July 2011 Archives

Firman convenio la CEISD y el Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles de Zacatecas 
La Comisión Estatal para la Integración Social de las Personas con Discapacidad (CEISD) y el Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles del Estado de Zacatecas firmaron un convenio en materia de accesibilidad.

En el acto, Mauricio Orlando Medina Ramírez, director de la CEISD, aseveró que "la accesibilidad y la eliminación de barreras arquitectónicas para el libre desplazamiento de las personas con discapacidad son medidas que buscan incluir de forma equitativa a este sector en los diferentes ámbitos de la sociedad".


Al encabezar la firma de convenio, en representación del gobernador del estado, Miguel Alonso Reyes, el funcionario señaló que "con esto se demuestra el gran compromiso de la iniciativa privada, pues hoy se da un paso trascendental que provocará que los edificios que se construyan estén proyectados desde su inicio bajo una visión de diseño universal, que permita el acceso a todos los ciudadanos".

En el evento, el presidente del Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles del Estado de Zacatecas, Luis Marcelo Delgado Ayala, destacó que la ingeniería civil debe promoverse con altos estándares morales y apegados al código ético, para que las diversas funciones que se relacionen con su profesión merezcan la confianza y aprecio de la sociedad. 

Comentó que el impacto real de la accesibilidad se refleja en que 25% de la población deja de asistir a algún lugar por falta de accesibilidad, "es por eso que las especificaciones de accesibilidad, inclusión y dignidad dan un beneficio y valor a las edificaciones".

En su momento, Héctor Ramírez Ibarra, presidente de la Cámara Mexicana de la Industria de la Construcción, mencionó que este tipo de eventos deben impactar en el desarrollo del estado, "pues todos, en calidad de seres humanos, debemos tener la proyección de superación para seguir contribuyendo en un ámbito de equidad e igualdad".

También estuvieron en esta firma de convenio Magda Araceli Muñoz Villaneda, presidenta del Colegio de Arquitectos; Juan Francisco Rochin, tesorero del Colegio de Ingenieros Civiles del Estado de Zacatecas y el presidente de la Canacintra, Jesús López López.

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Tokyo Institute of Technology

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From The Nation:

Pakistan's first Independent Living Centre (making disabled persons' access to campuses unhindered) is to be set up at the Lahore College for Women University. Japan's Milestone and Mainstream Association International will provide assistance and guidance for the centre, University VC Prof. Dr. Sabiha Mansoor told a seminar held at the campus on Thursday.
"The centre will be the first in the country's public sector universities. The LCWU will sign an MoU with the Japanese association and the institutions will work together for designing the LCWU's campus on the principle of the Universal Design for Barrier-Free Architecture. (All academic and administrative buildings of the University will be set up on that design.) 
"The centre will also provide technical assistance to other universities and educational institutions across Pakistan regarding designing their barrier-free campus," she said while appreciating the role of the Environmental Science Department of the University for initiating environmental awareness activities and research projects.
The seminar on "Accessible Living Environment for All" was hosted by Environmental Science Department. A delegation of Mainstream Association International including Mr. Matsushima, Mr. Kirian, Mr. Sato and Mr. Shunji Kadaota addressed the seminar. The Japanese partner institutions include Tokyo Institute of Technology, Aichi Gakuin University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and International Center for Literacy and Culture in Tokyo. 


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Diseño Universal del Hogar (Spanish)

Hogar, dulce hogar

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Conozca la manera de que todos puedan tener una casa adecuada a sus necesidades.

Un diseño universal para un hogar, es apropiado para todos los propietario, sean personas de 8 o de 80 años.

Después de todo, intentar conseguir algo del estante superior, puede ser un desafío para cualquier persona que sea bajita o tenga dificultades para estirarse y alcanzarlo. Las perillas de la puerta, pueden ser difíciles de utilizar para las manos pequeñas de los niños, así como para las manos artríticas de los adultos.

El hogar del futuro


El futuro traerá consigo un diseño universal del hogar, pero usted no necesita esperar hasta que se construyan los nuevos hogares para tener uno. Si hace modificaciones o reparaciones a su hogar actual, puede utilizar las características del diseño universal para hacer de su hogar un hogar del futuro, es decir más seguro y más cómodo para la gente de todas las edades. Y si usted está construyendo un nuevo hogar, incluya los elementos del diseño universal en sus planos para hacerse de un hogar apropiado para el siglo XXI.

Ideas que pueden aumentar su comodidad, seguridad, e independencia:

• Canillas que funcionen fácilmente, con una simple presión.

• Estantes ajustables al armario.

• Una luz de noche en el dormitorio.

• Barandas en ambos lados de las escaleras y en los escalones del exterior.

• Una iluminación más fuerte en la escalera.

• Grandes interruptores de luz con posibilidad de regular la intensidad de las lamparitas.

• Enchufes eléctricos a 27 pulgadas sobre el suelo.

• Visor o panel de visión en la puerta delantera.

• Ducha con barras agarraderas y asientos plegables o ajustables en la ducha.

• Base antideslizante para el suelo de la bañera y de la ducha.

• Barras agarradoras para el inodoro y la tina.

• Espejos largos para el cuarto de baño.

• Teléfono en el cuarto de baño, que le sea accesible por si usted se cae.

• Estantes desmontables en los armarios y las alacenas.

Lee más en: http://www.enplenitud.com

Fuente:

http://www.correodelcaroni.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=183385:un-hogar-para-todo-el-mundo&catid=63:actualidad&Itemid=124

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Hearing impairment

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Deaf 411 talks about what's on the minds of Boomers who are Deaf:

As deaf people approach retirement and become senior citizens, they face a new set of issues and challenges. With increased pride and self-esteem as deaf seniors, they are asserting their needs and legal rights.

Like "baby boomers" - those who were born after World War II - now entering retirement age, there is a very large population of seniors with unique needs - need for organizations, retirement communities, assisted living and nursing services.

Like the AARP, a national non-governmental membership organization that represents and advocates for rights and needs of senior citizens, the deaf senior community has created its own organization, the Deaf Seniors of America (DSA).

About 1,200 deaf seniors are expected to attend the Deaf Seniors of America conference in Chicago, IL from August 31st to September 6th.

More:

http://www.deaf411online.com/campaigns/display.php?M=40518&C=bd01957c06cbcf68cd51611204c5dbc6&S=308&L=14&N=128

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The logo of Jetstar Airways, a sibsidiary of Q...

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Accessibility NZ writes on the contradictions of air travel:


Just a couple days after we heard that Jetstar had refused passage to two wheelchair users because they didn't have "carers", we learn thatJetstar refused to carry 6 out of 8 wheelchair using paralympians.

The team had booked on parent company Qantas. But after booking they were informed that the flight would be operated by Jetstar. Because of Jetstar policy of flying only 2 wheelchair users per flight, 3/4 of the wheelchair users on the team were refused passage. The team had to fly on separate airlines. Why is it that when the team booked on Qantas, they ended up having to rearrange their plans and disrupt everything?

This isn't the first time Jetstar refuses to carry more than two wheelchair users. I spoke about other incidents like this in a previous post. Why is it that Qantas can fly more than 2 wheelchair users, but Jetstar cannot?

How can a traveller with a disability trust Qantas when there is a risk of being bumped onto a Jetstar flight, and as a result refused boarding altogether?

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South façade of the White House, the executive...

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White House Call on Diability Issues - July 2011

 

In order to help keep you more informed, we are hosting monthly calls to update you on various disability issues as well as to introduce you to persons who work on disability issues in the Federal government.


This call is open to everyone, and we strongly urge and ask that you distribute this email broadly to your networks and listservs so that everyone has the opportunity to learn this valuable information.


If you received this email as a forward but would like to be added to the White House Disability Group email distribution list, please visit our website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/disability-issues-contact and fill out the contact us form in the disabilities section or you can email us at disability@who.eop.gov and provide your full name, city, state, and organization. 

 

The next call will take place on Wednesday, July 27 at 1:00 PM Eastern.

The call will feature information on technology, Section 508 of the Rehab Act, independent agencies, emergency preparedness, employment, budgetary issues and other topics.  

I would encourage you to call in about five minutes early due to the large volume of callers. 


The conference call information is below.

 

Dial in for listeners: (866) 298-7926 

Title: White House Disability Call (use instead of code) 

Date of Call: 07/27/2011 

Start Time: 1:00 PM Eastern (dial in 5 minutes early)

 

This call is off the record and not for press purposes. 

For live captioning, at the start time of the event, please login by clicking on the link below. 

 http://www.fedrcc.us//Enter.aspx?EventID=1796804&CustomerID=321  


Please be respectful and only use this feature if you are deaf or hard of hearing.

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Jr Orange Bowl.png

The Sports Ability Games are truly some of the most unique and inspirational events of the Junior Orange Bowl Festival. Created for the physically challenged, the Junior Orange Bowl Sports Ability Games is a series of athletic events designed to bring together youths from South Florida and the World to compete in the name of good sportsmanship. The athletes that participate in the Sports Ability Games are positively determined to face every challenge they meet. Whether it's a wheelchair race or swimming, these youths know that nothing can stop them as long as they have willpower to overcome all obstacles.

Click here for the 2010 SAG Application

Thursday, December 1, 2011 (Sailing)
10AM - 2PM
Shake-A-Leg Miami
2620 S. Bayshore Drive
Miami, FL 33133

Friday, December 2, 2011 (Swimming)
9AM - 1:00PM
Miami Springs Aquatic Center
1401 Westward Drive
Miami Springs, FL 33166

Saturday, December 3, 2011 (Track & Field)
8:00AM - 3:00PM
Tropical Park
7900 Bird Road
Miami, FL 33155

Chairperson: Rich Naue
Director: James Daley


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  • What are the rights and responsibilities of service animal users in places of public accommodation? 
  • Are there circumstances under which a business is allowed to refuse access to an individual accompanied by a service animal? 
  • What is the best way to resolve issues that arise because of the choice to use a service animal? 
  • What remedies are available to those who feel their civil rights have been violated? 
These questions and many more will be answered in an upcoming special teleseminar.
 
            The National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU), a division of the National Federation of the Blind, will host “Service Animals in Places of public Accommodation” on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm eastern  Daylight Time (7:00 pm Central; 6:00 pm Mountain; and 5:00 pm Pacific). This teleseminar is free; however reservations are required. Participation is limited and is on a first come first served basis.
 
Who Should Attend?

            This teleseminar is designed to teach service animal users how to best protect their rights and empower them to be effective self-advocates. It is also meant to help owners and operators of public accommodations understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. The goal of this workshop is to encourage proactive solutions to the challenges faced by service animal users through effective education and accurate information. In order to reserve your space in this teleseminar, please send your name, city & state, and your email address by Thursday, August18, 2011 to 
 
Info@NAGDU.ORG
 
We would like to know if you are a service animal user or represent a public accommodation. If you represent a public accommodation, what type of public accommodation do you represent? This information will help us better plan the content of the teleseminar. An email confirmation with the call-in number and access codes will be sent to you. Those without email access or who would like more information may call 813-626-2789.
 
Please note: This conference will be recorded. Participation in the conference implies an agreement to and authorization for such recording in compliance with state and federal laws. The information provided during this teleseminar is intended as informal guidance only and should not be construed as legal advice. The call-in telephone number is not toll-free; the National Association of Guide Dog Users, the National Federation of the Blind, or any of its affiliates, divisions, or chapters will not be responsible for any telephone charges or fees that may be incurred as the result of participation in this seminar. For more information about the National Association of Guide Dog Users, the National Federation of the Blind, or to locate a Chapter in your area, you may visit the following websites:
 
National Association of Guide Dog Users
HTTP://NAGDU.ORG
 
National Federation of the Blind
HTTP://NFB.ORG
 
            The National Association of Guide Dog Users also operates a nationwide hotline. Callers can choose to listen to general information about the federal regulations concerning service animals, as well as industry-specific guidance for restaurants, taxicabs, and health care facilities. Those needing immediate assistance can connect to an advocate who has been trained to resolve access issues. The NAGDU Information & Advocacy Hotline is available by calling 888-NAGDU411 (888-624-3841). Those with long distance calling plans can save the association toll charges by using our local number – 813-658-5749.

Congresso Brasileiro de Turismo Acessível acontece de 28 a 30 de setembro, na Estância de Socorro

O objetivo é permitir que os Secretários Estaduais de Turismo e os municípios paulistas discutam sobre ações fundamentais para subsidiar políticas publicas que assegurem os direitos das pessoas com deficiência

 

A Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos da Pessoa Com Deficiência em parceria com a Prefeitura Municipal da Estância Turística de Socorro e com o apoio do Ministério do Turismo e da Secretaria de Turismo do Estado de São Paulo irá realizar o Congresso Brasileiro de Turismo Acessível. O evento acontecerá de 28 a 30 de setembro de 2011 na cidade Estância de Socorro, tendo como público alvo os órgãos públicos, empresas do setor hoteleiro, aéreo, rodoviário, ferroviário, guias turísticos, agentes de viagens, associações e entidades do setor de turismo.

O foco do evento é permitir que os Secretários Estaduais de Turismo e os municípios paulistas que formam a rede estadual de turismo discutam sobre ações fundamentais para subsidiar políticas publicas que assegurem os direitos das pessoas com deficiência no acesso pleno ao turismo, além de disseminar a prática do turismo acessível.

Uma das campeãs da edição 2010 do Prêmio Governo do Estado de São Paulo Ações Inclusivas para as Pessoas com Deficiência, a cidade de Socorro é considerada referência em acessibilidade no estado de São Paulo.

O Congresso acontecerá no Centro de Eventos  "João Orlandi Pagliusi", da Prefeitura do Município de Socorro. Na programação do evento estão previstas visitas aos pontos turísticos do município e compras no comércio local.

Para acesso à Programação e outras informações:

Site: http://cbta.sedpcd.sp.gov.br
Telefone: (11) 3062-3726

Fonte:

http://www.pessoacomdeficiencia.sp.gov.br/sis/lenoticia.php?id=818

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La promesa de Marcelo Ebrard fue clara y pública: para el final de su administración se comprometió a hacer 100 mil rampas, en corredores accesibles, para personas con discapacidad. Tras mil tumbos y desencuentros, si nos va bien, la oferta se redujo a 10 mil "esquinas accesibles", que si quieren equivalen a 3 rampas cada una. Un 30% de las promesas cumplidas y un 1.6% por ciento de las necesidades calculadas muy conservadoramente para hacer esta ciudad accesible que sería de 600 mil rampas.

La comunidad de este blog ha seguido el caso de cerca. Todo es "culpa" (en realidad se lo agradecemos) de Federico Fleischmann, Presidente de Libre Acceso. En el blog del 20 de febrero de 2009, "Hacia un DF accesible", nos propuso que esta comunidad patrocinara una rampa, por lo que hace 2 años, Claudia G, Mayra-Bellota y yo nos dimos a la tarea de abrir una cuenta en Banamex. El objetivo: recaudar fondos para hacer realidad este sueño, el primer proyecto de acción de este blog. Eso se aterrizó pocas semanas después cuando el 6 de marzo de ese mismo año lanzamos la iniciativa "Patrocinemos una rampa".

Pero las semanas, los meses e incluso años pasaron y el proyecto se atoró. Descubrimos que en realidad el gobierno del DF no aportaría nada de dinero para estas rampas sino que había firmado un convenio con una Fundación llamada "Nuestras Realidades". Tras decenas de llamadas, primero, con Eben Ezer, Director Ejecutivo de Apoyo a Personas con Discapacidad del DIF DF, con otros integrantes del DIF y hablamos directamente con la Fundación.

Nos confundimos más.

Lea mas aqui:

http://blogs.eluniversal.com.mx/weblogs_detalle14402.html

U.S. Access Board Webinar

The U.S. Access Board will conduct a free webinar August 9 from 12:00 - 1:30 (Eastern) on proposed accessibility guidelines for public rights-of-way it will release for public comment next week.  Board representatives will review requirements of the rule and highlight areas where input from the public is sought.  Those unable to attend the Board's public briefing on July 26, the release date of the proposed rule, are welcome to attend this webinar. 

Visit www.accessibilityonline.org for more information or to register.  The Board is hosting this webinar in partnership with the Great Lakes ADA Center.  Contact the ADA Center for any required technical support.  

El Ayuntamiento tapatío busca la certificación del Palacio Municipal y otros 10 sitios, antes de los Juegos Parapanamericanos de noviembre

GUADALAJARA, JALISCO (19/JUL/2011).- Debido a las dimensiones del rezago que presenta el Centro Histórico de Guadalajara en materia de accesibilidad universal en sus inmuebles y espacios públicos, el Ayuntamiento tapatío, en coordinación con la iniciativa de Guadalajara Incluyente, determinaron preponderar la habilitación de 11 sitios entre los 48 diagnosticados para que respondan en poco tiempo a las necesidades de las personas con discapacidad. 

Guadalajara Incluyente tiene como forma legal un fideicomiso que nació de un movimiento ciudadano y al que se incorporaron posteriormente representantes de cinco ayuntamientos de la metrópoli (Guadalajara, Zapopan, Tlaquepaque, Tonalá y Tlajomulco de Zúñiga), el Poder Ejecutivo y cámaras empresariales.

Entre los 11 sitios (ver lista; Top 11), que considerados para su intervención, es el Palacio Municipal, el proyecto que se pondrá en marcha de manera inmediata, informa el director de Turismo, Germán Figueroa Meza, por el valor simbólico que tiene como sede del poder público en el municipio.

La Dirección de Turismo ya cuenta con un proyecto listo para comenzar con las mejoras del Palacio Municipal, que fue elaborado con la participación de la Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara y requiere de una inversión mínima de 320 mil pesos para rampas, sistemas de alarma y señalética; este presupuesto, no obstante, aún no considera la modificación de sus baños, lo cual requiere de la valoración de la Secretaría de Obras Públicas.

El atraso de la ciudad en el diseño universal de su infraestructura no es para menos, así lo advierte la propia Dirección de Turismo tapatía dentro de su proyecto en la materia: "La ciudad de Guadalajara no cuenta con las condiciones necesarias para operar y recibir a los atletas y turistas con discapacidad que vendrán a nuestra ciudad a los Juegos Parapanamericanos de 2011, y poder dar a conocer a nuestra ciudad como un destino turístico para personas con discapacidad y, por ende, se encuentra fuera del rango de competencia para absorber la derrama que pudiera generar dicho sector de la población (se estima que Guadalajara recibe apenas 10 mil turistas con alguna discapacidad cada año)".

Una vez que el Palacio Municipal de Guadalajara haya recibido estas mejoras entonces recibirá el Distintivo I de Guadalajara Incluyente, un certificado que sigue la normatividad federal para garantizar la accesibilidad universal de los espacios. 

Aunque se aprovechan a los Juegos Parapanamericanos como un catalizador para la transformación de la ciudad, la Ley para la Atención y Desarrollo Integral de Personas con Discapacidad de Jalisco, vigente desde 2010, obliga a los ayuntamientos a implementar permanente de un programa para la eliminación y modificación de barreras físicas, y vigilar que la infraestructura urbana responda a las necesidades de ese grupo social.  

En el Área Metropolitana de Guadalajara residen 172 mil 035 personas discapacitadas; en Jalisco, 290 mil 656, según los datos del Censo 2010 del Consejo Estatal de Población.

Guadalajara Incluyente 

En la mira, mil comercios pequeños

Los objetivos que se marcó el colectivo de organismos ciudadanos, gubernamentales y empresariales representados en el fideicomiso Guadalajara Incluyente, consideran la certificación de 200 espacios de gran relevancia en la ciudad, como inmuebles públicos, restaurantes y hoteles, de manera previa a los Juegos Parapanamericanos de noviembre de 2011.

Jacobo Cabrera Palos, secretario de Guadalajara Incluyente, quien habló en entrevista para este diario, explica que las metas que se han trazado para antes de la justa deportiva internacional son incluso más amplias, pues también pretenden la certificación de mil pequeños negocios para el mes de noviembre.

Además del Palacio Municipal de Guadalajara y los otros 10 sitios propuestos por esa autoridad para su certificación. Están en vías de certificación otros dos proyectos municipales en Tlajomulco de Zúñiga: su nuevo edificio administrativo y el Malecón de Cajititlán.

Proyecto para el primer cuadro 

Elemento de diseño universal                            Inversión
Placas Braille                                                      200 mil pesos
Rampas fijas y removibles                          17 millones de pesos
Alarmas visuales y auditivas                     Tres millones de pesos
Guías táctiles*                                       Cinco millones de pesos 

* La guía táctil consiste en la modificación de la textura del piso para indicarle o
informarle al invidente de un recorrido trazado o para alertarlo de puntos de riesgo.

Sitios con diseño universal  


Top 11
-Palacio Municipal.             -Instituto Cultural Cabañas.
-Catedral Metropolitana.      -Plaza de Armas.
-Plaza de la Liberación.       -Plaza Guadalajara.
-Plaza Tapatía.                   -Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres.
-Teatro Degollado.               -Palacio de Gobierno (ahora Museo de Sitio).
-Palacio Legislativo.

Los Juegos Parapanamericanos
Se realizarán del 12 al 20 de noviembre de 2011, de manera posterior a los Juegos Panamericanos de octubre.

Fuente:


Tourism a poverty reduction tool says President Guebuza of Mozambique - joins UNWTO-WTTC global campaign

Tourism a poverty reduction tool says President Guebuza of Mozambique - joins UNWTO-WTTC global campaignWe support tourism as an area of major importance in our agenda to fight poverty," said Mozambique's President, Armando Guebuza. The President was speaking after joining the UNWTO/WTTC Global Leaders for Tourism Campaign (Maputo, Mozambique, June 28, 2011). 

"Given its impact in terms of jobs and income and considering its multiplier effects in other areas of the economy, tourism has proven to be a sector of high relevance in the socio-economic development of our country," said President Guebuza.

President Guebuza received an Open Letter from UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai and World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) President & CEO David Scowsill highlighting travel and tourism as one of the most effective solutions to today's global challenges. 

During his official visit to Mozambique, Mr. Rifai also met Prime Minister Aires Ali, who reiterated the government's commitment to tourism. "We are fully committed to the development of tourism in Mozambique, as the government has recognized the sector as strategic for the overall development of the country," he said.

"Mozambique has unique resources to advance tourism and make of it a real driver to improve the lives of its people. Moreover, it has the political will to do so. This is confirmed by President Guebuza joining our campaign, but also by the fact that tourism is extensively featured in the government plan for the coming years," said Mr. Rifai. "The plan identifies tourism as a strategic sector in the socio-economic development of the country, contributing to job creation, income generation, and the strengthening of national unity." 

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: "The tourism potential of Mozambique speaks for itself, with 2700 km of tropical coastline, a variety of ecological systems that are rich in species and a rich historic cultural heritage, but most significantly, the Mozambican government has recognized the opportunities for economic growth and job creation through tourism."

"The total contribution of travel and tourism to Mozambique's GDP, including its wider economic impacts, is forecast to rise by 6.4% each year over the next 10 years. By 2021, travel and tourism will support over 700,000 jobs in Mozambique," David continued.

With over 2 million international tourist arrivals in 2010, Mozambique is becoming one of the most important destinations in Sub-Saharan Africa. International tourism revenues of US$1 billion represent 9% of Mozambique's total exports.


Followup to our Regional Seminar on Inclusive Tourism and Development in Mozambique:

Maputo

http://www.rollingrains.com/2010/03/disbility-development-on-disability-and-philosophies-of-freedom.html

Gorongosa

http://www.rollingrains.com/2010/11/inclusive-tourism-a-dream-safari-lodge-for-pwd-in-gorongosa-national-park.html


Development and Inclusion

http://www.rollingrains.com/readings/2010/03/development-and-inclusion-in-tourism.html

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Somewhere in my schooling I learned that the fall of the Roman Empire resulted in an uneven

diffusion of the technology of the era. Most often what survived and spread was the technology that was of direct use to those involved in agriculture. Ahead of the wave with this global reorganization of empires are projects like Ryan Hett and clan are doing at Trout Gulch where Isaiah Saxon, Sean Hellfritsch, and Daren Rabinovitch and Marcin Jakobowski's Factor e Farm. Their eclectic mix of Do-It-Yourself sustainable culture makes use of the most cutting edge technology with a nod to pattern language.

Awareness that the transfer of core human legacies does not happen seamlessly in times of disruptive technologies and cultural discontinuities is essential to reading "the signs of the times." The Rule of St Benedict: Primary and Secondary Sources was a calculated intervention to carry forward the monastic impulse of the manuscript age early in the rise of digital text. Trout Gulch is a resurgence of a full-bodied back-to-the-land movement. As it matures awareness will come that inclusiveness of human diversity does not arise, even in utopian communities, without explicit adoption of Universal Design and its principles.

What will Trout Gulch, Factor e Farm, and the numerous other small-scale experiments in alternate futures look like if they when they integrate Universal Design? What will the Indian versions evolve into by applying Universal Design India principles in a DIY style?



  




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Designing for Dyslexia

Universal Design acknowledges that not all people can read print on paper. Some are print disabled when it comes to traditional books.That's why we have Braille, DAISY digital format, audio description, image description and other technologies.


What bout just king some simple changes that accommodate the millions of people with dyslexia through a simple change of font?

Enter Dyslexie typeface.



From the University of Twente:

This font is especially designed for people with dyslexia. When they use it, they make fewer errors whilst they are reading. It makes reading easier for them and it takes less effort.

The Dyslexia font is used by several schools, universities, speech therapists and remedial teachers. Independent research undertaken by the University of Twente, proved that the Dyslexia font improves reading results.

The study at the University of Twente showed  that people with dyslexia made fewer reading errors when they use the dyslexia font compared to using standard font. A part of the conclusion of this study is:

The people with dyslexia made fewer errors, than normal readers, on the EMT when using the font "Dyslexie". This is an indication that reading with the font "Dyslexie" decreases the amount of reading errors.

This study was performed with 21 people with dyslexia. The text was at university level. The research was completed by using the standard lists with words on the EMT and Klepel lists.

Source: http://www.studiostudio.nl/en/project-dyslexie/

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Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC) is a not-for-profit corporation, was established to develop Universal Design (UD) standards for buildings, products and services. GUDC is currently developing UD voluntary consensus standards for commercial buildings, which will expand access to buildings for all people, regardless of physical stature and varying abilities. The approved UD standards will guide corporations and government entities in the creation of barrier-free facilities, providing diverse users with access to commerce, public services, entertainment and employment opportunities.

 

Buildings and products designed according to the UD standards will benefit everyone, including the 650 million people living with disabilities worldwide and the growing aging population. Businesses stand to reap enormous benefits from the implementation and utilization of UD, including an increase in consumer base, customer loyalty and an expanded labor pool.


More detail:

http://globaluniversaldesign.com/

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Pakistan Disabled Peoples' Organization (PDPO) DPI Pakistan announced 5th July as "National Disability Day of Pakistan". Each year DPI Pakistan will celebrate the National day of People with Disabilities 5th July each year to remind the Government that it was ratified UNCRPD on the date. In this way each year activities will be carried out especially for the implementation of UN CRPD at national level.

DPI Pakistan is appealing all the stake holders, friends, colleagues, partners and members please celebrate they day of ratification as National Day of People with Disabilities. Same time DPI Pakistan is appealing the Government of Pakistan to announce 5th July as National Day of people with disabilities.

For this call Punjab Disability Forum (PDF) responded immediately and held a press conference at Lahore Press Club and announced 5th July as National Day of People with Disabilities. Please find news from Lahore.

http://www.apcdfoundation.org/ecafe/en/node/6821

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Seal US DOT

Image via Wikipedia

This excerpt of US Department of Transportation legalese alerts the public that DOT intends to start addressing issues of "mishandled wheelchairs and  scooters used by passengers with disabilities."

 Office of the Secretary, DOT.
ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT or the Department) is proposing to
collect revenue information in a more detailed manner regarding airline imposed fees from those air carriers meeting the definition of a large certificated air carrier. Many air carriers have
adopted a la carte pricing with separate fees for such things as checked baggage, carry-on
baggage, meals, on-board entertainment, internet connections, pillows, blankets, advance or
upgraded seating, telephone reservations, early boarding, canceled or changed reservations,
transportation of unaccompanied minors, pet transportation, third-party services such as hotel
rooms, car rentals, and pick-up and delivery services, et cetera. The Department wants to make airline pricing more transparent to consumers and airline analysts. This action is in response to a departmental initiative and responds to recommendations of the Government Accountability Office. Also, the Department is proposing to change the way it computes mishandled baggage rates from mishandled baggage reports per unit of domestic enplanements to mishandled bags per unit of checked bags. Fees for checked baggage have changed consumer behavior regarding the number of bags they check, skewing mishandled baggage rates. Finally, the Department is proposing to fill a data gap by collecting separate statistics for mishandled wheelchairs and  scooters used by passengers with disabilities.

DOT
Docket No. RITA 2011-0001
RIN 2139-AA13

Full document as PDF:

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,,

UD 2012.jpg
The organizers of Design 2012 Jun 11-13, 2012 in Oslo write:

The strategy of universal design aims at dismantling physical and social barriers. This conference will focus on solutions and various impacts of implementation relevant to people in public spaces.

Topics to be addressed are issues related to universal design in planning, legislation, politics, education, buildings, outdoor areas, information and communications technologies (ICT) and public transport. The latest international practical knowledge and R&D results on universal design will also be presented.

Our aim is to make the universal design conference in Oslo a meeting place both for speakers and participants. By exchanging knowledge, experiences and ideas we can build global connections and design networks that inspire, challenge, and empower future work on universal design.

Source:
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College of Engineering students bring the Blind Driver Challenge to Daytona

A team of graduate and undergraduate students from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering helped make history Jan. 29, 2011, at Daytona International Speedway.

As part of the ongoing Blind Driver Challenge, a blind man drove a 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV on 1.5 miles of the famed course during the three-day Rolex 24 race extravaganza. At a top speed of 27 mph, Mark Riccobono, an executive with theNational Federation of the Blind, steered through a set of obstacles that included barrels, randomly thrown cardboard boxes, and a moving vehicle. High-tech hardware developed by Hokies, past and present, assisted the driver.

Mark Riccobono operates the Blind Driver Challenge car as part of a public demonstration at Daytona International Speedway.Mark Riccobono operates the Blind Driver Challenge car as part of a public demonstration at Daytona International Speedway.

The 10-minute trip caps years of research engineering work by College of Engineering students led by Dennis Hong, director of Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory and associate professor of mechanical engineering.

"As Mark arrived safely at the finish line, hugging his wife with tears in his eyes, I couldn't help but also cry," Hong said. "I asked Mark if he could give me a ride back to my hotel. He is blind, but I knew he could see the big smile on my face."

The project's history

In 2004, the National Federation of the Blind, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Baltimore, put forth the Blind Driver Challenge to create technology that one day could allow a blind person to safely and reliably drive an automobile.  

From left: College of Engineering doctoral student Paul D'Angio, master's student Ryan Colby, and Associate Professor Dennis Hong talk before the Daytona demonstration.From left: College of Engineering doctoral student Paul D'Angio, master's student Ryan Colby, and Associate Professor Dennis Hong talk before the Daytona demonstration.

Virginia Tech was the only university and research institution to take up the call. Work began in earnest in 2006. Within three years, undergraduate engineering students built a prototype buggy that used laser range finders to scan the surrounding environment and relay information back to the driver via a variety of new non-visual interface technologies.

The buggy publicly debuted at the federation's Youth Slam summer camp in College Park, Md., in July 2009.

From there, work began on the second-generation vehicles, highway-ready cars that could conceivably be used on the open road.

New technology

Virginia Tech enlisted the help of TORC Technologies, a company founded by College of Engineering alumni and based at the university's Corporate Research Center. TORC had an essential ingredient: ByWire XGV technology that can be integrated with a vehicle, in this case two Ford Escape Hybrids. The technology provides reliable and safe electronic control of the vehicle and gives it the capability to be stopped remotely, among other modifications.

Engineering students designed the non-visual interface devices blind drivers use to operate the vehicle. The hardware includes gloves called DriveGrips and a seat cushion called SpeedStrip. Both vibrate certain cues that indicate directions to accelerate or halt, turn right or left. The vehicles can "see" obstacles and the road ahead through strategically placed laser range finders and cameras.

"Through the help of technology and ingenuity, the possibilities for the blind are limitless," said Matt Dowden, a College of Engineering graduate research assistant from Falls Church, Va., who originated DriveGrip while an undergraduate. "This project, from the original concept to the dune buggy to the highway-ready SUVs has always been and always will be about breaking barriers."

Daytona debut

On Jan. 28, the eve of the Rolex 24, Riccobono for the first time was able to drive his family around a parking lot in one of the SUVs. With his wife, who is also blind, in the passenger seat and his two children strapped in the back, Riccobono drove the SUV, dodging traffic islands and other obstacles.

"This really hit home for me as my goal is to use engineering to help people overcome life's toughest challenges," said Paul D'Angio, a mechanical engineering doctoral student from Basking Ridge, N.J.

The next day, Riccobono drove the track. He took an 18-degree bank, steered through white barrels, navigated around cardboard boxes thrown from the back of a van, and then passed the van. A track announcer called out every move.

His 1.5-mile demonstration drive completed, a visibly proud and emotional Mark Riccobono steps outside the Blind Driver Challenge vehicle to greet reporters, family and fellow members of the National Federation of the Blind.His 1.5-mile demonstration drive completed, a visibly proud and emotional Mark Riccobono steps outside the Blind Driver Challenge vehicle to greet reporters, family, and fellow members of the National Federation of the Blind.

"People asked me what are you going to say, and I had some things in mind of what I was going to say," Riccobono said afterward. "But for me the moment spoke for itself, there were no words, even words that I conjure up ahead of time that would fit the moment."

D'Angio was in the van, dropping the boxes that the SUV dodged. "We made a large amount of practice runs, so during the actual track run we were focused on performing our individual tasks," he said. "Once the vehicle came to a stop however, screams of celebration echoed throughout the lead vehicle ... after eight months of work we had finally done it!"

Source:

http://www.vt.edu/spotlight/impact/2011-02-28-bdc/daytona.html

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The crowdsourcing process in eight steps.

Image via Wikipedia

Every community of practice (CoP) gropes through its enthusiasm stage to arrive at shared knowledge learned by trial-and-error. 

As the Inclusive Tourism CoP attracts new waves of enthusiasts a predictable number cluster around the findability-of-destination-accessibility-information problem almost as a rite of passage. 

This is most often before they discover that the CoP, most notably Simon Darcy and Bruce Cameron, have studied the issue thoroughly and can identify several strata of identical "new ideas" appropriately buried hundreds of pages deep in a Google search. Simplistic solutions mask the problem and delay action toward resolution.

So, as a public service to coming generations I recommend a side trip to Accessible Tourism Research. Read the literature and think through to a full solution.

I also offer this summary of crowdsourcing - the easy half of the answer. It is the half-step that occurs to the one-person-traveloguer who sets out to catalog the world and meets up with reality along the way. (The hard half is convincing the tourism and hospitality industry that it is in their economic self-interest to produce and feature their own accurate accessibility data about their venues.)

The Character of a Crowd

1. The Crowd Is Dispersed
This would-be workforce needs to be able to complete the job remotely.

2. The Crowd Has A Short Attention Span
Jobs need to be broken into "micro-chunks." 

3. The Crowd Is Full Of Specialists
For Procter & Gamble, the crowd is the world's scientific community; for VH1 it's any ham with a camcorder.

4. The Crowd Produces Mostly Crap
Any open call for submissions - whether for scientific solutions, new product designs, or funny home videos - will elicit mostly junk. Smart companies install cheap, effective filters to separate the wheat from the chaff.

5. The Crowd Finds The Best Stuff
Even as a networked community produces tons of crap, it ferrets out the best material and corrects errors

Source:

Communicating With a Crowd

The key to effective crowdsourcing is effective communication. You communicate with your crowdsourced workers so that you can train them.  Training has a measurable cost, and you want to minimize this cost to make most effective use of your time and your budget...  So how can we effectively transfer knowledge to workers who may only be spending a few seconds on your task? 

1: Be Consistent
Use similar phrasings and images for all of your task descriptions. This allows workers to come up to speed in a minimum amount of time.

2: Use Variables
Workers like to have lots of very similar tasks. 

3: Batch Tasks
Crowdsourced workers like batches of similar tasks because it presents an opportunity for them to set up a workflow.

4: Be Visual
Images are very information dense, are more friendly to scanning, and are able to more quickly communicate non-linear process structure when compared to text.  
5: Use Flow Charts
By presenting your task graphically and in a formal way as a flow chart ... users will do more work for the same price because you've made it easier for them.  

6: Know What You Want - Be Unambiguous
Make each task so simple that it's virtually impossible for a worker to do it incorrectly.   Ideally one task = one decision.  Make each task closed-ended.  

7: Improve Through Iteration 
Iteratively remove ambiguity.  

8. Build Validators Into Your Tasks 
Make sure the worker's work is validated before it gets to you.  
Source:

From Crowd to Community: Back to Interdependence?

Crowdsourcing can contribute to the formation of community through collaboration. It is an affirmation of interdependence.

Still, the responsibility for disseminating foundational accurate accessibility-of-place information lies with property owners as a fundamental prerequisite of non-discrimination. 

The industry must become familiar with our CoP's research:

Inherent Complexity: Accessible Accommodation Room Components

Enabling Access to Tourism Through Information Schemes

Access Classification Schemes and Accessible Tourism Information Provision http://accessibletourismresearch.blogspot.com/2010/02/access-classification-systems-and.html

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La Universidad Nebrija y la Fundación ACS, quieren fomentar, dentro del ámbito académico, el logro de un crecimiento sostenible, así como concienciar de la optimización de los procesos constructivos para conseguir dicho crecimiento. Igualmente, las dificultades de movilidad que tienen las personas discapacitadas, en sus  distintos grados, así como otros problemas que poseen diferentes colectivos para disfrutar del turismo, motiva que se fomenten investigaciones y estudios, capaces de  generar ideas y soluciones para aquellas situaciones de pérdida de movilidad y de dificultades de la discapacidad para el viaje.

La  finalidad perseguida es la creación de un marco de colaboración en procesos de investigación y realización de acciones que ayuden a un mejor conocimiento de las características que debe presentar el desarrollo turístico sostenible, y la promoción y descripción de iniciativas que fijen los fundamentos del crecimiento del turismo en escenarios condicionados al cumplimiento de equilibrios ambientales y sociales, así como para incrementar los niveles de conocimiento del " turismo para todos" y avanzar en el desarrollo de métodos que permitan una evaluación eficiente de la accesibilidad a los recursos turísticos culturales y naturales

Patrocina:

Universidad Antonio de Nebrija - www.nebrija.es
Facultad de Ciencias Sociales - Departamento de Turismo

Fundación ACS - www.fundacionacs.com
Avda. Pío XII, 102 28036 Madrid

 Fuente:

http://www.nebrija.com/desarrollosostenible/index.htm

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Asia & Latin America Journal: 

Special Issue on 'Leisure, Tourism and Caregiving' 
 

Call for papers

Population aging occurs at different rates in various regions of the world (Bloom & Canning, 2006; Myers, 1997). Bloom and Canning (2006) indicated that developing nations are expanding more rapidly than developed nations and are using more resources as life expectancy increases. In developed countries such as Australia and Canada, life expectancy is 78 years for men and 83 years for women, while life expectancy in Nigeria is 45 for men and 46 for women (World Health Organization Statistics, 2007).

 

With the aging population, individuals within society are now confronted with caregiving for their elders.  One area of caregiver's lives that is sacrificed is their personal leisure pursuits (e.g., Bedini, & Phoenix, 2004, Loucks-Atkinson, Kleiber & Williamson, 2006; Singleton, 2006). This observation has been generated in the literature from a North American and European industrial society perspective. The question arises how are the terms "leisure" and "caregiving" defined in countries such as Africa, Asia and Latin America? How does caregiving affect the individual's leisure and tourism pursuits?  

 

            Consequently, this special issue of 'Recreation and Society in Africa, Asia & Latin America' aims to provide a forum for expanding current understandings of the linkages between leisure, tourism, and caregiving and the implications of these links for wider society.

            The guest editors invite interested researchers to contribute theoretical and/or empirical papers related to the theme of this special issue. The topics of potential manuscripts include, but are not limited to: 

  • The role of caregiving in the construction of leisure and tourism environments and experiences.
  • What is the personal and or economic impact related to  caregivers on their leisure and tourism choices
  • The social and/or cultural construction of caregiving  in their society and this construction relates to their leisure and tourism experiences
  • The role of caregiving in the construction of cultural, sub-cultural and personal identities
  • The role of caregiving in the construction and/or deconstruction of gendered identities within their societies related to Leisure and Tourism.
  • The role of caregiving  and destination marketing in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Caregiving as a barrier/constraint to leisure and tourism opportunities as a potential area of interest for the special issue
  • What support do service providers and government agencies provide for the caregivers and how, in turn, do they affect, leisure and tourism opportunities?
  • How cultures affect the identity of caregiving and the terms of Leisure and Tourism?

 

Submission Guidelines

  1. In the first instance authors are invited to submit a 400 - 500 word abstract for consideration for the special issue. Selected authors will then be asked to produce a full paper based on their abstract for potential publication subject to a favourable review process.
  2. Electronic submissions should be sent by e-mail attachment to Jerome@dal.ca
  3. Ideally, abstracts and papers should be sent as Microsoft Word files using APA Sixth edition.
  4. Articles will be 5000-6000 words in length.
  5. Two independent assessors will anonymously review all submissions.

 

Important Dates:

Abstract deadline: 30th July 2011 jerome@dal.ca

Notification of acceptance of abstracts deadline:  11th August 2011

Submission of full paper deadline: 30 October 2011 jerome@dal.ca

Special issue publication: 2012

Email jerome@dal.ca if you have any questions.

 

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Within the disability community th use of disability simulations is controversial. The following reearch provides some insight into this topic.


Abandoning the Golden Rule: the problem with "putting ourselves in the patient's place"

Sunil KothariKristi L Kirschner

Brain Injury and Stroke Program, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Topics in stroke rehabilitation. 02/2006; 13(4):68-73. DOI: 10.1310/tsr1304-68

Abstract

A large body of evidence documents the difficulties health care professionals have in predicting their patient's beliefs or wishes. These difficulties extend from the predictions of very specific patient wishes (such as for life-sustaining therapies) to more global assessments of patients' lives as a whole (for instance, their quality of life). Although many explanations have been offered for this phenomenon, we discuss one that has not received as much attention: the conscious or unconscious adoption of what we refer to as Golden Rule thinking. This refers to our attempts to understand another person's situation by imagining what we would believe or want under similar circumstances, in other words, "putting ourselves in the patient's place." Although Golden Rule thinking would seem to be a promising strategy, studies show that it actually results in inaccurate predictions of patients' wishes or beliefs. These mispredictions, in turn, have significant clinical and ethical implications. We review possible reasons why Golden Rule thinking may be of limited utility in understanding our patients' situations and suggest alternate strategies to maximize our understanding of our patient's lives.

Source:

The Bamboo Train

Follow Mitch St.Pierre -- if you can keep up!


 

The Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) project announces that it is continuing to accept applications from potential deployment sites until the final application deadline, September 1, 2011.  Applications are open to disabled people's organizations, universities, and agencies in developing countries that have limited or no internet access.  Sixty organizations will receive an off-line version of the digital library so they can share valuable disability rights knowledge and toolkits with their local communities. 

The GDRL is a collaborative effort between the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and the University of Iowa's WiderNet Project with funding support from USAID.  The GDRL team is working to bring the best materials on disability rights and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to developing countries.  The goal of the project is to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. 

The project uses an innovative "internet in a box" technology, known as the eGranary Digital Library, 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 obtain information from the web.  Read more about the GDRL project at:

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

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. So far, 27 deployment sites have been selected.  The remaining 33 deployment sites will be selected after the final application deadline on September 1, 2011.  Interested organizations are urged to review the application and full eligibility criteria posted on WiderNet's website at:

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

Before applying, candidates may also find it helpful to review some additional information about the application and deployment process at:

http://www.usicd.org/index.cfm/deployment-faq

The application process is expected to be very competitive.  Please apply early to allow time for questions regarding your application prior to the deadline. Please note that applicants who already competed in the March 1, 2011 application round, and who were notified that they have not been selected, should please refrain from applying again.

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

 

In addition to the off-line version of the GDRL for locations with limited Internet access, an on-line version of the library will also be available.  A prototype version of the GDRL is now available at

http://gdrl.org

Questions about the application process, and feedback about the prototype GDRL, should be directed to gdrl@usicd.org

 

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Win an iPad in our

Universal Design Competition



Tell us how you would use universal design to improve life at Curtin and win one of two iPads or one of eight $50 book vouchers.

What is universal design?

Universal design applies to the design of products and environments to be usable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design. Universal design is good design.

Universal Design principles help ensure a safe, efficient and accessible environment for everyone at Curtin. By sharing your ideas, you will become part of Curtin's efforts to take a leadership role in the development of universal design principles in the design of curricula, services and facilities.

Competition details

Tell us how you would use universal design to improve life at Curtin. The competition is open to all Curtin students and staff.

Your entry can be in any form: a video presentation, text, images, website or something else!

Entries must be emailed to universaldesign@curtin.edu.au before 5pm Monday 25 July 2011.

Judging will be based on:

  • understanding and application of the principles of universal design
  • application of universal design in a university context
  • standard of presentation of the entry
  • creativity, innovation and visual appeal of the entry.

Good luck!

Competition terms and conditions [.pdf - 66 kB]

Competition terms and conditions [Word- 32 kB]

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With articles about developments in Responsible Tourism in Destinations globally and case studies from Canada, the UK and Oman this edition covers accessibility for the first time

    * Taking responsibility for tourism - Harold Goodwin
    * Better places through 'Thriving Destinations': the ABTA approach - Nikki White
    * Ten years of responsibletravel.com - Justin Francis
    * International Centre for Responsible Tourism Canada - Laura McGowan
    * Making responsible tourism truly inclusive - Scott Rains
    * Improving access to information for disabled and older people - Craig Grimes
    * The greening of the Subarctic - Michael Goodyear
    * The call of the wild and wonderful - Marie-Sylvestre Bélanger
    * Dames on the Range - Debbie Webster
    * Growing destinations wisely - Jason Freezer
    * Is there a business case for sustainability? - Jane Ashton
    * The Rock Garden of Al Duqm - Peter Farrington
    * Promoting sustainability in Oman - Badriya Al Siyabi

Download

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Nearly 200 delegates from 20+ countries attended. There was lively discussion and many excellent presentaions which can be downloaded from the conference website. The conference closed  with a declaration and a statement from the Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Recreation which reflected the Conference discussions about governance. The Ministry of Tourisms, Parks and Recreation was very complimentray about the conference and its impact - watch the video statement by Loren Winnick - Acting Director, Tourism Product Development  Branch, Alberta Tourism

Bill Werry, the Deputy Minister, Alberta  Tourism , Parks and Recreation read the statement "good governance and collaboration are required..... specifically land-use planning. Decisions about land can either enhance or hinder tourism efforts."


"The learnings and leading practices exchanged in the 5th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, combined with strong collaborative relationships with our key stakeholders will help us to deliver results that benefit people who travel, the tourism industry, and the communities, cultures ad natural places we visit." 
Read more

 

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The Economist logoAthens, Greece. 27 September 2011.

The Economist magazine, in association with the National Confederation of Disabled people in Greece, organises the 3rd Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, addressing themes of Employment, Regional Development, Tourism, Information Technologies, Sports...

Background

Inclusion of people with disability and the right to prosperity is a vital issue not only for Greece but for all European countries.

Economist Conferences in association with the National Confederation of Disabled People in Greece are pleased to announce the organisation of the Third CSR Conference entitled "People with disability and the right to inclusion: what is the role of anthropocentric companies?", which shall focus on fields that play a significant role in everyday lives of people with disability:

  • How could the life of people with disabilities in Europe be improved by the implementation of disability policies?
  • What is the gap between established Greek policies and the new European Disability Strategy?
  • The "Kallikratis" plan as a tool for the revision of disability policies
  • Employing people with disabilities
  • Tourism for people with disabilities: a real challenge
  • IT: new technologies turn disabilities into abilities
  • Businesses socially responsible
  • Reaching the top.
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Trailer: Charlie Don't Surf

Three years in the making from Oceans Healing Group


Charlie Don't Surf, a documentary spotlighting three disabled surfers and the creation of the Ocean Healing Group, has recently launched in Hollywood and is now available for sale! 

Movie Trailer:



More about Ocean's Healing Group:

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Oprah Winfrey at her 50th birthday party at Ho...

Image via Wikipedia

By now most of the world knows that Oprah is taking travel with a disability mainstream through the comedy and insight of Zach Anner. New Mobility magazine offers an sneak peak:

In February, American television audiences learned that 26-year-old funnyman Zach Anner, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, and home-cooking contender Kristina Kuzmic-Crocco, had been chosen as co-winners of the first season of 

Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star. The reality competition brought together 10 contestants selected from over 15,000 applicants to each vie to host their own featured series on the new Oprah Winfrey Network.

Anner is a native of Buffalo, N.Y., and a filmmaker who studied in the radio-television-film program at the University of Texas at Austin. Long before becoming one of Oprah Winfrey's two newest stars in training, he'd considered himself to be much more than just a sitting-down version of a stand-up comedian. 

In the spring of 2010, when the queen of daytime talk announced plans to give away a show, Anner's mom, Susan, an avid Oprah fan, was watching. She immediately called her son. "I always thought that Zach and Oprah should meet," she says. "I really always thought that she would really like him."


Read the whole article at New Mobility:
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The View from "I Can Travel"

Meet Marlene and Steve Wechselblatt- and take a look around their interesting site I Can Travel


Our story is a familiar one.  We were college sweethearts who married after graduation.  Life was an adventure, possibilities were limitless.  We moved to a Big Ten school for graduate studies. We lived abroad, traveled all over, completed our educations and began our adult lives.  We had 2 children, lived in the suburbs and both worked hard in moderately interesting careers.  Our lives followed the traditional path taken by many others. 

 About eight years ago I noticed I was having increased difficulty walking.  I'd been to see three orthopedists trying to figure out what was wrong.  Finally a physical therapist I'd been working with suggested that I see a neurologist.  It was he who told me I had multiple sclerosis.  At first, I wasn't that upset since we had a good friend who had MS for 20 years and was pretty asymptomatic.  However my type of MS has no treatment protocol - I had years to look forward to a slow and steady decline in mobility.

 Certainly this was not the life I'd envisioned.  My husband and I felt helpless.  What we had tacitly planned for ourselves was not going to happen. The more we thought about it, the more we realized there were a lot of people out there in a similar situation.  Life is for people who want to explore, dream and discover, not for people who want to give up. 

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