January 2011 Archives

Desde Málaga de Nuevo (Spanish)

Noticias de Discapnet:


Keiji Kawahara, director ejecutivo de International Association for Universal Design (IAUD), será el encargado de inaugurar el congreso del II Foro Internacional de Diseño Universal que se celebrará en el Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga (FYCMA) del 17 al 18 de febrero. En la conferencia inaugural, el diseñador industrial japonés y experto en el campo, hará balance de la situación internacional del diseño para todos, la filosofía del diseño cuyo objetivo es crear espacios, cultura y la educación para la globalidad de los ciudadanos.
 
En el marco de la segunda edición del encuentro, más de 600 congresistas se reunirán en el II Congreso Internacional. Profesionales del sector y responsables del diseño de las ciudades podrán poner ideas y proyectos en común con el fin de servir de inspiración para la creación de espacios urbanos universales. La oferta del foro se completa con la zona expositiva, el área de networking y las actividades paralelas. La inscripción en el Foro Internacional del Diseño Universal es totalmente gratuita y el acceso a todas las zonas es libre.
 
El encuentro está promovido por el Ayuntamiento de Málaga, la Consejería para la Igualdad y Bienestar Social de la Junta de Andalucía, la fundación ONCE y el Comité de Entidades Representantes de Personas con Discapacidad (CERMI Andalucía). Asimismo colaboran el Ministerio de Sanidad y Política Social a través del CEAPAT e 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). El encuentro está patrocinado por Fundación Vodafone, RENFE, Fundación ACS, Grupo Hexa y Vincci Hoteles.
 
El II Congreso internacional y el 'Espacio de experiencias'
  
En su segunda edición, el congreso gira su mirada hacia la globalización del acceso a la comunicación a través de las redes sociales y hacia las tecnologías que permiten la autonomía de cualquier usuario en el acceso a la información. En la primera mesa redonda se analizará la participación de las personas con discapacidad en este tipo de medios y se darán soluciones innovadoras que permitan el acceso de todos a los contenidos en Internet.
 
El programa del congreso continúa con la disciplina más clásica del diseño universal: el de los espacios habitables, donde se estudiará tanto la creación de edificios pensados para todos desde la 'idea' hasta la 'construcción' como la transformación de entornos urbanos que deben ser reformados.
 
La tercera mesa temática que se desarrollará en la tarde de la primera jornada,  abordará los ámbitos de aplicación del diseño universal en la cultura, la educación y el turismo. La movilidad internacional de los estudiantes con algún tipo de discapacidad o la inclusión física, cognitiva e intelectual en los museos el patrimonio cultural serán algunos de los temas sobre los que versará el encuentro. 
 
La jornada final del día 18 de febrero se centrará en el transporte y la movilidad, en la consecución de una vida independiente para la totalidad de los ciudadanos y en la necesidad de instaurar un nuevo concepto de ciudad en todos sus aspectos económicos y sociales. En este último ámbito destaca sobre todo el turismo accesible.
 
El 'Espacio de experiencias' del foro internacional dará a conocer proyectos de éxito y buenas prácticas desarrolladas por las administraciones públicas bajo la filosofía de no sólo construir para la mayoría, sino para el mundo. La mejora de la accesibilidad a cascos antiguos y monumentos del patrimonio cultural o las reformas para hacer una ciudad más agradable al peatón y a la movilidad ciclista, son sólo algunos ejemplos de las iniciativas llevadas a cabo por la veintena de Ayuntamientos participantes que mostrarán sus experiencias. 
 
La II edición del Foro Internacional de Diseño Universal convertirá el Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga (FYCMA) en el punto de encuentro de todas las personas e instituciones que quieren crear ciudades para todos y promover esta filosofía del diseño en la que se crean productos, comunicaciones y entornos construidos para la mayor cantidad posible de personas con un coste nulo o mínimo.   
 
Más información en en la web del congreso: Foro Diseño Univesal

Fuente:

I encourage Rolling Rains readers to respond to Liz's post on Travels with Pain below.


A bit of background. Liz Scott is a travel writer with several excellent books to her name. This year was her first year addressing the SATH Congress. Liz lives - and travels - with chronic pain. The story below recounts intimately how pain and travel mixed on her return from the congress.

One further note. Liz is a neighbor. I did not attend SATH this year. I wish I had. If I had I can only image that we would have traveled together both directions and been support for each other. 

I owe my health to the quick response and level-headedness of Sherri Backstrom when several years go I very rapidly caught a blood infection on a speaking trip in Italy. Follow Liz's advice - and don't put your travel companions in difficult situations. Carry simple instructions about what to do in case of recurring medical issues that might flare up. Have an Emergency Contacts list with you. Pace yourself!

On Tuesday January 25, sometime in the late afternoon, I collapsed in a bathroom at Atlanta International Airport.

After a red-eye flight from California to Florida, an uncomfortable night spent not sleeping much inside a dirty motel room next door to a bunch of people having a drug party, a 4-day cruise on an enormous and confusing-to-navigate ship (ironically named theNavigator of the Seas),  SATH World Congress activities including 6+ hours spent sitting bolt upright in uncomfortable chairs, the stress associated with giving two speeches, an active in-port day on Cozumel, another night in the bad motel after sunburning myself on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, and a coach-class flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta, it seemed that my body had had enough. While in the bathroom stall, a severe pain spike started up. At the sink, I got nauseous. Then my legs weakened and down I went onto the white tile floor.

I had not lost consciousness and was thinking rationally between massive spikes of pain. But after a couple of minutes, when somebody found me, I couldn't speak coherently. 

More:

"Just enjoy being in China, don't bother about these things."

From DNA:

Imagine this: A wheelchair athlete, stranded at an international airport at 2 am, all by herself with absolutely no assistance, no money. Even worse -- no ticket to travel back home.

Meet Manjula M, an athlete who suffers from scoliosis, a condition that affects the spine. She was the lone woman participant from Karnataka at the recently concluded Asian Para Games in Guangzhou. Manjula went through a harrowing experience on her way back to Bangalore.

The athlete, who earned a berth for the London Paralympics in 2012 after her eight place finish in discus throw, was abandoned at the Indira Gandhi International Airport after landing at 1.30 am on Thursday from Hong Kong.

Officials accompanying the athlete, including Shankar Iyer, treasurer of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), who are supposed to take care of the athletes, did not bother to book Manjula's tickets from Delhi to Bangalore. Worse, they left her at the airport and departed to their respective home towns. "There were about six officials who had come as escorts for athletes travelling with me. None of them stayed back to help me. Would they have done this if their daughter was in my place?" questioned a teary-eyed Manjula, as she recounted her nightmarish experience.

Manjula was left unattended for hours before she contacted her personal coach in Delhi who helped her book a ticket back home. She landed in Bangalore only at 9.30 on Thursday night. The PCI officials brushed off the goof-up, terming it a small incident. "When a big contingent travels, such small incidents happen," said Sathyapal Singh, an official who travelled with the team. "There was some miscommunication, but we took care of the matter," he added.

The flight booking for all athletes are made from India before the team leaves for the Games.

The officials ignored the matter even though Manjula had reminded officials before departing from Guangzhou that her Delhi-Bangalore ticket had not been booked. There have been several other lapses by the officials at the Games.

On reaching the venue, Manjula was told that her name was missing from the list of participants.

She was a medal prospect for the country in the 53 category, but thanks to the PCI, which mismatched the entries, she was made to take part in a category that did not match her degree of disability.

When the athletics team manager Sathyanarayan was asked to take up the issue with the hosts, he simply said, "Just enjoy being in China, don't bother about these things."


Source:

El II Congreso Internacional de Diseño Universal que se celebra en Málaga el 17 y 18 de febrero.


Basauri quiere seguir la estela de Bilbao, que en los últimos meses no ha parado de recibir galardones y de mostrar su transformación urbanística por medio mundo. Mucho le queda todavía por hacer al municipio de la comarca de Nervión-Ibaizabal para alcanzar ese estatus, pero al menos quiere empezar a dar sus primeros pasos. La alcaldesa, Loly de Juan, en repetidas ocasiones, ha mostrado su intención de que «Basauri sea conocida fuera de nuestras fronteras»...

Junto a ciudades como Madrid, Ávila y Málaga, el municipio participará en el «Espacio de Experiencias», donde las instituciones muestran su labor en la construcción o en el diseño de ciudades más accesibles en las que puedan vivir mejor todas las personas, incluidas las que tienen algún problema de movilidad.

Mas:

Call for Papers: ICAT 2011

ICATFlyer.jpg


Flying with a Power Chair

BEING able to hop on a flight from Mackay to Melbourne is something many of us take for granted.

But for Mackay's Ray Wegner, having a disability is causing major headaches for his first independent trip away.

Mr Wegner has cerebral palsy which confines him to an electric wheelchair.

Power Chair Flights.jpgAfter wanting to book a flight for March to see his friend in Melbourne, Mr Wegner was told by all major airlines that he would have to fully dismantle his wheelchair in order for it to fit on the plane.

"The airlines have given me mobility aid size restrictions which means that my chair has to be fully dismantled and even then it exceeds the height restriction," Mr Wegner said.

"If I do dismantle my chair that means when I land in Melbourne, I have no legs until it is reassembled and I don't know who could do that for me."


More:

http://www.dailymercury.com.au/story/2011/01/27/airlines-leave-man-without-legs-mackay/

Fashion Moves

From Ruth Clark's blog:

"Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond"

I am pleased to share with you, a major activity that will be organized by Fashion Moves.

One of the most common 'tools' for fitting into any given group or situation is the clothing you wear.  People with significant disabilities currently do not have the freedom nor the ability to choose from an extensive wardrobe regardless of how much money they may have.  Why?  At the moment the Fashion / Garment industry is doing very little to respond to the clothing needs and wishes of People with disabilities and their families and caregivers.  Fashion Moves is working to change this.

To launch on the 2010 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Fashion Moves will oversee a year long Fashion Design Challenge.  We will work with new and established Fashion Designers and invite them  to design a garment of their choice, to provide fashionable, functional, purpose designed fit for a disabling condition of their choice.  At the same time Fashion Moves will start to work with groups that produce Fashion Shows as fundraisers.  During the latter part of 2011 and 2012, we will make the Design Challenge garments available for these Fashion Shows.  Through this project:

From the BBC




Peter Donnelly

A paraplegic man from Merseyside, who has been volunteering in Bangladesh, is travelling home overland to raise funds for charity.

Wheelchair user Peter Donnelly, 24, will use buses, trains and ferries to travel 5,000 miles back to St Helens.

He is raising money for the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) on Dhaka's outskirts where he has volunteered for the past four months.

The full story:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-12265250


Travel & Disabilit: A Story from the ARC

From ARC:

As part of our commitment to providing opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in the activities they choose, The Arc would like to introduce you to companies that share our vision. Hammer Travel is one such company providing people with I/DD the freedom to travel when and where they choose.  Here's the story of Troy, one of Hammer's success stories.

Troy has a passion for traveling the world, public speaking and meeting new friends. He also has a developmental and physical disability causing him to need a wheelchair for mobility. While Troy has been able to travel to exciting places including Alaska, the Caribbean, and California he does face certain challenges. Many of these are the same that everyone faces including getting time off from work and choosing a destination. However Troy also faces some unique challenges that many people with I/DD often do. These include his need for around the clock support, medication/personal aid, transportation issues and accessible airfare and lodging. All of these can be a burden to tackle alone. So when Troy travels he reaches out to a travel provider.

Unfortunately for Troy many travel providers told him his independence would be limited on trips because his electric wheelchair was too large to transport.

The rest of the story:
https://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=2859

Accessible Portugal 2011 Tour Schedule

In 2010 I had the good fortune of taking a familiarization tour of Portugal with Accessible Portugal. I was greeIn 2010 I had the good fortune of taking a familiarization tour of Portugal with Accessible Portugal. I was greeted at the airport by an employee in a wheelchair - always an encouraging sign! Their equipment was top rate and the staff handled it with ease. Accommodations went without a hitch. The sightseeing was enjoyable because of the knowledge and obvious enthusiasm of the staff.

I can recommend Accessible Portugal and call your attention to their scheduled tours for 2011. 

Dates for 2011:

Best of Portugal & Spain (16 days) 2879 
Tour # 1: March 14th to 29th
Tour # 2: May 16th to 31st
Tour # 3: July 1st to 16th
Tour # 4: October 10th to 25th

Typical North of Portugal (9 days) 1621 
Tour # 1: February 5th to 13th
Tour # 2: August 1st to 9th
Tour # 3: November 7th to 15th

Sunny South of Portugal (7 days) 1368 
Tour # 1: April 2nd to 8th
Tour # 2: June 1st to 7th
Tour # 3: September 19th to 25th

The Best of Lisbon and Surroundings (8 days) 1319 
Tour # 1: February 21st to 28th
Tour # 2: May 3rd to 10th
Tour # 3: July 22nd to 29th
Tour # 4: September 2nd to 9th
Tour # 5: December 12th to 19th

Accessible Portugal also has several accessible city breaks and daily tours.
For further information, go to www.accessibleportugal.com
Or contact us by phone or e-mail:

Phone: +351 217 203 130
E-mail: info@accessibleportugal.com

ted at the airport by an employee in a wheelchair - always an encouraging sign! Their equipment was top rate and the staff handled it with ease. Accommodations went without a hitch. The sightseeing was enjoyable because of the knowledge and obvious enthusiasm of the staff.

I can recommend Accessible Portugal and call your attention to their scheduled tours for 2011. 

Dates for 2011:

Best of Portugal & Spain (16 Days) 2879 ?
Day 1: March 14th to 29th
Day 2: May 16th to 31st
Day 3: July 1st to 16th
Day 4: October 10th to 25th

Typical North of Portugal (9 Days) 1621 ?
Day 1: February 5th to 13th
Day 2: August 1st to 9th
Day 3: November 7th to 15th

Sunny South of Portugal (7 Days) 1368 ?
Day 1: April 2nd to 8th
Day 2: June 1st to 7th
Day 3: September 19th to 25th

The Best of Lisbon and Surroundings (8 Days) 1319 ?
Day 1: February 21st to 28th
Day 2: May 3rd to 10th
Day 3: July 22nd to 29th
Day 4: September 2nd to 9th
Day 5: December 12th to 19th

Accessible Portugal also has several accessible city breaks and daily tours.
For further information, go to www.accessibleportugal.com
Or contact us by phone or e-mail:

Phone: +351 217 203 130
E-mail: info@accessibleportugal.com

Arona Tenerife

Tenerife has a long tradition of accessibility with tourists in mind. Here are several videos.

  ,,n mmmm

From Liz Hammil's Travels with Pain Blog

Reprinted from Travels with Pain by Liz Hammil:


I spent last Saturday kicking around the Bay Area Travel Adventure Expo. Pauline Frommer was speaking, and I love her-if you ever get the chance to see her speak in person about travel, do it. She was an actor for a decade before she followed her father into travel writing, and she's got amazing stage presence. In fact, her encouragement helped me to grow this blog with enthusiasm and keep with it even when it's difficult to keep it up.

That said, here are a few cool things I learned at the Expo that apply to travelers with pain:

* Alaska can be an excellent destination for disabled travelers of all kinds. They're very prepared for folks with mobility issues (which means that us hiddenly disabled types can take advantage of the lack of stairs and such). The one possible hitch: distances during day trips. I'm looking at tripping up there this summer to see for myself what works and what doesn't in the Great White North.

* Many international tour operators have become cognizant of dietary restrictions. Even if you're planning a truly exotic trip to Africa or India, all you need to do is ask and you'll be provided with a gluten-free, dairy free, diabetic, vegetarian, Halal...whatever sort of diet you want, really.

* I might reconsider my no-India stance if I could afford to see the country via a 1st class suite in a luxury rail car.

* I wish I'd known about Tutto travel bags before I asked for new luggage for Christmas this last year. While I have no personal experience traveling with these bags, the demo is pretty impressive. If I can snag a test model, I will provide a review for my dedicated TWP readers.

* The growing boom in small-group custom tours may become a great boon to travelers with hidden disabilities. Tour operators who do custom tours can, with advance warning, accommodate a surprising range of physical needs even in genuinely exotic destinations. Think African safaris, South American eco-tours, and even treks along the Silk Road. I genuinely hope to be able to provide my TWP readers with more information about these types of tours and destinations in the next few years!


ENAT Continues Leadership

ENAT thumb logo imageENAT's position paper responds to the European Commission's general call for feedback on its tourism communication published in June 2010.

ENAT's comments were delivered to the Commission's Tourism Unit on 14 January 2011.

ENAT proposes to strengthen the EU Tourism Strategy by including targets and actions for accessible tourism, so enhancing the competitiveness of European tourism enterprises and making Europe an accessible destination for all visitors.

ENAT offers the experience of its members and its networking capabilities to the Commission and to other partners, with the aim of establishing Europe as the leading accessible tourism destination in the coming years.

The papers can  be found here;

http://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.forums.1086

Michael writes:

Before the late 1990s, air travel was often booked through airlines and travel agents, either in person or over the phone. After the Internet was widely adopted in the mid-1990s, online travel booking websites like Expedia andOrbitz took on the lion's share of the work done by travel agents, leveling the playing field for deaf and hard-of-hearing travelers who otherwise needed help booking over the phone, or drove to the nearest travel agent office to make their arrangements. Yet, what has been an immeasurable benefit for deaf travelers has come at the expense of blind travelers, who find these online travel websites difficult to access, and continue to arrange their itineraries by phone or in person, or rely on sighted people to make the online arrangements for them.

For the entire article:

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, today announced an agreement with Travelocity, one of the largest and most popular online travel agencies, to make travelocity.com more accessible to the blind.  Under today's agreement, Travelocity will make accessible by July 1, 2011, its home page and each initial Web page used for searching Flights, Hotels, Vacation Packages, Last Minute Packages, Cars and Rail, Cruises, and Activities, with the accessibility of the rest of the pages needed to complete a booking to follow soon after.  Travelocity has committed to make its entire Web site fully accessible to blind people by March 30, 2012.  

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "The Internet is a critical means of access to business, education, information, and entertainment in the twenty-first century, and the blind must have equal access if we are to be equal participants in society.  By making its popular online travel agency fully accessible to the blind, Travelocity is setting an example that should be followed by the entire online travel industry.  The National Federation of the Blind is pleased to have reached this important agreement with Travelocity, and we will continue to work tirelessly until the blind have equal access to the full range of products and services available to the public through the Internet and other information technologies."

Nejib Ben-Khedher, Chief Operating Officer of Travelocity, said: "We are committed to providing our customers with the best service possible.  With that in mind, making our Web site accessible is of critical importance--all of our customers, including those who are blind, must be able to easily access our products and services.  We thank the National Federation of the Blind for their assistance and look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that rapid progress is made in making the Travelocity Web site usable by everyone."

Pursuant to the agreement, Travelocity will develop a comprehensive accessibility program that will include the development of an accessibility guidelines manual, and the appointment of both an accessibility coordinator and an accessibility committee.

Additionally, Travelocity will continue to work with officials of the National Federation of the Blind to ensure that the Travelocity services remain accessible to the blind. Travelocity will submit its Web site to the NFB Nonvisual Accessibility (NFB-NVA) Web Certification program, a rigorous procedure by which Web sites and applications that have made efforts to be accessible to the blind can be identified and recognized.  The NFB-NVA Web Certification program continuously monitors participating sites to ensure that they remain compliant with certification criteria.  If a site remains accessible, its certification is renewed on an annual or a version basis.  If accessibility issues arise, the National Federation of the Blind will work with the site developers to remedy them.

A "European Accessibility Act" in 2012?

European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding told MEPs last week that she will present a proposal for a 'European Accessibility Act' before the end of 2012. This new legislation is seen by the Commission as a key element of the European Disability Strategy, which was unveiled last year.

BACKGROUND

According to official statistics, 80 million people in the European Union (or one out of every six citizens) are affected by some kind of disability.
The EU Directive on 'equal treatment in employment and occupation' (2000/78/EC) entered into force on 2 December 2000, and makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against people with disabilities.
In July 2008, the European Commission published a proposal for a directive that would extend legal protection against discrimination in fields other than employment. However, the proposal was not accepted by all member states.
In November 2010, the Commission presented a European Disability Strategy, which outlines the initiatives it will take during the current decade (up to 2020).
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was agreed in 2007 and has been signed by all of the 27 EU member states. The UN Convention was recently (on 23 December 2010) ratified by the European Union.


"There are dozens of new facilities sprouting up across the country where universal design and sustainable design are the focus in the planning process," begins Annie Cornett's article on the continued convergence of green and Universal Design. Her article cameos Access Living and Yellowstone national Park and continues to document this human-centered design trend in the US:


Two more of interest, in particular to park and recreation providers, should be the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Project at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Southwind Park in Springfield, IL. The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk project is a collaboration between the municipality, the county and the National Park Service. Located along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, the project restored land once used by U.S. Steel to recreation space for walkers, bikers, anglers and families. The Southwind Park project is a new park created by the park district from land gifted to the agency. The navigation and visitor orientation signs at the park were funded through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Access to Recreation initiative.

She notes:

As the emphasis on environmentalism and conservation continues to grow, it is becoming more essential than ever for the design and construction of new facilities to not only meet requirements for providing access for all individuals, but to also embrace this "green" philosophy. Universal and green design are not technically design styles, but simply points of reference that often influence the design and construction process. They have the ability, when integrated together, drive the design process creating facilities that are more user friendly and environmentally conscience as well.

ENAT's eAccess+ network

eAccess+ Network logoThe eAccess+ network aims to bridge the widening gap between the potential of ICT/AT and eAccessibility for people with disabilities and the ageing population on the one hand and the actual implementation of eAccesibility on the other hand.

eAccess+ is driven by 25 core members, coming from all over Europe. It is their task to involve all stakeholder groups at national level and to expand the network by developing a group of so called "Associated Partners".

ENAT - the European Network for Accessible Tourism non-profit association is a founding member of the eAccess+ network. 

Project Summary

The eACCESS+ Network - Making New Technologies Accessible for All.

The eACCESS+ network is a new European Union funded initiative which aims to overcome the widening gap between the potential of ICTs / Assistive Technologies and eAccessibility for people with disabilities and the ageing population and the actual implementation of eAccessibility in practice.

Much expertise, guidelines, policy, and tools on eAccessibility and the provision of inclusive production and consumption environments, processes and technologies already exists. However, each has its own, highly specific field of application and not all business sectors are benefitting from the knowledge and experience that has been gained. In addition, access demands need to be addressed as technologies are developed.

eACCESS+ casts a wide net over all relevant stakeholders (end users, policy makers, administration, industry, service providers for end users, research, education) and will address guideline and standard development, political and legal aspects, professional support of public service provision and private product/business development.

eAccess+ will implement measures to 

  • consult: provide introductions, information, advice, feedback
  • analyse: problems, ideas, incentives, proposals
  • support: provide examples, best practice, guidelines
  • disseminate: raising awareness, marketing, conferences, workshops
  • create a roadmap: with plans for future activities

VisitEngland logoVisitEngland, the national tourist board of England, has launched a new online tool aimed to help businesses cater better for visitors with access needs.

VisitEngland requires any business that is part of the quality assessment schemes for accommodation and attractions to have an Access Statement.

VisitEngland spearheaded the creation of the Access Statement, a description of a venue's services and facilities to inform people with access needs, some time ago. This new online tool makes it easier for businesses to create an Access Statement.

VisitEngland Access Statement logoAccess Statements allow for a written, descriptive approach to providing a wide range of information on accessibility. All areas of a business are described from car parking & arrival to toilet.


Source ENAT:

http://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.news.1074

Louise Roys writes in AllVoices:

To showcase the growing trend toward forward-thinking home design and communities that are user-friendly for people of all ages, AARP and NAHB (The National Association of Home Builders) today announced the 2010 Livable Communities Awards winners at the International Builders' Show (IBS) in Orlando. The annual awards program honors builders, developers, remodelers and architects, and highlights their winning projects as models of livability and universal design. This year's honorees include professionals, companies, and projects from Indiana, Florida, Washington, Oregon, and California.

These builders, remodelers, developers and architects are being recognized as leaders in the effort to meet the needs of the nation's 50+ consumers and their families," said NAHB Chief Executive Officer Jerry Howard. "This fast-growing market is very important to our industry, and these award-winning projects provide great examples of design innovations that promote safe and comfortable living."

"As the Boomers begin turning 65 this month, this first generation to grow up in the suburbs is looking to update their homes to be more comfortable or find that just-right place that keeps them close to family and friends," said David Shotwell, AARP's Senior Director for Livable Communities.

Full story:

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7889244-aarp-and-nahb-name-2010-livable-communities-awards-winners

Endeva, a German institute focused on inspiring and supporting enterprise solutions to poverty challenges, has recently published an Inclusive Business Guide (pdf, 92 pages). It offers a comprehensive overview on the "what?", the "where?" and the "how?" of developing business-led solutions as drivers of social inclusion and sustainable development.

The publication, which was originally published in German, consists of three parts:

  • Part I introduces the concept of inclusive business, the benefits and challenges to doing business with people in poverty
  • Part II describes how to develop an inclusive business model from design to implementation and growth
  • Part III highlights promising sectors and countries

20 case studies illustrate each chapter in part I and II, and links to further information and contacts are also provided.

Geoff Holt - Yachtsman of the Year

" In what other sport could a quadriplegic's name sit alongside such a prestigious list of yachting heroes on a trophy like this?"


From GeoffHolt.com:

A huge thank you to the Yachting Journalists Association for voting me winner of the Pantaenius YJA 
award 2010.jpg
Yachtsman of the Year trophy.  It is the biggest accolade in our sport and even now, the morning after, I'm sat here at my desk looking at this magnificent trophy, grinning from ear to ear.  The list of past winners is humbling; Dame Ellen Macarthur, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Dee Caffari, Sir Francis Chichester, the list reads like a "who's who" in the history of yachting in our country - I am really so proud. 

The full story:


from the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
and other disability rights organizations

Department of Justice Seeks Public Comment
on Development of New ADA Regulations
on Equipment and Furniture

Your Comments Needed by January 24, 2011

Model comments available to assist you on DREDF's website

The U.S. Department of Justice published four Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRMs) on July 26, 2010, seeking public comment on the development of regulations under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in new areas, including various kinds of equipment and furniture. Many are critical to the everyday lives of people with disabilities:

    Overview / Introduction

  • Medical Equipment and Furniture
  • Electronic and Information Technology such as ticket kiosks and point-of-sale devices
  • Beds in Accessible Guest Rooms and Sleeping Rooms
  • Exercise Equipment and Furniture
  • Accessible Golf Cars
  • Beds in Nursing Homes and Other Care Facilities
  • Other Types of Equipment and Furniture

It is important for DOJ to receive comments from the disability community urging strong regulation to provide genuine full and equal access. Your stories are needed!

There is extensive guidance to assist you at DREDF's website.DREDF's model comments can help you write your own comments.

There is also helpful information on how to file your commentsand tips on commenting.

Important: Your comments will have the most impact if you revise our drafts to add your own thoughts, and especially your own personal experiences or those of friends, family, colleagues, or clients with disabilities.

See all the DOJ ANPRMs atwww.ada.gov/anprm2010/anprm2010.htm. There are also ANPRMs on access to the Internet, movie captioning and video description, and Next Generation 911 services.

Congratulations to Concrete Change!

"The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice"

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

""

With appreciation to Emory University,  the Rollins School of Public Health and the Goizueta Business School... 
Concrete Change is pleased to announce to you, our friends
and
supporters of  housing justice 

the selection of
Concrete Change
as one of the recipients of

The 2011 Annual Martin Luther King Jr.

Community Service Award 
For our work to promote affordable, accessible integrated housing.

"Basic access in every new home."

    www.concretechange.org   404-378-7455

Program and Award Ceremony:

Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Rollins School of Public Health

 

Every New Home Visitable!
Concrete Change

600 Dancing Fox Road

Decatur GA  30032

 

www.concretechange.org

404-378-7455

 

Universal Design and Disability

Even the Huffington Post is getting into promoting Universal Design. "Arthritis isn't a disease of old people -- it's the #1 cause of disability in adults today," writes Ashley Koff in an article on RA. She continues:


I am known as the "Gadget Queen" in the kitchen and readily use all kinds of gadgets to make my life easier. The concept of Universal Design is great for people like me affected by RA, but also great fun and easy to use for anyone else. My friends love to come over to my kitchen to cook with me just because of the fun (and gadgets) we use!

Las personas con discapacidad "siguen haciendo frente a muchas barreras" para el uso de los productos y servicios de las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (TIC), según se desprende de un informe sobre la accesibilidad a estas tecnologías promovido por la Fundación Vodafone y el Comité de Representantes de Personas con Discapacidad (CERMI).

Así, el trabajo --que analiza el estado de accesibilidad a páginas web, medios audiovisuales, la normativa vigente, las nuevas fronteras en materia de accesibilidad y diseño universal y la brecha digital-- insta a crear estrategias para favorecer la inclusión digital de los discapacitados.

Además, el CERMI ha explicado que el informe expone, en una primera parte, los avances en materia normativa que se han producido en este ámbito en los últimos años. "Así, analiza la accesibilidad a las TIC --que califica de "elementos esenciales de la vida social, económica y cultural-- en la Convención de la ONU sobre los Derechos de las Personas Con Discapacidad; la nueva ley estadounidense, así como la normativa europea y española en esta materia", ha precisado.

También "se detalla la accesibilidad en las comunicaciones móviles y en los medios audiovisuales", así como el estado actual de la accesibilidad electrónica, "donde se explican los principales resultados de varios informes, entre ellos las páginas web de la Administración General del Estados, las pequeñas y medianas empresas (pymes) y las principales empresas españolas".

Por último, el CERMI ha destacado "las nuevas fronteras en materia de accesibilidad y diseño universal" como la interoperatividad 2.0, la web 2.0 o la televisión digital, al tiempo que se reflexiona sobre "las disparidades en el uso de Internet y su utilización por las personas con discapacidad y los mayores".



JEDDAH: Saudi Architect Mukhtar Al-Shaibani has been elected the president of Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES). Al-Shaibani was nominated by the Kingdom to this global position, and is the first Saudi national to assume this title.

Al-Shaibani, who has 30 years experience in the field of accessibility to persons with disabilities, 

SauMukhtar.jpg

attributed his elevation to hard work. His appointment was announced during the General Assembly of GAATES held on Dec. 14, according to a press release.

Two vice presidents, one from US and Japan, were also elected, and the rest board of directors from (Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Jordan, Denmark, Libya, Austria and South Africa).

Al-Shaibani said, "This is international recognition of the Kingdom's progress in the concept of universal design to serve all its citizens especially persons with disabilities and the architectural and engineering sectors."

GAATES is a nonprofit civil organization, headquartered in Canada, and works in coordination with the United Nations body to broadcast the concept of universal accessibility for everyone around the world, according to the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities on the year 2007, and ratified by 150 countries around the world.

GAATES has signed cooperative agreements with many Arab and Gulf States and a number of civil and governmental Arab and global associations and organizations, dealing with the universal design, to organize training courses and academic workshops to disseminate the concept of universal design for the benefit of persons with disabilities.

January 6, 2011 - Signing and singing with passion in Arabic, Spanish and English, 54 disabled women activists from 43 countries celebrate the achievements, pride and solidarity of women with disabilities around the world. These leaders are revolutionizing the status of women and girls worldwide. Filmed during MIUSA's 5th International Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), the Loud, Proud and Passionate!(SM)  music video release marks the beginning of MIUSA's 30th Anniversary year-long celebration.

Watch and share the YouTube link:
Music Video: Loud, Proud and Passionate!(SM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxxomUVsSik

Our goal is to reach 2,500 views and to raise funds through donations for the next WILD program empowering women and girls with disabilities. Every donation large or small brings us closer to that goal! To donate, visit http://www.miusa.org/donate/wild.

WILD delegates in the video come from Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, United States of America, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The video is captioned. For the text video description in English click here.

Mobility International USA (MIUSA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower people with disabilities around the world to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development. For more information visit www.miusa.org.

New Mobility on Design for Living

What have you done to make a space more accessible? From New Mobility magazine:


Want to be in NM?

NM is looking for tips from homeowners or apartment dwellers. Each month we'll feature a question in our new Living Spaces column, and here is the first one: How have you improved your parking space, carport or garage? Please send your access tips or adaptations to Doug Lathrop. Thanks for contributing!

Press release:

Washington, DC - The Global Disability Rights Library project announces a call for organizations to apply to receive a free digital Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL).  Applications are open to disabled people's organizations, universities, and agencies in developing countries.   Sixty organizations will receive the digital library to empower them to disseminate valuable disability rights knowledge and toolkits to their communities. 

The goal of the GDRL project is to improve the lives of persons with disabilities in developing countries.  The project uses an innovative "internet in a box" technology to deliver digital resources to people beyond the reach of the internet.  Users will include disabled people's organizations (DPOs), decision makers, individual advocates, and others who cannot easily download information from the web.  Read more about the GDRL project at:

http://www.usicd.org/index.cfm/global-disability-rights-library

The GDRL is a collaborative effort between the U.S. International Council on Disabilities and the University of Iowa's WiderNet Project with support from USAID to bring the best materials on disability rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to developing countries. 

Ideal deployment site candidates will have a demonstrated commitment to promoting and facilitating disability rights.  Successful applicants will have the organizational capacity to become a hub for disseminating disability rights information and will be inclusive of a diverse disability community.Interested organizations are urged to review the application and full eligibility criteria posted on WiderNet's website at:

http://www.widernet.org/digitallibrary/GDRLSiteSelection

There will be several selection rounds.  Applicants not accepted in an early selection round will be immediately rolled over into subsequent selection rounds.  Candidates are encouraged to apply early.  Please do not wait until the final deadline.

Apply by March 1, 2011, to be considered for deployment by June 30, 2011

Apply by September 1, 2011, to be considered for deployment by December 31, 2011

Apply by May 1, 2012, to be considered for deployment by August 31, 2012

Questions about the application process or eligibility criteria should be directed to gdrl@usicd.org. Applicants who cannot use email also may reach us by post mail at

Andrea Shettle, MSW, MA
Program Manager, Global Disability Rights Library 
United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD)
1012-14th Street, NW, Suite 105
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America

#

Com a ajuda do rapper e cadeirante Billy Saga, o Fantástico mostrou as dificuldades de quem precisa usar uma cadeira de rodas em avião, ônibus e metrô.

 

Na semana que passou, um acidente no Aeroporto de Congonhas, em São Paulo, deixou em coma um cadeirante de 71 anos. A vítima continua internada, sem apresentar melhoras. 

Enquanto o acidente está sendo investigado, o Fantástico faz um teste em todo o Brasil: acompanhamos um jovem paraplégico em viagens de avião, ônibus e metrô. E constatamos: em geral, o transporte público maltrata o cadeirante. 

Olhando de longe é um veículo um pouco estranho. Em todo o Brasil, só tem uns dez. É para ser um lugar seguro para transportar pessoas em cadeiras de rodas. 

Em um parecido no Aeroporto de Congonhas, um acidente deixou um senhor de 71 anos em coma. O que era para ser um desembarque rotineiro de um voo da Gol, virou uma tragédia. 

O passageiro, na cadeira, a mulher dele e a funcionária da companhia, que estava de pé, por causa de uma freada súbita do motorista se estatelaram. A filha dele conta como foi: 

"No que a cadeira virou, meu pai foi lançado pra fora da cadeira. A moça voou junto com ele, e ele caiu e bateu com a cabeça no chão e na paredinha do carrinho, na divisória com o motorista", conta Moira Vasconcellos, filha da vítima. 

A coisa deveria funcionar assim: a Infraero tem 121 ônibus espalhados pelos aeroportos do país. Neles, além dos lugares normais, existe um especial para levar passageiros que necessitam utilizar uma cadeira de rodas. 

Cinto de segurança, tudo certinho, mas quando chega na pista, para driblar a escada, se utiliza o chamado ambulift, um veículo que tem um elevador que permite ao cadeirante ser levado até a porta do avião. 

No do Aeroporto de Guarulhos, em São Paulo, tem uma espécie de baia, além do fundamental cinto de segurança. No caso do Aeroporto de Congonhas, a vítima não estava presa ao cinto. E a filha afirma que o ambulift de lá é bem pior. 

"Esse que te mostraram é infinitamente mais, eu acho que não posso nem falar que é mais chique, eu acho que tem o mínimo, o outro não. Era uma coisa velha, horrível, parecia que estava encostada já, que não tem manutenção", conta Moira. 

A Infraero, que aluga o veículo para as companhias aéreas, abriu uma sindicância. 

"A Infraero faz o transporte, mas acompanhado da companhia aérea. Ela tem todo o treinamento, quando ela posiciona a cadeira de rodas, ela sabe exatamente o que tem que fazer. Isso não exime que nós também façamos, mas essa responsabilidade é da companhia aérea", afirma João Márcio Jordão, diretor de Operações da Infraero. 

A Gol afirma que a responsabilidade pelo transporte do passageiro é da companhia, mas alega que não opera o ambulift e que a funcionária estava apenas acompanhando o passageiro que se acidentou. 

Mas será que o símbolo do cadeirante, de fato, reflete um Brasil preparado para atender a quem precisa de usar uma cadeira de rodas? O Fantástico foi investigar. 

Deu uma voltinha: Congonhas para Curitiba. De lá para Foz de Iguaçu. De Foz para o Rio de Janeiro. Do Rio para Campinas. Tudo de avião. 

Depois, Campinas para São Paulo de ônibus. E por último uma viagem de metrô na capital paulista. Preparados? De cadeira de rodas é bem diferente. 

Acompanhamos o rapper Billy Saga, paraplégico, um cadeirante jovem que tem força nos braços. E isso ajuda muito. Já de cara é cada pergunta... 

"O senhor não sobe escadas?", pergunta a funcionária. 
"Não", responde. 

Billy quer saber se tem o equipamento que ele conhece bem. 

- Quantos ambulift têm? 
- Aqui a TAM pra gente tem dois. 

A TAM informa que tem cinco ambulifts no Brasil e usa outros, da Infraero, quando necessário. Ainda, segundo a TAM, todos os funcionários são treinados para atender crianças, idosos e pessoas com deficiência. 

Billy vai de ônibus até o avião sem problema. A questão é subir, porque nesse dia nenhum ambulift está disponível. Vai ter que ser na mão. 

"A pessoa com deficiência vive no improviso, vive carregado, vive no jeitinho", lamenta Billy. 

Enquanto Billy subia, no saguão do aeroporto encontramos a recém-eleita deputada federal Mara Gabrilli. O caso dela é mais grave. Ela precisa da ajuda de uma pessoa o tempo todo para tudo. 

Para quem é tetraplégica como ela, ser carregada como Billy, cadeira e tudo, não funciona. 

"Eu tenho medo dela, porque eu não mexo os braços, eu não tenho como eu me apoiar, então eu prefiro descer no colo, que também é perigoso" conta a deputada. 

Agora Billy chega a Curitiba. O serviço parece mais exclusivo: de van até o terminal. Mas, onde sobra boa vontade, falta bom senso. Dentro da van, não tem cinto de segurança pro cadeirante. 

Ainda em curitiba, Billy testa um ponto de ônibus. Aprovado. É tudo adaptado para o cadeirante. 

"É bem melhor do que um ônibus que não tenha o piso nivelado. É legal. Curitiba, assim que é", comemora Billy. 

Agora, de volta ao aeroporto, o embarque é pra Foz do Iguaçu. O ideal para o cadeirante é o chamado finger, um corredor que leva diretamente do terminal para o avião. Para baixo, todo santo ajuda. No avião, ficar apertado é pior para um cadeirante. 

Billy - Eu preciso ir ao banheiro. Como é que eu faço? 
Comissária - Você vai precisar de auxílio, de alguma ajuda. 
Billy - Sim. Eu queria saber como é que funciona. Ver se tem um carrinho, uma coisa pra me levar.

Comissária - Tem uma cadeira de rodas. 

Tem, mas não adianta. A cadeira nem passa pela porta. A comissária dá uma alternativa: 

"O que eu posso fazer é você se sentar na cadeira, eu te trago um recipiente, você senta perto do toalete. O senhor não vai ficar exposto ao público. Vai ficar com a cortina fechada". 

Billy prefere esperar o desembarque. Até porque ele vive exposto: sempre o último da fila, carregado por desconhecidos, o cadeirante tem que se acostumar a essa falta de privacidade. 

Ele viaja de Foz para o Rio, e do Rio para Campinas. Lá encontra um equipamento diferente na hora de descer. Mas, no asfalto, a coisa fica pior. Aí mesmo que o símbolo do deficiente não vale nada. Está no parabrisa e não sai daí. 

"A plaquinha significa acessibilidade, se ela tem um lugar de acesso pra todos. Só que não é acesso pra todos". 

Por fim, ele vai pra casa de metrô. Tem que empinar a cadeira pra entrar no vagão. E, lá dentro, Billy tem a esperança de que um decreto presidencial de 2004 dê certo. 

Segundo o decreto as empresas de ônibus e as companhias de trem e metrô têm até 2014 para estar totalmente acessíveis a cadeirantes. 

"Todos infelizmente estão passíveis de um dia estar numa cadeira de rodas. Seja por acidente, seja por uma doença ou seja pela própria passagem do tempo e se tornar idoso e ter a mobilidade reduzida. Então parece que as pessoas continuam com aquela cultura de comigo isso nunca vai acontecer. Você construir um avião que seja acessível, um espaço que seja acessível, isso é mais fácil, mas são as pessoas que gerem esses recursos, e se elas não direcionarem para isso, nunca vai resolver", lamenta Billy. 


http://fantastico.globo.com/Jornalismo/FANT/0,,MUL1636769-15605,00.html

A Comparison Between Canada and the US

Aging Boomers is a worldwide phenomenon but one Canadian demographer sees something of statistical significance:

Demographer David Foot started fielding calls from reporters a few weeks ago, wondering what changes to expect when the first of Canada's baby boomers turns 65 this year.

Almost none, he told them.

That's because Canada's boom started a year later than in the United States, where the first of that country's 78 million post-war babies are about to become senior citizens. Here they won't hit 65 for at least another year.

"I realize this is a battle I'm never going to win, but it's always a fun beginning to the conversation," says Foot, author of the best-selling book Boom Bust & Echo.

Robert Brown, 61, a former University of Waterloo math professor, used to argue the same thing at social gatherings -- he maintains Canada's baby boom didn't take off until 1951, which would make the first boomers just 60 next year -- but grew tired of being the lone voice at the bar.

"I've just stopped talking about it at cocktail parties because everybody thinks I'm wrong," he says with a laugh. "I think we've imported a lot of our street knowledge about the baby boom from the U.S. and they got started a little earlier than we did."



Jessica Cox is racking up some firsts in the air and on the waves. See her videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/rightfootedwoman


Universal Design Rooms in 'Kashinrou'

Start 2011 with plans for some luxury that doesn't discriminate based on disability.

Kiki reports on Universal Design applied in Japan:


Universal Design Rooms in 'Kashinrou'

In 2007, 'Kashinrou' on the 7th floor was opened... consisting of four rooms which were renovated in a new concept 'designer's room under the universal design'. Comfortable and quite usable guest rooms under the new concept are now in topic among Onsen lovers.

Designers' rooms in 'Kashinrou' are built under the philosophy of universal design (U.D.) and aim at providing rooms for various demands from the guests, as such guest of different generations from children to old people, disabled, pregnant, foreigners, and so on.

All guests stay in 'Kashinrou' for refreshment of body and mind will be treated under the concept of universal service and hospitality minded service as well. Every room fixtures and equipments, including food and beverages, table ware, are carefully prepared to achieve that philosophy.

Enjoy bathing in an abundant natural hot spring open-door bath. Why don't you drink a glass of wine at the bench on the terrace?  Special label 'Iwaki Wine' in a cooler can be served to your room on order. 750 ml bottle (white or red) ¥3,990

       Child toilet stool, care equipments for ostomate are equipped in the toilet. Many handrails and non-slip floor is equipped in the systematic bath for disabled and older guests. Universal design for disabled are equipped, such as wheel chair accessible and wider wash stand.

 

Shion pic07 

Shion pic08 

Universal design toilet

Wash basin with special equipment for ostomate

 

 

Shion pic09 

Shion pic10 

Universal design systematic bath room

 

Universal design wash stand

 


Guest Room 'Ruri'(瑠璃) 

t_ruri set  

Guest Room 'Ruri' is contemporary style Japanese room covered by 12 tatami-mats with a massage chair in the narrow wooden deck. The bathroom is flat floor suitable for wheelchair. The guests in this room have a privilege to choose one of private baths among three attractive private baths.

 Ruri pic01 set

The high qualified massage chair is equipped with recorded voice guidance, and gives you a tender massage in soft touch. Your swollen feet and stiffness body are eased and make you feel really comfortable.