October 2012 Archives

For Shame USA: Ratify the CRPD!

 
Today, DREDF joins other disability rights and parent organizations in an Action Day to get out the word to our senators to support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities! We'd love (we need) your help!
DREDF Logo.jpg
 
The opposition has stated that the disability community is uninformed and does not really support the disability rights treaty. Nothing could be further from the truth.
 
To show our resolve we want every U.S. Senate member to be contacted today so they hear from the disability community that we are leading the movement for U.S. ratification of this international disability treaty.
 
They need to know that our voices matter! Let them know that your voice matters.
 
After  you have called, tweeted, emailed, or posted on your Senators' Facebook pages, ask your friends, family, and work colleagues to make calls, Tweet and Twitpic (!), email and Facebook join with you to show support.
 
CONTACTS: You can find phone and email contact information for your senator  here and Twitter IDs for your senators  here (So we can count the tweets, use #CRPD #UNCRPD)
 
Tell your Senators:
  • I support the CRPD treaty and I want to see your vote in support of the treaty this year!
  • The CRPD will not cost the Federal Government any additional funds.
  • The CRPD has been reviewed by Republican and Democratic Attorneys General and by past Counsel to Presidents. They confirm that it does not threaten the sovereignty of the U.S. nor does it require any new legislation to comply with the treaty. 
  • This treaty is good for American business and for the world. It will allow us to bring our knowledge of making a society accessible to the whole world.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY - This treaty is very important to the U.S. disability community! Following U.S. ratification of the treaty, U.S. leadership will help raise accessibility around the world, directly helping Americans with disabilities who live, work, or travel abroad.  
 
Sample Tweet : @(SenatorID) Support the #CRPD #UNCRPD in 2012This is a #disability issue and we say vote YES! 
 
 
Want more information about the treaty?  CLICK HERE

Interested in why the CRPD is important to parents of children with disabilities?  LISTEN HERE

If you can, add your organization to a list of over 265 U.S. disability organizations that support the CRPD  CLICK HERE
 
Thank you and Happy Halloween from everyone at DREDF
3075 Adeline Street | Berkeley, CA 94703 US

Interdependence is the core fact about reality. Acknowledgement of it is required to thrive with a disability.


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So much of society masks how we depend on each other - those around us an those who went before us. That legacy accumulates into what we take for granted as infrastructure.

Disability unmasks the mean-spirited actors in a society where Universal Design is rejected as the only responsible criteria for allocating public resources. Since Katrina and then the earthquake in Haiti disability activists have relentlessly developed and disseminated protocols for disability-aware disaster relief. Thankfully, Hurricane Sandy does not seem to be disproportionately hard on people with disabilities.

What it has done is reminded the general public of the reality of interdependence. We all have limits:

Hurricane Sandy did not just erode beachfronts; it also eroded partisan political differences. How else can one explain Gov. Christie's warm and gracious comments about Obama after the president did far more than what was required when he suggested that the New Jersey Republican personally call him if he needed any help with federal agencies.

Disasters never go away. They become part of our culture, providing stories of danger and heroism that we share with our children and their children. Disasters take neighbors and make them friends.

New Yorkers, widely considered to be tough and selfish, are suddenly eager to share cellphones, drink beer with strangers at their local bars, and to cook meals at home -- since without subways there is no way to go out for dinner and get home easily.

There is one simple lesson we can learn from Hurricane Sandy: We cannot ignore the essential infrastructure that moves people, information and goods.

Source: 
http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/opinion/moss-hurricane-sandy/index.html

Copa 2014 Acessivel? (Portuguese)

A Secretaria da Justiça, Cidadania e Direitos Humanos da Bahia (SJCDH), por meio da Superintendência dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência (Sudef) e em parceria com a Secretaria Estadual para Assuntos da Copa do Mundo da Fifa Brasil 2014(Secopa), promove nestas terça e quarta-feira (30 e 31), no Hotel Vila Mar, em Amaralina, na capital, a Oficina de Promoção da Acessibilidade na Copa 2014. 


Thumbnail image for COPA_00-(1).jpg
O objetivo é capacitar técnicos e gestores públicos na promoção da acessibilidade nos megaeventos esportivos, que serão realizados nos próximos anos, na Bahia. A meta é atingir 250 profissionais envolvidos nos projetos de acessibilidade de diversos locais da cidade como Centro Histórico de Salvador, Pelourinho e Farol da Barra.

Como a capital baiana será sede dos megaeventos esportivos Copa das Confederações 2013 e a Copa do Mundo 2014, o Governo do Estado assumiu a responsabilidade de desenvolver políticas públicas que tenham a acessibilidade como eixo fundamental. Por isso, está andamento o Plano de Acessibilidade, que foi detalhado pelo chefe de gabinete da Secopa, Liliam Pitanga.

"A atenção especial para a acessibilidade faz parte do Plano de Legados da Copa e está diretamente ligada à inclusão social, que é um dos mais importantes legados para a Secopa", explicou Pitanga. Ela enfatizou ainda os aspectos importantes, que atenderão aos portadores de necessidades especiais durante os jogos, e permanecerão como legados físicos para a cidade como o piso tátil, o alargamento das calçadas e as sinalizações audiovisuais no entorno da Arena Fonte Nova e no Centro Histórico, além da infraestrutura da Arena Fonte Nova, que terá cadeiras e elevadores especialmente adequados.

Vitória

A abertura do evento contou com a participação do secretário da Justiça, Almiro Sena, da chefe de gabinete e da coordenadora de Projetos da Secopa, Liliam Pitangae Adriana Diniz, respectivamente, do superintendente e da diretora de Acessibilidade e Políticas Públicas da Sudef, Alexandre Baroni e Marília Cavalcante, e da superintendente de Planejamento da Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Urbano da Bahia (Sedur), Marilia da Graça Ferreira. 

O superintendente Alexandre Baroni ressaltou a importância do trabalho realizado pela Sudef, que ele reconhece como uma vitória alcançada pelos portadores de necessidades especiais. 

O secretário Almiro Sena também reforçou a satisfação com o trabalho em desenvolvimento, ressaltando a importância da colaboração da população para que todos os pleitos sejam atendidos. "Muitas outras demandas serão atendidas, mas é preciso que todos façam a sua parte e tenham um compromisso com acessibilidade e façam disso o seu cotidiano".

A Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas (ABNT) lançou ontem (segunda-feira, dia 13) em São Paulo sua norma de gestão sustentável para Eventos. A "ABNT NBR 20121:2012" visa orientar, em âmbito nacional, as empresas que desejam realizar eventos de todos os portes, sempre com o foco nos pilares da sustentabilidade: ambiental, social e econômico.

De acordo com o presidente do Instituto Brasileiro de Eventos (Ibev), Daniel Costa, que participou da elaboração do texto, a normatização não foi concebida como uma barreira comercial, nem para alterar obrigações legais de uma empresa ou organização, tampouco é um check list, com itens a serem seguidos. "Quando usamos o termo 'sustentabilidade', temos de observar sempre uma comparação: 'Isto é mais sustentável do que aquilo'", explicou Costa.

Para ele, um conjunto de medidas é que tornam um evento mais sustentável do que outro. "Neste caso, a concepção tem de ser adotada por toda a empresa, não somente pelas pessoas envolvidas no evento."

O diretor de Relações Externas da ABNT, Carlos Amorim Júnior, disse que houve cooperação de entidades, como Academia Brasileira de Eventos e Turismo (Abevt), ABIH, Braztoa e Ubrafe, entre outras. "Nós somos especialistas em normas, não nos setores. Desta forma, a elaboração participativa teve um peso fundamental", disse Amorim Júnior, que continuou: "Sustentabilidade começa no projeto, seja qual ele for. E a norma vai contribuir para este feito".

A titular da Secretaria de Estado dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência, Linamara Battistella, esteve presente no lançamento e disse que um evento sustentável é um evento acessível a todos. "Não é a norma que garantirá a sustentabilidade, e sim a atitude das pessoas", disse a secretária, que concluiu: "O novo nome do desenvolvimento é sustentabilidade."

HISTÓRICO
A ISO 20121 tem em suas origens a norma 8901, da BSI (British Standard Institution), elaborada em 2007, além de uma série de outros textos de entidades diversas, tais como WWF. Após um trabalho de dois anos e meio, realizado também com a contribuição de 35 países, além de diversas reuniões, a norma está concluída e pode ser vista no catálogo da ABNT aqui.


Pessoas com deficiência ou com mobilidade reduzida terão direito a receber tratamento prioritário e diferenciado no transporte rodoviário interestadual e internacional de passageiros. A medida está prevista na resolução 3871/12 da Agência Nacional de Transportes Terrestre (ANTT), que entra em vigor em setembro.

O Ministério do Turismo aponta o ônibus como o segundo meio de transporte (depois do automóvel) mais utilizado pelos turistas brasileiros nos deslocamentos para outros Estados. "O projeto Turismo Acessível é uma das vertentes do Programa Turismo Responsável, que está em fase de estruturação no Ministério do Turismo. Iniciativas como esta da ANTT são importantes para promover a inclusão daspessoas com deficiência e com mobilidade reduzida no mercado do turismo", afirma o diretor do Departamento de Estruturação, Articulação e Ordenamento Turístico do MTur, Ítalo Mendes.

A resolução não implica em cobrança de tarifas ou acréscimo de valores no preço das passagens e determina também que caberá às empresas providenciar os recursos materiais e o pessoal qualificado para atender os passageiros

Wet'n Wild vai receber 2.500 deficientes

2º Dia Nacional da Pessoa com Deficiência acontece dia 29/11 e parque aquático recebe 1,3 mil pessoas

O Wet'n WildSite externo. participa, no próximo dia 29, do 2º Dia Nacional da Pessoa com Deficiência em Parques e Atrações Turísticas (DNPD). A ação de responsabilidade social é uma iniciativa do Sistema Integrado de Parques Temáticos e Atrações Turísticas (Sindepat)Site externo. e conta com o apoio da Associação das Empresas dos Parques de Diversão do Brasil (Adibra)Site externo., com o objetivo ressaltar a importância da acessibilidade em parques e atrações turísticas de todo o Brasil.
Na ocasião, o parque aquático receberá 1,3 mil pessoas com deficiência, vindas de 14 instituições de todo o Estado de São PauloSite externo.. Neste dia, as pessoas com deficiência e seus monitores receberão gratuitamente, além do ingresso de acesso ao parque, alimentos e bebidas. Voluntários capacitados para auxiliar no atendimento às pessoas e garantir maior conforto e total segurança e diversão também estarão presentes durante o evento.
O padrinho oficial do DNPD em todo o País é o cartunista Maurício de Sousa. Para a realização do evento, o Wet'n Wild contou com o apoio, fornecimento de alimentos, bebidas e brindes das empresas parceiras como Brasilfoods, Flavored Pop Cor, Churrasquinhos Jundiaí, Mentos, Gran Palato, Churros do Espanhol, Medicina do Riso, Guilherme Gongra Fotografia e voluntários da Jovens Construindo Cidadania (JCC) e da Nostropan.
Também participam da ação os seguintes parques temáticos e atrações turísticas: Hopi Hari, Playcenter, O Mundo da Xuxa e Wet n' Wild no Estado de São Paulo; Beach Park no Ceará; Alpen Park no Rio Grande do Sul; Beto Carrero e Unipraias em Santa Catarina e Bondinho do Pão de Açúcar e Trem do Corcovado no Rio de Janeiro, Hot Park em Goiás e Complexo Turístico de Itaipu no Paraná.

Fonte: http://deficientealerta.blogspot.com/2011/11/wetn-wild-abre-exclusivamente-para.html

A Puzzle in Five Pieces: Models of Disability

Scott Rains, srains@oco.net

 

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Try a radically new motto: "Disability doesn't make invalids. Models do."

 There are four models for framing and understanding disability each named for its fundamental point of reference: Each seeks to clarify different set of observations and solve the unique sets of problems they suggest. Significantly, the only model developed by the community of persons with disabilities is the third, the Social Model, yet each one has its limits when taken in isolation:

      •  The Charity Model
      • The Medical Model
      • The Social Model
      • The Economic Model 

The problem with the Charity Model of Disability in isolation is that it contains no internally consistent restraint on compulsion.

The problem with the Medical Model of Disability in isolation is when it prescribes a cure even where a conversion is the more therapeutic outcome.

The problem with the Social Model of Disability in isolation is when the power of its critique fails to be matched by the critical thinking of its practitioners. 

The problem with the Economic Model of Disability in isolation - aside from still being incompletely defined - is that rationally self-interested actions by those systematically marginalized from the global economy tend to be radically destabilizing.

Schmaltz - keening, doting, emotionally-hobbling, and cloying intrusiveness was the fare of the master of the compulsive Charity Model's impulse - comedian Jerry Lewis. or decades the disability community reacted with revulsion, indignation, and fury. Arguably the surgical precision of the Social Model of Disability's tools were sharpened in fencing with such institutions of "Patronization Gone Wild." This happened even as people with disabilities left, en masse, those religious institutions that held the historic claims to authentic expressions of charity whether bundled as justice, agape, satyagraha, dana, or, yes, the true jihad.

For all his charm and personal generosity Christopher Reeves, of Superman fame, perpetuated the manic pursuit of cure at all costs. A super-crip legacy fed by desperation to return to some pre-trauma self-identity as "normal" is a thin mask. The fall from denial of the reality of one's limits can be faster than a speeding bullet when the latest breakthrough protocol or prosthetic fails to rescue. The Medical Model, operating without the Social and Economic Models, runs the risk of turning out brilliant but stigmatizing and unmarketable assisstive devices when it fails to start from the premises of Universal Design's inclusiveness.

Even reading only the debates in English those claiming allegiance to the Social Model of Disability can appear to be "two nations divided by a common language." However the model is formulated, and however it situates Universal (or Inclusive) Design within its intellectual framework, the Social Model's silence on economics is a vulnerability in a globalized economic downturn. It's presumption of a shared baseline sense of justice is bolstered by the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) but implementation of such high ideals depends on countering ideologies that slash social safety nets in the name of fiscal for those already enfranchised.

With three models of disability unable to stand on their own do we need a fourth - an Economic Model of Disability? Certainly not in isolation. As globalized competitiveness makes redundant the labor of people with disabilities those with the power of production still refuse to recognize their own economic self-interest in mainstreaming the consumer with a disability through appropriate products, services, marketing, and accessibility of retail outlets.

A paradigm shift of classical proportions would offer a radical break with these four models. It would build on their legitimate contributions to our knowledge and practice while launching off in an as-yet-unknown positive direction.

Until we have a fifth paradigm-shifting or Unified Model of Disability to prompt such a revolution I suggest roots revisitation

Charity Model: What are the classical core values of the world's dominant religions and spiritualities with regard to charity in general and disability specifically? Equally as important, what are the core values of the sub-dominant, even oppressed, spiritualities that have shared marginalization yet survived to this day? 

Hint: There will be living expressions of those values embodied in their practices of hospitality.

Medical Model: What is the growth edge where medicine confronts the limits to "cure" as limited to an individual organism? How can designers of assisstive medical devices combine market-appealing status and style with ease of integration to standard products to enhance both and grow markets while erasing the stigma of diversity of human functionalities? 

Hint: Institutions like Italy's Carlo Besta National Neurological Institute are pursuing Inclusive Tourism as management of chronic conditions - the defining medical issue of global aging and the population inversion.

Social Model: With implementation of the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as the order of the day in all countries that have ratified it how do Disabled People's Organizations (DPO's) morph into trusted policy advisors to government and business while not losing their organic connection to their constituencies? What is sustainable inclusion of persons with disabilities? 

Hint: The Paralympics exemplified the spirit of Article 30 of the CRPD on sport, leisure, and tourism. The temporarily unifying power of major sporting events is well illuminated as one case study in All Things Shining. Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly as they offer a critique of what amounts the denial of the core insight of disability - our interdependence. Also watch for experiments with the Social Model inspired by Article 30 permeating Brazil's grassroots preparations for the 2014 FIFA soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Economic Model: Still incomplete as a model how will the irrational exuberance of recent years stand up against the stifling self-protective behavior of the economically privileged (often synonymous with the Temporarily Able-Bodied) in the completed model? 

Hint: As the Economic Model of Disability moves from being descriptive to being predictive watch for it to absorb insights gleaned from the Charity, Medical, and Social Models.


Dr. Scott Rains writes daily on disability, travel, and Universal Design at www.RollingRains.com and on Facebook.

 

 

AXS Map

You may want to try a new crowdsourced destination accessibility site. This one is call Axsmap:  


AXS Map was created with funding provided by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Fledgling Fund. Support was also provided by the Google Earth Outreach Developer Grants from the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of the Tides Foundation. The Nathan Cummings Foundation, AXS Map's largest funder, provided $150,000 to help jumpstart the website's development. Support of new media projects like AXS Map represent a new focus, but continued commitment for the Nathan Cummings Foundation to lift-up community-based efforts that stimulate social change, amplify the voices of underrepresented communities, and champion economic justice endeavors.
Source: http://www.nathancummings.org/grant-programs/arts-culture-program/ACP-axsmap

 

AXSmap from aliengirl on Vimeo.

No, the steam doesn't come from a real stem engine underneath... and no it's not a mobile hookah lounge!


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And another model:



Idea finalista de Google Creative Sandbox:


 http://www.creativesandbox.com.br/ideia/306065/Accessibility_View
 

Schiehallion
From Travel News:
A Scottish mountain peak has been declared accessible to wheelchair users, providing a major boost to the outdoor aspirations of disabledtravellers.

The mountain in question is Schiehallion in Perthshire, and despite rising to 3,547 feet, qualifying it as one of Scotland's Munros (Scottish mountains that are over 3,000 feet high), it has paths that can be used by wheelchair users all the way to its peak, from the Braes of Foss car park.

The FieldFare Trust, an organisation that seeks to improve access to the countryside for travellers that are disabled, has endorsed the mountain's wheelchair friendly status. Fieldfare has confirmed the accessibility of the first third of the track, and is of the opinion that the summit is also accessible, but that individual wheelchair users should make up their own minds if they are prepared to tackle the climb.

The mountain is the first Munro to be deemed accessible to wheelchair users, and Sandy Mitchell of the John Muir Trust, which is responsible for Schiehallion, was quoted in the Daily Mail, saying, 'Obviously there is a section of society that can be excluded from this type of activity. We have done work to make the paths as accessible as possible and would hope that parts of Schiehallion would become more accessible by people with disabilities.'

The FieldFare Trust director, Andrew Johnson, told the Independent, 'It's a positive move because it means that even the most rugged landscapes can provide some accessibility for people of all abilities.'

More details of country destinations that are accessible to wheelchair users can be found on FieldFare's phototrails website.

Source:

http://www.travel-news.co.uk/6538/2012/10/wheelchair-users-gain-access-to-scottish-peak/

But You? You Are a Disappointment to Us.

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It is the passion of each athlete to perform at their personal best - and exceed that.

It is the promise of a team athlete to multiply the personal best of their teammates by strategically exceeding what they are capable of alone.

But you? You are a disappointment to us.

Sprinting on one leg - or none - elite athletes now cross the field to compete as both Olympians and Paralympians.

In the first audience some see a story of "overcoming." Overcoming some personal hell. Balanced upright on an artificial homage to bodily integrity.  Dragging along some unfeeling metallic appendage where once life pulsed. Athletes performing some healing ritual for the benefit of uncomfortably-embodied perfect spectators. Heroism hop-along fashion.

To the second audience they are also a story of overcoming. Overcoming a very public minefield. Dancing through built-environment obstacles while calculating the blast radius of confronting those who design and enforce them. That athlete plays both for personal best and for team by asking, "What legacy do I leave for the disability community?" Strategy outmaneuvering that presumed advantage on the social playing field where the obstacles are constructed. Interdependence overcoming avarice.

But you? You are a disappointment to us.

You called a party in America and didn't invite us. In fact, you used your party to block adoption of the United Nation's Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Generations of our elite intellectual and moral athletes sacrificed body and health in a global team effort to lead you to a more secure future for yourselves even though you are not one of us. 

You are a disappointment to us.

You built a City on a Hill and refused to make Visitability the law of the land.

You are a disappointment to us.

You amassed fortunes, short and long, derived from high-end housing stock that you will one day pay out to retrofit on Universal Design principles in order to age-in-place while even non-profit builders of low-income housing continue to fall over their own violation of the Fair Housing Act.

You are a disappointment to us.

We shall overcome. We shall ADAPT.

You are a disappointment to us.

As a community of one billion persons with disabilities worldwide there is no one stadium large enough to hold us all. There is no one party with bouncers strong enough to keep us from dancing through and exceeding what exclusion has wrought.

Some will see the self interest of aligning with us as consumers. Kudos! Some will adapt to the aging process and adopt as their own the strategies we have forged from our lives of resilience a persons with disabilities. Congratulations! A few will awaken to the politics of inclusion. Welcome! 

The rest?

The rest, you are a disappointment to us. You lack both the passion to give your personal best to the human project and the promise of truly grasping our interdependence.

Go home. Train. Come back when you are ready to overcome.

Each person has only a limited training season in the amateur leagues as a Temporarily Able-Bodied Person.

Don't disappoint us when life finally allows you to run with the heroes and you are unprepared to keep up.

Dr. Scott Rains writes daily on disability, travel, and Universal Design at www.RollingRains.com and on Facebook.


Dot2Dot: Love Beyond Sight

From The Star:


 Receiving a greeting card in the mail can certainly brighten up one's day but the same cannot be said for people who are blind. Instead of personally reading cards sent to them, they have to rely on others to help them with it.

MAB public relations assistant Siti Huraizah Ruslan and administrative assistant Nurun Jamiah Hasan with two of the cards designed for the Dot2Dot: Love Beyond Sight project during the launch recently. (Photo credit: thestar)

MAB public relations assistant Siti Huraizah Ruslan and administrative assistant Nurun Jamiah Hasan with two of the cards designed for the Dot2Dot: Love Beyond Sight project during the launch recently. (Photo credit: thestar)

They will also have to depend on the person to describe the colours and design of the card.

Hoping to change this, Tang's Art collaborated with Social Collaboration Studio (So+Co) and the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) to create greeting cards incorporating Braille.

"We know that the experience of enjoying a card privately is a luxury not shared by our blind community.

"The feeling of receiving a card should be universal, regardless of physical disability, which was when we put on our thinking caps and began our work," said Tang's Art brand director Leong Ching Shyang, who believes the Braille greeting cards were the first in the country.

Leong said his team worked closely with So+Co and came up with designs for the cards to cater to both sighted and blind people.

Each design, he explained, had a theme and a key message with a specific interaction to further illustrate the message.

The reader could feel the design of the card just by touching on the dots and they will be able to visualize the design in their mind.

"We really enjoyed our time working on this project, and we got to connect with some incredible people who do not see blindness as an obstacle but merely a different way of looking at the world," said Leong at the launch of Dot2Dot: Love Beyond Sight.

He said through Dot2Dot, the team created 16 colorful greeting cards to suit various occasions and would be available next month.

MAB president Datuk Abdullah Malim Baginda felt the idea of Braille greeting cards was a creative one indeed and would definitely be able to bridge the gap between people who are blind and the rest of the community.

"People who are blind or low vision will no longer need to ask someone else to read to them messages in greeting cards sent to them," he said.

The cards are priced at RM5.90 each and 5% from the sale of the cards will be channeled to MAB to fund future projects to enrich the life of people who are blind.

At the launch, guests had a first- hand view of the cards.

Each card comes with a guide to aid the sender in how to write their name in Braille.

They were also treated to a short performance by MAB deputy executive director Godfrey Ooi and massage instructor Albert Kong who performed two songs.

Destinations for All - 2014

Press Release:


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(Montréal, June 4th, 2012) - The number of international tourist arrivals is expected to climb to one billion in 2012.[1] Persons with physical limitations account for roughly 15% of the population[2] and this number should continue to rise given the aging demographic. Like everyone else, people with disabilities travel for business and pleasure, to visit friends and relatives, and to discover other ways of life, just with slightly greater difficulty.

How do we accommodate tourists with disabilities? Are our infrastructures, buildings and establishments adapted to be easily accessible to all? Can we safely aspire to reach international accessibility standards and benchmarks? Do "accessible" rooms in Montréal and elsewhere around the globe live up to the world traveller's expectations? How can a disabled person be sure his or her chosen destination is truly accessible? Is our front-line staff properly trained to host these guests and provide appropriate services? Which best practices from the tourism, culture and transportation industries should be considered model practices? What measures should these industries take to substantially facilitate the participation of individuals with disabilities in cultural and tourist activities?

 Those are just some of the questions that will be discussed at the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit that is set to take place in Montréal from October 19 to 22, 2014.

The Summit's sub-heading expresses the actual scope of the topic at hand:

Tourism, culture and transportation:

A common strategy at the international level

In fact, the major sector-based organizations from the tourism, culture and transportation industries will be invited to unveil at least two changes they undertake to make to significantly improve travel and tourism conditions for persons with disabilities. This World Summit should also prompt partners to join in an effort to make accessibility benchmarks and standards uniform across tourist establishments, attractions and transportation services.

The Summit will be organized by a steering committee from:

  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) (unwto.org)
  • The World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) (ced.travel/en)
  • The European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) (accessibletourism.org)
  • Tourisme et Handicaps - France (tourisme-handicaps.org)
  • Fundación ONCE - Spain (fundaciononce.es/EN)
  • Access Tourism New Zealand (accesstourismnz.org.nz)          

·        The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH) - USA (sath.org)

  • Transport Canada's Transportation Development Centre (http://www.tc.gc.ca/fra/innovation/cdt-menu.htm)
  • The Ministère du Tourisme du Québec (MTO) (bonjourquebec.com)
  • Kéroul, Tourism and culture for people with restricted physical ability (keroul.qc.ca/en)

 (A detailed description of these organizations is included in the appendix.)

 

The International Center for Education and Research in Tourism (CIFORT) will hold, simultaneously, a scientific seminar regarding the Summit's thematic.

 

André Vallerand, Chairman of the CED and Special Advisor to the UNWTO Secretary General, will chair the Summit's Steering Committee. Here, he highlights the event's primary focus:

"At a time when the population of the Western world is aging and international tourism continues to grow, it is crucial for domestic and global partners to consolidate their expertise and join forces to make travel and tourism easier for disabled persons."

 

For Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO, this event will facilitate the fulfillment of the objectives of the UNWTO's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism:

"Promoting accessible tourism is at the heart of UNWTO's mandate and we are delighted to be an active part of the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit in Montréal. Through the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, UNWTO is committed to upholding the rights of the most vulnerable communities, particularly the elderly and the disabled. I firmly believe the Summit will be an opportunity to come up with solutions to considerably improve travel, accommodation and accessibility conditions across tourist attractions and services for persons with disabilities."

Minister of Tourism Nicole Ménard believes that the World Summit reflects the importance of launching initiatives to promote accessible tourism:

"The World Summit is assembling leading organizations to foster cooperation among stakeholders through the accessibility of destinations. I would like to pay tribute to the efforts made by Kéroul, an official partner of the Ministère du Tourisme for the past 25 years, which is working intensely to make Québec a destination accessible to everyone."


Without question, the DESTINATIONS FOR ALL World Summit in Montréal is an event ALL are invited to attend!

For event details, please check the site www.keroul.qc.ca/en regularly and sign up to our newsletter. 

Contacts:

 

André Leclerc, CEO

aleclerc@keroul.qc.ca

Michel Trudel, Advisor

mtrudel@keroul.qc.ca

 

Kéroul (514 252-3104, infos@keroul.qc.ca)

 

4545, Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue, C.P. 1000, succ. M, Montreal, Quebec   H1V 3R2

 


[1] World Tourism Organization. "International tourism to reach one billion in 2012." Press Release of January 16, 2012. Madrid.

[2] It is obviously difficult to determine the exact number of persons with limited physical ability by country and worldwide, because the definitions and calculation methods vary. We came up with this figure based on the findings of several studies.

People First Language to Shift Paradigms

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People First

If I could not distinguish between colors on the red to yellow spectrum I would still enjoy eating oranges.

Of course, one day I might be very surprised when I bit into a small grapefruit or a large lemon.

Language matters. That is the logic behind the disability community's creation of the People First campaign. The insight is that the simple act of saying "She is a person with a disability" is different than saying "She is a cripple." The experience of the speaker is different. The impact on the one spoken about and on those who listen is different. Positive identity-affirming attitudes and actions are put in motion by this little memory-jog of affirming the value of individuals.

Accessibility Follows

How different can you be before you become someone else? Something else?

Racism taught that something as superficial as skin color is reason enough to assign or deny status as fully a human or fully a citizen. The same opportunism of power is used to justify exclusion of persons with disability. Much of the emotional turmoil felt in adjusting to the inevitable disabilities gained over a lifetime flow from finding this prejudice inside yourself as you find yourself a victim of it externally.

The move to advocate for full accessibility becomes as natural as breathing once difference - even radical disabling difference - is seen as normal for human beings. Choosing how too express one's self-identity through language and resolving only to allow only that which is respectful is a powerful act of empowerment that s open to all. Choosing to insist on access to information or physical space is another such act of self-respect.

Inclusion is the Paradigm Shift

Inclusion beings where advocacy for simple accessibility leaves off. Accessibility might include having the restaurant menu in Braille but inclusion is when the waiter who knows where it is kept is kept offers to bring it before being asked. Accessibility might be texting to the Deaf colleague in front of you but inclusion is learning sign language. The transition has been made when the design team, or executive committee, or policy advisor forcefully asks, "What is so exceptional about this situation that it justifies exclusion of some people?" in challenge to the assumption of dismissal-as-the-norm in "How much does it cost to make this accessible."

 

Paralympics: The Next Step

If the Paralympic Movement is to progress to the next stage there is no better place for national Paralympic Committees to start their strategic planning than with a review of Benchmark Games.



While host nations such as as Russia and Brazil have a helpful resource in this Fundacion ONCE approach to livable cities.

 

To succeed Rio 2016 must build on proof-of-concept projects in the 12 FIFA World Cup 2014 host cities which in turn must be grounded in world-class best practices as reviewed here in Portuguese 

There are moments when our view of humanity changes radically in a very short span of time. The year 2012 is one such time: Our definition of physical normality is changing and expanding to include people with disabilities.

This year has delivered no less than three new stories of people with disabilities, all of which emphasize not the difference between the able-bodied and the disabled, but the equality between them.

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The full article from Der Speigel:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/people-with-disabilities-are-increasingly-part-of-german-public-life-a-860560.html

...a clear message: The emancipation movement for people with disabilities has reached a new level. For years, the focus was primarily on accepting their particular differences, making daily life livable by installing curb cuts and auditory cues at crosswalks. Now it's far more a matter of accepting their normalcy.

One example is a billboard that can be seen around Berlin at the moment, promoting inclusion in the form of mainstreamed school classes including both disabled and able-bodied children. The image shows a boy in a wheelchair, and a girl without one. The two are clearly already close, love in the air, and a kiss between these two attractive teenagers seems inevitable. Just as clear is that it will be a kiss between equals.

In fact, this hints at the next stage to come in the emancipation movement: Not only can people with disabilities be equal to able-bodied people, they may also enjoy certain advantages. Wolfgang Schäuble doesn't need to impress his sincerity upon voters -- his wheelchair, a reminder that he was the victim of an assassination attempt in 1990 while on the campaign trail, does that for him.

That's just one small factor, though, and one Schäuble surely would be happy to do without it were he to regain his mobility. The matter of special advantage was a much larger factor Pistorius' case, leading to long debates over whether he should be allowed to compete against able-bodied athletes, or if his prosthetics gave him an unfair advantage. The sprinters at the Paralympics, with their cool pride and elegant strides, very nearly gave the impression that this could be the start of a new avant garde: the power of disability.

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Not Even a Thought of Giving Up!

In the 1970's we made a very strategic choice as the disability rights movement. I opposed it. But then, I had only been in a wheelchair less than two years and only ran a small project at the University of Washington. I was not in a position to win the rest of the country over to my position. After all, they we not licensed ski instructors who regularly spent weeks at a time hiking and camping in my "backyard" places that are only now well-known.


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In the 1970's, long before the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), we decided not to fight for outdoor accessibility. We judged, correctly as I later became convinced, that to do so would diminish our chances to win other urban-based accessibility battles.

The struggle has been long, exhausting - but exhilarating - and is nowhere near won.

Even so I'd like to take this moment along the trail to full social inclusion of people with disabilities to celebrate - in art - the truth that we will never give up!

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Photo Gallery: The Power of Disability
Photos

It used to be that those in public life did their best to hide physical impairments. That is now rapidly changing. German public life is full of people with disabilities these days and society's definition of "normal" is rapidly changing.


erman Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble uses a wheelchair. Malu Dreyer, who will soon take over as governor of Rhineland-Palatinate, is also confined to a wheelchair. So are former chancellors Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl. Indeed, German politics in the last few weeks have been full of wheelchairs.

For Kohl and Schmidt, as elderly former statesmen who continue to influence the country's political life through their historical roles or their comments, mobility is largely immaterial on the public stage.

Schäuble, on the other hand, occupies a key cabinet position while Dreyer is on the eve of her greatest political challenge yet. Given the stresses placed on today's top politicians, the physical limitations these politicians face is very much relevant to the positions they occupy.

For many years, politicians' physical ailments were handled with a degree of discomfiture. When then-Defense Minister Peter Struck suffered a stroke in 2004, initially he didn't talk about it at all, but simply pretended to be healthy, sometimes to bizarre effect. Struck was determined to avoid any doubts being cast on his ability to do his job.

Not quite a decade later, Malu Dreyer has no such problem. She is upfront about the fact that she has multiple sclerosis. She says simply: "I feel strong and I feel healthy."

The rest of the story:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/people-with-disabilities-are-increasingly-part-of-german-public-life-a-860560.htm
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El nuevo Museo de La Vila Joisa, Vilamuseu, será un ejemplo para la moderna museología en cuestiones de accesibilidad, dado que se han utilizado criterios del llamado "diseño universal" o "diseño para todas las personas" a la hora de elegir todos y cada uno de los detalles del edificio (iluminación, accesorios, sanitarios) así como en el propio diseño del inmueble. Vilamuseu es un museo referente en el ámbito internacional desde hace años en inclusión y accesibilidad, y sus técnicos han sido invitados a dar ponencias en foros internacionales de arquitectura y museología inclusivas.

"El proyecto arquitectónico del nuevo Vilamuseu nació con esa misma vocación. Es obra de Tomás Soriano (estudio Arts de Villajoyosa), que desde el principio se sumó a la filosofía de accesibilidad integral, construida en equipo, con el fin de crear mucho más que una obra de arte arquitectónica: sobre todo, un edificio enormemente funcional, versátil, adaptable, cómodo para todos sus usuarios y visitantes", ha explicado Pepe Lloret, concejal de Patrimonio Histórico.

Pepe Lloret ha agregado que "en esa misma línea, la UTE constructora está poniendo todo su empeño en la coordinación con la dirección de obra y la de Vilamuseu para cuidar cada pequeño detalle: puertas, señalética, iluminación, accesorios, aseos, dispositivos de seguridad, rampas de evacuación, suelos, pasamanos, ascensores, escaleras... "

El proyecto va más allá de las normas vigentes, y tiene en cuenta que la sociedad está compuesta por personas que son todas diferentes, cada una con diferentes necesidades y capacidades. "Sólo atendiendo a la diversidad humana se puede construir un espacio museístico de primera línea pensado para un acceso y un disfrute multisensorial, diseñado desde el inicio de forma que personas con discapacidad motora, visual, auditiva e intelectual puedan usarlo y acceder a sus contenidos como todo el mundo", ha puntualizado el concejal responsable del área.

Fuente:

http://www.elperiodic.com/villajoyosa/noticias/198607_puertas-seales-iluminacion-accesorios-nuevo-museo-vila-eligen-criterios-diseo-universal.html

O artigo abaixo foi extraído do site Inclusive e escrito por Lúcio Carvalho*.

A julgar pela campanha eleitoral que terminou sua primeira fase no último fim de semana, com o fim do primeiro turno, nunca houve tanta preocupação com a inclusão social em solo pátrio como antes. A migração dos discursos, à direita e à esquerda, para o tema da "inclusão social", longe de representar compromissos imediatos e efetivos de redução das condições desiguais de acesso à cidadania, significa que o termo
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 popularizou-se definitivamente. Se, por um lado, trata-se de um fato positivo, tendo em vista que ajuda a evidenciar as necessidades concretas de muitos setores da população, por outro, se corre o risco de que o termo reste apenas como mais um entre os tantos argumentos da demagogia eleitoral, esvaziando-se de significado e de resultados efetivos.

A "inclusão social" não é, de forma alguma, a primeira vítima da demagogia política. Antes dela, o conceito da "su
stentabilidade" fora sucateado em discursos que na prática se mostraram muito pouco sustentáveis e o próprio conceito de "desenvolvimento" usado como forma de justificar políticas e decisões arbitrárias dos governos. Agora parece que chegou a vez da "inclusão social" assumir o papel mágico de conversão de eleitores.

É pouco provável que através de uma agenda feita de compromissos vazios chegue-se a algum lugar, entretanto a realidade social exige pensar os termos da "inclusão social" para além de meros ajustes a um modelo social que a todo o momento gera novas exclusões. O que a "inclusão social" quer e necessita são de políticas públicas e iniciativas 
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capazes de fomentar a emancipação social das pessoas, como investimentos em educação e no acesso ao trabalho, por exemplo. O fato é que a "inclusão social" não merece mais ser encarada como uma fórmula mágica e simplificadora, mas como uma necessidade expressa para todos aqueles que vêm sendo marginalizados nos já tradicionais e nos novíssimos processos de desenvolvimento.

A comemorar-se há o fato de que muitos candidatos identificados como minorias sociais foram eleitos em vários lugares do país, das mais diferentes legendas partidárias. Mesmo que isso não signifique necessariamente mandatos representativos ou compromissos tácitos com a "inclusão social", não deixa de ser um sinal de que a sociedade passa a considerar como dignos de representação política pessoas identificadas com setores socialmente marginalizados. Se a "inclusão social" lograr, ao fim dos próximos quatro anos, escapar do mero discurso de ocasião, pode ser então que mais pessoas passem a reconhecer que os direitos de todos devam ser garantidos e promovidos e também a exigir que, nas urnas, a "inclusão social" abandone o campo retórico para entrar de vez na vida real das pessoas.

*Coordenador-Geral da Inclusive - revista digital de diritos humanos, cidadania e inclusão social.

Here are two recent examples of how America is both embracing and diluting Universal Design.


We accepted it as a matter-of-fact statement of what must occur simply for those of us with severe mobility impairments to participate in American society when Ron Mace began talking about it in the 1970's. From the start it was addressed to more than those of us in wheelchairs but we were the ones who ran it up the flagpole and saluted most enthusiastically.

Over time refinements have been made in defining and diffusing Universal Design.
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 The book Universal Design: Creating Inclusive Environments is currently the best formulation.

Without fully understanding the concept critiques such as in this by Stacey Freed, purporting to reflect Victoria Downing, make statements like:

 "The terms "universal design" and "aging in place" are often used interchangeably. Though related, the concepts do differ slightly (and universal design is a bit vague)."

The suggested alternative? -- "good design principles."

But if we get lost if we follow the gag order not to present Universal Design in its historical context. Universal Design arose from the lived experience of marginalization of people with disabilities. It was distilled through the professional competencies of architects and others who either had or were intensely and personally involved in disability and persons experiencing disabilities. 

Of course it is nothing more than "good design principles." However, these principles where never put into practice in the history of the world prior to the formulation of Universal Design out of the lived, and very politically astute, experience of people experiencing disabilities.

It may indeed be good marketing to  "Stay away from words like 'old, elderly, handicapped, infirm, aging, senior,'" It is another thing entirely to bury the history and social critique that is Universal Design.

Otherwise it runs the risk of becoming a collection of specialty fixtures, a checklist of code features, and a new way of making bathrooms pretty.


En el salón auditorio de la Mutual de Seguridad, se llevó a cabo el Seminario de Accesibilidad Universal organizado por el Servicio Nacional de la Discapacidad (Senadis), la Corporación Ciudad Accesible y la Mutual de Seguridad, jornada que convocó a representantes del mundo público y privado con la finalidad de avanzar en la construcción de una región más inclusiva con las personas con discapacidad y analizar la temática del diseño universal y la accesibilidad.

En la oportunidad, la Directora Regional de Senadis Magallanes, Ana Cecilia Goldzweig, constituyó la Mesa de Accesibilidad de Magallanes, instancia de trabajo conformada por el sector público, privado y la sociedad civil con la finalidad de trabajar coordinadamente en la construcción de una región accesible que permita el desplazamiento autónomo de las personas con discapacidad.

La autoridad regional hizo un llamado a los organismos públicos y privados a mejorar sus accesos (rampas, pasamanos, baños, ascensores, estacionamientos, baños, etc.)

"Las personas con discapacidad tienen el derecho a acceder de manera independiente y autónoma a las dependencias públicas y privadas para ejercer sus derechos y obligaciones de la misma manera que el resto de los habitantes", planteó.

En el seminario además participaron los expositores Pedro Correa, arquitecto del Departamento de Accesibilidad de Senadis y Pamela Prett, Directora de la Corporación Ciudad Accesible, quienes analizaron temáticas como la accesibilidad y el diseño universal en el espacio público, en la edificación y el urbanismo, además del marco normativo en esta materia.

"En Senadis estamos trabajando fuertemente para poder decir que Magallanes es una región accesible para las personas con discapacidad. Es necesario promover el diseño universal, ya que permite la inserción de las personas con discapacidad en la vida diaria, como por ejemplo acceder al lugar donde estudian o trabajan, ir al banco, o transitar libremente por la ciudad como el resto de los ciudadanos", manifestó la autoridad regional del Senadis.

"Diseñar, equipar y construir espacios pensando en la totalidad de los usuarios, mejora la calidad de vida de toda la comunidad", concluyó.

Según el Estudio Nacional de la Discapacidad, el 6,9% de la población regional presenta discapacidad, lo que supone que 11.186 personas viven con discapacidad en Magallanes.

Fuente:

http://www.elmagallanews.cl/node/8083

"You Who Are on the Road...

...must have a code that you can live by."

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That becomes easier when the tourism industry also has a code that sees its own economic self interest reflected in serving the 1 billion people with disabilities around the globe.

Those who get the message have probably read Michael Janger's blog DrumBeat:

Sometimes, when people think of accessibility, they picture wheelchair ramps running up side entrances of buildings, on-board lifts on public buses, and large toilet stalls in many public bathrooms. Although these features provide invaluable and needed access to people with disabilities, they are "potent symbols of separateness," as University of Oregon professor Polly Welch put it. If they are usable only by a person with a disability, the wider community does not typically appreciate the value of inclusion for this person.

But if everyone else also uses this accessibility feature, it has two dramatic effects: it increases the market reach for the business that sells and markets this product, and increases awareness of the economic and cultural value of the disability market.

They have probably also absorbed the writing of Bill Forrester of Travability

We are at a critical turning point in the future of Inclusive Tourism. Over the past 20 years the advocacy concentration has been on breaking down the physical barriers that were preventing people with a disability the basic right of access to their favourite holiday destinations...

While the emphasis on accessible facilities has seen a major improvement in physical accessibility the basic culture within the travel industry has failed to move beyond a compliance model. The facilities are built but are poorly understood if they are understood at all. Even where the facilities are excellent the inclusive tourism sector is not regarded as a valuable market segment, if fact in most cases it is not understood as a market segment at all. The result is that those facilities are never disclosed, never advertised and never published in a way that the travelers who need those facilities ever get a chance to know where they are. For the first time Inclusive Tourism is being regarded as an economic market driven by the retirement of the baby boomer sector and we need to recognize that the way forward in encouraging its adoption into the mainstream industry lies in now concentrating on the economic benefit it can bring the tourism sector.

If not, I suggest starting with the principles of Universal Design:

In 6 days, 15 hours, and 45 minutes I will have been a quadriplegic for 40 years.


Not that I am usually so meticulous. 

It's just that, 21 days ago, I celebrated exactly 30 years of marriage to my best friend. The "performance anxiety" leading up to getting that date right motivated me to do a quick calender check. I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing any other important dates this Fall.

I discovered something in my research. I am now 11 years past a particularly important " reverse warranty" given on certain body parts given to me by my radiologist when I was 16.

"In 30 years this radiation treatment we are using on your spinal cancer will give you secondary cancers," he told me.

That was 41 years ago.
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So it just seemed like the right thing to do to stop at our favorite park this afternoon.

I had been to see my doctor. He hadn't been able to give a conclusive answer about the blotch on the irradiated area. 

So, I wasn't in a hurry to head back to the work I had left unfinished this morning. I thought I'd sit and ponder in our favorite park. I figured I would see which of the geese had decided to continue further south -- and how many were going to tough it out in our neighborhood all winter. 

If I had known just how tough our neighborhood was about to get I would have counseled them to get their visas in order and wing southward pronto.

As a college undergraduate I co-founded the first Disabled Students Commission at the University of Washington with another quadriplegic. He was a law student always jetting off to meet with Ron Mace, or Judy Heumann, or somebody or another in Washington, DC. 

I recall once when he, Jack Martin was his name, explained to me why he lost his seemingly imperturbable cool when people would park illegally in spaces reserved for people with disabilities. "We are about 13 percent of the population in this country but, at best, we get 2% of the spaces and not many of them are van accessible." I nodded in agreement. "But we fought for this and several of us died early from the grueling travel, long hours in committees, hearings, and testimony to get this protected for future generations." 

Then he attached names, that I have long since forgotten, to the activists he had visited in hospitals with UTI's decubiti, restorative surgeries, and other complications from their relentless self-donation as political activists. Activists he had visited who had not survived their stays. Activists who would set the examples of service beyond their human strength followed by the Thai fighter Topong Kulkanchit of DPI and Alaska's disabled volunteer firefighter Jerry Keinaleinen.

So i think of Jack's stories, and our legacy as a community that has had to fight for every centimeter of social inclusion it currently enjoys, when I try to pull into a disabled parking space and find someone there performing unnatural acts - like talking on their cell phone without owning a disabled parking permit.

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It may be that Halloween is coming and I am getting spooked. 

Or it may be that there really are angry ghosts hovering about murmuring of desecration.

Whispering of those treading mindlessly on the memories of those who rest under the pavement that brave, selfless women and men gave their lives to see painted in these colors of liberation for generations to come.

Whatever "foul vapours" were in the air as I pulled in to park here something animated the cell-phoning master-of-all-four-letter-words-rhyming-with-truck to gun his van, lurch toward me, roll down his window, and scream ghoulish threats that the "F***ing handicapped" who would dare take pictures of him. 

After all, he reasoned, "You're just a F****ing handicapped!" - and punctuated his argument with vigorous thrusts of a centrally located finger. Not a medical diagnosis I was previously familiar with but I could understand how he might have mistaken me for someone else in a wheelchair he had previously treated.

Yes, In just about 6 days, 15 hours, and 45 minutes I will have been a quadriplegic for 40 years.

I wouldn't trade it for 40 seconds of his.

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Mainstreaming Good Design

Universal design goes mainstream in home building
This home by Estes Builders has wider hallways and doorways and plenty of circulation space in the kitchen. Note the front-mounted controls on the cooking range. Photo: Phil Tauran

Universal design (UD) isn't just for the elderly or the permanently disabled. As Americans age, they're beginning to realize that their homes need to accommodate future life changes. Consumers are more cognizant today of the benefits of a universally designed home, but they may not realize it can be beautiful as well as functional. Therein lies an opportunity for builders to open up a dialogue with customers about UD, showing them how it will facilitate aging in place without sacrificing aesthetics.

Rick Gross of Estes Builders, Sequim, Wash., says more clients have accepted the fact that provisions need to be made for the future. "Everyone realizes they're going to need an accessible home someday, and undoubtedly it's going to happen sooner than they would like," says Gross. 

Full story:

http://www.housingzone.com/universal-design-goes-mainstream-home-building

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He literally ran across the plaza. I couldn't understand a word of the Thai that trailed behind him over his shoulder to his parents but, judging from their faces, it probably included something like, "Leave the poor man alone! He's doing just fine by himself." The truth is, i was. I just had no idea how much better my day would be after it was infused by a spontaneous act of lovingkindness.

A few hours earlier nine bystanders had gathered to help me down the steps into this massive complex of ancient temples in Ayutthaya. I rolled along with smiling tourists and pilgrims spending some time with a languid but appreciative dog who seemed to have adopted one temple. I stared up at the gold-gilded Buddha towering overhead inside while we exchanged smiles. Outside I had disappointed a lottery ticket salesman when I subverted some unwritten rule by selecting the shy disabled vendor over his energetic and domineering neighbor. Even at the feet of the Buddha my role is to see to it that the meek inherit the earth.

Travel with a disability is not easy - but it is certainly not wholesale suffering either. The can be something about embodying visual difference, and still going about your business with purpose, that can call out compassion in others. Witness the young boy in the photo fresh from his sprint to be my unsolicited temporary companion.

No, not always easy to travel with a disability. For years my friend Volker Posselt had been trying to convince at least one hotel in the entire city to go beyond the bare minimum of required numbers of accessible rooms. To be economically sustainable Volker fills the entire wheelchair-accessible bus he rents when he brings tour groups from Europe to Thailand. However, any one hotel only has rooms for half the busfull. Even with  a concrete payout of doubling nightly profits multiplied over several trips a year the hotels continued with their upgrades by refused to add accessibility. The new feature at the hotel Volker sent me to? A narrow curved ramp paved with slippery polished stone with a slope angle of 45 degrees. Fortunately for me my travel companion Jan, Dean of a university in Bangkok, saved us from another "gotcha."

Apparently there are two prices in Thailand - tourist and native.

After bristling at the idea that I was about to be hidden from the desk clerks because of my disability I realized the game we were playing. We saved 50% on our rooms by me blending into the lobby plants. Dinner was on me that night!

Creating Universal Design products

This is pure marketing from their site but OMRON Group won the awards so let's celebrate their adoption of Universal Design:


Aiming for products that are easy to use for more people

One of OMRON's Management Commitments is "maximum customer satisfaction." To the end, OMRON is dedicated to providing a stable supply of safe, high-quality products by maintaining its commitment to quality assurance.

As part of its drive to maximize customer satisfaction, OMRON is committed to promoting universal design to make products easier to use for a broad range of people.

To this end, the top priority in the development process is understanding users. By detecting the gap between users' requirements for a product or service and the difficulties they actually experience with the product or service, OMRON tries to reflect the findings in the next development or improvement.

OMRON encourages personnel to participate in the process of observing users, whether their position is planning, development, sales, design or others. All share and work toward the common goal of developing truly easy-to-use products and services.

Creating Universal Design products

  

A typical example of the OMRON Group's universal design products is the MC-670 electronic thermometer from OMRON Healthcare Co., Ltd. Its large, flat probe tip fits securely under the arm and can be kept tightly in place. The large LCD provides easy reading for anyone, from small children to the elderly.

The HEM-1020 digital blood pressure monitor features an improved design to make it easy to take a reading from the right arm as well as the left arm. The armrest supports easy measurement for anyone, including those with weak arms.

These two products won Germany's Universal Design Awards. Hosted by the Universal Design Association, the Universal Design Awards are a "one and only" international prize to recognize universal design, by evaluating fairness, flexibility, safety, ease of use, and cost of products.

In fiscal 2012 as well, the NE-C801S nebulizer received the Universal Design Award, making OMRON Healthcare a recipient for the fifth successive year since fiscal 2008. OMRON Healthcare will continue emphasizing usability and accuracy in the development of products, maintaining the perspective of users.

Surce

http://www.omron.com/about/csr/society/customer/universal/

Inclusive Tourism brings the disability rights message to any corner of the world where people with disabilities live or travel which means everywhere - yes, including the top of Mt Everest.


All that travel has generated growing awareness that the right to sports, leisure, and travel is protected under Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Sometimes we just need iconic shorthand for what we want to find waiting for us when we head out on the road.

Access to the 2014 FIFA Soccer WorldCup
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Access to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games


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Greater awareness of Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)


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Inclusive Tourism brings the disability rights message to any corner of the world where people with disabilities live or travel which means everywhere - yes, including the top of Mt Everest.


All that travel has generated growing awareness that the right to sports, leisure, and travel is protected under Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Sometimes we just need iconic shorthand for what we find out on the road that doesn't work for us.


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Character - A Disability Pespective

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The "pity response" to people with disabilities exaggerates the "they can do nothing for you" observation here into an absolute. 

The sad truth is, if your response to a person with a disability does not rise above a deer-in-the-headlights-
charity-impulse than the vast wisdom we have to share from living a forced marginalization due to our difference will be inscrutable to you. The pity would then truly be that "there is nothing we can do for you."

An encounter with a person with a disability is a wake-up call from the universe.

It says, "This is you too. What are you going to do to see that you are treated with justice?"

Nothing about us without us.

O que motiva o nosso desejo de nos comportarmos moralmente? O neuroeconomista Paul Zak mostra porque acredita que a oxitocina (chama-lhe a "molécula moral") é responsável pela confiança, pela empatia e por outras emoções que ajudam a construir uma sociedade estável.


"(Você precisa) de oito abraços por dia. Você será mais feliz e o mundo será um lugar melhor.

"A Oxitocina conecta-nos às outras pessoas, a oxitocina faz-nos sentir o que as outras pessoas sentem. E é fácil fazer com que os cérebros das pessoas libertem oxitocina. Deixe-me mostrar-lhe. Venha até aqui. Dê-me um abraço."

"(Nós) administrámos testosterona a homens, em vez de partilharem dinheiro, eles tornam-se egoístas. Interessantemente, machos com elevada testosterona são também mais propensos a usar o seu próprio dinheiro para punir outros por serem egoístas.

"Países com uma elevada proporção de pessoas de confiança são mais prósperos.

"Nós temos uma biologia de confiança." -- Paul Zak


Next Generation® Design Competition

Metropolis, the leading magazine of architecture, culture, and design, is challenging emerging designers to define "inclusive design." The annual Next Generation® Design Competition asks those who will design the 21st century to develop solutions that empower, advance, and include groups often overlooked in the design process (including, but not limited to, the rapidly increasing aging population and citizens with disabilities).

 

Entries are due February 18th 2013

 

Visit the competition website


Source:

http://humancentereddesign.org/?fp=b3w2w2UrSGUzdhIjcho%252F0WGdBtJQ1RlIWxLksxfsgNvpLLdhx5I0%252FL1aed10cnvmOw4MmldXaXkbv6QpLDAvnA%253D%253D&prvtof=SE%252BsseMKWkukKryCfFpIEPwnMbgc0v9rh9TJ9BD5Txk%253D&poru=TtEXUWGaGp017lXOut28lnJOTxIzt6iBLJ2JY1W62Jp2KO2HVBzSG%252F4QGGEc0lqJ&

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