Gupta is a well known Access Consultant in India.Shivani has authored several subject books on accessibility which are widely used as resource manuals by the practicing architects and designers. 
Topic: Accessibility beyond physical access, Useability, Universal Design, The present legal framework for Accessibility and the future trends. 

20th July 2010: Abhishek Ray: Architect and Co-founder of 'Disability Research and Design Foundation', Mumbai 

Areas of expertise: Universal design and Accessibility 
Topic: Universal Design on the urban streetscape, inclusion in the culture sector: Museums and less observed sports and marina facilities. 

21st July 2010: Parul Kumtha: Architect, teaches an elective on Inclusive Architecture at Sir J.J. College of Architecture 

Expertise: Barrier free design solutions for existing public institutions. Is a parent, founding member and trustee of the parent support group 'Forum for Autism'. 
Topic: Designing for the differently abled. 

22nd July 2010: Radhika Vaidya: Architect: Athashri Residential Projects. Working partner with Aniruddha Vaidya and Associates 

Expertise: Residential homes and spaces for the elderly and disabled 
Topic: Special housing and residential spaces for the elderly and disabled. Site visit: Athashri 

DRDF will be represented by Nilesh Singit, Abhishek Ray and Prabeen Kumar Bebarta on the second day of the seminar. 

Universal Design, Fair Housing, and the New ADA/ABA 

08/04/2010 9:00 am - 08/06/2010 5:00 pm
Tuition $1250.00
Site Visit Fee $40.00
AIA/CES units: 21 AIA/CES HSW units: Yes AIA/CES SD units: No
AICP units: 21
ASLA units: 21 ASLA HSW units: Yes

New features include:

  • Explorations of universal design with Cynthia Leibrock, whose work this year has been on the cover of the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, and U.S. News and World Report
  • The latest updates on from Bill Hecker, Justice's top architectural expert on Fair Housing
  • Analysis of the New ADA from Marsha Mazz, who oversees the developments of these standards
  • Practical application of the ADA from Jim Terry, who has applied the standards to over 100 million sq. ft. of architectural space
  • Individual meetings with the instructors and multiple opportunities to customize lectures and slides to meet your needs
  • Three nights of optional activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this class. Including: optional tour of the new home of the universal design research library at the Institute for Human Centered Design, the world's largest universal design research library, with Valerie Fletcher, international universal design expert and special advisor to the United Nations; optional dinner with the instructors at the Harvard Faculty Club; gala celebration and dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and surprise guest lecturers dropping in to help mark the program's twentieth anniversary

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of this program, there has never been a better time to update your skills in universal design and standards compliance. The new ADA/ABA Guidelines have been adopted as a standard by the GSA, DOD, and USPS requiring compliance by all federal buildings they own or manage. DOT has adopted them as a standards for all transportation facilities. As these new guidelines are adopted as standards by the Department of Justice and HUD, they will replace UFAS and the current ADA standards. In addition, most states and local authorities are updating their access standards. These major revisions in accessibility guidelines, codes, and standards are changing the way buildings are designed (and the professional responsibilities of designers).

At the same time, consumer demand for universal design is increasing. A diverse, aging population remains in the workplace, requiring accommodation to do so. Customers of all ages, sizes, and abilities are demanding products, housing, and public spaces to meet their needs. Patients are empowered by accessible health design while reducing workers' compensation claims and threats of litigation. Multiunit housing projects of all types must comply with the Fair Housing requirements to accommodate the demand of a rapidly growing population of residents with disabilities.

Cynthia Leibrock opens the three-day program with a presentation of universal design research including the latest findings from Japan and northern Europe. Then James Terry discusses accessibility consulting opportunities in private practice. Bill Hecker reviews common errors in Fair Housing together with Justice Department findings. Finally the class will adjourn to an optional dinner with the instructors at the Harvard Faculty Club.

Day 2 offers a thorough presentation of the new ADA/ABA. Question guest lecturer Marsha Mazz from the U.S. Access Board about all of the changes and what they will mean in your work. She will also discuss changes in the ICC/ANSI A117.1 and the IBC. Then Cynthia Leibrock will introduce participants to universal design solutions with measurable benefits for clients. The class will also take a virtual tour of Cynthia's new home demonstrating over 150 green and universal design solutions. Finally, guest lecturer Valerie Fletcher will share global case studies of diverse projects that integrate environmental sustainability and universal design on an optional tour of the Institute for Human Centered Design (formerly Adaptive Environments) in Boston. The institute also serves as the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center for New England and as The National Fair Housing Design and Construction Resource Center. The tour offers hands-on product demonstrations as well as access to an extensive universal design research library. (This single day may be taken as a separate, one-day program: "The New ADA/ABA and an Introduction to Universal Design Concepts in Practice.")

Day 3 begins with an eye-opening video on a day in the life of a wheelchair user. Participants will then be asked to select from a variety of case histories, which may include health care facilities, public right-of-way projects, assisted-living projects, residential projects, historic properties, hospitality projects, schools, and more. Cynthia Leibrock, James Terry, and Bill Hecker will choose from over 10,000 images and from design research gathered over 30 years to tailor this day to class areas of interest. In addition, the instructors will also be available throughout the course for extended one-on-one sessions to answer your specific questions and discuss your particular interests. We will adjourn to an optional dinner with the instructors at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to complete our 20th-year celebration.

Whether you are a code specialist, transportation engineer, architect, interior designer, facility or project manager, and whether your practice is residential or commercial, focused or diverse, you will find the interactive three-day program customized by the instructors to meet your needs. Preconference materials including a white paper on universal design and safety will be mailed to you.

Learning Objectives:
  • Demonstrate up-to-date skills in universal design and accessibility-standards compliance.
  • Recognize the common compliance errors made in Fair Housing and the ADA standards.
  • Master the components and scope of the New ADA/ABA.
  • Analyze universal design research including the latest findings from Japan and northern Europe.
  • Carry out review of case studies in specific areas of specialization.

Participants in the three-day program "Universal Design, Fair Housing, and the New ADA/ABA," August 4-6, and participants in the one-day program "The New ADA/ABA and an Introduction to Universal Design Concepts in Practice," August 5, will meet together for the "New ADA/ABA" lecture.

Academic Leader(s)

Leibrock, Cynthia A.
Cynthia A. Leibrock, MA, ASID, Hon. IIDA, is an award-winning author, international lecturer, and designer with more than 35 years' experience. Her mission is to improve the lives of older and disabled people through design. She is the principal/founder of Easy Access to Health, LLC, Livermore, CO, which offers consulting services in health care design, planning for independent living, product analysis, and judiciary witness services. Prominent projects include the Betty Ford Center, the UCLA Medical Center, automotive interior design for Toyota, and a universal design exhibit for the Smithsonian Institution. She has completed a universal design showroom for the Kohler Company (training over a million consumers) and a "living laboratory" in Fort Collins, CO, for research into the environmental needs of older people. Ms. Leibrock offers keynote presentations and workshops internationally, including multiple lectures for Fortune 500 companies. She has served as a lobbyist for people with mental disabilities and as a research associate on the dean's staff at Colorado State University, conducting health care design research in Scandinavia, northern Europe, and Japan. She is author of Design Details for Health: Making the Most of Interior Design's Healing Potential (Wiley, 1999) and Beautiful Barrier Free: A Visual Guide to Accessibility (Wiley, 1997), and coauthor with James Evan Terry of Beautiful Universal Design (Wiley, 1999). She has twice been awarded the Polsky Prize for literature.


Hecker, Bill
Bill Hecker, AIA, is an architect and accessibility consultant at Hecker Design, LLC., Birmingham, AL. He has been involved in numerous landmark lawsuits related to the Fair Housing Act, ADA hotel requirements, movie theaters, and curb ramp-transition plans. Since 1994 he has been an expert witness for the Department of Justice on ADA and Fair Housing Act cases.

Terry, James L.E.
James L. E. Terry, AIA, is the CEO and leader of the access-compliance team at Evan Terry Associates, PC (ETA), a Birmingham, AL, architectural firm. ETA consults with institutions, corporations, and federal and local government clients to help them assimilate accessibility requirements and universal design solutions into their facility planning, maintenance, and customer service programs.

Guest Speaker(s)

Burnett, Deborah
Deborah Burnett, ASID, CMG, is an internationally recognized health and wellness interior designer, author, and researcher in the emerging field of Epigenetic Design. This practice is the embodiment of intent-driven, evidence-based architectural and interior design devoted to a working knowledge of how the body and brain are directly affected by the built environment. In addition to consulting on projects throughout the world, Ms. Burnett's work includes clinical and academic research, public education and outreach, academic lectures, and presentations in the popular media.

Catlin, John F.
John H. Catlin, FAIA, is a founding partner of LCM Architects. LCM is located in Chicago Illinois and provides conventional architectural services as well as accessibility and universal design consulting. LCM provides consulting for ADA Title II and Title III as well as the Fair Housing Amendments Act. Jack was appointed by President Clinton to the U.S. Access Board in 1994 and served two terms. He chaired the Board in 1995-1996. He also is one of two technical trainers for HUD's Fair Housing FIRST program.

Fletcher, Valerie
Valerie Fletcher is executive director of the Institute for Human Centered Design (formerly Adaptive Environments), which has hosted or cohosted five international conferences on Universal Design. Ms. Fletcher currently oversees projects in universal design at the urban scale, in public transit, in mixed-use development, and in residential and school design. She lectures and writes internationally and is a special advisor to the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The Boston Society of Architects honored her with the Women in Design Award in 2005.

Goltsman, Susan M.
Susan M. Goltsman, FASLA, specializes in the planning and design of environments for children, youth and families. One of the pioneering national experts in universal and environmental design, recreation planning and accessibility, Ms. Goltsman is a frequent keynote conference speaker and has advised government agencies and communities around the world, including developing policy frameworks and standard designs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration, and many cities in the U.S. and Canada. She advised the U.S. Access Board and served on the committee that established national ADA guidelines for outdoor environments. She was co-author of the groundbreaking book, Play for All Guidelines (MIG Communications, 1987).

Mazz, Marsha
Marsha K. Mazz is a senior accessibility specialist and the technical assistance coordinator for the U.S. Access Board. She has been with the board since 1989 and handles oversight of the continued development of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines, oversees the technical assistance program for the ADA and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), and is the Access Board's representative to the model code organizations. She is on the ICC/ANSI A117 Committee and the ASME A18 Committee on Safety Standards for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts. Her prior experience includes service with a center for independent living, as a member of the Maryland State Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities, and a board member for the National Council on Independent Living. Additionally, working for the Disabled Student Services office, she assisted a major state university in responding to the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She has also served as chair of the Prince George's County (MD) Commission on Persons with Disabilities and as chair of the Washington Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Transportation for People with Disabilities.

Salmen, John P.S.
John P.S. Salmen, AIA, is a licensed architect who has specialized in the area of Barrier Free and Universal Design for over 30 years. He is the president of Universal Designers & Consultants, Inc. in Takoma Park, MD, and is the publisher of Universal Design Newsletter. He is an internationally prominent expert in the technical aspects of accessibility and a recognized leader in the emerging field of Universal Design. He has written extensively on accessibility issues and is the author of The Do-able Renewable Home (American Association of Retired Persons, 1998), Accommodating All Guests (American Hotel & Motel Assoc., 1994), and Everyone's Welcome (American Association of Museums, 1998). He designed and lives in the 'Home for the Next 50 Years.'

Vanderheiden, Gregg C.
Gregg C. Vanderheiden, Ph.D. is a professor of Industrial and Biomedical Engineering and directs the Trace R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked in the field of technology and disability for just under 40 years. He created the first portable user programmable communication aid and first 'portable' text to speech synthesizer. Access features from Trace Center (StickyKeys, MouseKeys, etc.) are built into most every computer operating system today (MAC, Windows, Linux, X-Windows) as well as into Amtrak Ticketing machines, ATMs, Voting machines, WWII Memorial, and Automated Postal Systems across the US. He wrote the first computer access guidelines in 1985, consumer products guidelines in 1992, and the first Web Access Guidelines in 1995. He co-chairs the W3C WCAG working group and chairs the INCITS V2 Technical Committee. In addition, he has has worked with over 50 companies on design of their products.


16th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf
Durban, South Africa 
International Convention Centre - Durban 

Call For Abstracts 

The Scientific Committee for the XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf invites the submission of abstracts for presentations. The official languages of the Congress are English, South African Sign Language and International Sign. The Organising Committee welcomes abstracts that focus on the XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf Theme "Global Deaf Renaissance" from birth to adulthood listed here.

Congress Synopsis

The synopsis of the World Congress Theme has affirmed by both the WFD Board and OCWCWFDSA on 21st April 2009, the following:-

We come together to share our cultural heritages, our improved well being, the advancement of our human rights and our rich contribution to global prosperity; to demonstrate we are an essential part of human diversity in the world and its development.

We come to learn from each other, to actively share common responsibility amongst ourselves and in the rest of the world.

We come together at this Congress to collectively face current changes and future challenges confronting Deaf communities across the globe.

We also come together in celebration of our future; to reaffirm the linguistic, cultural and political capacity of national and the worldwide Deaf community, to continue the recognition of sign languages in national laws and international policies, and to celebrate artistic, cultural, economic and social accomplishments.

The XVI World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf aims to inspire its attendees to take forward the concept of a renaissance, a rebirth of Deaf communities worldwide.

Congress web site:


Sandra Rhodda at Access Tourism New Zealand reports;

A two-day international seminar on marketing Access Tourism, and Access Tourism development will be held in Hyvärilä, Nurmes, Finland on the 15th and 16th September. 

Find the full post here:

During the recovery response to Hurricane Katrina the absence of Universal Design in modular and emergency housing was exposed on a tragic scale. Yet Universal Design continues to circulate through the mainstream as the only correct response to the aging of the population.

Here is an excerpt of a post where "The Lady Contractor", Alexandra Whiteside, addresses UD and aging-in-place with modular construction:

I recently received a question on my Linked-In profile, asking me how Universal Design is achieved in the construction of modular homes. I wanted to share my reply with everyone. I would be happy to answer any additional questions. Feel free to post your questions as comments on this post, and I will post answers!

Aging-in-place modifications can be made to the modular home during its construction in the factory, or modifications can be made once the modular is delivered to the home site and placed on the foundation.

Typical things we can do in the factory would include installing all the components needed to create an accessible bathroom (curb-free shower, grab bars, wheelchair turnaround room, accessible sink), raised outlets/lowered light switches for easy access without reaching or bending, and widened doorways and hallways. We can have additional electrical wiring installed during the construction phase in the factory to accommodate automatic switches, locks, door openers, alarms, etc. which would be installed on site. Lever-handle type door knobs, that you can easily push down instead of gripping and turning, can also be installed in the factory.

The full story:

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF)--a grantmaking collaborative between donors and the global disability community which supports the human rights of persons with disabilities--today announced its second 2010 "Moving Rights Forward" grants round. Grantmaking in this round will be targeted to disabled persons' organizations (DPOs) in four regions and twenty countries: in Africa: Ghana and Uganda; in Asia: Bangladesh; in Latin America: Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru; in the Pacific: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.


The broad objective of the Fund--which was officially launched in March 2008 and is a Project of Tides--is to empower DPOs in the developing world and Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union to participate in ratification, implementation and monitoring of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD).


In the second round of 2010 grantmaking, applicant organizations from eligible countries may apply as: a) single organizations or partnerships for 12-month Small Grants and/or b) national DPO-led coalitions for 24-month National Coalition Grants.  Grants to single organizations will range from USD 5,000 to 20,000 and will support efforts to build CRPD skills and to develop rights-based advocacy and monitoring on the CRPD.  Grants to national DPO-led coalitions will range from USD 30,000 to 50,000 per year (60,000 - 100,000 over 24 months) and will support advocacy toward ratification of the CRPD, passage of specific legislation to accord with the CRPD, or the production of alternative/parallel reports to UN monitoring mechanisms.


Interested organizations are urged to review the full eligibility criteria and application details posted at the Fund's website, http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org/grant.html. Any questions on the proposal process should be directed to info@disabilityrightsfund.org. The deadline for applications is August 19, 2010.


In 2009, the Fund made 82 one-year grants to organizations in 14 countries (India, Mexico, Ukraine; Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru; Ghana, Namibia, Uganda; Bangladesh; and Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands), totaling USD 1,933,050. Grants ranged from USD 5000 - 70,000 and supported CRPD skills-building, local rights advocacy, and national-level CRPD promotion, implementation and monitoring by DPO-led coalitions.

DRF's donors include Aepoch Fund, the American Jewish World Service, an anonymous founding donor, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Open Society Institute, The Sigrid Rausing Trust, and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID).

Mixed ability dance troupes, like the San Francisco Bay Area's pioneering AXIS Dance Company, have tremendous impact on audiences. I recall the first performance I attended. Mid-performance one of the dancers stopped about 12 fee directly in front of me. She removed her prosthetic leg. Another dancer came up. He stole it.

She let out a horrible wail writhing on the floor trying to recover it. Then she began to babble and cry almost incoherently. The audience was transfixed by the emotion but never captured the words. The words were in Portuguese.

To be in a crowd of several hundred with someone on the floor pleading with you to help her and realize that you are the only one who understands her words is a jarring experience. More than once I had to willfully remind myself that she was on stage and that giving her my wheelchair was not necessary!

Njabulo S Ndebele had a similarly powerful encounter with mixed ability dance Extra-Ordinary in Baxter Theatre in cape Town. Tackling unflinchingly the social stigma of disability Ndebele takes his insights at being umasked one step further. He applies them to the larger social context which at this point in history is the all-encompassing World Cup. Extra-Ordinary is a collaboration between disabled British actor David Toole and South African choreographer Lucy Hind. Ndebele recounts:

Finally, she calls out to David. When I see him power himself onto the stage in his wheelchair, my personal journey for the evening begins.

I try to ignore that small adult in the wheelchair. "That is an actor, not a disabled man," my practised tolerance tells me. But I really can't. David makes his move. His facial expressions are extraordinary. They capture instantly delicate fleeting moments of mood and thought. A slight twist of facial muscles tells an entire story.

Uncomfortably, I acknowledge this achievement. This disabled man can act! Wow! He has earned my acknowledgement. But why do I feel condescending? Why can't I just acknowledge outstanding acting without rationalisation? It's the disability, stupid! Disabled people are not human enough to be that good. Disturbed, I sit back and watch the performance unfold...

The article is definitely worth reading - Dancing Disability into New Worlds - and at the risk of being a spoiler:

Freed from social stigma or any other inhibitions, the last dance is extraordinarily beautiful. Before me is neither deformity nor normality, only the rules of art that have created a world that had just remade us.

...the last dance reassembled [David's] relationship with Lucy, and internally reassembled with new knowledge an audience torn up with shame, anguish, and anxiety yet eager to be saved and liberated from their pasts. Never again would I feel uncertain in the presence of the disabled. Now, like learning a new language, I have the gift to enter another world.

But there is one more layer to it. Ndebele ties what has been portrayed on stage to the all-encompassing spectacle of the 2010 World Cup.

The fact that this production is so powerful is also related to the unrelenting - some would say fierce - battle that has been waged by disability rights activists and accessibility experts within the disability community in South Africa over the past several years to assure that people with disabilities are fully integrated not only in the audience of the Baxter Theater, but behind, and now on, the stage,  on the buses, and in hotels, and soccer stadiums of this rising country.

When I was invited by various provinces to report on South Africa's readiness for disabled FIFA 2010 fans I was not generous with praise or particularly hopeful. Perhaps if I had known that a British actor and a South African choreographer had a plan or that writer Njabulo Ndebele had such perceptiveness I would have been more hopeful.

Art - and sport - change cultures. Congratulations to all those who are changing it toward greater inclusion.

The full article:

O III Congresso Internacional de Turismo Para Todos, terá lugar em Valladolid, Espanha, a 25 e 26 de Novembro de 2010.

Este evento é organizado pela Fundación ONCE, fundação para a cooperação e inclusão das pessoas com deficiência e conta com a especial colaboração da Rede Europeia de Turismo Acessível.

Estão convidados a assistir todas as pessoas e instituições interessadas em conhecer o estado actual e futuro do Turismo para Todos.
O tema principal deste III Congresso Internacional, é o Turismo Cultural, destinado a profissionais do sector cultural que pretendam melhorar a sua participação no turismo.

Tem como principal objectivo a criação de unidades de Acessibilidade Universal e Design para todos, para promover a inclusão das pessoas com necessidades especiais.

As metas deste III Congresso são:

- Sensibilizar a industria do turismo sobre a necessidade de estabelecer directrizes claras para Design para Todos e acessibilidade Universal.
- Disseminar exemplos de boas práticas em Turismo para Todos
- Demonstrar ao sector do turismo a rentabilidade das propostas de Turismo para Todos
- Reforçar o papel da cultura coo recurso para o turismo

Fonte: APTTA

Take Action if You are Australian


Survey Deadline - Friday 16 July

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 document in a range of formats follow this link to the Cultural Ministers Council web page: 


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

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange announces the publication of the third issue of AWAY - Topics for higher education disability service providers on education abroad
and international students with disabilities. 
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This issue highlights:

* Accommodation differences between home and host countries, and how best
to prepare exchange students with disabilities
* Best practices in advising on and finding funding for accommodations for
study abroad students with disabilities
* Ways that disability service providers can utilize the NCDE services.

AWAY Topics is available for free download in PDF and Rich Text formats
online at: www.miusa.org/publications/books/awaytopics3

María Jesús Ruiz, vicepresidenta primera y consejera de Medio Ambiente de Castilla y León y el consejero de Familia e Igualdad de Oportunidades, César Antón, han presentado en el Monumento Natural La Fuentona (Soria) el Programa 'Castilla y León, accesible por naturaleza' en un acto que contó con la presencia del responsable de Instituciones de Castilla y León de la Caixa, Gerardo Revilla; el alcalde de Muriel de la Fuente, Alfredo Lafuente, así como representantes de la junta rectora del espacio natural.

Desde 2007, la Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla y León y la Obra Social 'la Caixa' colaboran en proyectos de mejora medioambiental y de accesibilidad en los espacios naturales de la Comunidad con una inversión de 5 millones de euros por parte de la entidad financiera.
Las medidas de accesibilidad y la supresión de las múltiples barreras existentes en los espacios naturales, no sólo van destinadas a las personas con discapacidad (visual, auditiva, física, psíquica), sino que de ellas se podrá beneficiar toda la población en general.
María Jesús Ruiz y César Antón han visitado la adecuación de infraestructuras de uso público y mejora de la accesibilidad en la senda de La Fuentona, que ha supuesto una inversión que supera los 350.000 euros.
Castilla y León accesible por Naturaleza
El programa 'Castilla y León, accesible por naturaleza' ofrece a las asociaciones, federaciones y entidades que aúnan a colectivos de personas con capacidades funcionales diferentes, visitas guiadas a cuatro Casas del Parque y sendas accesibles de la Red de Espacios Naturales de Castilla y León, desarrollo de actividades específicas y flexibles según necesidades de los participantes y adaptaciones materiales concretas para facilitar las actividades y visitas.
Este programa pretende, por una parte, conseguir que los espacios naturales de Castilla y León sean accesibles a todos los ciudadanos, lo que permitirá hacer realidad la igualdad de oportunidades de las personas con capacidades funcionales diferentes en cuanto al disfrute de la naturaleza y, por otra parte, acercar a éstas a los espacios naturales, proponiendo así una nueva vía o posibilidad de ocio y esparcimiento.
La solicitud para participar en el programa se realiza a través del teléfono de información y reservas de las Casas del Parque. La reserva se realiza con una antelación de 15 a 20 días.
El uso y disfrute de los espacios naturales compatible con la conservación del entorno es uno de los objetivos fundamentales de la Red de Espacios Naturales de Castilla y León. Una de las alternativas de ocio y cultura utilizada por miles de personas cada año, son los espacios naturales. En este sentido, en 2009, las casas del parque de los espacios naturales de la Comunidad fueron visitadas por más de 530.000 personas.
Son muchas las personas con discapacidad que se verán beneficiadas por la mejora de la accesibilidad de estos espacios. Por esta razón, la Consejería de Medio Ambiente asume los criterios de diseño universal en sus infraestructuras de uso público.
El 'diseño universal' integra las características y necesidades de un amplio espectro de la población, dando como resultado entornos aptos para el uso del mayor número de personas. El diseño para todos no significa hacer ambientes específicos para personas con discapacidad, sino en concebir entornos que puedan ser utilizados por todos los ciudadanos, independientemente de las características personales.
La Consejería puso en marcha en 2006 el programa de Accesibilidad en Espacios Naturales Protegidos de Castilla y León, con el fin de mejorar la accesibilidad en estos, permitiendo el uso y disfrute de los mismos a todo tipo de visitante. Para lograrlo, las propuestas de intervención en las instalaciones existentes y en proyecto se fundamentan en criterios de Diseño Universal. Esta propuesta se engloba en el marco de la Estrategia Regional de Accesibilidad de Castilla y León (2004-2008).
Los objetivos perseguidos por la REN de Castilla y León en esta materia son impulsar la accesibilidad de los espacios naturales, proponer una nueva vía o posibilidad de ocio y esparcimiento a las personas con discapacidad, difundir la accesibilidad universal desde la transversalidad, satisfacer las necesidades de las personas con discapacidad y sensibilización de la población local.

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EVENTO NO SESC-BERTIOGA - 24.07.10 (SÁBADO) - 09h00 às 17h00


Estamos preparando um evento especial para o dia 24 julho, com a parceria do SESC-Bertioga: Encontro Acessibilidade em Bertioga. Gostaríamos de convidá-lo.


O evento se estenderá por todo o dia com apresentações, vivências e atividades de atendimento na praia.





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US Special Advisor for International Disability Rights
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The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor is pleased to announce the appointment of Judith Heumann as the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights.  Special Advisor Heumann will lead the Administration's efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote the rights of persons with disabilities internationally; coordinate an interagency process for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; ensure that foreign assistance incorporates persons with disabilities; lead  on disability human rights issues; ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are addressed in international situations; and conduct public diplomacy, including with civil society, on disability issues.


During the July 24, 2009 announcement of U.S. signature to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Secretary Clinton noted that "expanding opportunity and supporting human rights are among the most important guideposts of our foreign policy."  The Secretary further noted that "discrimination against people with disabilities isn't only an injustice, it is a strain on economic development, a limit to democracy, a burden on families, and a cause of social erosion."  For these reasons, the Secretary expressed her commitment "to make support for people with disabilities a central element in the State Department's strategy worldwide."


Prior to her appointment, Ms. Heumann was the Director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia. From June 2002-2007, she served as the World Bank's first Adviser on Disability and Development, and Lead Consultant to the Global Partnership for Disability and Development.  Ms. Heumann served as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the U.S. Department of Education from 1993-2001.  Ms. Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged persons.


Special Advisor Heumann may be reached at 202-647-4298.  The Executive Assistant to the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, Katherine Guernsey, may be reached at 202-647-1677.



Design: The Secret Ingredient

Looking at Universal Design, emotional design - and just plain excruciatingly bad design Mike Drummond demonstrates that, "If design is not part of your initial development plan, you're doomed."

For product developers and inventors, design is an essential ingredient that needs to go into the mix early - it's the flour or the water or the egg in the cake, not the frosting spackled on at the end.

"When I hear 'dropping in design' at the tail end (of a new product development project), the hairs on the back of my neck stand up," says [Tom]  Kubilius, an engineer and industrial designer.

"If you're going to 'drop in' design," he adds, "it should be the 101st Airborne and be the first in."

Design is "an argument for doing something or not doing something," Kubilius says, while engineering is an argument for how that something works. Design poses the question: "Is this even the right thing to do? Having design answer that can inform whether you even make a product."

Read more:


News from Eleanor Lisney:

Passengers will enjoy easier access to information about their rights when travelling by rail or air thanks to a Europe-wide publicity campaign in 23 languages launched by the European Commission today.

Posters reminding people of their rights will be displayed in airports and train stations in all Member States starting today in time for the beginning of the holiday season. Travellers will also be able to consult free leaflets and a specially designed website in all of the European Union's official languages.

But lastly, some good news - finally EU legislation now says that:

Under EU legislation people with disabilities and/or reduced mobility are protected from being discriminated against during reservation and boarding. They are also entitled to receive assistance at airports (on departure, on arrival and in transit) and on board airplanes. In order to facilitate the provision of assistance, it is recommended to pre-notify your needs.

Incidents such as where wheelchair travellers were not allowed to board should not happen any more! This was so worrying for many wheelchair users are independent travellers.


A Cidade de Santos sediará, pela segunda vez, o 9º Campeonato Brasileiro de Dança Esportiva em Cadeira de Rodas e a 9ª Mostra Artística Nacional. Os eventos acontecem nos próximos dias 9 e 10, respectivamente.

As duas atrações são promovidas pela Confederação Brasileira de Dança em Cadeira de Rodas. São esperados 60 competidores de vários estados que ficarão alojados na escola municipal João Papa Sobrinho, no Gonzaga.

O campeonato será realizado no Complexo Esportivo Rebouças, na Ponta da Praia, a partir das 19h, nas categorias três danças latinas (samba, rumba e jive) e cinco danças latinas, sendo acrescidos o cha cha chá e passo doble. A disputa será entre casais, sendo que um dos integrantes da dupla deverá ser usuário de cadeira de rodas.

O torneio é válido como seletiva para o campeonato mundial. A Escola Municipal de Dança em Cadeira de Rodas, da Secult (Secretaria de Cultura), participará com cinco duplas.

Brought to our attention by an organization that exports the best of the American spirit of Independence, Mobility International USA:

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Read Kanika's story in the Global Study magazine about how as a
Cambodian woman with a physical disability she received scholarships to
obtain her Master's of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Washington.

"I made gains every day in navigating the campus and my studies. I studied
how to organize communities, how to run and facilitate a support group, and
how to conduct a child development evaluation. Through my experiences, I
learned everything is possible with solid English skills and a clear study
and support plan."

Read more at:

Universal Design Online

Kristine Schachinger of Search Engine Watch makes the case for Universal Design - and goes on to explain how:

As someone who has been building websites for over 11 years, I can tell you the two areas that are the least understood and the most maligned are compliance and accessibility.

Seen as a type of website welfare, only for the few, they are often ignored as an "only if I have to" or "only if I'm sued" addition to most websites. But following W3C compliance and the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Level AA can help you reach an untapped $13 trillion market, and also reduce your IT costs, ready you for mobile, improve your Google quality score, and organic search engine placements.

Also, adding the accessibility guidelines would require only 2 percent more effort if you're doing everything else right, so you could have just one website to meet all your needs. (Note: there are some sites where the functionality is so complex a mobile site will be necessary to present users with paired down functionality. However, most sites can be transformed to work with smart phones and dumb phone mobile devices without creating a second site.)

No way you say? Yep, way. Here's how.

Read on:


 El Grupo Parlamentario Socialista ha registrado en el Congreso de los Diputados una proposición no de ley para promover el desarrollo de las tecnologías de accesibilidad en los ámbitos empresarial, industrial y de servicios.

   En concreto, la propuesta --que se debatirá en la Comisión para las Políticas Integrales de la Discapacidad-- insta la Gobierno a fomentar estas tecnologías en los ámbitos señalados mediante la colaboración entre las iniciativas privadas y públicas. El objetivo es "hacer de la accesibilidad una herramienta para la integración social y la igualdad de oportunidades".

   En este sentido, la diputada socialista Paqui Medina ha destacado la importancia de la investigación y la innovación en la adaptación de tecnologías para las personas con discapacidad, especialmente en relación a las aplicaciones de las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (TIC), y la importancia del diseño universal como herramienta de integración y de igualdad de oportunidades.

   "Es necesario visibilizar que el 'diseño para todos' puede mejorar la funcionalidad, la innovación y la utilidad de los bienes y servicios, a la vez que permite producir y comercializar productos de mayor valor añadido", afirma en la iniciativa.



Recently the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department (OTRD) announced grant recipients for the 2010 Recreational Trails Program (RTP). This year the department awarded more than $1 million to communities across the state. "The Trails Program gives communities the opportunity to build or enhance recreational trails for their residents to enjoy the outdoors," said Hardy Watkins, Executive Director of OTRD.


The RTP provides for a Federal-aid assistance program to states for provision and maintenance of recreational trails for motorized and non-motorized use. The money for the projects is provided by federal transportation funds. In Oklahoma, the program is managed by OTRD.



The program guidelines require the funds be used for recreational trails and trails-related projects. Specific uses include: trail maintenance and restoration, land acquisition, construction of new trails, trail access for persons with disabilities, and development of trail-head and trail-side facilities...

"The trail projects complementour mission of providing new and improved tourism destinations, an enhanced quality of life, and encouragement of healthy lifestyles for our residents and visitors," Watkins said.