February 2013 Archives

Call for Papers for an edited collection: Canadian Disability Activism Beyond the Charter: Locating Artistic and Cultural Interventions

What is the current status and future of disability activism in Canada?

In the early 1980s, Canadian disability activists fought for inclusion of physical and mental disability as defendable categories under section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This momentous success shaped the agenda of disability activism in subsequent years and contributed to many policy and legal victories. Yet, the political and non-profit landscapes have changed dramatically since this time. Disability organizations across the country continue to struggle to secure sustainable funding, define new roles and maintain resources for advocacy work in an increasingly precarious political environment. Further, there are other modes of disability activism, often rooted in cultural or artistic intervention that seek to destabilize dominant meanings of disability. These modes tend to be underreported in academic accounts of Canadian disability movements that privilege legal and policy approaches.

Canadian Disability Activism Beyond the Charter seeks contributions from individuals, representatives of community organizations and academics that demonstrate the ways in which cultural and artistic interventions are reshaping the contours of disability advocacy and activism in Canada. Our intent is to highlight tactics and issues that emerged outside and after the Charter moment, with particular emphasis on the contributions of artists, radical activists and youths. We seek to complicate the notion of a singular disability movement in Canada as the proposed edited collection will feature accounts of diverse and potentially conflicting modes of activism.

We are seeking submissions that feature:

- A variety of issues, including activism that may not always be interpreted as a traditional "disability issue"

- Representation from varied and multiple identities, e.g, sexualities, genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds

- Perspectives from different provincial environments

- Representation from varied impairment groups- D/deaf, autistic, people with physical disabilities, mad/survivor activists, and allied perspectives

- Contributions to broad based movements such as the Quebec student movement and the Occupy movements, among others

- Accounts of artistic, cultural and radical tactics
We plan to apply for funding to host a workshop in Ottawa in Spring 2014. At this workshop, invited contributors will be sponsored to attend in person in order to present draft chapters of their work. This will help us prepare for a submission of the manuscript for review by the University of British Columbia Press in Fall 2014.

Guidelines for submission:

- Please submit a 300-word abstract of your proposed contribution and a 100-word biography by May 15, 2013 to co-editors Christine Kelly (christine.kelly@uottawa.ca) or Michael Orsini (morsini@uottawa.ca). Christine (Chrissy) Kelly is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa where her research examines Personal Support Worker education in Ontario from a disability perspective. Christine has published in a variety of journals on disability, gender, attendant services, youth and Canadian disability movements. She conducted research on Canadian disability movements and was centrally involved in planning the 2011 Youth Activist Form, "Doing Disability Differently" at Carleton University.

Michael Orsini is Associate Professor in the School of Political Studies and currently Director of the Institute of Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa. A specialist in health policy and politics and the study of social movements, he recently co-edited (with Joyce Davidson), Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference, forthcoming Fall 2013 from the University of Minnesota Press.

Upcoming US Access Board Webinars

The next webinar in the Board's free monthly series will take place March 7 from 2:30 - 4:00 (ET) and will feature an open question and answer session with Board accessibility specialists on the ADA and the ABA Accessibility Standards. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance of the session through the webinar site. Questions also can be posed during the webinar.

Subsequent Board webinars will cover:

  • Restaurants and Cafeterias (April 4)
  • Elevators and Platform Lifts (May 2)
  • Fire Alarm Systems (June 6)

For more information, including registration instructions, visitwww.accessibilityonline.org. Archived copies of previous webinars can be accessed on this site.


My name is Salvatore and I am 37 years old. I was born and raised in the most magical and renowned city in the world, namely, Rome. I've always been surrounded by a touristic and professional ambiance and I've grown up hand in hand with the notion that Rome tends primarily to the world of tourism and I have learned to adapt and play a part in this environment.

Ospiti di Comfy at ColosseumThe demand for tourism along with the slow economy is changing and the idea that there are people out there who yearn to visit Rome but cannot allow themselves the luxury to do so would truly sadden me. This was what brought upon my brilliant idea to develop something different, a strategic move that could accommodate everyone and allow them to see the potentiality of the Eternal City without putting a hole in their pockets.

As we all know, Rome is an expensive city with pricey hotels and restaurants and this often curbs the wallet and puts a damper on family outings. Our economic resources are going downhill while the willingness to travel and explore the world is becoming increasingly high. And so I thought, why not give everyone the opportunity to visit this wonderful city comfortably and free from worries on spending too much?

Read More about Salvatore's work here"


The British Standards Institution (BSI) worked together with the Disability Rights Commission (DRC), latterly the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and VisitBritain to develop a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) that standardizes the accessibility and services offered by large hotel premises and hotel chains to disabled people or people with a long-term health condition in the UK. 

The PAS provides information for large hotel premises and hotel chains seeking to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. PAS 88 - Guidance on accessibility of large hotel premises and hotel chains contains principles of good practice based upon the duty to make reasonable adjustments and to ensure services are accessible to disabled people as contained in the DDA 1995 as amended 2005. 

 If you are using hotel services and would like assurance regarding hotel policies and services for disabled visitors, you can ask the hotel staff whether they are operating in line with the guidance given in PAS 88. PAS 88 can be purchased from www.bsi-global.com/en/shop.

As We Are

Produced in 1978 by the Berkeley, California Center for Independent Living to illustrate the cross-disability civil rights philosophy for the federally funded Section 504 consumer trainings being conducted by the legal program of CIL, the Disability Law Resource Center (DLRC).


As We Are from DREDF on Vimeo.

Jessica Cox

Rightfooted is an in-progress documentary from director and producer Nick Spark about the world's only armless airplane pilot, Jessica Cox. Jessica was born without arms, and instead learned to type and even pilot an airplane using her feet. Handicap International has invited her to work with disabled students in Ethiopia, and the project is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Xuw_YuX7G7k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Here are a few things you can do with a wheelchair (and a good helmet).

http://store.simplyaccessible.com/virtual-seminar/accessible-maps/A workshop by Derek Featherstone:

What good are maps to blind people?

Derek Featherstone.jpg

That's a question we get asked all too often. Back in November, I hosted a talk at a local partners offices about accessibility and how we can use accessibility as a design tool to solve other problems. Because, quite often, when we make something more accessible to people with disabilities, we make it better for everyone.

After the talk, I spent time with some of the audience that was there and I was asked by a number of people about maps. "How do we make maps accessible?" they asked. "Why would we waste all that time on a tool that is so visual and that blind people wouldn't really want to use anyway?" "What value are maps to blind people?"


Yes, really.

So let me be blunt. Here's why we put together this course:

Number 1:
Making maps accessible doesn't just mean making them accessible to people that are blind using a screen reader. It means making sure that we do everything we can to ensure that people with any ability or disability can use the maps that we create.

Number 2:
There's generally two kinds of maps in this world. Maps for the sake of maps, and maps that serve a very specific purpose -- to show data; to provide routes; to orient oneself to find a local landmark. Those functional, specific maps are the kind that most teams want in their sites. And that functionality is something that everyone needs, including people with disabilities.

Number 3:
If you think that the companies that create the maps and their APIs are going to make things accessible for you by default, you're wrong. For whatever reason, Google Maps, Bing Maps and others aren't very accessible. If you want to do maps right, you'll need a guide. That's what this course is all about.

More information:


Boarding an Airplane from a Wheelchair

WheelAdventure Takes the Bullet Train

Learn cross countrys sit skiing (Snow) with Candace Cable.

Consider NetSuite


Social Enterprises Use NetSuite to Grow and Change the World

Social Enterprises interested in applying for a donation of NetSuite software should review these guidelines and then apply online.

Download the 2013 NetSuite.org Social Enterprise Product Donation Guidelines.

Special Social Enterprise Programs

2013 B Corporation Guidelines.
2013 StartUp America Guidelines.

Who is eligible?

Eligible social enterprises can be either for-profit or non-profit firms that are organized primarily to generate positive social impact. NetSuite does not make grants to:

  1. individuals;
  2. groups whose primary purpose is religious or political;
  3. groups that are primarily a professional or trade association;
  4. groups that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnic or national origin, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, physical appearance, language, educational background or veteran status.

Who would be the ideal applicant?

  1. A small, capable and emerging group that would otherwise be unable to afford organization management software like NetSuite.
  2. A for-profit or nonprofit organization.
  3. A group focused on automating a single business process like ecommerce.
  4. A group that can clearly articulate social impact and offer metrics to measure it.
  5. A group that has the organizational capacity to implement NetSuite software and use it to accelerate their social impact, as measured by their metrics.

What is granted?

Grantees recieve a base donation and discounts on additional users and add ons.

What is the selection criteria?

Continued on NetSuite site:


Mounting Height and Reach Ranges

Mia Schaikewitz, from the Push Girls, helps architects understand the proper mounting heights and reach ranges for commercial restrooms fixtures for ADA compliance. www.bobrick.com has a free ADA Planning Guide for Accessibility for architects, builders, designers and property managers.


Travel with Dementia

Different approaches to arranging holidays when living with dementia

Whether making your own arrangements or relying on a specialist service, a holiday can provide precious moments. Danny Ratnaike speaks to two couples living with dementiaabout their experiences.


For people living with dementia, continuing to go on holiday for as long as possible can be a worthwhile way to share valuable time. The kinds of holidays that people choose vary widely, as do the ways in which special arrangements can be made.

A world away

Holidays have been important to Brenda and Jim Smith throughout 24 years of marriage. Brenda, 18 years younger than Jim, says,

'We didn't know whether we'd share any retirement together so we always took holidays and travelled, even when we were working.'

When Jim, now 85, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's over two years ago, Brenda says,

'I wondered whether I should plan ahead for things like holidays or just take things day by day.'

Brenda and Jim Smith on holiday

She decided it would be a mistake to stop doing what they enjoyed unless they had to.

Full story:


ADA Compliance- Bathroom Hand Dryers

Win an Adapted Wheelchair Van

Every May, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association sponsors contests and programs designed to educate individuals on what having limited mobility is really like. A major feature every year is the Local Hero Contest. For this promotion, individuals are encouraged to submit their story for a chance to win a wheelchair accessible van and get their mobility back.

Last year the contest saw over 1,700 Local Hero entries and almost 1.3 million votes which were narrowed down until 3 winners were selected.Ride-Away was personally involved with one of the winners, Alberto Cruz, who entered the contest with the help of his teachers and friends. Roland from our Hartford Location was instrumental in submitting and procuring the proper vehicle for Alberto's needs.  At the conclusion of the contest each of the winners was presented with a brandnew wheelchair accessible van that was customized and adapted to their individual mobility needs.Mobility Equipment Dealers Association sponsors contests and programs designed to educate the public on what having limited mobility is really like. A major feature every year is the Local Hero Contest. For this promotion Local Heroes challenged with limited mobility are encouraged to submit their story by video or blog for a chance to win a wheelchair accessible van and get their mobility back.

Today, this year's Local Hero contest officially launched and the NMAM website is now accepting submissions! If you'd like to enter the contest for yourself or someone else, you can do so in just a few easy steps. First visit the NMAM website by clicking here.



"I Think Differently"

 Aotearoa New Zealand's Disability Social Change Toolkit

 "I Think Differently"

Not as bad as you think.png

The toolkit has three key purposes:

  1. To reframe and rename disability in order to focus on uniqueness and resilience rather than abnormality and deficit.
  2. To put into practice Gandhi's idea that, in order to change the world, we must first changeourselves to reflect the change we wish to see in the world.
  3. To find new ways for people who experience disability (and those who don't, yet) to interact with each other.
Here are some ideas about how to use the toolkit

Accssibel Parking

It's one of the biggest gripes of people with access needs - drivers who park in accessible (or mobility) parking spaces when they don't need to.

It's tempting to get mad, challenge them or report them, but now you can just give them a different way to think, which may stop them doing it again.We've designed a funny but thought-provoking notice that you can leave on the car windscreen or even politely hand to someone. It reads:Recent research shows that non-disabled people who park in accessible parking spaces are five times more likely to become disabled themselves than those who don't.But don't worry, apart from non-disabled people parking in accessible parking spaces, being disabled isn't as bad as you'd think.They are available in two sizes - A5 (210 x 148 mm | 8.3 x 5.8 in) and A6 (148 x 105 mm | 5.8 x 4.1 in).Simply download the size you want, print, cut and keep a stash in your bag or car.Spread the word and let us know if you use them by leaving a comment below!

Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 12.53.42 PM


Large: A5 (210 x 148 mm | 8.3 x 5.8 in) - 2 per page

A6 (148 x 105 mm | 5.8 x 4.1 in) - 4 per page

Walking Alongside

From New Zealand

Access Ability has completed an innovative pilot in Hawera, that encompassed the philosophies of Local Area Coordination (LAC). This involved a group of young men, aged 14 to 24 years with an intellectual disability and/or a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and their families.

The research findings are available at:http://www.accessability.org.nz/images/Documents/analysis%20of%20the%20local%20area%20coordination%20test%20pilot.pdf .

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recently announced the second phase of its new Destination Criteria. Overseen by GSTC's Destination Working Group and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International, the GSTC is once again soliciting input and comments from all travel and tourism stakeholders on this exciting project, ensuring diverse feedback is collected. The GSTC is also requesting support in reaching out to other parties that might be interested in participating.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council's Criteria for Destinations are designed to orient destination managers, communities, and businesses toward the steps that are needed to sustain their natural and cultural assets, while benefiting local communities. The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which have become a worldwide standard for tourism businesses.

Based on the results of the first phase of this project, which included an international public call for feedback and pilot testing of the criteria in six Early Adopter Destinations around the world, the GSTC has revised and improved the Destination Criteria. The new draft version is available for public consultation and input until February 15, 2013.

The survey is available in English and Spanish. These comments, along with feedback received via early-adopter destinations, will inform a final version of the Destination Criteria.

Sustainable Travel International is proud to continue its role as the lead partner organization responsible for implementing this exciting and timely initiative. Please forward this message to others who might be interested in participating.


About Sustainable Travel International

A global non-profit and thought leader in travel and tourism since 2002, Sustainable Travel International offers innovative programs that support sustainable development through responsible travel. Our practical solutions help destinations and businesses of all sizes respond to sustainability challenges, while strengthening the positive impacts of tourism worldwide.

Phone: +44 (0) 203 0027738 (UK)
Phone: +1 503-488-5500

Web: sustainabletravel.org/

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