September 2011 Archives

Pimpri-Chinchwad , India

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has woken up to the needs of more than 50,000 physically challenged people residing in its jurisdiction and has constructed a ramp at the entrance to its head office in Pimpri.

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Language Aid in India

Text-to-speech system in 6 languages launched


In a major step towards assisting visually impaired to listen to written works, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot on Thursday released the CD containing Text-To-Speech system (TTS) in six Indian languages.

Brazil Takes Leadership on Universal Design

http://www.benetech.orgUniversal Design by Silvana Cambiaghi

Image by srains via Flickr

I consider it highly significant that Brazil - specifically the State of Sao Paulo - has packed the month of October with an endless array of events related to disability, travel, and Universal Design. This notice of Peter Blanck addressing the third international Meeting on Technology and Innovation for Persons with Disabilities with participation by Benetech and other world leaders is a sign of recognition of the pioneering work of colleagues Marcelo Guimaraes at UFMG and architect Silvana Cambiaghi together with the 2004 jumpstart given by the Institute for Human Centered Design

At a global conference Oct. 24-26 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, University Professor Peter Blanck, chairman of theBurton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University, and key partners will highlight how the Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC) is leading an unprecedented effort to build support for the voluntary adoption of universal design (UD).

Created to widen the concept of accessibility, the UD principles transcend the disability universe, considering other populations with needs, such as aging baby boomers. The UD approach advocates that all built environments and products be useable by all people.

Blanck, along with University trustee and BBI board member Joshua H. Heintz L'69, and his law partner, William J. Gilberti Jr., founded the GUDC to create UD standards--consensus-based, innovative performance guidelines that go beyond minimal compliance with law and provide ease of use to all. The GUDC standards are modeled on the green standards for the built environment, designating a level of accreditation for a project based on its usability, safety, health and inclusiveness.

At the third international Meeting on Technology and Innovation for Persons with Disabilities, Blanck will deliver the keynote address on "Universal Design in the World." James Schmeling, interim executive director of the GUDC and managing director of SU's Institute for Veterans and Military Families, will present on "Universal Design in the Civil Construction Industry."

"The GUDC's presence at the conference comes at an important time. Brazil is considering adoption of GUDC standards to guide development for its 2014 World Cup facilities and its 2016 Olympics and Paralympics," says Blanck. "Brazil's interest is an exciting development, and we hope it will bring international attention to the importance of the GUDC standards."

In addition to Brazil, BBI and the GUDC are collaborating with other university, corporate and government leaders to promote adoption of the standards. For instance, Procter & Gamble is partnering with the GUDC to focus on implementing the standards in its built environment and workforce policies; Greiner Hall, a residence hall at the University of Buffalo, used the UD standards; and Syracuse University College of Law's new building committee is considering using the standards.


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Rick Hansen, one of Canada's most respected pa...

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Twenty-five years ago, inspired by the dream of finding a cure after spinal cord injury and creating a more accessible and inclusive world, Rick Hansen set out on his Man In Motion World Tour- forever changing how the world views the potential of people with disabilities. The Rick Hansen Foundation has moved one step closer to realizing this dream through the launch of the Rick Hansen Global Accessibility Map - an easy-to-use online ratings tool that offers the opportunity to submit and obtain reviews from a mobility, hearing and sight perspective, on accessibility of buildings and public services in communities around the world.

"While progress has been made, accessibility for persons with disabilities remains a barrier in communities across B.C., Canada and around the world.  We all have it in us to become powerful influencers of change, and I invite Canadians to participate in the first phase of this new initiative by submitting reviews of accessibility in their own communities," said Rick Hansen.  "Whether considering where to attend university, apply for a job, or simply go for dinner, people with disabilities, as well as their families, want to know what can be easily accessed and the Global Accessibility Map is designed to meet this need."

As part of the Foundation's ongoing commitment to improving accessibility and quality of life for all people - including people with disabilities, seniors, parents with strollers or caregivers with mobility aids - the Global Accessibility Map is similar in concept to consumer reviews commonly found on travel websites, but with a focus on accessibility criteria.

The online tool is available at, where visitors are invited to create an account, and begin rating venues from a mobility, hearing, or sight perspective.  Ratings are based on accessibility criteria provided within the tool. In this first phase, the web-based tool is accessed by desktop, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry Torch, and devices using Android 2.2 or above on the Opera Mobile browser. The long term goal of the Global Accessibility Map includes the development of a professional ratings tool as well as ongoing enhanced functionality that further meets the needs of all consumers.

"The information generated by the consumer tool has the potential to create tangible, positive change in the lives of many people across Canada, and around the world.  It will empower people to make informed decisions about accessible places to eat, work and play - while creating greater awareness about the economic power of people with disabilities. When accessible enterprises have more clients coming through their doors, it creates incentive," said Daryl Rock, Volunteer Chair of the Rick Hansen Global Accessibility Map Steering Committee.

The launch of the Rick Hansen Global Accessibility Map was held at the newly-revitalized BC Place Stadium, which showcased accessibility upgrades as part of its complete renovation.  Some noteworthy improvements include accessible seating areas throughout the stadium, thereby providing accessible seating at every price point within the stadium. In addition, airlocks that were previously problematic for wheelchair users have been removed, allowing accessible entry from any gate in the building; washrooms have been upgraded to include accessible facilities in each quadrant, including accessible family washrooms; and all suites now have the ability to accommodate accessible seating.

"We saw the recent revitalization of BC Place as an opportunity to bring the accessible amenities of the stadium into the 21st century," said Howard Crosley, General Manager of BC Place. "As well as improved access and amenities, we now offer many more accessible viewing areas - located in every price bracket of the stadium - for wheelchair users, and their companions."

The Global Accessibility Map is an innovation of the Rick Hansen Foundation, with financial support provided by the Province of B.C. through 2010 Legacies Now, Wallace McCain through the Mike Harcourt SCI Leadership Endowment Fund, the Blue Streak Endowment Fund and Rick Hansen Foundation fundraising.  With the aim of empowering people with disabilities to participate fully in society by improving information on access to buildings and services, the Global Accessibility Map will promote inclusivity as a social good and fundamental right in Canada.

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With Katherine Seelman of the University of Pittsburgh, Edward Steinfeld recently contributed to a chapter on Enabling Environments in the first ever World Report on Disability, a publication sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank. The Report summarizes 

RptDisability.jpgthe best available evidence on disability and makes recommendations for action in support of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report was formally released on June 9, 2011 at the United Nations in New York City.

Seelman and Steinfeld presented at the U.S. Launch and Symposium for the Report on September 12-13 in Arlington, VA. The two-day symposium was organized by The Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE), in cooperation with the WHO, Pan American Health Organization, World Bank, Interagency Committee Research, and the United States International Council on Disabilities.

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This television commercial, first aired during...

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Apple's post-PC devices disrupted a hell of a lot more than just point-and-shoot cameras. Assistive and augmentive communications devices with cutting-edge technology like touchscreens used to cost thousands of dollars. It was impossible to produce the devices at consumer-technology scale, and the cost of the device was borne by insurance (when it was borne at all).

"Accessible" means "something everyone can use." In pop culture and consumer technology, "accessible" sometimes means things that are easy for lots of people to understand or enjoy. In the disability community, "accessible" means something is open to people of all abilities, usually because it was designed with them in mind. And in both spheres, "accessible" can mean something almost anyone can both find and afford. Like anything else, Apple's iThings can sometimes seem too complex, too presumptuous, too expensive. But really, even with their limitations, they're amazingly accessible in every sense of the word.


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National Association of Home Builders

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is premiering a new course on Universal Design/Build at the Remodeling Show in Chicago. With its focus on integrating universal design principles into all types of residential construction projects, the two-day training brings cutting-edge design solutions to building and design professionals.

"This new course on Universal Design/Build will help builders and remodelers incorporate innovative design in homes," said Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, chairman of the NAHB Remodelers and owner of a remodeling firm in Fort Collins, Colo. "Universal Design/Build contributes more depth on design as a follow-up to the popular Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist courses created to help with developing home modifications for seniors and individuals with disabilities."

The two-day course focuses on integrated home design and product specifications to accommodate differences in physical ability, health issues and aging. It expands on the aging-in-place concept by shifting the focus from specific modifications to meet the needs of one person to integrating universal design throughout a residential project.

Graduates of Universal Design/Build will better understand the significance of universal design concepts in residential construction, identify differences between accessibility adaptations and universal design, learn methods of creating functional and attractive design, develop universal design solutions for simple and complex situations that address changing needs of clients and locate appropriate resources, products, materials and services for these projects.

Gerontologist Nora DeVoe, PhD, from Buffalo, N.Y., participated in a pilot of the course: "I got a lot of great information to expand my knowledge...and had great insights from the presenters who were very well versed in their field. I also enjoyed meeting and networking with the variety of students taking the course with me. I look forward to putting this information into practice within my business."

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Bust of Plato at Capitoline Museum.

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From International Business Times:

The idea that a diverse population needs a diverse environment to succeed seems easy enough to grasp. Certainly, it is easier to comprehend than a one-size-fits-all design philosophy. Why then, in the name of universal design and equality, do architects continue to design uniform one-size-fits-all environments? Answering that is not so simple. Some may suggest that construction methods, costs, and site restrictions make diverse environments economically and physically infeasible. Others may fault the lack of courses architects take in human biology and psychology. This might make it impossible for them to understand the diverse range of people their buildings affect. Even more may fault the ever increasingly abstract design process. This may hinder architects' ability to identify with real future occupants. All of these conceivably play a role, but the most likely culprit is Plato's philosophy of essentialism for the same reason biologist Ernst Mayr felt it caused evolution's insufferably late discovery; essentialism has and continues to fundamentally shape how we see and deal with diversity.

Full article:
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The RESNA Standards Committee on Cognitive Technologies (CT) has been formed to create accessibility standards that will make technologies easier to use for people with cognitive impairment.  The second meeting of this committee will take place in conjunction with the annual conference of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities ( on October 13, 2011, The Westin Westminster Hotel, Westminster, Colorado, 6:00 - 8:00. The committee is open for membership, and non-members with an interest can attend. There are opportunities for virtual attendance.


For information, please contact Harmony Hilderbrand, harmony@beneficialdesigns.com775-783-8822.


There are also surveys to identify priority technologies at Find the project on Facebook at

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Collaboration on Inclusive Tourism

With gratitude for this translation by  Patricia Ribeiro:

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'Hidden in plain sight' -  the final report of our groundbreaking inquiry into disability-related harassment. The report uncovers not only that harassment is a commonplace experience for disabled people, but also that a culture of disbelief and systemic institutional failures are preventing it from being tackled effectively.

As well as reporting on the extent of harassment, the report also includes a review of ten cases to look at what, if any, lessons have been learnt in each case, and makes recommendations to public authorities to help them deal with the problems uncovered. 

We urge you to read the report findings and draft recommendations for public authorities aimed at tackling disability-related harassment. Please visit our website where you can find the following: 

  • The final report and executive summary 

  • A collection of real life case studies covering some of the most serious and compelling cases of disability-related harassment

  • Research reports considering the role of public bodies and disabled people's experiences and concerns about crime

  • Sector specific briefing papers that contain draft recommendations for public authorities 

  • A series of videos to launch the report including a live webcast from this week's launch event featuring speeches from Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions,  Chief Constable Stephen Otter, ACPO, Rachel Perkins, Chair, Equality 2025 and Frances Affleck, Living Our Lives In Safety Project Coordinator, CHANGE.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many organisations and individuals who have supported us throughout the past two years on this formal Inquiry and welcome your feedback on the report.

You can contact us by email at:  or share the report and your views on Twitter using the hashtag #disbelief.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Emmott
Group Director, Engagement and Intelligence

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The first international certification programme for accessible tourism destinations has been developed and carried out in Lousã, Portugal by the Belgian Accessibility Office, Toegangelijkheidsbureau (TGB).

The Accessible Tourism Destination Certification Programme or ATDCP is based on an extensive audit of the Destination Management Organisation's accessible tourism policies, infrastructure, transport, services and visitor information, and includes accessibility assessments of the outdoor environment, overnight accommodation, attractions, activities and offers for visitors including persons with disabilities, older persons and families with small children.

Designed and developed by accessibility and tourism experts, TGB Belgium, the ATDCP is a completely new destination management tool which provides an accurate measure of the excellence of an accessible tourism destination, based on strictly defined criteria.

The Accessible Destination Certification Programme involves assessment meetings with destination managers coupled with on-site audits and document analysis, thus building a picture of the capacity and level of achievement of the accessible destination.

Each element of the assessment is scored against a set of indicators, thus enabling managers to track the destination's performance over time and allowing for benchmarking across any number of destinations.

The Programme also provides a tailor-made Action Plan for destination managers, with priorities for improvements to be made in the different facets of the accessible destination.

The Action Plan aims to ensure that the destination will continue to develop and improve its offers to all visitors, giving them fulfilling, accessible experiences, whatever their interests and regardless of their age or abilities.

The TGB Accessible Tourism Destination Certificate is valid for two years, after which time it must be renewed through a re-assessment process.


Logo of Accessible Destination LousãFollowing the first National Conference for Accessible Tourism, hosted by Lousã in April 2007, an idea was born to make the region of Lousã the first accessible tourist destination in Portugal.

Located in central Portugal, Lousã is known for the pristine beauty of the mountain Serra da Lousã, its rural "schist" villages, a long and colourful history, the local cuisine, adventure sports and several ideal health tourism assets.

The project "Destino de Turismo Acessível" was launched with the support of national and EU funding. In the early stages of the project in 2008, the Mayor of Lousã together with some employees made a study visit to the TGB Access Office in Hasselt in order to find inspiration in the work which had been done in Limburg and Flemish Brabant. This study visit also became the basis for developing a joint European project.

Read the full story at ENAT:

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A meeting of the Royal College of Physicians i...

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Portraits from the Royal College of Physicians... A panel discussion and opportunity to see the accompanying exhibition. How have people in history observed bodily difference differently? 

As a disabled person, what does it mean to be looked at constantly, to be an unintended performer? And what does it mean to take control of your own representation, as an actor or by drawing your self-portrait? The exhibition Re-framing Disability uncovers the extraordinary hidden histories behind the17th -19th century portraits of disabled people, many of whom earned a living exhibiting themselves to the public, and looks at their impact today through contemporary responses from 27 disabled participants from across the UK. The panel, chaired by Shape Chief Executive, Tony Heaton, will include Professor John Howard
<>(King's College London), Re-framing Disability project participant and actress, Sophie Partridge <>, and Royal College of Physicians curator, Bridget Telfer. 

The discussion will provide invaluable insight into the exhibition, exploring these questions and the topic 'Public Bodies, Hidden Histories: Disability on Display.' 

In what way are disabled bodies public bodies? This talk will be British Sign Language interpreted. *Time:* Wednesday 28th September, 6:30 - 8:00 *Location:* Shape, Deane House Studios, 27 Greenwood Place, London NW5 1LB *RSVP* by Wednesday 21 September: Kirsty on or 0207 424 7353 Event Dates - Wednesday 28th September, 6:30 - 8:00FreeBook event<>Key Contact - Kirsty Buck <>Contact Us<> Samuel Miller E-Mail: Blog: Hephaestus: Disability Studies Blog: My Disability Studies Blackboard Twitter:!/Hephaestus7 (Montreal, Canada)

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Midway for Deaf Travelers

Efforts to make Chicago's airports more accessible to travelers with disabilities continue with a new, unique visual paging system.

For the first time, deaf and hard of hearing passengers flying in and out of Midway will be able to see paging messages all around the airport.

Twenty-four flight information displays can now help connect travelers who are deaf and hard of hearing with friends and family with the new visual paging system.

"The system has three main components, visual messaging which broadcasts," said Erin O'Donnell, managing deputy commissioner at Chicago's Department of Aviation.


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ASEAN Disability Forum

Inauguration of "ASEAN Disability Forum"

Workshop on the Participation of Thai Disability Community

to Develop a Better Life of Persons with Disabilities in Southeast Asia

through ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community



1.      Date and Venue

1.      Date: 18 and 19 September 2011 (Sunday-Monday)

2.      Venue: Centara Grand at Central World, Bangkok, Thailand

3.      Accommodation: All Seasons Hotel Bangkok Victory Monument, Bangkok, Thailand


2.      Background

1.      On 30 November and 1 December 2010, Disabled Peoples' International Asia-Pacific (DPIAP) organized an informal consultation on ASEAN Disability Forum (ADF) in Jakarta, Indonesia.  The meeting was attended by the individual experts from different sectors, including disabled people's organizations (DPOs), their parents' organizations and international donors.  This discussion was followed by the Jakarta Declaration adopted on 2 December 2010 at the Regional Conference on ASEAN and Disability.  This Declaration reads as follows:


1.      ASEAN Disability Forum should be established as a joint effort of multi-stakeholders, including ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN member states, international development agencies, civil society organizations (CSO), media, business sector, academic groups, disability related organizations and disabled people's organizations (DPO) and their family organizations.

2.      ASEAN Disability Forum will organize its inaugural meeting in 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand and will have annual meetings with the participation of multi-stakeholders


2.      In November 2010, ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (AMMSWD) was held in Brunei Darussalam.  This meeting adopted the 2nd Strategic Framework for Social Welfare and Development (2011-2015).  ADF is positioned as a part of disability policies, especially under GO-NGO Forum.

3.      Indonesia government proposed a declaration on disability to be adopted by the 19th Bali ASEAN Summit this November.  Thai government also proposed the proclamation of the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities at the same summit.  It is highly expected that this Declaration will mention ASEAN Disability Forum as a vehicle of ASEAN Decade.

4.      ASEAN Secretariat, however, suggests that ADF should gain accreditation of ASEAN.  With accreditation as a registered Civil Society Organization, the performance of ADF will be strengthened and more influential to promote the rights of persons with disabilities.

5.      Considering these circumstances, it is quite significant to organize the Preparation Committee on ASEAN Disability Forum just before SOMSWD meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.  As well, it is also effective and useful to organize national seminar to build capacity and raise awareness of disability community in Thailand, utilizing this opportunity.


3.      Objectives

1.      To discuss and share the idea of Disability and ASEAN

2.      To inaugurate ASEAN Disability Forum



4.      Expected outcome documents

1.      Bangkok Declaration on the Inauguration of ASEAN Disability Forum

2.      Members of the initial Steering Committee members of ADF

3.      Terms of Reference of ADF

4.      ADF Plan of Action until 2013


5.      Preparation Committee members criteria

1.      Organizers select committee members, as individual experts, based on nominations from disability community of each country:

1.      Nominations from nationwide DPOs

2.      Participants in the informal consultation meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 1-2 December 2010

3.      Participants in the Workshop for Capacity Building of Self-Help Group of Persons with Disabilities in Bangkok, Thailand, in January 2010

4.      Others, if necessary.


6.      Expected participants

1.      Full member

1.      ADF Preparation Committee members (10 persons)

2.      Representatives of CDPT and other DPOs in Thailand (approx. 50 persons)

2.      Observers

1.      ASEAN Secretariat

2.      ASEAN Member States

3.      International development agencies and donors

4.      Civil society organizations

5.      Disabled persons' organizations and organizations of parents/family of persons with disabilities

6.      Organizations for persons with disabilities

7.      This meeting is open for all the stakeholders who are interested in this movement.

8.      Especially, Thai disability community is encouraged to observe and participate in the discussion.

3.      Secretariat

1.      Disabled Peoples' International Asia-Pacific Regional Office based in Bangkok, Thailand


* DPI- AP will cover the airfare, accommodation and DSA for preparation committee members (one from each country), including their personal assistants.



7.      Principles of the meeting

1.      Respect for democracy and person-centered approach

2.      Decision-making based on consultation and consensus

3.      Accountability and transparency to all the stakeholders

Ø  Project Coordinator:   Mr. Taisuke Miyamoto, Email:

                                         Disabled Peoples' International Asia-Pacific Region (DPI/AP)

                 92 Phaholyothin 5 Road, Samsennai, Phayathai

                 Bangkok 10400 THAILAND

                                         Tel: 66 (0)2 271-2123, Fax: 66 (0)2 271-2124


UNICEF is holding a call for papers on "Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All." Please see the announcement below and also a word document here

We encourage you to submit your latest research and thinking on the topic - send us an abstract. We very much look forward to your contributions. 

Please share with interested colleagues, partners, etc.

Isabel Ortiz
Associate Director, Policy and Practice, UNICEF

Jingqing Chai
Chief, Social and Economic Analysis, UNICEF

Call for Papers:
Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All

1. Overview
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is organizing an online call for papers on the theme of "Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All." Selected papers will be published by UNICEF. Authors wishing to submit papers are invited to do so on any of the sub-themes described below.

Reaching the most deprived and most vulnerable children has always been UNICEF's central mission. A focus on equity for children is not only a moral imperative--the Convention on the Rights of the Child is founded on the principles of universality, non-discrimination and accountability--but also a necessary condition for ensuring a country's long-term growth prospect, which hinges on the wellbeing of children today. 

The equity focus is motivated by evidence of a growing inequity in a wide range of countries. Despite positive economic growth and progress in child-related MDGs, recent UNICEF analysis (Narrowing the Gaps) finds that a wide gap exists in that deprivations of children's rights are disproportionately concentrated among the poorest and most marginalized populations within countries. A key policy implication of this finding is the need to better understand how economic trends and different policy responses impact children and equity outcomes. 

UNICEF's Adjustment with a Human Face (1987) documented that adjustment policies failed to mitigate, and in some cases exacerbated, the impact on the most vulnerable children in the aftermath of the 1980s' crisis and recommended alternative policies to break the chain of worsening inequity. Today, the world has arrived at a similar crossroad. To what extent have the most deprived and most vulnerable children been hit by the effects of the global economic crisis and the ongoing threat of high food prices? How can the adjustment policy actions that are currently being undertaken achieve more equitable outcomes for children and more broadly for a Recovery for All?

The United Nations Secretary-General has emphasized the need for governments to ensure a Recovery for All: "We must design recovery from the ground up. High unemployment, rising food and commodity prices, and persistent inequalities have contributed to a substantial rise in hunger, poverty and associated social tensions... Just as households have borne much of the brunt of coping during the crisis, they now run the risk of being left behind by the recovery. Global stabilization and recovery debates must take into consideration the specific needs of vulnerable populations."

As governments are undertaking adjustments and reforms in a volatile economic recovery, they are presented with an opportunity to build a more resilient and equitable future by ensuring that their recovery strategies are pro-poor and inclusive. It is therefore timely to ask: Can the government play a greater role in supporting vulnerable populations and promoting equity more generally? Do social and economic recovery policies consider the impacts of high unemployment, rising food prices and structural inequalities? What are the social impacts of macroeconomic policy decisions, including the opportunity cost of not scaling-up equity-based interventions and social protection programmes? Given the limitations of commonly considered policy measures, what are some of the alternative policy options that are more conducive to inclusive and equitable economic development? 

This research volume aims to influence key decision makers by offering a repository of inclusive and equitable policies in the context of economic recovery. The publication will be centred on the following 

i. Evidence of the distributional impact of the 2007/08 food/fuel crisis, the global economic slowdown and the recent escalating food prices on vulnerable populations 
ii. Fiscal stimulus programmes and protecting the poor: What works, why and lessons for the next time around 
iii. Post-crisis adjustment strategies: Distributional impacts and alternatives for children and poor households 
iv. Overcoming food price volatility: Short and long-term solutions to protect vulnerable populations and achieve food security 
v. Employment opportunities for all: Creating jobs among the bottom quintiles and for young persons

Papers should contribute insight and value to UNICEF's mandate to be a "global, authoritative and independent voice for children," in the context of achieving the Millennium Development Goals and ensuring human rights.

Papers can be based on country, regional or global experiences (e.g. policy inventory or stocktaking, policy analysis, etc.) and must be methodologically and empirically sound. We accept already published papers as long as UNICEF can have the copyright to re-publish.

Submission of Papers
Interested authors are invited to submit papers on any of the sub-themes to and NO later than 20 October 2011. Each paper should include an abstract, JEL classification and the sub-theme for which it is being submitted.

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Manifesto text

Manifesto for the Promotion of Accessible Tourism
Putting into effect art. 30 of UN Convention concerning disabled people
rights ratified by Law n.18 of 24/2/09

1. People in the most complete meaning of the term, with their specific needs resulting from personal and health conditions (for example: motor, sensory, intellectual disabilities, food intolerances, etc.), are citizens and customers who have the right to autonomously make good use of all the tourist services on offer, being supplied with suitable services with a just quality/price ratio.

2. Accessibility involves the whole tourist service chain, both at national and local level, starting with:
   a. Transport network;
   b. Accommodation capacity;
   c. Restaurants and cafés;
   d. Culture, leisure and sports.

3. Location accessibility shall not be the decisive factor when planning holidays: it should be possible to choose a destination or a tourist facility because it is where we want to go and not because it is the only accessible one.

4. It is necessary to think of accessibility as access to life experiences, that is overcoming the concept of "standard", enhancing the value of the person/customer, who has specific needs.

5. Information about accessibility cannot be reduced to a mere symbol, but has to be objective, detailed and guaranteed, to allow each person to certainly evaluate by himself which tourist facilities and services are able to meet his specific needs.

6. It is necessary to promote positive communication, avoiding the use of discriminating words. It has to be distributed in formats that everybody can use, and through all tourist information and promotion channels.

7. As accessibility does not concern only structural and infrastructural aspects, but also the services offered to tourists, it is necessary to promote quality reception for everybody, that is to encourage a cultural change, that can result in changes in organization and management models, even before structural ones.

8. It is necessary to encourage skill and professional training, based on Universal Design principles and involving the whole tourist and technical professional profile chain: managers, employees, companies, public and private enterprises. It is also necessary to update curricula in all Schools for Tourism, Technical Schools, Universities, Masters and Academic Centres of all grades.

9. Local Authorities, according to their competences and functions, shall implement the accessibility of towns, public buildings and local transports, and shall also plan periodical control and promotion operations for tourist offers for everyone.

10. In order to implement and promote accessible tourism in a system logic, proactive collaboration among tourist Operators, Local Authorities, Public Bodies, disabled people Associations and social tourism Organizations is encouraged.

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Alternative Communication via the iPad

A recent study conducted by Auburn University and PUSH Product Design suggests that alternative forms of communication utilizing a visual interface can increase the communication rates for children with autism.  This project was undertaken to capture the impact that various targeted iPad applications could have on children with autism and how they communicate.  The study utilized two different apps on the iPad, one for making choices about their schedule (i.e. snack time) and the other to enhance social interactions.  In their report, the research concluded that social stories could increase motivation, positive play, engagement and attention while decreasing inappropriate behavior.    

[Source:  National Center for Technology Innovation]


Additional Information

Touching Lives and Creating Abilities:  Social and Communication Skills with the iPad


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Mobile Apps for PwD and Seniors

First Global Summit Dedicated to Mobile Applications and Services for Senior Citizens and Persons with Disabilities
The M-Enabling Summit invites you to participate in a ground breaking sharing of experience among mobile industry executives, apps developers, disability and accessibility experts, government officials and policy makers.
  • Explore leading edge mobile phones applications and services for senior citizens and persons with disabilities
  • Review the new accessibility requirements of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Actand international legislation
  • Find out how to successfully implement accessibility strategies, expand your customer base and improve services for users of all abilities

Over 60 Speakers Invited Covering 
All Aspects of Mobile Accessibility

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Judy Brewer (W3C),  Jenifer Simpson (AAPD), Susan Mazrui (AT&T), Caroline Ragot (Code Factory), David Dzumba (Nokia) will be speakers at the Summit alongside with Mohammed Al-Tarawneh, Inaugural Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as more than 60 speakers: Mobile accessibility experts, operators, apps developers, private sector leaders and disability organizations.


For a complete agenda, please visit:


The Summit will offer you an opportunity to:

  • Learn how the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act and other international legislation will impact public and private services using mobile communications, apps and mobile web sites
  • Review the steps taken by governments and private sector organizations around the world to implement innovative accessible mobile services for seniors and persons with disabilities
  • Hear from major mobile service providers how accessible mobile technologies, applications and development methodologies help better serve all customers and expand their market
  • Meet with applications developers and innovators of advanced mobile assistive solutions and services foreducation, travel and tourism, e-government, e-commerce or  independent living
  • Review how mobile communications can be made accessible to persons with disabilities for emergency response and disaster preparedness
  • Explore how innovative applications offer opportunities for businesses and governments to expand services and reach out to senior citizens and persons with disabilities

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There is a group of academics (Disability Studies), designers (Modas Inclusivas), and disability right activists quietly exchanging thoughts about beaches as spaces for "coming out" with a disability. As the converation bgins to take shape here one note on beaches and dsability from Accessible Travel Netherlands:

Just a small group of people know about the existence of beach wheelchairs, a wheelchair with thick and strong tires that make it easy to wheel on the beach. People knowing about the existence of the beach wheelchairs are mostly the users themselves, family, friends and owners of beach wheelchairs. To make the beach wheelchair a bit more famous and to inform and encourage people with disabilities to go to the beach, Accessible Travel Netherlands developed an online brochure called 'Beach wheelchairs along the Dutch coast'. The Dutch version is now available on this website and the English and German brochures will be available soon.

In cooperation with Stichting Gehandicaptenvoordeel (Foundation for Advantages of PwD's) and support from municipalities along the Dutch coast, the online-brochure became a fact!

The online-brochure includes:

    • an explanation of the different beach wheelchairs;
    • the addresses where beach wheelchairs are available in the Netherlands;
    • points out the addresses on the map;
    • explains how to purchase a beach wheelchair or beach wheelchair tires.

To download the brochure, click here.

Would you like to receive the brochure to spread it around or are you interested in purchasing a beach wheelchair for your venue or for yourself, do not hesitate to contact us:

If you like the beach wheelchairs, you might also like the beach catarpillar: 

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Accessible Travel Netherlands

Accessible Travel Netherlands reports:

Mint Hotel is ideally situated on the bank of the river IJ, next to Amsterdam's Central Station and close to some of the city's most visited arts and cultural attractions. The hotel provides an ideal base for business and leisure travelers seeking a convenient and accessible hotel amid the hub of the Dutch Capital's commercial and tourist centre. Mint Hotel's beautifully designed guest rooms and suites are modern and comfortable, designed with ample space to work, relax and unwind. Each room offers a multi-media iMac system, floor to ceiling windows for natural daylight and purified air conditioning. Complimentary high speed Wi-Fi is available in guest rooms and throughout the entire hotel as standard.


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Hostal Familiar Las Granadillas

Desde Banos Ecuador:

Mi nombre es ALFONSO ELIECER MORALES (curriculum), en marzo de 1987 sufrí un accidente en cual adquirií mi descapacidad, situación que mi hizo

Las Grandillas.jpg romper paradigmas y barreras, típicas que países como los nuestros existen y de una u otra manera he han enseñado a no rendirse nunca.

Luego de mi trayectoria como deportista paraolimpico, actividades culturales, liderazgo y funcionario público (Concejal 2005 - 2009) de mi ciudad he he propuesto en promover una nueva forma de Turismo Rural, sostenible y sustentable al servicio de los turistas, mi casa para alojamiento, disfrute de la naturaleza, entorno y convivencia en familia.

Por lo que hize los esfuerzos necesarios para que Hostal Familiar Las Granadillas, también sea accesible para personas viajeras con discapacidad que gusten de la aventura y disfruten conocer el mundo y su gente.

Además: Fundamentado en mi experiencia como persona con discapacidad, y deseen visitarme familiares o personas que tengan alguna discapacidad, gustoso motivaré y orientaré en vida independientre y superación; a traves de: Charlas y demostraciones con programas de adiestramiento.


Carlos Mourão Pereira 

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More about Carlos Mourão Pereira:
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Cadeira Especial (Portuguese)

As the message of Inclusive Tourism diffuses through the travel and hospitality industry we see increasingly broad application of the principles of Universal Design, geotourism, and social inclusion presented in matter-of-fact ways such as these Visit England case studies on truly responsible tourism.

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La muralla de Ávila ha estrenado hoy las primeras videoguías que se aplican en España para la visita a un espacio abierto, tal y como ha destacado durante la presentación el alcalde de la ciudad, Miguel Ángel García Nieto, quien ha subrayado el hecho de que se trate de un dispositivo con contenido universal.

"La muralla de Ávila hoy da un paso más para ser más accesible con este nuevo recurso turístico" al que el regidor ha denominado "audiovideoguía", teniendo en cuenta que aúna estos tres elementos para los visitantes que recorran los puntos del adarve abiertos para que el público pueda recorrerlos.

El estreno se ha producido en el tramo accesible del principal monumento de la ciudad, tres años y unos meses después de aquel 30 de abril de 2008, tal y como ha recordado García Nieto, que también ha hecho referencia a la designación de Ávila como Ciudad Europea Accesible para 2011.

Según el alcalde, la muralla, que "fue concebida como un elemento defensivo, comenzó -hace tres años- a tornarse en algo para todos", con rapas para personas con movilidad reducida, así como un punto de información sonora y escrita.

El alcalde, que siempre había expresado su deseo de ver una silla de ruedas en el adarve de la muralla, cumplió entonces un deseo que hoy ha dado un paso más con la presentación de este dispositivo que cuenta con el "valor añadido" de contar con un "diseño universal", que incluye la misma información "para todo el mundo".


Disability Issues at the US White House

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

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The White House Wants Your Ideas for Topics to Be Discussed During Monthly Disability Calls

Each month, White House staff who work on disability-related policies host a public, live-captioned conference call to keep the public better informed about important developments on many different disability issues. 

The White House is now offering the opportunity for you to suggest topics you'd like discussed during these calls. Send in your ideas about subjects for discussion, as well as the federal officials you'd like to hear from on these subjects, by visiting

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On The Sweet Sound of Whistles

From Travels with Pain:

Fun facts to know and share: many major US air carriers charge $25 per ticket to book by phone rather than online. Seriously. All these carriers claim to waive this fee for disabled passengers in compliance with federal law, though Delta got caught (by reporter Pat Pheifer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune) trying to evade this policy recently.

Whistleblower: Blind flier stuck with fee

Really? Again, some more Delta?

Read it here:
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Meet Jim Elliot and Diveheart.


From The Malaysian Insider:

The KLIA2 saga -- Rahman NordinSeptember 10, 2011
SEPT 10 -- I refer to the article on KLIA2 takes off today.

I was amazed to read that KLIA2 will be the first airport in Asia to
provide skybridge facilities and, most importantly, once completed will be
a major shopping hub for people around the world. The article described
how the RM2.8 billion airport will impress the world with its design and

However, I was surprised that MAHB has taken the liberty to exempt the
low-cost terminal from constructing aerobridges in KLIA2.

This clearly reflects how easy it is to compromise human value as opposed
to the tonnes of possible profits.

It is important to note that from the day MAHB announced the construction
of KLIA2 without aerobridge facilities, disabled advocates have been
making numerous statements, requests and protests to ensure MAHB takes the
necessary steps to ensure KLIA2 is equipped with aerobridges. An
aerobridge is an essential feature in a newly-built airport especially in
developing nation like Malaysia.

An aerobridge is not only pivotal given the state of Malaysia's weather
but many fail to acknowledge its importance for people with disabilities,
senior citizens, pregnant women, babies in prams and so on. It is total
unacceptable for the MAHB to allow such an exemption.

This is clearly a violation of basic human rights. The idea of building
such a costly airport and at the same time compromising on the safety of
passenger is unwise.

Many are of the view that an ambulift will be the solution for this heated
battle between disabled groups and MAHB. However, I am personally against
the idea of using an ambulift in KLIA2 due to the possible danger of using
the same.

In any event, since the disabled are paying for the flight and airport
services, it is only right for MAHB to cater to disabled passengers' need
and allow them to board the plane with dignity, without being carried in
and out of a plane.

I sincerely hope the plight of the disabled is taken seriously by MAHB and
the relevant authorities. KLIA2 without aerobridges is a step backward by
MAHB and is highly unacceptable!

* Rahman Nordin reads The Malaysian Insider.

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The Fourth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be held at UN Headquarters in New York from 7 to 9 September 2011.

The Conference will include a high-level segment and general debate, as well as two Roundtables entitled “Realizing the CRPD through international cooperation” and “Ensuring effective and full participation in political and public life”. This session will also include an informal meeting entitled “Realizing the right to work”, as well as an interactive dialogue on the implementation of the Convention”. Background notes and other details are available on the United Nations Enable website at:

During the Conference, almost 40 side-events will be organized by Governments, UN agencies and national human rights institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations and organizations of persons with disabilities. A detailed list of side-events is available at:

A day prior to the opening of the Conference, the Civil Society Forum will be organized by the International Disability Alliance (IDA) with the support of the Department of Economic and Social Afffairs (DESA).

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