September 2010 Archives

Segway: Segs4Vets and Jimi Heselden

Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway Inc. made a personal gift of 1,000 Segways to improve the mobility of American wounded warriors just before his untimely death.

Jerry Kerr, the president and co-founder of Disability Rights Advocates for Technology (, the sponsor of the Segs4Vets program, extended condolences to Jimi Heselden's family, friends and colleagues today in a statement that made public Mr. Heselden's generous gift for the first time.

"America's wounded warriors have lost a great friend. The British public is familiar with Jimi Heselden's philanthropy but his generosity stretched far beyond the borders of Great Britain,'' he said. "Jimi donated 1,000 Segways, a gift valued at more than $5 million, to the Segs4Vets program which provides the mobility devices to American military service members who are disabled by injuries in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jimi's breathtaking generosity was scheduled to be announced next week at the Segs4Vets presentation ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D.C. We were looking forward to thanking Jimi in person and are pained that we will not be able to do so.

"Jimi's tragic death is a staggering loss and we send our heartfelt condolences to Jimi's wife Julie, family and friends, his colleagues and the British public,'' said Kerr.

The gift means that the Segs4Vets program will be able to triple the number of recipients over the next few years and realize the organization's dream of providing the mobility device to every disabled veteran who needs one. The program has given away 500 Segways in the last five years to combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who sustained injuries limiting their ability to walk.

Forty-eight wounded warriors, many still undergoing treatment at the Army's Walter Reed Medical Center, will receive Segways on October 6 at a presentation ceremony at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va. More than 30 of the recipients lost one or both legs in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The others sustained soft tissue damage, spinal cord injuries and other serious injuries which restrict mobility.

Disability Rights Advocates for Technology (DRAFT) promotes the use of universal design and technology to allow people with disabilities and the elderly to continue to live rich, fulfilling lives. The founding members of DRAFT discovered that the Segway, a universal design mobility device, was easier to use and more adaptable to more environments than a wheelchair for some disabled people with limited mobility. The device has found a loyal following among the disabled even though it is not considered a medical device under federal law.

DRAFT received a rare blanket waiver from the Pentagon that allows active duty service members to accept a gift worth more than $1,000. It is certified as one of America's best charities. Recipients have used their Segways to attend college classes, go to work, stay on active duty and to engage in recreational activities with their families.

Out on the Water

Geoff Holt reports on Sailability  in his new blog post:

he RYA's disabled sailing division, Sailability, has recently launched it's new Facebook page. Membership has been expanding rapidly and members are encouraged to contribute details of their forthcoming events and to share best practice. "It's great, just what we needed, and by using social networking, we can reach out to a much wider audience whilst still communicating with our existing sailors and volunteers" said RYA Sailability Manager Debbie Blatchford.  Facebook members just click on search "RYA Sailability".

Sailability's new Facebook page compliments their existing Sailability.TV service which has now been running for nearly 18 months.  Sailability.TV is a free on-line resource for Sailability clubs, disabled sailors, volunteers and potential donors to watch a wide range of online streaming videos covering a range of activities including the different classes of boat, a selection of existing Sailability groups and latest news. You can also sign up to Sailability's new Podcast on iTunes.  Click the iTunes link at

The full post:

Prabal Kr Das reports in the Assam Times:

Assam might have made some strides in the field of transportation, but for a section of people it offers no opportunity to travel in a mode that is 
safe, comfortable and dignified. The elderly and the physically challenged, who have specific physical needs, find the going tougher than ever.

A pioneering survey by the Disability Law Unit of Shishu Sarothi, a Guwahati-based centre for rehabilitation and training for multiple disability, has revealed how one of the most vulnerable sections of society has been deprived of rights, which others can take for granted.

There is absence of 'universal design' in almost all major modes of transport resulting to serious inconvenience to senior citizens and disabled people. A lack of basic facilities in buses, trains, and at transit points was revealed by the study.

While individual Indians with disabilities have  begun to leak stories of the appeal of Assam to their colleagues promoting Inclusive Tourism around the world progress is not satisfactory according to the report:

Absence of disabled-friendly infrastructure was noticed in major transport hubs like Guwahati Railway Station and Inter State Bus Terminus. In both the busy facilities, the disabled would confront severe hurdles in getting assistance.

In the case of Guwahati Railway Station, any disabled person or a person on wheelchair would have a harrowing experience to move from platform one to other platforms in the absence of a lift.

Although the busiest train station of Northeast India has seen major augmentation in recent times, no thought was given to the need for a lift or escalator. Today the aged, the infirm, and the disabled have to climb up and down a flight of stairs before they can move between platforms.

Or else, choose a more bizarre option. Arman Ali of Shishu Sarothi said, "On one occasion I had to sit on a wheelchair that was carried over the tracks till I reached my platform. It was dangerous, uncomfortable, and undignified."

Like elsewhere in the country, the existing design of passenger coaches has not helped the elderly and the disabled. Access to water and toilets continue to challenge such passengers. "I found rail travel very frustrating because using the toilet on a moving train was a nightmare," said Runu Medhi, a physically challenged woman working in an NGO. 

The recently operational ISBT also did not fare well in the Shishu Sarothi survey, as assistance for the elderly and disabled was hard to come by. A lack of signs and information kiosks was noticed in the facility from which long distance coaches operate.

In and around Guwahati, one of most common problems for the elderly and the disabled emerges from flawed bus and bus stop designs. Almost all the buses have steep steps that they find hard to climb, made more tricky by the rush of people who are boarding or disembarking.

Today, there is no way an unaccompanied elderly or disabled person can safely board or exit from a city bus. The risk is considerable and real, the survey observed.

Commenting on the situation, Arman Ali said that it was time the authorities woke up and started making interventions. The rights of the elderly and the disabled need to be respected, he noted.


El II Foro Internacional de Diseño Universal que se celebrará en el Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga los días 17 y 18 de febrero de 2011. Hoy ha sido presentado en la ciudad por el alcalde de Málaga, Francisco de la Torre y la Consejera de Igualdad y Bienestar Social de la Junta de Andalucía, Micaela Navarro. También han asistido al acto el concejal de Accesibilidad Universal, Raúl López, y el director de Accesibilidad de Fundación Once, Jesús Hernández.

Los objetivos del Foro, que en la edición de 2009 reunió a más de 600 participantes, son ofrecer soluciones novedosas para implantar el diseño universal en todos los ámbitos de la sociedad, conseguir la representación y participación de todos los sectores relacionados y ser un punto de encuentro para intercambiar ideas y conocimientos entre los responsables del diseño de las ciudades y los profesionales asistentes. 

El 2º Foro Internacional de Diseño Universal está dirigido a responsables públicos, profesionales, empresarios vinculados con dichos sectores, especialistas de la educación, asociaciones y público general. Incluirá una serie de mesas temáticas en las que se abordarán todos los ámbitos del diseño universal, como por ejemplo, las formas de comunicación derivadas de la irrupción de las nuevas tecnologías y las ventajas de la domótica y la edificación accesible.

Además, se hará especial hincapié en el nuevo planteamiento urbanístico que defiende la "ciudad para todos", en la que todas las personas sin excepción puedan disfrutar de la cultura, el ocio y el turismo. En este sentido, se pondrán sobre la mesa cuestiones fundamentales como el transporte, la movilidad o los aspectos económicos y sociales vinculados a su gestión. 

Una de las principales novedades de esta edición es la inclusión en el recinto de un Espacio de Experiencias en el que se recogerán las buenas prácticas más destacadas vinculadas al diseño universal a través de paneles gráficos, incidiendo en temas abordados en el Foro y relacionados con las nuevas formas de comunicación derivadas de la "revolución tecnológica" y el nuevo concepto de ciudad accesible. 

También se habilitará la zona I D I "Innovación para todos" en la que se expondrán nuevos desarrollos y aplicaciones en productos y servicios relacionados con diseño universal, accesibilidad y movilidad. Por otro lado, se mantendrán espacios como la Zona Expositiva, en la que distintas empresas e instituciones mostrarán productos y soluciones, así como la Zona de Networking y los talleres y demostraciones dirigidas al visitante. 

Entre los sectores representados en estas zonas destacan agencias de turismo accesible; empresas especializadas en ascensores y elementos elevadores; automoción y medios de transporte; comunicación y nuevas tecnologías; domótica; educación, formación y empleo; estudios de arquitectura, ingeniería, diseño industrial y construcción; fabricantes de juguetes; mobiliario y electrodomésticos; movilidad y teleasistencia; seguridad y control de accesos; servicios para la salud y el bienestar y telefonía e informática.

El fuerte compromiso institucional y empresarial, sumado al nivel de participación, hacen de esta iniciativa uno de los eventos más importantes sobre la temática en el ámbito español.

El Foro Internacional de Diseño Universal está nacional organizado por el Ayuntamiento de Málaga, la Consejería para la Igualdad y Bienestar Social de la Junta de Andalucía, la Fundación ONCE y el Comité Español de Representantes de Personas con Discapacidad (CERMI). Cuenta también con la colaboración del Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social a través de IMSERSO y el Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad, el Centro Estatal de Autonomía Personal y Ayudas Técnicas y la Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias (FEMP).


Marie Odile Vincent

Après deux ans d'expérience des voyages pour personnes handicapées, Marie Odile Vincent (Comptoir des Voyages) dresse le bilan et nous dévoile les projets de Comptoir des Voyages en matière de voyage et handicap.


In the article where I define the concept Inclusive Tourism I wrote:

Access might be sufficient for survival. Only inclusion allows the joy of participation.

I went on to define Inclusive Tourism as:

...the systematic application of Universal Design by the travel and hospitality industry at every stage of its product, service, and policy life cycle. It starts by looking at real people as they exist in all their diversity of abilities. It looks at them at all stages of the human life cycle: children, adults, and seniors.

Christine Miserandino was once faced with the challenge of describing real people as they 
exist -- herself. She created what is now known as Spoon Theory. 

In the process she gave the world a new tool for increasing the joy of participation.

Paradoxically, it resulted from the insight that even her best friend was able to only superficially participate in her invisible disability - Lupus. 

Who would have imagined the reciprocity of inclusion? Who would have thought that the need of a person without a disability to participate in the pain of her friend would generate the Springboard Story known as the Spoon Theory allowing that pain of isolation to become the joy of participation in a disability?

Spoon Theory is only one creative act arising from two people gazing at disability aversion until it dissolves. Others we have noted here include:

Each is a cultural product of the disability community. Each is given freely for the purpose of social transformation.

While this bullet point, Spoon Theory, will become an essential part of all my future talks on Inclusive Tourism it was written by Christine Miserandino as early as 2007. Stilll timely it only came to my attention yesterday through travel writer Liz Hamill Scott

Add the Spoon Theory metaphor to your active vocabulary. It will give a human face to your explanations of the practice of Universal Design as it underlies Inclusive Tourism:


 Click here to download "The Spoon Theory" in PDF format.

Read more about Liz Hamill Scott's emerging contributions to Inclusive Tourism in the post "Travel and Chronic Pain":

Pain is a silently isolating disability. It changes everything while nothing apparent is different.

Then re-read "What is Inclusive Tourism" in light of Christine's illumination of invisible disabilities affecting stamina; in light of "spoon sustainability."

 Las cualidades urbanísticas de Pontevedra, y su repercusión en el municipalismo español y europeo, con numerosos reconocimientos públicos por las actuaciones realizadas en pro de ferpalia accesible.jpgla seguridad vial y movilidad, están favoreciendo decisivamente los objetivos que persigue el Congreso sobre Accesibilidad, Diseño Universal y Turismo para Todos

Los participantes en esta cita, enmarcada dentro de Ferpalia-2010, están tramitando sus inscripciones a través de la página web:; el correo electrónico:; en la oficinas de la Comercio de Pontevedra, y en dependencias de la Empresa Municipal Turismo de Pontevedra. 

La Cámara de Comercio de Pontevedra y José Manuel Cabada, presidente del Congreso, concluyeron que un encuentro como este llega en el momento oportuno, cuando la seguridad vial prima todos los planes urbanísticos de nuestras ciudades, y sobre todo, resulta improrrogable, si queremos rentabilizar mucho mejor los potenciales recursos turísticos de nuestra capital y área metropolitana. Para llegar a esta conclusión manejaron datos tan concluyentes, como la Declaración de Madrid, donde se recomendó que la Comisión Europea implementara una política europea de turismo, por primera vez en la historia. El Vicepresidente de la Comisión y Comisionado de Industria y Negocios, Antonio Tajani, declaró que "Trabajaremos para convertir a cada ciudadano europeo en turista". 

En 2009, en el Reino Unido las personas con discapacidad funcional y sus acompañantes aportaron 2 billones de libras esterlinas para la economía doméstica. Se realizaron 11 millones de viajes equivalentes al 11% de las pernoctaciones turísticas en Inglaterra. James Berreford, presidente de "Visit England", comentó que casi una cuarta parte de los británicos padecen algún problema crónico o alguna discapacidad, y afirmó que los negocios turísticos deberían de considerar la accesibilidad en su aspecto más amplio, pues fundamentalmente se trata de comprender y satisfacer las necesidades individuales de todos los visitantes y de proveer un servicio de calidad con experiencias memorables que generarán reservas reincidentes y la lealtad del visitante.


En el año 2006, la Compañía Aérea KLM tenía 900.000 peticiones de servicios para personas con discapacidad y American Airlines 1,5 millones

  • El aeropuerto de Heathrow en Londres, el número de pasajeros en silla de ruedas subió un 70%. 
  • En los cruceros de la Royal Caribbean, el número de cabinas para usuarios en silla de ruedas subió 670 a 1.276 en 2 años.  
  • El Museo de Louvre ha incorporado en sus servicios una guía multimedia con 200 obras para personas con discapacidad sensorial y motriz. 
  •  En Suecia la cadena de hoteles Scandic, desarrolla toda su política en todos los hoteles en torno al principio "trato igual a todos los clientes" y tienen un embajador para todas las personas con discapacidad. 
  •  En España el desarrollo del Turismo para Todos en las distintas Autonomías, tiene diferentes ritmos. 
    • Cataluña ha presentado en el Congreso de ENAT (Red Europea de Turismo Accesible), celebrado en Viena recientemente, 21 destinos turísticos totalmente accesibles. 
    • Galicia figura entre las Comunidades Autónomas que más debe mejorar. 

 Temáticas del Congreso:
  • "Turismo para Todos, calidad del turismo"
  •  "Turismo para Todos, oportunidad para las ciudades"
  • "La Cadena Turística Accesible"
  •  "Equipamientos y servicios accesibles"
  • "Turismo accesible en Galicia, potencial y promoción"
  • "Acércate a un Turismo sin barreras. As Pousadas do Salnés"
  • "As Rías Baixas, oportunidad de Turismo para Todos"

 por citar varias actividades del programa. El Congreso, está previsto para los días 29 y 30 de agosto; y el día 1 de octubre, pero se adoptarán todas las medidas que sean necesarias, para cumplir la orden del presidente de la Cámara de Comercio de Pontevedra, Francisco Moldes, de evitar cualquier interferencia en la huelga general convocada por los sindicatos. Los tres pilares fundamentales de esta cita pontevedresa, son la ACCESIBILIDAD, DISEÑO UNIVERSAL Y TURISMO PARA TODOS. ACCESIBILIDAD 

 Una ciudad accesible es una ciudad en la que todo el mundo puede moverse "libremente" y es capaz de hacer "fácilmente" lo que desea hacer. Todo lo que limite moverse "libremente" y hacer "fácilmente" es sinónimo de "inaccesible". 

 Las escaleras, las zonas de paso estrecho, las grandes cuestas, la señalización inexistente o imprecisa, el transporte público inadecuado o inexistente, los suelos deslizantes o con obstáculos y la inaccesibilidad para acceder a los hoteles y en sus dependencias, los obstáculos para acceder a las cafeterías, a los comercios, a los museos, a las instalaciones de ocio y deportivas configuran una ciudad como "inaccesible". Hay ciudades que han conseguido las ventajas de la peatonalización y están haciendo esfuerzos por mayores niveles de accesibilidad. 

 Ciudades con importante patrimonio histórico, como Ávila o con liderazgo en turismo como Arona, están logrando buenos niveles de accesibilidad para las personas con discapacidad. En efecto, un buen indicador de accesibilidad de una ciudad es ver a muchas personas con discapacidad moviéndose de forma natural e independiente por la ciudad y accediendo a sus equipamientos públicos o privados, Londres puede ser un buen ejemplo. En muchas ciudades alemanas, las personas en sillas de ruedas han presionado y alcanzado sus objetivos para que sus necesidades sean atendidas. 

En París, no es posible conseguir permiso para construir un establecimiento si la accesibilidad no se garantiza desde el principio. En Pontevedra, las zonas peatonales son accesibles, la velocidad en su casco urbano está limitado a 30 km/h. y hay espacios y bancos para que las personas mayores o con dificultades puedan sentarse o descansar en sus desplazamientos. 

 •PREMIO REINA SOFÍA DE ACCESIBILIDAD DE LOS MUNICIPIOS Se concede a los ayuntamientos en régimen de concurrencia competitiva. La finalidad de estos premios es recompensar a los municipios que han desarrollado una labor continuada llevada a cabo en un periodo de tiempo no inferior a 5 años, en el campo de Accesibilidad Universal de las personas con discapacidad al medio físico, la educación, el ocio, la cultura, el deporte, el turismo, y las nuevas tecnologías de la información y de la comunicación, programado y evaluado, cuyos resultados merezcan esta distinción. 

 Pueden concurrir en España todos los ayuntamientos en 3 categorías: 
  •  - menos de 10,000 habitantes 
  •  - de 10,000 a 100,000 habitantes 
  •  - de 100,001 en adelante 

 Alcaldías latinoamericanas: 
  •  - Hasta 100,000 habitantes 
  •  - De 100,000 habitantes en adelante 

 En la Mesa Temática 7, Premios Reina Sofía de Accesibilidad Universal de los Municipios, expondrán sus méritos y realizaciones, el Ayuntamiento de Ávila y el de Arona, en la categoría de 10,000 a 100,000 habitantes, y en Málaga de más de 100,000. 

DISEÑO UNIVERSAL Por Diseño Universal", se entenderá Diseño de productos entornos, programas, servicios que puedan utilizar todas las personas, en la mayor medida posible sin necesidad de adaptación ni diseño especializado. El Diseño Universal no excluirá las ayudas técnicas para grupos particulares de personas con discapacidad, cuando se necesiten (Convención de la ONU, 2006). 

 El Diseño Universal ha de ser: 

  •  -Útil y comercializable para personas con diversas capacidades. 
  •  -De flexibilidad en el uso, que se adapte a un amplio rango de preferencias individuales y capacidades.
  •  -Simple e intuitivo, fácil de entender, independiente de la experiencia, conocimiento, nivel cultural o capacidad de concentración. 
  •  -Información perceptible, que transmita la información necesaria de forma eficaz para el usuario. 
  •  -Con tolerancia al error, que minimice el peligro y las consecuencias negativas o perjudiciales del error. 
  •  -De bajo esfuerzo físico, ha de ser usado de forma cómoda y eficiente con el mínimo esfuerzo. 
  •  -Con espacio suficiente de aproximación y uso, que permita el acercamiento, el alcance, la manipulación y uso. 

 El Diseño Universal es un concepto que cada vez suma más apoyos en todo el mundo, pero que todavía debe vencer muchas inercias, desconocimientos y prioridades equivocadas. El reto es superarlas y generalizar el Diseño Universal. 

Para ello es necesario: 

  • -Difundir los principios del Diseño Universal en base a los derechos que tienen TODAS LAS PERSONAS en una sociedad en igualdad de oportunidades y sin exclusiones. 
  •  -Que los proyectos impulsados por las Administraciones y desarrollados por las Empresas asuman los principios del Diseño Universal. 
  • -El Diseño Universal que es para Todos, se construye con el compromiso abierto y bidireccional de los empresarios con los usuarios y con los poderes públicos. Entre todos.


 En 1980, la Organización Mundial de Turismo OMT, en Manila, asocia por primera vez el término turismo con accesibilidad. Es en la declaración de Manila donde se reconoce el turismo como un derecho fundamental y vehículo para el desarrollo humano, y se recomienda a los estados miembros la reglamentación de servicios turísticos, apuntando los detalles más importantes sobre accesibilidad turística. 

 El concepto de Turismo Accesible [Turismo Inclusivo], se basa en el principio de que el turismo es un derecho social, fundamental para todos; el derecho a la igualdad de oportunidades, a la no discriminación y a la integración social en todas las actividades, también a las comprendidas bajo las categoría de ocio y turismo que son fundamentales para la calidad de vida. 

 La Accesibilidad entendida como la eliminación de los obstáculos y de las barreras que se puedan dar en el transporte, en el entorno, en las instalaciones y servicios turísticos, y que garantiza este derecho a las personas que tienen limitada su movilidad por razones temporales: lesiones y traumatismos, avanzado estado de gestación, personas mayores, personas con bultos o maletas..., o permanentes: personas con movilidad reducida, personas con ceguera o problemas de visión, personas con problemas de audición o personas con discapacidad intelectual. 

 El Turismo para Todos por otra parte, es un concepto estrechamente relacionado con la filosofía del Diseño Universal. No se trata tanto de crear situaciones especiales y productos diseñados solo para las personas con ciertas discapacidades, sino de asegurar que los productos, servicios y entornos turísticos han sido creados y diseñados para satisfacer al mayor número de clientes, respetando el hecho de que cada cliente es único. Cualquier actividad o empresa turística debería de aplicar este concepto "automáticamente", porque las compañías tratan de alcanzar el número óptimo de clientes y porque las empresas turísticas basan su éxito principalmente en sus habilidades para satisfacer las necesidades individuales de los clientes. 


 El Turismo para Todos es una oportunidad ya que siendo una potencia mundial en turismo tiene la oportunidad de serlo todavía más si desarrolla políticas y acciones para el turismo para todos. Las políticas, las decisiones y apuestas por el turismo para todos contribuirán: -Aumentar la cuota de mercado aumentando la rentabilidad empresarial y posibilitando mayores niveles de seguridad de cualquier empresa o destino turístico. 

  •  -Captar el concepto de multicliente, según datos de la Comisión Europea, cada persona con discapacidad supone al menos 1,5 acompañantes de la familia, amigos o asistentes personales
  • . -Favorecer la desestacionalidad, el segmento de las personas con discapacidad, o por la movilidad de sus trabajos, posibilita la reducción de la estacionalidad en junio y en agosto, tanto en España como en Galicia, Rías Baixas. 
  •  -Mejorar la imagen de los destinos turísticos, además de la seguridad y rentabilidad, cualquier acción prevista para una persona sin ningún tipo de exclusión, mejora la imagen del destino y posibilita la consecución del destino para todos. 

 La "cadena turística" tiene que ser accesible desde la pagina web o agencias de viajes, pasando por el transporte, el alojamiento de los hoteles, entorno de los hoteles, los servicios de restauración, actividades culturales, el transporte público, las compras, los servicios bancarios, la atención sanitaria... todo. Si hay un eslabón que falla, falla todo.

Travel with a disability - even occasionally - and you will learn to observe certain patterns much more quickly than other casual travelers. This article  by Christopher Elliot up at Frommers digs into some observations shared by frequent travelers. What connections can you make to your experience traveling with a disability?:

If those red-carpet boarding areas at the airport annoy you, as well as the way elite fliers are treated like royalty while the rest of us in the back of the plane suffer, just wait. Travel companies are actively looking for new ways to segment us, giving their best services to their top customers and leaving the scraps to the ordinary tourists. It won't be long before there's a completely different set of rules: one for the haves and one for the have-nots.

Peter Hansen, a former elite-level customer, doesn't want to live in that kind of world. He believes that companies aren't really loyal to their customers, something he found out the hard way when he retired.

"It was truly amazing how quickly the preferred status turned into forgotten status," he said. "The loyalty simply evaporated."

I appreciated the unintended irony of describing the worst that could happen to you this way:'re doomed to spend the rest of your flights stuck in economy class, and at hotels, you could end up with the worst room in the house -- you know, the one between the elevator and the ice machine.

You, know, the one with the wheelchair-accessible bathroom in it.

The full article:

En Europa hay 40 millones de personas con alguna discapacidad y dispuestas viajar si les ofrecen destinos integralmente accesibles. Los españoles que están en esa situación son 3.750.000 y gallegos 375.000.

El Congreso de Accesibilidad, Diseño Universal y Turismo para todos que se celebrará en Ferpalia, pretende dar respuesta a esa demanda de potenciales turistas como un derecho social más.

El congreso abordará la importancia social y económica de la accesibilidad desde el punto de vista del urbanismo, el alojamiento en hoteles, la hostelería, los transportes, las visitas a monumentos y las actividades culturales en general e incluso las compras y los servicios bancarios. Entre los ponentes habrá representantes de Aena, de la ONCE, del Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad, de los colegios de Arquitectos y Aparejadores y de Ayuntamientos como Ávila o Arona, premios Reina Sofía de Accesibilidad.


Travel and Chronic Pain

As I write this I am looking forward to lunch with travel author Liz Hamill Scott. That's not Liz Hamill Scott.jpgonly because she is a prolific and talented writer about the state that surrounds me - California. It is also because she travels with chronic pain. With a writer's perception she has gathered her experiences together and will be publishing a book

While most readers will want me to jump into the details and practicalities of Liz's insights I want to tell a different story here. I will let Liz be the expert on content - and encourage you to pre-order her book, "The Imperfect Traveler's Guide to Traveling with Pain."

Pain is a silently isolating disability. It changes everything while nothing apparent is different.

My chronic pain is relatively minimal and recently infrequent. What is isolating is its ambiguity.  

 It is a private experience whether it occurs when you are alone or in public. A flare of chronic pain can be disorienting like a light going out in a dark room. It can be distracting like an annoying noise. It can be dis-animating like an odor that invisibly fills a space displacing the ability to enjoy it. And in that drawing inwards one loses continuity of connection with one's environment and companions. A flash of pain across one's face looks remarkably similar to disapproval of the the person you are speaking to. The self-preservation body awareness reflex or dazed look that comes on can be equally confusing to others. To explain is to end up teaching a class about yourself.

Liz is opening up a topic that needs much more strategic thinking within the travel and hospitality industry. Here is one instance of the ripple effect she has had in the words of travel writer Lanora Schoeny Mueller:

Yesterday, I launched a actual, honest-to-gosh niche blog,Traveling Pains, as a platform for a topic about which I can say, without pride, I am an expert. Content is still sketchy, and the design is spare, but I did finally use my license for Thesis on a start-from-scratch Wordpress site. I've had the idea kicking around for some years, but it wasn't until I discovered Liz Hamill Scott's blog on the same topic, Travels With Pain, that I overcame my fear of outing myself as an expert on coping with hidden disability and chronic pain.

More from Lanora:


Representative Jan Schakowsky and 2008 Paul G. Hearne/AAPD Leadership Award recipient Rahnee K. Patrick.

The Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award is an annual award supported by Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation(MEAF) and AAPD to recognize and honor emerging leaders with disabilities working in the cross-disability civil rights movement. The award is named in honor of Mr. Paul G. Hearne: a pioneer, advocate, activist, and national leader for people with disabilities.

Each year, we select up to two individuals whose work, life, and passion mirrors the life and legacy of Mr. Hearne to receive the annual Paul G.Hearne AAPD Leadership Awards. Hearne Award recipients are featured at the AAPD Leadership Gala in short documentary films chronicling their disability advocacy work. In addition, Hearne Award receipients each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress as leaders and have an opportunity to meet and network with national disability leaders with AAPD. U.S. residents with any type of disability are eligible to apply.

AAPD is now accepting applications for the 2011 Hearne Award, to be presented at our 2011 Gala. To apply for the 2011 Hearne Award, please download the application in Word format, complete it electronically, and submit it as an attachment via e-mail to If you have any questions about AAPD's Hearne Award please e-mail us at or call 1-800-840-8844.


The Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award is generously supported by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation(MEAF) and AAPD.

The Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation established The Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards in 1999 to honor their friend and former board member and to help realize Paul's goal of finding and supporting emerging leaders with disabilities. Since 2000, support for the Hearne Leadership Award has been provided by AAPD and MEAF.

Paul G. Hearne was a strong advocate and visionary leader with a lifelong disability who achieved success as a nonprofit executive, foundation president, federal agency director, and mentor to countless people with disabilities. A passionate advocate for increased employment of people with disabilities, Paul opened doors for thousands through his leadership of Just One Break, an employment agency for people with disabilities in New York City, and The Dole Foundation for Employment of People with Disabilities in Washington, DC.

Paul shared more than just his expertise while working as an advocate. He shared his wonderful sense of humor and positive outlook on life everyday. Until he died in 1998, Paul was consumed with two burning passions: to create a national association to give people with disabilities more consumer power and a stronger public voice, and to cultivate potential leaders to carry on the disability rights movement. Paul achieved his first goal during his lifetime with the creation of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 1995 which now recognized as the largest and fastest growing force for disability empowerment.

In 2011, MEAF and AAPD will once again recognize those outstanding individuals personifying leadership, advocacy, and dedication to and for the disability community at large.  Two individuals, who are emerging as leaders in the cross-disability civil rights movement, will each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress as leaders and further connect their work with the national grassroots of AAPD.  The recipients of the 2011 Hearne Leadership Awards will also have an opportunity to meet and network with national disability leaders at the AAPD Leadership Gala in Washington, DC, March 15, 2011.  U.S. residents with any type of disability are eligible to apply. 


**NOTE: The Paul G. Hearne AAPD Leadership Award is intended to recognize the outstanding achievements of emerging leaders in the disability community. Unfortunately, at this time AAPD does not offer scholarships, grants, individual funding, or other types of direct financial assistantce to individuals. For more information about scholarships or other types of individual financial support, please visit:**

The Atlantic magazine recently profiled Chris Downey and provided insight into Universal Design for a mainstream readership:

ONE MORNING LAST FALL, Chris Downey, an architect, ran his long white cane across a pair of floor-tile samples spread out at his feet in the San Francisco office of an architecture firm, SmithGroup. Gathered around him, a handful of architects watched. They wanted to know which tile he preferred for a new rehabilitation center for the blind at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto. Downey looked up at Eric Meub, a vice president at the firm--not at him, exactly, just over his shoulder. "The one on the right is distinctive in either direction," Downey said. "The other one has a preferred direction." For a blind patient still learning to use a cane, that first tile would give more-predictable feedback.

There was an awkward silence. The other architects looked at one another. Downey chuckled. "So you're saying the one on the right is the one that doesn't look so good," he said, grinning.

Two and a half years ago, Downey had just started running the architecture practice at a stylish green-design firm. A few weeks after he took the job, he noticed something wrong with his vision. A tumor was wrapped around his optic nerve; he needed surgery right away. When he woke up, everything was blurry, but he could see. "Five days later," he said, "it all went black."

Read the complete article:

Marcy Marcello on Walden Pond

Marcy Marchello is part of something global - but then, we've seen other global impacts ripple out from Walden Pond before:

This blog is a community resource for people with disabilities and their families, friends, and supporters who enjoy the outdoors, are looking for new recreation possibilities, or want to share their experience and expertise with others. 

Here you'll find information about upcoming outdoor opportunities as well as features about people, places, programs, equipment and more. 

Your contributions are welcome! If you would like to contribute a guest post, contact site host Marcy Marchello, program coordinator for DCR's Universal Access Program in Massachusetts State Parks

Artists from one of Phoenix, Arizona's Sister Cities may participate in the International Competition for Artists with Disabilities.


Eligibility Persons: 19 years of age and older with a disability residing in the State of Arizona or one of Phoenix's nine sister cities: 

    • Calgary, Canada; 
    • Catania, Italy; 
    • Chengdu, China; 
    • Ennis, Ireland; 
    • Grenoble, France; 
    • Hermosillo, Mexico; 
    • Himeji, Japan; 
    • Ramat-Gan, Israel; and 
    • Taipei, Taiwan. 
Type of Art: Two dimensional watercolors, pastels, pen and ink, charcoal, photography, mixed media, and computer-generated art. 

Size: No larger than 24"x30" (60cm x 75cm, including matting). 

Theme: One World,One Place,One Home 

Entry Fee: $15 per entrant residing in Arizona; no fee for contestants residing in Phoenix Sister Cities. 

Judging: A panel of judges will evaluate entries on the basis of theme interpretation, composition and originality. 
Due Date: October 1, 2010. 

Prizes $500 first place; $300 second place and $150 third place as well as plaques. A certificate of participation to all entrants. 
Packing and  Shipping : Art should be well-protected for shipment and shipped so that it reaches Phoenix by the contest due date. 

Please send art to: AICCD 4545 N. 36th St. Suite 125A Phoenix, AZ 85018 
Awards Event Friday evening November 5, 2010 in Phoenix. 
Contact Person Mary Jane Trunzo at or call 602-224-0202 
Phoenix Sister Cities 
International Competition For Artists with Disabilities  2010 

Life on Wheels: Dance and Auto Racing

Two videos on the wheeled life. Dance.


And a video on the need for speed.

How are the ADA Guidelines Changing?

Abadi Accessibility News has an informative post, "How are the ADA Guidelines Changing?"
 Scoping changes were covered in a past blog post

Read more:

Aiming Too Low: Budget Cuts and a Petition

For an international center of culture and finance like London it is shortsighted to cut essential public transportation services.

It seems just as odd that the disability community there would post an online petition protesting the inconvenience and danger these cutbacks would cause but use a form that only allows a UK address to be input by signers. London is a major tourist destination for PwD around the world!

We, the undersigned, demand that the Mayor and Transport for London rescind the cuts to staffing levels on the London Underground.

Every day, London Underground staff help passengers by offering advice on accessible and step free routes; by helping passengers board trains or disembark safely and by lending a hand on stairs and escalators.

Visible and present station staff are also crucial in deterring and dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour. 

Disabled and Older Londoners rely on an adequately staffed tube system to travel safely to work, to enjoy the capital's culture, and to meet friends and family. Cutbacks to staffed stations will condemn more people to becoming housebound and isolated.

We urge the Mayor to commit to keeping stations fully staffed, and to ensure that disabled people have the choice to travel safely and accessibly at all times of day.

Changemakers has launched, together with National Geographic and Multilateral Investment Fund (BID/Fomin),  the third edition of the Geo-tourism Challenge in search for innovative challenges for touristic destinations. This new competition focuses on those innovations that protect the environment and that strengthen the patrimony and the sustainability of the communities which are located on the coastal, fluvial and insular areas.  

The 2010 Geotourism Challenge -  Places On The Edge - Saving Coastal And Freshwater Destinations looks for sustainable models of organizations of all sizes, individuals and corporations around the world that improve, instead of degrading, the unique character and the beauty of the oceans, rivers, bays, estuaries, courses of the rives, as well as the culture and the patrimony of its inhabitants.  

Given that your organization has participated from other Geo-tourism competitions, we would like to re-enforce this invitation so you can be part of this new competition. We suggest that you adjust your inscription to the issue of this particular challenge in order to increase the possibilities of winning the final price of US$5000 and to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Changemakers community.

On the other hand, this year we also count with the Opportunity of the Multilateral Investment Fund, by means of which a total of US$5 million will be destined to co-financing for those organizations that inscribe themselves in the challenge with innovative ideas for the sustainable management of small and medium firms in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The inscription period is until December 1st 2010, however, we suggest that you send your application before October 20th in order to participate of the early application price, which consists of for each of the two winners.

For more information visit the site or contact us at:

See more on inclusion and Geotourism:

Play brings families, friends and communities together; it keep us fit and makes us smile. Research shows that play is a key element of development and health for individuals of all ages and abilities. Unfortunately, play is being threatened on every front in the U.S. It's seen as a "children-only" activity, if it's thought about at all. Furthermore, concerns around inclusive play are primarily discussed among disability experts and are not part of most community agendas. 

Please join our nation's leading inclusive play experts for a thought-provoking, two-day symposium that examines the importance of play for all ages and abilities. Play for Life: Exploring the Lifelong Benefits of Inclusive Play will reignite your passion for play and inspire new ways to bring that passion to everyone in the community.

Register here.


Em 2010, a quarta edição do Assim Vivemos, Festival Internacional de Filmes sobre Deficiência será exibido em mais duas cidades, inaugurando a tão esperada itinerância.

Com o patrocínio da PETROBRAS, iniciamos por Porto Alegre e Belo Horizonte a circulação do festival, que esperamos ampliar cada vez mais.

Em Porto Alegre e Belo Horizonte, será uma semana de festival, com a exibição de 16 longas e médias-metragens que representam o melhor da produção mundial sobre o tema. A programação detalhada de cada cidade está no site do festival.

  • Em Porto Alegre: de 21 a 26 de setembro, no Cine Bancários.
  • Em Belo Horizonte: de 15 a 21 de outubro, no Cineclube Savassi.

Além de Porto Alegre e Belo Horizonte, esperamos poder em breve confirmar a data e local do Festival Assim Vivemos em Campinas (SP).

Também serão realizados dois debates em cada cidade, com o objetivo de discutir questões levantadas pelos filmes. Entre os convidados, teremos educadores, especialistas nos temas, diretores de cinema, entre outros. Os temas dos debates serão:

- AUTISTA E ARTISTA, motivado pelo filme Somos todos Daniel; 
- SURDO: SINALIZADO OU ORALIZADO, motivado pelos filmes Sou surdo e não sabia e Vozes de El-Sayed.

Alguns destaques dessa edição:

- O argentino Mundo Asas, sobre uma trupe de artistas com deficiência que excursiona pela Argentina, sob o comando do cantor Leon Gieco;

- Somos todos Daniel, do Canadá, filme que nos apresenta uma turma de adolescentes autistas que cantam, dançam e interpretam;

- Sou surdo e não sabia (da França) e Vozes de El Sayed (de Israel), ambos sobre questões relativas à surdez.

E ainda produções da Noruega, França e Bielorrússia.

Do Brasil, selecionamos os excelentes longas Sentidos à Flor da Pele, de Evaldo Mocarzel; Pindorama, de Roberto Berliner, Lula Queiroga e Leo Crivellare e o curta O Vôo da Cegonha, de Lally Cataguazes.

Histórico e Acessibilidade:

O Festival Assim Vivemos é bienal e teve sua primeira edição realizada em 2003, no Rio de Janeiro e em Brasília, sempre com o patrocínio do Banco do Brasil e realização do Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. A partir de 2009, também em São Paulo.

O festival oferece todas as acessibilidades nas sessões dos filmes: audiodescrição (descrição de tudo o que aparece na imagem dos filmes e que não pode ser entendido apenas pelo áudio), catálogos em Braille, legendas Closed Caption (inclusive nos filmes brasileiros) e interpretação em LIBRAS nos debates.

Em 2007, o festival contou com o co-patrocínio da Petrobras, o que possibilitou convidar realizadores estrangeiros e debatedores de outros estados, além de incluir a produção de um DVD dos filmes Premiados do Público, editado com acessibilidade, com 2.000 cópias distribuídas para instituições de ensino e entidades de pessoas com deficiência de todo o Brasil.

Todas as sessões terão ENTRADA FRANCA.

Mais informações no site:

Feelin' Like a Whizz-Kid Today? (Me too!)

Cheeky little ankle biters aren't they?


The Human Engineering Research Laboratories with the University of Pittsburgh is seeking individuals in the Chicago area to participate in a research study on wheelchair transfers.  The research team will be in the Chicago area September 29 through October 1 in conjunction with the U.S. Access Board meeting.  

Participation includes completing a questionnaire, recording body measurements, and assessing strength, ability to reach, and transferring from the wheeled mobility device to a different surface.  This study is funded in part by the U.S. Access Board.  For more information, contact Clinical Coordinator Stacy or by phone at (412) 954-5287.


On the 23rd September, 300 off road bikers will leave Carnival City, heading for Ballitto, on a 1000 km, 4 day off road adventure, to raise funds for the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA).
Ari Seirlis, The National Director of QASA and a quadriplegic himself will ride his adapted Yamaha 700 quad bike on this epic adventure with a dedicated support team.
He will prove that "nothing is impossible" and will inspire the 300 other riders, for the 1000km of mountains, rivers, dust and dirt.
Quads 4 Quads is the brainchild of the organisers Family Adventures and 7 years ago the 1stgroup of quad bike riders set off to prove that this journey could be done and for a cause too: Quad Bike riders for quadriplegics, hence Quads 4 Quads!

The event will run both ways this year. The return group of riders will leave Ballito on the 30thSeptember to return to Carnival City on the 3rd October. The "up" run will also feature and other quadriplegic, Phil Case, taking on this challenge for the first time in his adapted Polaris side by side.
7 years later, the event has raised some R4 million in total and has expanded to 600 riders, using all makes and configurations of off road bike.
This is the largest such event in the world and is unique in that it is a mass ride, not a race through harsh countryside, and challenging conditions over 4 days. 250km a day meaning 6 to 8 hours in the saddle.
A number of sponsors have ensured that soccer balls, wheelchairs and school stationary sets will also be distributed into the rural communities on the way, to ensure many people benefit from this trail through the valleys Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal.
Quads 4 Quads will test the resilience of Ari Seirlis,  taking on the challenge, aswell as provide a life changing experience for 300 riders, all for a great cause..... to raise funds for those less mobile...... quadriplegics.
Ari Seirlis         
Glenn Foley     
Terri Edmunds 
Project Co-ordinator
QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA)

031 7670348
Fax: 031 7670584
PO Box 2368, Pinetown, 3600, South Africa

Liz Hamill Scott writes the Travels With Pain blog. Her goal is "to help travelers with hidden disabilities and chronic pain to travel the world in as much comfort as possible.

This resource, and her upcoming book, are essential resources lacking in the global dialogue on Inclusive Tourism. Read her blog here:

Lis, we are looking forward to hearing you on the speakers' circuit!

Post articles at Travels with Pain:

Colleagues interested in the accessibility of sports stadiums are asking three questions in anticipation of future FIFA World Cup Games. If you have the answers please leave them as comments or send them as an email:

    1. IFA has established a series of regulations for World Cup stadiums and facilities around them, and we are trying to find any paper or article analyzing these regulations from an accessibility perspective. Have you written or do you know of  any study or paper about accessibility and FIFA stadium facilities regulations?
    2. Do you direct experience with FIFA in the area of disability awareness? 
    3. Do you have any information about the intersection between the ADA and FIFA regulations when the Soccer World Cup was in the US?
Below is a link to a FIFA document on stadium design, the US Access Board document on stadium accessibility, and a proposal from Whirlwind Wheelchairs on a unique stadium seating system:

Clinic Releases Sustainability Checklists To Celebrate the ADA's 20th Anniversary

Universal Design & Green Home Survey Checklist: 

Design your home to be both livable and future-friendly

Contractor in hardhat reviewing blueprints.

Checklist in English (.pdf file)
Checklist in English (.doc file) 
Checklist in Spanish (.pdf file)
Checklist in Spanish (.doc file)

Conduct Your Own Universal Design Survey: 

Plan for your current and future housing needs.

Exterior wood walls of house under construction.

Survey in English (.pdf file)
Survey in English (.doc file)Survey in Spanish (.pdf file)
Survey in Spanish (.doc file)

Bill Forrester and Deborah Davis on Inclusive Tourism from Travability:

Geoff Holt asks the question, "When is a sailing record not a sailing record?" in an article by the same name. 
Geoff Holt.png

It may come as a surprise to some, but the inspirational sailing achievements by the likes of British quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister, blind sailor Aly Gunn or paraplegic Alan Grace are rewarded with little more than column inches in the press. Despite headlines like "sailing into the record books" which featured after my sail around Great Britain in 2007, there is no formal recording of these events other than the ensuing publicity, and most of that is restricted to the marine press.


So Geoff has come up with a solution - he'll keep the records:

Over the years, many sailing pioneers with a disability have sailed on amazing journeys which, were it not for their disability, would have been worthy of mention, if not in the Guinness Book of Records, then recorded by the World Speed Sailing Council. Although Guinness curate world records in the Paralympic Games, they exclude "disability" as a sub-set of their records.  The WSSC also do not consider records which focus on a  "human condition". By which they mean disability. Nor do they curate records for those under the age of 18.

I feel it is important, for future chroniclers of our sport to curate these achievements. They may be broad by their nature, but the intention is to eventually amass details of past, present and future achievents by our disabled sailors.  No one has attempted this before and it feels like starting to write a dictionary from scratch, starting with the letter "A".
Please help me to populate this list by notifying me of achievements you are aware of. Please also challenge me on any facts you believe to be inaccurate.
MEDIA: The media are welcome to use this data freely but it is copyrite www.geoffholt.comand all reproduction of this data must cite the source.
To review the list, please CLICK HERE


Geoff on sailing the Atlantic:


Video sobre a Inclusão dos portadores de deficiência, feito por Roxele para um Seminário do Estágio dum Curso de Formação de Docentes.

Finessing Universal Design for Boomers

It is so encouraging to see experts springing up in the blogosphere on Universal Design after decades of indifference. 

With the sustained promotion of UD as aging-in-place by AARP and the work of Mary Furlong to highlight Boomers as market those who specialize in UD for kitchen, bathroom, home design, or travel have had the advantage of an overarching narrative occasionally appearing in the media. Here is a bit of conversation going on below the radar starting with a look by Louis Tenenbaum:

was catching up on some of my colleague's writing today starting with Laurie Orlov's blog Aging in Place Technology Watch about Aging in Place as a Crisis of Opportunity for CCRCs . Laurie referred to a piece by MIT Age Lab's Joe Coughlin in his blog, Disruptive Demographics, called Should I Stay or Should I Go? These are both great pieces, sucking me right in the way the web does, 'helping' whole days to slip away unnoticed. This is time well spent.

In another review of trends Chuck Nyren navigates, and thankfully breaks no bones doing so, one of the wackier limpets hanging onto Universal Design's mainstreaming success -- Arakawas' resurrection of "architecture-as-salvation." Our local manifestation is the Winchester Mystery House where the widow inheritor of the Winchester gun fortune stimulated her mind (and obsessions) through constant construction of her home. In the current fanciful inversion of Universal Design into "Undulating Danger" we get the following manifesto of "In-visitability":

Do you want to live in an apartment or house that can help you determine the nature and extent of interactions between you and the universe? What lengths would you be willing to go to, or how much inconvenience would you be willing to put up with, in order to counteract the usual human destiny of having to die?

Procedural architecture is an architecture of precision and unending invention.

 Read more from Chuck at:

Good News on AirAsia

Imtiaz Mugbil, editor of 

Travel Impact Newswire, 

is a perceptive and articulate commentator on the tourism industry with a deep knowledge the Asia-Pacific region. This article from the Bangkok Post highlights a recent meeting which exposes the depth of impact from the region's long term commitment to inclusive tourism:

The meeting [an  Aug 19-20 meeting on South-to-South Cooperation on Disability] was organised by UN Escap in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Development Centre on Disability (APCD), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

The objective was to assess progress made by countries in implementing the projects and programmes under the second Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons, 2003-2012 and to look into the prospects of initiating a Third Decade.

Tanin Kraivixien, the APCD president, said that for the first time, the focus of this year's meeting was the Asean sub-region in order to help create a sub-regional mechanism to cooperate in developing legislation and policies related to equal opportunities and inclusive development for PwDs.

He added: "The Asean sub-region can be a model sub-region to promote disability and development policies and legislation."

Noting that the APCD has more than 1,000 ex-trainees and approximately 200 associate organisations in Asia Pacific, Mr Tanin said that this year's meeting was "epoch-making since the social business sector has been invited to join."

AirAsia was represented by Kenneth Chan, chief for guest services, along with representatives from the Mall of Asia in Manila, Standard Chartered Bank, amongst others.

Mr Chan acknowledged that AirAsia's policies when it first began operations were not all inclusive. Guests with reduced mobility were not appropriately catered for. However, after representatives from organisations of people with reduced mobility met with AirAsia to challenge its "everyone can fly" slogan, the airline admitted it had been wrong and decided to fix it.

The result was an "inclusive" policy that seeks to boost the human capital development of staff as well as enhance the services and facilities offered to passengers. The airline also decided to "champion the cause of guests with reduced mobility with government authorities, airport management, ministries, etc."

Stressing that a lot more can be done by the region's airports to install better facilities and services for PwDs, Mr Chan said AirAsia "engages in constant dialogues with organisations representing people with reduced mobility to gauge travel needs and requirements - these may change with the course of time, and we have to be very up to date to render the best services."

Nanda Krairiksh, director for social development of Escap, hailed the contribution of key innovators from the private sector who had been invited to offer their expertise and share their experiences.

Read more:

About the study:

A number of important events have occurred in recent years such as the invention or improvement of assistive devices for use in golf; development of ADA guidelines for recreation facilities including golf facilities; and an increase in the number of organizations promoting golf for persons with disabilities. While one might assume that facilitators to pursuing golf have increased and barriers may have decreased, there is a need to determine the level of participation in golf by persons with disabilities, and what helps or hinders one's interest in pursuing the game.
This research is being conducted by Drs. Sherril York and Kiboum Kim at the National Center on Accessibility at Indiana University, in partnership with the Wadsworth Golf Charities Foundation. The study will be conducted using an on-line survey available via the Internet.

Who will be study participants?

Individuals with disabilities, and person who are aging who have health conditions can take part in the study.

Individuals with disabilities must be:

  1. At least 18 years of age or older
  2. Currently residing in the United States.

Individuals who are aging must be:

  1. At least 55 years of age or older
  2. Currently residing in the United States and
  3. Have a health-related condition

What is the project about?

A survey asking a variety of questions related to the past, current and future interest in pursuing the game of golf and barriers to that participation will be available online or in alternate format upon request. 
The survey takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. There is no cost to participate in this study. If you choose to complete the paper version, prepaid return envelopes will be provided.
You can access the survey through this web address: 

Further questions?

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the project, please contact Sherril York (812) 856-4422 or

Dr Steven Collins and Dr Risa Shaw have agreed to serve as the WASLI 2011 Scientific Committee* Co-Chairs.  Both work at Gallaudet University teaching Deaf and non-deaf interpreters in the Department of Interpretation.  We thank them for taking on this important volunteer week for WASLI.  Together with several committee members from around the world, they will assess the presentation proposals and plan a great conference for you! 

At the conclusion of the conference, Dr Steven Collins and Mary Thumann will produce the conference proceedings and you will be able to order that from the WASLI website.

So check out the Call below and consider putting in a proposal.  This conference will also see a new programme feature - that of poster sessions.  The Call for Papers/Posters is also available in International Sign. 

We welcome your submissions to be part of the WASLI 2011 conference program.


The WASLI 2011 Scientific Committee is seeking submissions for papers to be presented at the 2011 WASLI conference. We invite a wide variety of topics, formats, and presenters from around the world and with various backgrounds. The conference encourages the sharing of ideas for collaboration across countries, cultures, and languages from consumers, practitioners, educators, and researchers. Our aim is to put together a slate of presentations that reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. 

This Call invites proposals for papers and posters to be presented at the conference. Thematic areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Deaf peoples' experience with interpreters and interpreter education and research
  • Local ways of promoting education, certification, consumer knowledge and involvement
  • How we teach and here is what we do in our areas
  • Innovative and new ideas, work in progress
  • Ethics
  • Mentoring
  • Resources
  • Developing the field of interpreting worldwide
  • Collaborative work
  • Development of interpreting, research, and practices for interpreting and teaching,
  • Emerging practices and research
  • Deaf and hearing team interpreters
  • Deaf Interpreters and researchers

 Please note that all areas apply to Deaf and hearing interpreters, Deaf and hearing educators and Deaf and hearing researchers. We do not make a distinction or separation of Deaf and hearing people in any area. However, we do encourage presentations and posters that focus specifically on Deaf interpreters, educators, students, and research.

Length of papers to be given at the conference: Length of presentations will be 30 minutes. This time includes questions and answers. Papers may include video clips to show examples.

Format for posters: Posters will be displayed in a common area for attendees to view. Posters are to be designed so that they will be displayed for the conference participants to view during the day. Poster presentations will not be interactive except during lunch time and after the presentations are over for the day. We encourage posters that include video clips for display as well as print and encourage DVD and paper handouts.

The official conference languages are International Sign and spoken English. All presenters who use a different signed or spoken language will need to supply their own interpreter.

Presenters will need to register for the conference. There is no waiver of conference fees.


Papers and posters require the following information in the proposal:

  • Proposal Information Form obtainable here (Word)
  • Name of presenter(s) & affiliation(s) & country(s)
  • Brief CV for each presenter (maximum 1 minute video of yourself or 1 page per person)
  • Contact details for first author for correspondence
  • Title of presentation
  • Language of presentation
  • Abstract - in your signed language or International Sign (2 minute maximum video) OR written English (500-word maximum, one-page, unreduced)

Proposals should be submitted in International Sign as a Quicktime file (when possible sent as an email attachment) OR in written English in a Word document (when possible sent as an email attachment). Electronic submissions are preferred, although other alternatives for submission are provided (see address and fax number below).

DEADLINE: Proposals for presentations and posters must be received electronically or postmarked by 15 September 2010. 


Imtiaz Mugbil on Inclusive Tourism:

A Continuing Series Of Travel Impact Newswire Dispatches examining the Future of Travel & Tourism in the Emerging New World Order.

There are an estimated 650 million people with disabilities worldwide, a number that is tragically growing every day due to wars, conflicts, birth defects, natural disasters, traffic accidents, ageing populations, among many other reasons. Many of the PwDs are perfectly fit mentally and able to work and travel. With the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities coming into force in May 2008, and being progressively ratified by the signatory countries, numerous changes will follow in upholding the rights of PwDs to products and services, especially in Asia, creating opportunities for them to lead normal lives.

Travel Impact Newswire will continue to report on these global issues, and their subsequent impact on travel & tourism, by challenging convention wisdoms and official party-lines. No other travel publication even comes close.

In the current issue of Travel Impact Newswire:

Subscribe to Travel Impact Newswire:

24 Soi Chidlom, Bangkok, Thailand 10330. T: (66-2) 2551480, 2537590. Fax: (66-2) 2544316.

The International Space Station has had guests from all over the world, representing myriad languages. But until NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson came aboard, one language was still not represented. Said to be the fourth most commonly used language in the United States, American Sign Language, or ASL, made its debut on the space station in a special video recorded by Caldwell Dyson. 

Watch the video:

Interview: Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham

Kim Hartman takes an in-depth look at Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham. He's out to get his "No Limits" message to kids.


You certainly do not have to be disabled to be inspired by what he is able to do. Aaron knows he is an inspiration. At public events, he gladly shares his time with journalists - but not until after he has visited with the kids in wheelchairs who have come to see their hero perform... He enjoys showing young kids with disabilities that a wheelchair can be a toy, not a restriction. He loves helping younger children learn how to handle their chairs in new and different ways and teaching them a trick or two. 
 Someday he says he hopes to design "the most wicked" chair in the world. 
 Aaron has a passion for what he does, not only is it a lot of fun, but he wants to change the world's perception of people in wheelchairs, as well as helping everyone see their own challenges in a new way.

From the Sunday Times, Sri Lanka:


Taking the message of reconciliation forward

When U.L. Ali Zakky and Ishan Jalill got on stage at the MAS Institute of Management and Technology auditorium in Thulhiriya last week, in the hope of delivering a combined motivational speech cum discussion, the members of the audience, and in turn, the speakers themselves, got a lot more than what they bargained for. Practically every single sentence uttered by them was greeted with tumultuous applause by the capacity audience, comprising mostly of school children in their late teens. Such was the inspiring power of their words. 

The discussion was part of a five-day event organised by Sri Lanka Unites, titled the Future Leaders' Conference (FLC) that saw the participation of five hundred youth leaders from various religious and ethnic backgrounds from all over the country. 

Zakky, a wheelchair bound (sic) graduate and activist, and Jalill, a younger undergraduate and also an activist who was born blind, spoke about how they fought through the hurdles of life, despite their disabilities and emerged stronger and victorious. 

Jalill, who studied up to his O/Ls at the Blind School, was qualified to study for his A/Ls at St. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia and went on to be enrolled at the Colombo University. He was also an active member of the St. Thomas' rowing club, probably the world's only born-blind person to have successfully taken up this demanding sport. As an activist, Jalill has gone as far as the United Nations to help Sri Lanka implement pacts signed guaranteeing the rights of the disabled. Zakky is the Manager of Advocacy and Campaigning at the LC Disability Resource Centre, Sri Lanka. He recounted how, as a 17-year-old boy who had just got started on his A/Ls, an unfortunate incident robbed him of his ability to walk. But that never stopped him from achieving his goals. He too, like Jalill, studied hard and received a university education and is now a far more able man most abled people among us. 

"If there is something you want to do, just go for it," said Jalill to the eager audience as they gave the duo a standing ovation. 

The FLC, for the second year running, brought together school children between the ages of 15 and 18 from 60 schools, scattered across the 25 districts of the island, including Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu. 
Jayantha Dhanapala, Former U.N. Under Secretary General and Head of Sri Lanka Unite's Board of Trustees who spoke at the conference said the youth of Sri Lanka could do much to take the message of reconciliation forward. 

"The emergence of an organization such as Sri Lanka Unites, which promises to restore the "youth voice" in advocating conflict-transformation, is truly admirable. I am pleased to be closely associated with Sri Lanka Unites, a youth movement intent on promoting nationwide hope and reconciliation. The youth present a viable solution for Sri Lanka's future. Young people should be encouraged to take the lead in championing the cause of reconciliation in our communities and I am glad that Sri Lanka Unites has taken on this challenge," he said. 

This year's conference, which included cultural shows, sporting events, games, and other such activities specifically developed to hone leadership skills, saw participants divided into teams with catchy names like the Batticaloa Bandits or the Colombo Chargers who competed against each other in friendly rivalry, but in such a way that it promoted harmony and togetherness. Several guest speakers, both local and foreign, held workshops on various topics such as media, peace and reconciliation. 

Some of the activities included music, drama, forum theatre and art. The conference also facilitated small discussion groups between students from different ethnic backgrounds, with the objective of ridding themselves of negative stereotypes and cultivating mutual respect. 

All students who took part at the FLC were awarded full scholarships to attend the five day residential event.

Disability Research and Design Foundation (DRDF) is an organization which ensures accessible environments by providing accessibility solutions, research, advocacy and awareness and thereby empowering people with disabilities with their rights and dignity as equitable members of our society. It amalgamates creative, technical and legal expertise of architects, engineers, lawyers, activists and people with disabilities to formulate unique solutions for an inclusive society for people with disabilities. 

 Bal Kalyan Sanstha Pune, is a Recreational and Cultural Centre for children with disabilities in the state of Maharashtra, India. In addition to recreational and sports facilities, the center has a swimming pool for children with disabilities. However the pool remains inaccessible for a certain section of children who need individual attention for their safety in the water. 

 Upon a need based request from Bal Kalyan Sanstha,DRDF has designed an assistive pool hoisting mechanism for children with disabilities to access the swimming pool. The machine allows children with disabilities to be immersed in a controlled fashion into the pool under the monitoring and supervision of a life guard who operates the boom using a simple mechanism. The assistive device owing to its simple non-motorized nature has low cost of operation and maintenance. 

 Cost of Project: Rs. 4,50,000/-

Tur em LIBRAS na Pinacoteca (Portuguese)

Olá Surdos e Ouvintes !!!!

Gostaria de convidar vocês para ir a Pinacoteca no dia 11 de setembro ás 10h30. 
No final de outubro, ao acervo (2º andar) vai fechar mesmo, por causa da reforma, durante 6 meses (mais ou menos).

Então vocês podem aproveitar e ir a Pinacoteca, vou atender vocês. Sou surda e educadora, comunico em LIBRAS.

Também, tem boa noticia, vocês podem ganhar um guia gratuito, é igual a apostila, informa um pouco a historia da Pinacoteca, imagens de obras da arte, imagens de fotos em sinais e lendas das esculturas. 

Eu ficarei esperando na recepção, em frente a entrada principal.

Se vocês comfirmar, então me mandam o email: e celular: (11) 9491-0493 torpedo. 

Podem divulgar aos seus amigos surdos e ouvintes.  Qualquer dúvida, é só perguntar. 


Denise Ribeiro
Arte Educadora 

Flying with Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham

Aaron flips out - again - twice!

From YouTube: Aaron "Wheelz" Fotheringham landed the world's first double backflip on a wheelchair on August 26, 2010.

Filmed: Dave Metty Brandon Schmidt
Edited: Joshua Zucker

Help prepare for the 2012 Olympics. An appeal to readers:

Dear all,

I am undertaking a study which investigates the information needs of UK travellers with disabilities, long-term health problems or with reduced mobility. 

If you live in the UK, and have a disability, your participation in this study is highly valued whether you travel frequently or not. It would be greatly appreciated if you could spare a few moments to complete the following questions.  Please go to the following link: 

All completed questionnaires will be treated as strictly anonymous and confidential.

Many thanks

Sheela Agarwal
More from the UK:

Duncan MacKay has done us all a favor with this coverage of a new report from the UK:

Companies should think of improving disability access ahead of the London 2012 Paralympics as a way of boosting business, a new Government report has claimed 

Up to a million disabled visitors are expected in London in 2012 for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, bringing with them millions of pounds in business.

Disabled consumers are an often-overlooked market worth £40-£80 billion ($62-$123 billion) annually, according to the report - 2012 Legacy for Disabled People: Inclusive and Accessible Business - jointly commissioned by the Business Department and the Office for Disability Issues.

Read the whole article:

Accessibility Watch: Retrofitting

This helpful piece on the mainstreaming of Universal Design by Emily Leibin appeared in Metropolis:

A new trend is emerging as the baby boom grows older. Some homes and communities are designed to allow residents to age-in-place, or for young people to begin their lives in a house that can, eventually, be adapted as their mobility and accessibility needs change over time. These forward-thinking models provide an excellent vision for the future of housing. They can also serve as inspiration for improvements in consumer goods and the design of spaces, beginning today.

These new homes are ahead of the curve. They consider accessible space from the perspective of Universal Design, taking a more holistic approach to accessibility than most regulated public places. Over the past 20 years the Americans with Disabilities Act has had little to do with residential design. Suddenly, this summer, changes to ADA were passed to ensure that, in the future, a minimum of 5% of all housing built for sale to individual owners in the US will be accessible. This is a great amendment. Now for the first time some new housing developments will be required to accommodate the needs of the aging and the disabled. There is, of course, room for improvement; many older residences that fall outside of ADA still need to be adapted for safety and accessibility.

In a survey she conducted for Change Observer, my fellow Metropolis blogger, Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson told the story of a small number of radical visionaries in New Visions of Home.

Read more at:

Universal Access in Airports 2010

Universal Access in Airports 2010 

Presented by

Open Doors Organization & International Air Transport Association 

Tues., October 19th - Thurs., October 21st

Open Doors Organization has hosted this 2-day conference, held biennially since 2006. It offers an open exchange of ideas and best practice solutions on customer service and accessibility for travelers with disabilities and the mature in the aviation industry.

Who Should Attend: Airport executives, airport facilities managers, airline executives, ground transportation operators, disability service coordinators, airport planners, airport safety and standards managers, airport traffic and operations engineers, architects, concessionaires, environmental graphics designers, and transportation-related government agencies.

2010 Topics Include:

              Laws and Regulations

              Technology-Now and Future

              Accessible Websites & Outreach

              Emergency Preparedness

              Service Gaps & Ground Transportation

              Service Animal Relief Areas


For more information, contact Open Doors Organization:

773 388-8839