May 2011 Archives
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.
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. Fonte:
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.
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.
Image via Wikipedia
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.""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."
However, such a project would be
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. 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. 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".
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.
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.
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".
Buyie Masuku continues to bring word of Inclusive Tourism to Swaziland in this reprint piece in the Swazi Observer:
Source: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?
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!
Image via Wikipedia
- 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?
A plan for a UD resort at Roberts Lake in British Columbia.
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"
[Image description] Three lines of wheelchair users pull a full-sized four propeller airplane.
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.
From the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations (Work RERC) :
Finding 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.
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:
More information about developing accessible facilities may be obtained from:
Tourism for All www.tourismforall.org.uk/Advice-for-Tourism-Businesses.html
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.
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.
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.
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."
Here's the pitch:
The Access CustomerWho 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.
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.
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.
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.
Turismo para Todos es aprovechado por maestros jubilados de diversos municipios sonorenses
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.
Mobi-Mat rolls over Rio de Janeiro's beaches thanks to AdaptSurf.
International Stuttering Community Honors Extraordinary Film
The Kings Speech Lauded
New York City (April 18, 2011) The Stuttering Foundation and The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children honored the Academy Award-winning film The Kings Speech at a gala event in New York City today.
The Kings 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 Foundations captivating public service announcement plays a starring role on every copy of the DVD.
The Kings 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 films 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 Kings 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
New 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 worlds 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.
Alans 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 Alans 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 Foundations Converting Awareness into Action effort, which builds upon the overwhelmingly positive attention stuttering has gained through the release of The Kings 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, , and free online resources on its Website, www.StutteringHelp.org, 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 www.StutteringHelp.org.
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.
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.
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.
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: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1382499/Holidays-disabled-accommodation-Hoe-Grange-Holidays-wins-gold-Access-For-All-category-Enjoy-England-Awards-For-Excellence.html#ixzz1L8bcwmH2
"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."
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
3. Information and Communication Technology
5. Aids and Appliances
Ms. Dorodi Sharma
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
If you are a regular reader of this blog I want to someday hear you singing, "Whoa, I'm going to Barbados!"