May 2011 Archives

If I were to lead the workshop on Tourism & Social Justice today - instead of Friday June 17 at the Society for Disability Studies Conference in San Jose I might begin it with this exercise:

I had a specific intent in proposing this gathering as a workshop rather than a presentation. My intent is to persuade some of you to join the speaking circuit in the area of disability and tourism. It seemed to me that the best way to start you down that slippery slope was to engage you in reflecting on your own travel experience but to have you place that in context of the questions that you ask as a disability scholar.

Think back on whatever disability studies article, review, book, syllabus, or debate you just left back home. Now consider everything involved in the trip you just made here to San Jose, California. Do the two experiences inform each other in any way?  Does anything you experienced in the process of getting to this place and time fit into a model or a pattern you have been using to frame your writing on disability? Was there a certain person or point in the process of travel where greater knowledge of what you know through your work could have improved the experience for you? For other travelers who experiences disabilities?

There you go. You have slipped down the slope! Whatever came to mind as I posed those questions can become the heart of your workshop or a presentation in the growing portfolio of events covering the interface of disability and travel.

Next let's take a look at the literature - how others have been framing their questions, who they are addressing them to, and finally where are some upcoming venues for you to speak.

Not everyone who has something important to say on the topic will be able to attend the conference yet there does not seem to be a public way to asynchronously participate. The essence of Universal Design requires participation by the broadest range of users under the broadest range of conditions. So it seems only consistent with the philosophy of participatory justice, upon which Universal Design (and thus Inclusive Tourism) is based, to use this post as a mechanism for participation during the workshop's design phase.

Take to heart the challenge above. Respond with a comment, a YouTube post, or a private email to me at srains AT oco Dot net.

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AN INITIATIVE launched to assist persons with disabilities could open up a niche market for our tourism sector.

So says Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steve Blackett, who was delivering special remarks at the launch of the Rotary Club of Barbados' Sea for All programme at Browne's Beach yesterday morning, at which time three "floating chairs" were unveiled.

According to Minister Blackett: "Given our ageing population as well as the opportunities in the area of niche tourism, offerings such as these will also place us on the cutting edge in the world of disabilities, alongside such exciting programmes as the Fully Accessible Barbados Programme undertaken by the Barbados Council for the Disabled.

"It is my view that the provision of such equipment in hotels, eco-trails, and even at the Bridgetown Port would allow Barbados to cater to those among our visitors who are persons with disabilities, and that this would give Barbados a competitive edge on many other destinations in the region and beyond."

Making the point that Government cannot do it all alone, he invited other organisations to follow the lead of the Rotary Club of Barbados in this regard.

"...Survey the needs of the full range of the public that you serve, and see where assistance and/or equipment can be donated to make this country more user-friendly to all members of society, and to our visitors."

He noted that yesterday's presentation also provides an opportunity for realism and sends a sharp reminder that many persons with disabilities live on the margins of society and become dependent on the State - which, he explained, is not always able to respond to their needs in a timely manner on its own.

"Particularly in this tight economic environment, we all must step back and review what we do together, and see where possible we assist in making it a better life for all."

He stated that as is proposed in our Plan of Action of the White Paper on Disabilities, which is to lead the country towards the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, persons with disabilities are to be included wherever possible through the provision of facilities that are adequate to their requirements.

Minister Blackett lamented that too often Barbadians focus on the functional, and tend to neglect the recreational and social integration needs of persons with disabilities.

"Therefore, the Action Plan (of the White Paper on Disabilities) will, of necessity, speak to the issues of the right to equal access to leisure time facilities, independence, dignity, equity and justice. It will promote ongoing review and evaluation, the relevant standards of care, building standards and legislative amendments to protect against discrimination and safety," he said. 


Minha Casa Minha Vida (Portuguese)

Depois de muito trabalho da Frente Parlamentar dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência, conseguimos alterar no início deste mês a medida provisória 514 de 2010, que define as regras da segunda fase do programa federal "Minha Casa, Minha Vida". No texto, foram incluídos dois itens que contemplam a acessibilidade para pessoas com deficiência e mobilidade reduzida no programa de habitação social.

Agora, o conceito do Desenho Universal poderá ser colocado em prática nas moradias populares. E pessoas com deficiência e idosos moradores destes locais terão um pouco mais de segurança e conforto para viver.
O primeiro item proposto na MP foi para que as famílias nas quais existam pessoas com deficiência tenham prioridade no cadastro do programa Minha Casa Minha Vida. A segunda modificação dispõe que na ausência de legislação municipal ou estadual acerca das condições de acessibilidade, 3% das unidades habitacionais construídas sejam adaptadas às pessoas com deficiência.


Travel as Redemptive?

Author Paul Theroux at the Chicago Public Libr...

Image via Wikipedia

Paul Theroux swings hard at "complacent and lazy minds" in the Financial Times today as he writes, "The Places in Between." He forcefully articulates a sort of adventure tourism that  variously makes use of deception ( A Modern Pilgrim in Mecca ), risk and physical endurance ( Through the Dark Continent ), and the power of will (Full Tilt). He also presents his philosophy of what makes for a good travel book:

 "The fact that there are far fewer foreign correspondents makes the traveller more necessary as a witness and a reporter...In my opinion, the best of travel, and of travel writing - ancient or modern - is a species of trespass combined with true discovery, the wanderer surprised and bringing back news of the outer world...I have a love for reading about a really difficult trip, even better an ordeal. Such books, written with skill and appropriate detail, will always find a public, because they combine travel with problem solving and endurance, and that I suppose is the human condition."

He closes that section where he presents his personal preference for literature of the ordeal with the line about its authors, "These people are suffering for us."
I wonder, how much of the celebratory attention given to travel by PwD derives from this idea of vicarious redemption?

How much of the "discovery through trespass" by PwD actually persists in consciousness beyond moments of armchair encounters with our travel writing? 

In a world that multiplies suffering by overlooking Universal Design there is a Mount Everest of "suffering because of us" to be summitted in the daily Exclusion-by-Design of the status quo. The true adventure travel is, as Theroux's title suggests, in the places in between - forays bridging the exotic and the mundane. There is redemption through attention to inclusion.

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However, such a project would be

Con la idea de garantizar el acceso universal y la inclusión para todo tipo de personas, el presidente Felipe Calderón promulgó hoy la Ley General para La Inclusión de las Personas con Discapacidad.

La nueva Ley busca proteger el derecho a la accesibilidad universal, a la vivienda adecuada, al libre desplazamiento en condiciones dignas y seguras, así como el derecho a la salud, la educación, el deporte, la recreación y la cultura.

El Decreto de esta Ley ya fue aprobado en Comisiones el pasado febrero, pero aún no ha sido publicada en el Diario Oficial de la Federación.

El ordenamiento legal incluye señalamientos específicos como que las dependencias deberán etiquetar los apoyosdirigidos a la atención de las personas con discapacidad, para transparentar el uso de esos recursos.

Asimismo, prevé la creación del Consejo Nacional para el Desarrollo y la Inclusión de las Personas con Discapacidadque coordinará con dependencias de los tres órdenes de gobierno, la elaboración de programas de accesibilidad, desarrollo urbano y vivienda.

El decreto expresa que "se deberán emitir normas, lineamientos y reglamentos que garanticen la accesibilidad obligatoria en instalaciones públicas o privadas que les permita el libre desplazamiento en condiciones dignas y seguras, imponiendo a las dependencias federales, municipales y estatales vigilar el cumplimiento de las disposiciones que en materia de accesibilidad, desarrollo urbano y vivienda se establecen en la normatividad vigente".

El Consejo también supervisará la aplicación de estas disposiciones y promoverá que las personas que utilizan animales de servicio, tengan derecho a que estos accedan a donde lo requieran. Asimismo, el decreto prohíbe cualquier restricción mediante la que se impida el ejercicio de este derecho.

En cuanto a infraestructura básica, el equipamiento urbano, así como las instalaciones deportivas, culturales y espacios públicos, deberán contar con señalización, facilidades arquitectónicas, tecnologías, información, sistema braille, lengua de señas mexicana, ayudas técnicas y otros apoyos; la adecuación de estos aspectos será progresiva.

Además, la ley insta a que los programas de vivienda públicos o privados incluyan proyectos arquitectónicos que consideren las necesidades de personas con discapacidad.

Señala también que "las instituciones públicas de vivienda otorgarán facilidades para recibir créditos o subsidios para la adquisición, redención de pasivos y construcción o remodelación de vivienda".

Otro punto destacado es el transporte. La ley señala como obligación de la Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) la promoción del derecho de las personas con discapacidad. Esto incluye su consideración al momento de otorgar concesiones de transporte aéreo, terrestre o marítimo y sus instalaciones.

En materia de investigación, se impone la incorporación en el Sistema Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología aspectos que permitan el desarrollo de bienes, servicios, equipos e instalaciones de diseño universal.


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From their web site:

Las Piedras is a friendly, family run business specialising in wheelchair accessible holidays in the Axarquia region of Southern Spain: Mediterranean coastal breaks, rural getaways, cultural touring holidays and lots more besides.

Our luxury, accessible accommodation is of the highest standard and totally wheelchair frendly. We have our own accessible transport and offer airport transfers and excursions.

Las Piedras Hotel is just half an hour from the beaches of the Costa del Sol and just an hour´s drive from Malaga Airport. In a stunning rural location, with beautiful views, it is ideally situated for exploring the Axarquia region and the best of Andalusia.

El Pleamar Apartment is just a stone´s throw from the beach at Torrox Costa on the eastern Costa del Sol and under an hour´s drive from Malaga Airport.

Twin Centre Holidays are a taste of all that the Axarquia and Andalusia have to offer. Stay one week at Las Piedras Hotel and one week at El Pleamar Apartment.

From Swaziland

Buyie Masuku continues to bring word of Inclusive Tourism to Swaziland in this reprint piece in the Swazi Observer:

Inclusive [Tourism] is 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.
 It looks at them whether they walk with a cane in a school, or high fashion boots in a mall or with a water pot on their head, returning from the village well.

Such a terse definition just raises more questions like, "why not 'accessible' instead of 'inclusive' and "what is Universal Design?"  When people hear the word "accessible" attached to tourism they think they have a pretty good idea what that means.  And there is the problem.

Almost everybody thinks they know what it means but, since it has never been fully defined, almost everybody has invented their own personal definition. That is a recipe for disaster. If travellers and the industry have no common language, then imagine how frequent disappointment and disputes will become? 


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i-CREATE 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand

Childhood Disabilities : Making AT part of you!

In 2011, i-CREATe will be focusing on using Assistive Technology for children with disabilities. We believed that AT for early intervention will make it possible for children with disabilities to be more independent at home, schools and in the community. A child with speech problems can communicate using augmentative and alternative communications. A child with learning disabilities can use accessible learning tools in the classroom and a child who cannot use his hands can use on-screen keyboard, switches or eyegaze system to access the computer. Assistive technology can mean anything from simple, homemade devices to highly sophisticated environmental control systems. It can be adapted toys, computers access, powered mobility, augmentative and alternative communication devices, special switches and other adapted tools to assist a child with learning and interacting socially.

The 5th i-CREATe will be held in Bangkok, Thailand for the 2nd time. In 2008, i-CREATe Thailand drew a crowd of closed to 400 delegates during the 3 days convention where the participants were from a vast background which includes allied health professionals, special education teachers, rehabilitation engineers, researchers, practitioners, non-governmental organizations and more. In 2011, we are very honored to have the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who will be gracing the opening of the convention for the 5th consecutive year.

It is with pleasure to welcome you to join us at the Land of Smiles, Thailand for this meaningful event!

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Unidentified Phoenix palms, Palm Row, San Jose...

Image via Wikipedia

On the final day of the Society For Disability Studies (SDS) conference in San Jose, California I will lead a small workshop on tourism, disability, and social justice. Among the questions I am asking in preparation are some that may become items for discussion and exploration at the live event on Friday June 17:

  • What definition of disability is being communicated - both implicitly and explicitly - in the literature on inclusion in tourism?
  • If disability is socially constructed what personal strategies for "deconstructing disability" through travel can be documented in the recorded experiences of PwD as travelers?
  • Is Universal Design, as currently formulated, an adequate solution to the exclusion of persons experiencing disability as they consume the products and services of the travel and hospitality industry?
  • How do local culturally-specific philosophies of hospitality reinforce or deconstruct dominant patterns of disablement?
  • Do enclaves of traditional architecture that are notably barrier-free or inclusive of people with disabilities exist? Similarly overlooked traditions in product design or transportation?

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A plan for a UD resort at Roberts Lake in British Columbia. 

Watch this report from Campbell River, BC

Harambe: "We all Pull Together"

While I have seen this photo before I have never seen it with this extraordinarily illuminating caption, "WHEELCHAIR USERS Strong enough to pull an aeroplane, not always allowed on board. REUTERS"

Harambe! That's interdepence.

Pulling a jet.jpg

[Image description] Three lines of wheelchair users pull a full-sized four propeller airplane.
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From DNA:

R Rangasayee, director, Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, has developed a unique visiting card that can be easily understood by visually impaired people too.

Rangasayee's visiting card is one of the different, if you look at his card and touch it, you will feel a slightly raised surface and dots. It is nothing but Braille language and he is on mission to create awareness among people over the universal design concept.

He said, "When I exchange my visiting card, people appreciate the idea behind it and start talking about it. I have made this card purposefully keeping broad-spectrum ideas in mind. Lack of universal design for helping the vision, speech and hearing impaired is creating obstacles in their integration into society."

"I feel there is an urgent need of universal design in our country, some of the developed countries have already made effort towards creating universal designs. The government also earmarked a budget for a universal design center in our 11th five year plan. With the help of the film directors, we have a planned to convert the some existing movies into universal design - such a film should have audio-visual information for the visually challenged. There is also a window for somebody to explain the movie in sign language," he added.


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From the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations (Work RERC) :

Congratulations go to Hotchkiss High School for winning a Work RERC-sponsored award for "Best Application of Universal Design Principles" as part of the National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC). 

The NEDC challenges high school students from across the country to design and build a workplace accommodation device to help a person with disabilities from their community. The Hotchkiss H.S. students won both the UD award and the overall competition for their design of "The Caboose" a hands-free method for people to transport their luggage while traveling for work. The device is a backpack like harness that attaches to a carry-on bag, allowing the user to tow the bag. Although initially designed for an individual who uses crutches, the students noted that it would also be useful for individuals with gripping difficulties, as well as people who were simply trying to hold on to too many items at once. More information about this article.

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From ENAT:

Guoman hotels logoFinding accessible hotel accommodation and facilities for disabled people in Britain has been made a little easier. Guoman and Thistle Hotels have been successfully engaging with Tourism for All during 2009 to 2010 months to enhance the information they provide to potential disabled guests.

Based on an Access Statement template developed by VisitEngland, Brian Seaman of Tourism for All Services Limited (the Consultancy arm of Tourism for All) has visited all the group's 38 properties in the UK in order to identify the facilities that may meet the needs of disabled clients.

Thistle hotels logo

Like other hotel companies, Guoman and Thistle Hotels vary considerably in style and design from property to property. The group prides itself on presenting individual, interesting properties within both brands; the international deluxe brand Guoman is an inspirational collection of London landmark properties, whereas Thistle's 33 well-located properties across the UK form a high-quality portfolio of contemporary, yet relaxed full service hotels.

For example, some have Grade II Listed facades through English Heritage and have been open for business for over 100 years. Others have been developed in more recent times in a modern style, but have difficult access to some facilities. Access to some properties is by a flight of steps straight up from the pavement, with no immediate way of overcoming these comfortably. However, by careful wording of the Access Statements this is identified at an early stage, and potential guests are referred to other properties where step free access is possible and their needs can be best served.

Of the London properties the most accessible by wheelchair are currently Thistle's Marble Arch, and Guoman's Charing Cross and The Cumberland hotel. Not only is this information likely to be of benefit to individual disabled people, but also to event organisers, it will also aid e-booking, central reservations, conference and banqueting staff and other front line staff at all of their hotels who are trying to identify what is available, either for their own benefit or that of potential guests.

The information contained in the reports includes relevant details of access to meeting and function spaces as well as leisure areas, the accessible public WCs, bedrooms and other public areas. The Access Statements contain both text and images in a PDF format, one report for each property. The images may help to identify facilities for those who do not use English as their first language or to help individuals visualise the layout.

There are links to external websites to highlight local accessible transport options, parking and Shopmobility schemes (Shopmobility offers local hire services for mobility equipment and are often based in larger shopping developments in town and city centres), so that disabled guests can organise any equipment they might need to hire for sightseeing or shopping.

The Access Statements also set out to indicate the facilities that are available at each property for guests with a hearing loss or a visual impairment; including the range of auxiliary support devices for example: Big Button telephones, Braille and large print menus, vibrating pillow pad or alarm clock, or doorbells with a flashing light in bedrooms.

There are other elements of accessibility that are also being addressed by Guoman and Thistle Hotels. The Access Statements form a part of their overall strategic review of services and facilities for disabled clients, as they strive to enhance the guest experience for all. Guoman and Thistle Hotels are not the only hotel company that have been reviewing information for disabled guests.

Magnus Bergland of Scandic Hotels recently commented that all investments in greater accessibility have repaid themselves within a year to two years - and the recent update of information that they make available for disabled guests has repaid itself in three months. With that in mind we are confident that this will work for Guoman and Thistle Hotels.

The charity Tourism for All continues to strive to improve the information and services provided by operators in the tourism, hospitality and leisure industry for all users. 

Further information about the progress being made by Guoman and Thistle Hotels is available at: and

More information about developing accessible facilities may be obtained from:

Tourism for All

Contact: Brian Seaman: brian [at] tourismforall [dot] org [dot] uk

A template for producing an Access Statement has been developed by VisitEngland.

Information about equipment provided for shopping and sightseeing is available from: National Federation of Shopmobility.

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A public and heartfelt "Thank You" to Shuaib Chalklen, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Disability for weighing in instituitionally on what we all know to be true individually.

The European Union's flagship laws to protect the rights of air travellers are not working, say passenger-rights advocates, in the week that the European Commission acknowledged that tougher enforcement was needed.

Shuaib Chalklen, the United Nations' special rapporteur on disability, told European Voice that airlines were not applying the EU regulation protecting the rights of passengers with restricted mobility. "Something has gone wrong. They are not applying the law."

Chalklen, a wheelchair user, said that last week Swiss International Airlines prevented him boarding a flight from London to Geneva, because he could not use the bathroom alone. "I think it is absurd. I am a paraplegic frequent flyer and I've travelled around the world on my own." After he protested, the airline allowed him to fly five days later. Chalklen said he had frequently met similar problems, especially with Lufthansa. "The legislation is fine; it is the knowledge of it that needs to be improved," he said.

Confused airlines

This week (11 April) a report from Siim Kallas, the European commissioner for transport, concluded that the airlines were confused about the 2006 law on rights of disabled people and those with restricted mobility. Some carriers "tended to mix up" flight safety with passenger comfort, such as eating and using toilets, said the report. The regulation allows carriers to act for safety reasons in exceptional circumstances - but never in relation to comfort.

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Yesterday US comedian Jerry Lewis announced that he was stepping down as spokesperson for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Here Laura Hershey recounts her experience as an MDA Poster Child in the video series "It's Our Story."

It's Our Story is a national initiative to make disability history national and accessible. We've conducted over 1,000 video interviews with disability leaders across the nation; now, we're making these voices public and accessible so everyone can take part in the discussion about what it means to be an American with a disability. Learn more about the project at
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A Fantasy Trip to the Land of "Be"

Here's the pitch:

The Access Customer 
Who are we talking about?

Access customers are the largest untapped market in the world. 
They make up 20% of our population - nearly 1 billion people on the planet. Yet for this group, accessing your business can be challenging. 
 Did you know... 750,000 kiwis could benefit from better access right now. 44% of all Kiwis are over 45 years of age. 20% of Kiwis report a disability. In Australia, 25% of the population are 45 and older - that includes 5.3 million baby-boomers who own 50% of all net household wealth. In the USA, 70 million are over 45 and own 77% of all financial assets. 
 Access customers may be... 
  •  Someone with a visual or hearing impairment
  • A person in a wheelchair
  • A person with a learning disability
  • A parent pushing a stroller
  • An older person (the baby-boomer) 
 Access customers are either born with a disability or they may acquire a disability (temporarily or permanent) at some point in their lifetime. It is also worth nothing that as we all age, our access needs increase. In order to capture the spending power of this growing group of customers, it's important that we make it easier for them to get into, enjoy and connect with our businesses.
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NPR's Robert Siegel provides an insight into Universal Design with an interview that makes explicit what often goes unspoken. Universal Design is about difference. 

Good design solutions accommodate difference by, how obvious, being different - even subtly different within "identical spaces."

In other words, mature application of UD is about choice. It is about meaningful choice for the broadest range of users under the broadest range conditions. It is the opposite end of the spectrum from grudging minimal compliance with "accessibility" laws.

For another view on how the ADA has influenced American architecture, we called on Monica Ponce de Leon. She's dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, and she's a proponent of something called universal design, which challenges the notion of able versus disabled.

Instead, Ponce de Leon says universal design encourages architects to think about a wide range of people.

Professor MONICA PONCE DE LEON (Dean, College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan): What is powerful about this is that it acknowledges different stages in life so that we can acknowledge kids, middle age and then later in life, as well as people that have different kinds of disabilities.

SIEGEL: So what's an example of that sort of design?

Prof. PONCE DE LEON: So I have a private practice, and we designed a library for Rhode Island School of Design about now six years ago. And in the project, we designed with universal design principles.

So for example, when we designed the cubicles for the library, no two cubicles are actually the same. We used software that allows you to design for variation as a way of creating a whole range of cubicles that had different sizes, differing height tables, different height seating, different widths, so that we could accommodate many different body types in a very subtle way.

Listen to the full story:

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Fully Accessible Barbados (FAB)

Fully Accessible Barbados (FAB) is an NGO representing 19 organizations of and for PwD through out Barbados.

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Harbor View wants you to have a great vacation:

 The Harbor View line is specifically designed for individuals with physical disabilities who have the desire to experience the freedom and mobility that the RV lifestyle offers. All designs feature a barrier-free floor plan and multiple ramp and lift options. The Harbor View can be towed by many full-sized vans, trucks and SUVs and is a great alternative to larger, more expensive motor homes with similar features.

Harborview floor plan.jpg

All floor plans anticipate your mobility needs, with roll-in showers, accessible cabinetry, sleeping accomodations and overall functionality for your convenience and enjoyment. Units can be custom designed and engineered to meet your special requirements.

Produced by Bridgeview Manufacturing of Elkhart, IN, it includes quality components and materials throughout, with premium options available.


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Turismo para Todos Sonora (Spanish)

Turismo para Todos es aprovechado por maestros jubilados de diversos municipios sonorenses

Deasde PoliciacoSonora:

En voga turismo para todos

Hermosillo, Sonora, 20 de noviembre de 2010.-Más de 350 Maestros jubilados y pensionados de la Sección 54 del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) de diversas partes del Estado gozaron de las diversas atracciones y actividades que la capital Sonorense ofrece a sus visitantes.
Provenientes de: Obregón, Huatabampo, Navojoa, Guaymas, Nogales, Caborca, San Luis Río Colorado, Agua Prieta y de la zona de la Sierra Alta del Estado, conocieron los relatos que guardan los sitios históricos de Hermosillo y recorrieron museos y centros de entretenimiento, todo gracias al programa "Turismo para todos" y al convenio que recientemente se signó con esa sección sindical para hacer esto una realidad informó el Coordinador General de la Comisión de Fomento al Turismo del Gobierno del Estado, Javier Tapia Camou.
Además, los maestros tuvieron la oportunidad de recorrer las plazas y centros comerciales con que cuenta la Ciudad del Sol y disfrutaron de las rutas turísticas que diariamente se realizan por los lugares más típicos, además de tener la oportunidad de atestiguar una equinoterapia y observar diversos trucos que hacen los caballos adiestrados durante un show, que en honor a los profesores se efectúo.
Durante tres días y dos noches, los maestros y sus familias saborearon la característica gastronomía local y fueron testigos de la inauguración de la unidad deportiva conocida como "El gato" en el Molino de Camou, donde además se contó con la presencia del Secretario General de la Sección 54 del SNTE, quien les dio la bienvenida y agradeció que aprovecharan esta oportunidad que da el Nuevo Sonora a través de COFETUR de conocer y disfrutar de la grandeza del Estado.
Este proyecto contempla la realización de viajes provenientes de todo el Estado hacia todo tipo de destinos, a fin de brindar diversas opciones a los sonorenses de gozar su estado.

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Mobi-Mat rolls over Rio de Janeiro's beaches thanks to AdaptSurf.


International Stuttering Community Honors Extraordinary Film
The King’s Speech Lauded

Panthera's Dr. Alan Rabinowitz (left) and Stuttering Foundation's Jane Fraser (center) with Michael Palin Centre's Fran Cook (right) at gala honoring films bringing positive attention to the stuttering communityNew York City (April 18, 2011) – The Stuttering Foundation and The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children honored the Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech at a gala event in New York City today.

The King’s Speech, which will be released on DVD tomorrow, is enthusiastically supported by the stuttering community for the positive attention it has brought to stuttering.

The Stuttering Foundation’s captivating public service announcement plays a starring role on every copy of the DVD.

“The King’s Speech has raised awareness of stuttering beyond any level we could ever have imagined. The actors’ incredibly accurate portrayal of the anguish faced by people who stutter has been instrumental in opening up honest dialogue about stuttering and its treatment,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. She also thanked the film’s director and screenwriter “for giving us a hero and a movie we can look to for inspiration, much as my father looked to King George VI more than six decades ago.”

“We hope a copy of The King’s Speech DVD will end up in the home of every person who stutters and in schools and universities around the world,” added Fraser. “It is a story worth seeing over and over again for years to come.”


Stuttering and the Big Cats
Converting Awareness Into Action

Panthera CEO Dr. Alan Rabinowitz talks about stuttering at NYC gala honoring his DVD Stuttering and the Big CatsNew York City (April 18, 2011) – A new film titledStuttering and the Big Cats featuring renowned American zoologist, conservationist, and field biologist Dr. Alan Rabinowitz is now available on DVD from the Stuttering Foundation.

In Stuttering and the Big Cats, Dr. Rabinowitz, president and CEO of New York-based Panthera, shares his life-long struggle to overcome stuttering through his work protecting the world’s largest and most imperiled cats. The film captures his address to young people who stutter at the annual convention of Friends, a national support group for kids. 

Rabinowitz was honored at a gala event in New York City today to introduce the film internationally.

“Alan’s courage is particularly inspiring to young people whose career paths have yet to be decided and for whom stuttering often seems an insurmountable obstacle. Through hard work, perseverance and dedication to his true passions, Alan never let stuttering hold him back from his quest to help endangered animals,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “We are proud to make this video available and hope that every young person who stutters has an opportunity to hear Alan’s story.”

"I recall vividly as a child staring at a jaguar as he paced in his cage at the zoo," said Alan Rabinowitz, president and CEO of Panthera. "He was trapped, seeking a way out of a dark world, something I related to strongly at the time. And I knew then that when I found my voice, I would use it for him, for saving big cats around the world. My love for wildlife and the urgency needed to save the big cats helped me overcome stuttering. This life-long quest has resulted in Panthera – which is now my platform for speaking loudly for, and working to save, some of the planets greatest species."

The availability of Stuttering and the Big Cats is an example of the Stuttering Foundation’s “Converting Awareness into Action” effort, which builds upon the overwhelmingly positive attention stuttering has gained through the release of The King’s Speech.


About the Foundation
Malcolm Fraser felt the same dread of speaking in public that King George VI experienced in the 1940s. Inspired by the plight of “Bertie”, Fraser, a successful businessman and stutterer, went on to establish and endow the 64-year-old nonprofit Stuttering Foundation in 1947. The Stuttering Foundation provides a toll-free helpline, 800-992-9392, and free online resources on its Website,, including services, referrals and support to people who stutter and their families, as well as support for research into the causes of stuttering. Please visit us at

About The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children
The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children was opened in 1993 by the actor and writer, Michael Palin, to provide practical help for children and young people who stammer and their families.  The Centre is currently staffed by a team of eleven specialist speech and language therapists and provides an expert assessment and therapy service for children and young adults from all parts of the UK.  The Centre also conducts a full teaching programme for speech and language therapists in its assessment and treatment methods, in the use of cognitive and brief therapy in the treatment of stammering, and in research and its application to clinical practice.  The Centre has a research programme to investigate the causes and effective treatment of stammering.

The Stuttering Foundation has supported the work of the Michael Palin Centre since 2006 through the charity, the Association for Research into Stammering in Childhood.

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Dr. Antika Sawadsri has added significantly to knowledge of the application of Universal Design in Southeast Asia. Below you can read her doctoral thesis, Accessibility and Disability in the Built Environment: Negotiating the Public Realm in Thailand.

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By Fred Mawer at the Daily Mail:

Hoe Grange Holidays offers four stylishly furnished log cabins on an idyllic-looking working farm. On arrival, visitors are given a welcome pack that includes locally made biscuits and eggs from the hens of owners David and Felicity Brown. There are mountain and electric bikes for hire at the site near Matlock, Derbyshire, you can wallow in an outdoor hot-tub and there are stables so you even bring your own horse along.

In short, for anyone looking for a self-catering break in the Peak District, the farm is a very appealing option. But if you, or someone in your family, is disabled in any way, it's unbeatable.

A couple and their dog are pictured in one of the Hoe Grange cabins

Easy access: A couple and their dog in one of the Hoe Grange cabins

Hoe Grange has just won gold in the Access For All category at this year's prestigious Enjoy 

England Awards For Excellence. To see why it was chosen, I visited the farm.

Read more:

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On here site Sue Austen writes on the difference between two clusters of meaning around the concept "disability."

What ideas do her thoughts suggest to you? 

"There is a dichotomy in understanding: Many people understand this word to mean broken, deficient or limited in some way. But for those 'in the know' 'disability' celebrates the strengths and power that is built up in and through 'difference' - 'The Hidden Secret'. For them, if there is any sense of limitation attached to this use of the term, it is seen as residing in limitations in thinking. Thinking that results in the attitudinal or physical barriers which act to 'disable' their lives. For them the word 'disability' becomes a term of empowerment that frees them by bringing into consciousness those restrictions that have been shaping their experiences and identity."

There is a level at which her words could be used to renforce the "its all in your head" disability denial stance that attitude is all that matters. However, Universal Design insists on facing the reality of limits imposed when differences in functional ability meet concrete reality. UD points out that barriers are failures of imagination or "Thinking that results in the attitudinal or physical barriers which act to 'disable' [people's] lives."

Where are the points restriction in your life that have become an empowerment?

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Armchair Angler

You can help with the Armchair Anglers Accessible Fishing Survey here:

Their Mission:

To provide world-class fishing opportunities in South Florida to those with physical disabilities. Armchair Anglers will provide adaptive fishing trips on our accessible tournament rigged boat regardless of disability.

Armchair Anglers, Inc., a Non-Profit Corporation registered as a 501(C)(3) in the State of Florida, and is based in South Florida. It was founded by Jim Hargaden, who with his family has been involved in the Marine and Fishing Industry for over 30 years. If you are like Jim, and love fishing or know someone who loves to fish but, due to physical limitations can not participate or enjoy the sport as they used to, please help us develop this program by completing this survey.

For more information see armchair anglers web site or contact Jim Hargaden.

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Los inmuebles gubernamentales aún no cumplen con las normas para que los sitios cuenten con acceso universal

Los inmuebles gubernamentales no cumplen con los accesos para los discapacitados.
Fotografía: UNIV.
MÉXICO (UNIV)._ A tres años de que México haya suscrito la Convención de los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad, los inmuebles gubernamentales aún no cumplen con las normas para que los sitios cuenten con acceso universal. 
Ricardo Bucio, titular del Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación aseguró que aún está pendiente la armonización de las leyes con relación a esta convención que se firmó hace tres años. 
"El Gobierno empujó la aprobación hasta que en 2007 se aprobó en el seno de las Naciones Unidas y el Senado la ratificó en diciembre de 2007 y entró en vigor el 3 de mayo de 2008", explicó. 
Ricardo Bucio recordó que a partir de que se aprueba la convención hay dos procesos a seguir en el País. 
"Uno es la armonización legislativa. Las leyes tanto federales como locales tiene que cambiar en razón de que respondan a la convención. Esto está muy atrasado en el País", señaló. 
"No entra aún la Ley General para la Inclusión de las Personas con Discapacidad, que se aprobó en marzo por que aún no se publica". 
De las 32 leyes locales, quizá, dijo, hay dos que ya están adecuadas a la convención. 
Terminando el paso de armonización, hay una serie de legislaciones para que no tengan ningún impedimento las personas con discapacidad. 
"El trabajo legislativo aún va a paso lento", reconoció. 
El segundo proceso es la aplicación de la convención. 
"Todos los inmuebles públicos deben tener un diseño universal, accesibilidad física, interpretación de lenguas, información en braille, acceso para las personas que usan un perro guía, es bastante completo lo que dice la ley con respecto a las obligaciones de las instituciones", mencionó. 
El funcionario reconoció que el costo de adecuar un inmueble desde su construcción es menor que cuando ya está concluido, pero aún así no es tan costoso comparado con los beneficios. 
El funcionario mencionó que es el Consejo Nacional con Personas con Discapacidad la que podría contar con un censo de inmuebles que cumplen con acceso universal y los que no. 

Ricardo Bucio, titular del Conapred, afirmó que la SEP es la que más recibe reclamaciones por falta de acceso a servicios educativos para personas con discapacidad, recibimos quejas porque la inscripción no asegura que tengan acceso a la escuela.
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Yes, but does  "inclusion" here also mean "inclusive play?" Where are the high-profile Paralympians in this press event? (Historical note: Brazilian Paralympians place better than the non-Paralympian Brazilian team)

In an international effort to promote social transformation through sports, the city of Rio de Janeiro together with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the FC Barcelona Foundation and the National Basketball Association NBA, announced today an initiative to improve the lives of underprivileged children and youth in Rio de Janeiro.

Soccer superstar Ronaldo, NBA star Leandrinho Barbosa and Ana Moser, ex-volleyball player were also present to help celebrate the first step to a better future with the "Alliance for Sport and Development."

This alliance will strengthen 18 'Vilas Olimpicas' in Rio de Janeiro by promoting social inclusion through sports activities. The initiative will draw experiences from best practices by utilizing sports as a vehicle to improve the lives of children in need and promote physical activities for conflict resolution, violence prevention, education, health, among others.

According to the City of Rio, 140,000 people from the most vulnerable areas will be able to benefit from this project.

"The program of the Olympic villages developed by the Municipality will have a prominent role in the municipality's overall policy of inclusion," said Vice Mayor Carlos Alberto Muniz. "The arrival of diverse and knowledgeable partners consolidates the Olympic Village as the center of the political legacy that we have to develop, taking advantage of this prosperous moment for the City of Rio de Janeiro."

This initiative has brought together key partners, such as the Government of Korea. The project is also aligned with long term efforts in the Favelas by the city and state of Rio de Janeiro jointly with the IDB.

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After the tremendous response it received in its introductory year itself, NCPEDP in association with AccessAbility and BarrierBreak Technologies is proud to announce THE 2ND NCPEDP- MPHASIS UNIVERSAL DESIGN AWARDS, 2011!

These Awards will be given away  to individuals and organisations who have been doing exemplary work towards the cause of accessibility and thus ensuring a life of equality and dignity for disabled people. The Awards will cover accessibility in the following fields:


1. Built Environment

2. Transport

3. Information and Communication Technology

4. Services

5. Aids and Appliances

You will soon find a Concept Note and the Nomination Formsn
We would highly appreciate if you could please nominate deserving candidates and also circulate this information among your contacts.
The last date for sending in the nominations is Thursday, 30th June, 2011. The Awards will be given away on 14th August, eve of the Independence Day.
We look forward to your support this time around as well.
With best regards,
Ms. Dorodi Sharma
Programme Manager
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP)
A -77, South Extension Part II
New Delhi - 110 049, India
Tel.: 91-11-26265647 / 26265648 
Websites: and

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If you are a regular reader of this blog I want to someday hear you singing, "Whoa, I'm going to Barbados!" 

 And when you do be sure to give proper thanks to the tireless efforts of the team at the Barbados Council for the Disabled. Their Fully Accessible Barbados (FAB) initiative is making a difference. You will see them mentioned repeatedly here over the next several months. In the meantime, enjoy videos of some of the destinations that have won FAB awards:

 Read what Prime Minister David Thompson has in store for an inclusive future:
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How do we answer the music question posed here, "Where do the children play?" if weSue Austin - Freewheeling - Portal 2008.jpg consider inclusion to be the foundation for community and the prerequisite of a healthy economy?

Look for some design answers in the April 2011 issue of Design for All India as it explore Article 30 of the CRPD.

And watch for Sue Austen's Freewheeling artistic expression to stretch the paradigm.

Read experts from around the world in the April 2011 special issue of Design for All India on inclusive play:

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