September 2013 Archives

Livable Housing Australia (LHA) was formed in 2011 as a partnership between community and consumer groups as well as government and industry. The partnership arose from the Kirribili Dialogue on Universal Design for housing which was undertaken to assist with the formulation of a set of guidelines for the creation of more livable homes.

The Livable Housing Design Guidelines were consequently developed and promoted. These guidelines aim to produce homes which are easier and safer to use for all occupants including people with disabilities, older people, people with temporary disabilities and families with children. They state that a livable home must:

  • Be easy to enter and exit
  • Be easy to move around in
  • Be capable of easy and cost effective adaption

  • Three performance levels are identified under the guidelines: Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. Silver is the least onerous and focuses on key spatial elements allowing for future adaptability of the home at far lower cost to the occupant. Gold allows larger circulation to key areas within the home and extends to other areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Platinum circulation requirements include further features such living room and flooring guidelines.

Earlier this year, LHA established a system of accreditation of homes under its published guidelines. LHA is responsible for the accreditation of dwellings under this system and grades buildings according to the performance level achieved. The LHA quality mark can then be used by the developer to assist with the marketing of their project.

See more at:

The special edition of Design for All India (September 2013) on Inclusive Tourism in Brazil in time for FIFA World Cup 2014 and the Rio Games 2016. Edited by Regina Cohen of UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro.


Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts promotes and advocates for full inclusion of artists of color and performers with disabilities at all levels of production in theatre, film, television, and related media. Our work also extends to audiences, particularly those belonging to underserved and historically excluded communities.


  Principal programs include the Advocacy, Consulting and Information Program; the Disability Initiative, which includes Disability in Entertainment and Arts Link (DEAL); and the National Diversity Forum.  Through these activities, Inclusion in the Arts has become the primary catalyst for and facilitator of increased diversity and inclusion on a national level.

Our principal aim is to achieve full inclusion in American arts and entertainment, such that what we see on our screens and stages truly reflects the society in which we live; where each artist is considered on his/her merits as an individual; where the stories being told are drawn from authentic and diverse experiences; and where our individual humanity can be celebrated.  To this end, we actively engage artists and decision makers, forge partnerships, and create opportunities.

The only organization of its kind in the United States, Inclusion in the Arts serves communities that have traditionally been denied equitable professional opportunities, including those who identify as African American, Asian Pacific American, Caribbean Black, South Asian, Latino, Arab American, Persian American, Native American, Deaf and hard of hearing, blind and low vision, have mobility, physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities.


If you are an actor with a disability you can sign up for a free account on As you create your profile you will see the Disability section in the "About Me' portion. To date over 1,400 performers with disabilities have identified on the site. The more actors we have available for casting directors to find in a search the better our chances are in increasing authentic representation of disability.

– The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) observed the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act yesterday, a breakthrough federal law for people with disabilities by hearing a variety of experts – including U.S. Senator Tom Harkin – discuss the state of rights and protections for disabled Americans.
	In three panels entitled “Past,” “Present” and “Future,” witnesses recalled the struggle for progress in disability law such as the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.  Panelists recalled sit-ins in the 1970s to make sure the Rehabilitation Act’s provisions and regulations were fully implemented.  They also discussed the present state of affairs in disability rights and prospects for future progress.

EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien reminded the group of how closely interrelated the disability movement has been with the broader civil rights movement.  

“The 40th anniversary of the Rehabil¬itation Act of 1973, which we observed yesterday, allowed us to honor the contributions of those who worked to secure passage of this important legislation and reflect upon its meaning for federal govern¬ment employers and contractors today,” said Berrien.  “The Rehabilitation Act was the first major federal law to remove barriers to employment for people with disabilities, and it cleared the path for future passage of laws, which expanded access to employment opportunities in private, as well as public sector workplaces for people with disabilities." 

EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum said, “Yesterday’s event was a vivid reminder of how far the disability rights movement has come, and how far we still have to go.  On the 40th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, I look forward to working with my colleagues on developing new regulations to implement Section 501 of the act so that the federal government can truly become a model employer of people with disabilities.”

Several other speakers echoed the crucial importance of that cooperation.  U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, who has been one of the driving forces for legislation protecting and promoting the rights and opportunities for the disabled and was the Senate author of the ADA, said, “As those of you who are students of history know, the first iterations of the public vocational rehabilitation program date back to the 1920s.  But it wasn’t until the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that there was a federal mandate for a public vocational rehabilitation program to serve individuals with significant disabilities.  More importantly, the 1973 Rehab Act, as we call it, also created the affirmative action programs in Title V of the act – including Section 503, which requires contractors to comply with affirmative action requirements, and which we have a new final rule on from the Department of Labor that was just announced two weeks ago.” 

	Senator Harkin spoke on initiatives, programs and studies to help people with disabilities, such as the “High Expectations” report authored by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions , which he chairs.  The report explores ways for further progress for what Harkin calls the “ADA Generation” – younger people with disabilities who grew up after the “bad old days” of low opportunities and low expectations for the disabled – a transition made possible by disability rights laws.

	Panelists discussed various provisions of the Rehabilitation Act and the Workforce Investment Act, as well as issues regarding their effective implementation.  Veteran disability rights attorney John Wodatch recalled how the campaign to institute the Rehabilitation Act was revolutionary in that it brought the focus from charity to civil rights and empowerment.  

Debra A. Carr of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs cautioned, “Regulations do not a revolution make … it’s not what we say, but that we implement what we say.”
	Claudia Gordon of the White House’s Office of Public Engagements pointed out that the cost of accommodations for disabled people is often minimal and frequently only a one-time expense.  
“But we need to get beyond focusing on the cost,” she added, saying that increased opportunity for all is the salient point for the nation.    

	Jeff Rosen of the National Council on Disability drew attention to the problem of large numbers of people with disabilities who work in sheltered workshops, the vast majority of which are run by nonprofits, commenting that we need to “stop this indentured servitude” and move people to compet-itive employment.

	Ruby Moore of the Georgia Advocacy Office pointed out that she i’s an employer as well as an advocate.  

“Each time I made an accommodation, I helped everybody,” Moore said.  Additionally, she said, employers need to pay attention to the growing number of returning military veterans with various physical and psychological disabilities.  

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination, including the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.  Further information is available at

  Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA
 Karen L. Braitmayer Access Board Chair
  Board Executive Director David M. Capozzi
 David M. Capozzi Access Board Executive Director


Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires access to programs and activities that are funded by federal agencies and to federal employment. The law also created the U.S. Access Board to ensure access to the built environment.

Specifically, the Board was established to enforce a law passed a few years earlier, the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968. One of the first laws on the books to address accessibility, the ABA aimed to make the federal government a model of accessibility by requiring access to all facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds. 

In passing the Rehabilitation Act, Congress determined that the ABA needed better enforcement. As originally written, the ABA effectively left compliance up to each agency with little oversight. Further, comprehensive standards for accessibility were not available at that time. It was clear that a central agency was needed to both establish and enforce accessibility requirements for facilities covered by the law.

According to Access Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, "In creating the Access Board, Congress recognized that you can't guarantee accessibility until you clearly spell out how it is to be achieved and have a process in place to make sure that those requirements are met." In fact, the lessons learned from the ABA and the Rehabilitation Act would not be lost on later laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

"With accessibility, it's fair to say that the Federal government essentially started in its own backyard," states David M. Capozzi, the Access Board's Executive Director. "The Rehabilitation Act and the Architectural Barriers Act helped lay the groundwork for the landmark ADA and coverage of accessibility beyond the federal realm."

To this day, the Board continues to do what it was created to do. It develops and keeps up-to-date the accessibility requirements of the ABA and enforces compliance with them through the investigation of complaints. If a member of the public is concerned about access to a facility that may have received federal funding, it can file a complaint with the Board. The Board then opens an investigation to determine whether the facility is covered by the ABA and, if so, whether it meets the applicable standards. If a covered facility is not in compliance, the Board will pursue a corrective action plan and monitor the case until all necessary work is completed. The Board typically opens about 50 to 100 cases each year, and has ensured access to all types of facilities covered by the ABA, including post offices, national parks, and social security offices, among others. Since the ABA also applies to non-Federal buildings that are federally funded, the Board's casework has encompassed many other types of facilities as well, such as schools, transit stations, local courthouses and jails, and public housing.

The Board's mission has grown tremendously over the years under later laws. Its work developing and maintaining accessibility requirements is no longer limited to buildings covered by the ABA. Now, the Board is responsible for design requirements for facilities and transportation systems covered by the ADA, electronic and information technology in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, telecommunications equipment subject to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and, most recently, medical diagnostic equipment under Section 510 of the Rehabilitation Act. Through this work, the Board has become a leading resource on accessible design.

"The Board has eagerly accepted the responsibility to address access in new and unchartered areas," says Capozzi. "The Board maintains a very active and varied rulemaking agenda. In fact, just today, the Board is releasing new guidelines that address access to federal outdoor recreation sites." The Board is also developing new guidelines or standards for public rights-of-ways, shared use paths, passenger vessels, emergency housing, classroom acoustics, and medical diagnostic equipment. Having previously developed and updated its guidelines for facilities under the ABA and ADA, the Board is currently refreshing its ADA guidelines for transportation vehicles and its standards and guidelines for information and communication technologies covered by section 508 and the Telecommunications Act. In addition to rulemaking, the Board provides technical assistance and training to the public on its guidelines and standards on a regular basis and funds research on accessible design.

"Often people ask which department the Board is part of, but in fact it is an independent federal agency with authority to report directly to the President and Congress," says Braitmayer. Its governing Board includes 13 members from the public appointed by the President to four-year terms. Over the years, almost 100 people have served on the Board as public members. Since the Board also coordinates policy government-wide relating to accessible design, 12 federal departments are represented on the Board as well.


US Access Board

RTEmagicC_Contrassegno_Europeo_Disabili_fronte_jpgI possessori di pass auto per disabili dovranno sostituire il vecchio contrassegno con quello in formato europeo, presentandosi personalmente all'Assessorato al Traffico e alla Mobilità del Comune di Lecce, in viale Rossini 110. Scadenza prevista per lunedì 30 settembre.

E' in arrivo, infatti, il "Cude" Contrassegno Unificato Disabili Europeo destinato ai cittadini disabili. L'adeguamento alle normative europee da parte del Comune di Lecce prevede il rinnovo per i pass disabili convertendo gli stessi nel formato europeo. Un passaggio che consentirà ai cittadini con invalidità di parcheggiare negli appositi spazi a loro riservati su tutto il territorio dell'Unione Europea. Il Contrassegno Unificato Disabili Europeo (Cude) rappresenta un passo avanti per il diritto alla circolazione nello spazio europeo.

Il nuovo tagliando, identificato dal simbolo internazionale dell'accessibilità bianco su fondo azzurro, che consente la sosta ed il riconoscimento dei veicoli delle persone diversamente abili, cambia oltre che colore, la forma e prevede anche, a differenza del precedente, la fotografia e firma del titolare sul retro del contrassegno. La nuova norma - che impone, dunque, al proprietario del contrassegno di essere presente al momento della firma - servirà anche per evitare l'uso improprio degli stessi.

Per eventuali chiarimenti è possibile contattare il Front - Office del settore Mobilità e Traffico del Comune di Lecce ai seguenti numeri telefonici 0832 230782 - 0832 682786.

Ali Amanbayev in Kazakhstan

Man in wheelchair receives a flower bouquet at a ceremony

In 2012, Ali Amanbayev was appointed adviser to the Minister for Labour and Social Protection

During the construction of a public school in Almaty, I pointed out that the new building needed to be equipped with spacious elevators and ramps.

My suggestion was met with puzzled looks and a sheepish remark that this was not a "special" school. This incident made me reflect on the status of people with disabilities in Kazakhstan.

Our society needs to fundamentally revise its attitude and keep an open mind.

Disabled does not mean defective; people with disabilities should not be crammed into special institutions, but rather integrated into society like everyone else.

Social prejudice and stereotypes create issues of accessibility, as the environment - even in large cities as Almaty and Astana - is not properly equipped to meet the needs of people of disabilities.

As a result, people with disabilities often feel discouraged and confine themselves within the walls of their homes. It is a cycle that needs to be broken.

The limitations created by my disability drove me to become more resolute to succeed, to prove to everyone that I am no different.

At the age of 14, I was given crutches to help me to walk and I left the hospital with the realization that my medical diagnosis was now an inseparable part of my identity. I was devastated, but I did not lose hope.

In the 1960s, unlike now, the issues of people with disabilities were completely unaddressed and ignored, and we were practically invisible. As a result, I constantly struggled with discrimination. I was rejected from high school because of a driving class and was refused a teaching position at the Kazakh National University because I could not participate in the annual potato harvest (!).

These obstacles were frustrating, but I never gave up. I demanded that my rights be respected and I persevered, going as far as stealing the principal's keys in protest and arguing with the University dean until I was granted a job offer.

Today, it is relatively easier for people with disabilities to function in society. We have a Union of People with Disabilities, and as the Chairman of this organization, I organize numerous visits, seminars, and lectures to different regions of Kazakhstan to raise awareness and promote the rights of people with disabilities.

We actively lobby for equal access to education, leisure, and employment - and we are slowly, but surely reaching success.

Kazakhstan: A champion for people living with disabilities

As social and cultural barriers are tumbling down, people with disabilities need to overcome one more important challenge: They need to understand that a physical disability is not a life sentence and that they can enjoy a happy and successful life despite their diagnosis.

Society is growing more understanding and accepting, but what matters is that you need to accept yourself too. Do not let your disabilities hold you back - propel yourself forward and strive for the best.


Image of Braille reader and websitePresentation of a benchmarking study carried out by the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). Between between August and October 2012 researchers examined 41 websites of European National Tourism Organisations (NTOs).  

NTO websites were tested for compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines - to see if they are accessible to people with disabilities.

Secondly, the content of the websites was examined to see if NTO websites contained information specific to the needs of visitors with disabilities and other people who need good access, for example when visiting destinations, in accommodation, in transport or at visitor attractions.

The results showed that no NTO website was completely free from accessibility errors. 

Furthermore, only 19 out of the 41 websites studied contained any information specific to disabled travellers. In many cases this information was not easy to find, due to the use of variable terminology and the low priority given to this type of information.

Commenting on the benchmarking study, Ivor Ambrose, ENAT remarks: 
"These findings point to a lack of awareness among many NTOs about the importance of using web accessibility standards for reaching all potential customers. NTO managers and web designers should also know that sites that are built according to the WCAG guidelines will work quickly and smoothly on all platforms, which is clearly an added market advantage".

Full article:


Under the Specific Programme: Preparatory Action "Tourism and accessibility for all", the European Commission has issued an Open Call for projects that will foster accessibility in local tourism development agendas, strategies and practices.

Call Deadline: 22/10/2013
Call Number: 102/G/ENT/PPA/13/511


The specific objectives of this call are:

  • To foster adaptation of tourism products and services to the needs of people with special access needs
  • To promote equal opportunity and social inclusion of people with special access needs
  • To improve skills and training with relation to accessibility in the tourism supply chain
  • To help mainstreaming accessibility in all segments of the  tourism supply chain, while at the same time creating a seamless chain of accessibility in tourism
  • To promote, market and disseminate best practices in accessible tourism
  • To provide adequate support and guidance to SMEs
  • To enhance  the quality and diversify the offer  of accessible tourism experiences in Europe
For more detail:

Countdown to World Tourism Day 2013

With one week left until World Tourism Day (WTD) on 27 September, preparations are on the final stretch in the Maldives, the host of this year's official celebrations, and in many countries around the world around the 2013 theme, "Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future".

As the most important international observance day for tourism, WTD 2013 is a worldwide platform to underscore tourism´s responsibility and commitment in ensuring a sustainable water future.

In a special message on the occasion of WTD 2013, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "This year's World Tourism Day highlights the responsibility of the tourism industry to safeguard and intelligently manage water. In this International Year of Water Cooperation, I urge tourism establishments to cut consumption and improve waste management and I call on individuals to play their part by making environmentally conscious choices when they travel."

"World Tourism Day offers a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on water both as an asset and as a resource and on the actions needed to face up to the water challenge," said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. "I urge all those involved in the tourism sector to join our global World Tourism Day campaign and continue to devise innovate solutions to ensuring tourism contributes to sustainable access to water resources worldwide," he added.

 As part of the WTD celebrations in the Maldives, a high-level Think Tank on Tourism and Water will bring together public and private sector tourism stakeholders, leading experts on water preservation and media experts to debate key issues encompassing the global water challenge.

UNWTO invites all to participate and share their events and follow the official WTD celebrations online:


About World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day (WTD) is held annually on 27 September.

Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.


Useful links:

World Tourism Day 2013


The Global Universal Design Commission

Peter Blanck, University Professor and chair of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (BBI), has been named chairman of the board of directors for the new Global Universal Design Commission Inc. (GUDC). The commission, a nonprofit organization and collaboration supported in part by BBI, brings together some of the most knowledgeable and influential people in the areas of accessible design and legislation.

The mission of the GUDC is to create universal design standards for the built environment to impact communities in the United States and around the world. The GUDC was initiated and funded by Joshua Heintz and William Gilberti, partners of the Syracuse-based law firm Gilberti, Stinziano, Heintz & Smith, P.C.

A preliminary meeting of the GUDC took place May 30 at the Carousel Center Skydeck. The meeting was hosted by Destiny USA, whose founder and chairman, Robert Congel, is a local pioneer of universal design for commercial uses. The inaugural meeting begins a public process to draft and adopt voluntary guidance standards to be used in new and existing commercial buildings across the country.

With bipartisan support in the United States at the federal and state levels, and the involvement of the design, development, disability and aging communities, the GUDC's goal is to accelerate adoption of universal design concepts. The GUDC advocates design for the range of human performance and preferences -- beyond compliance with law -- with a vision of good design that provides ease of use without disadvantage to any group or individuals.

The first meeting of the GUDC also included the participation of His Excellency Luis Benigno Gallegos Chiriboga, ambassador of Ecuador to the United States, a leader in disability advocacy worldwide. His participation brings international attention to the GUDC's mission. Gallegos's commitment to forging a consensus and his constant advocacy to advance the social, civic and economic participation of people with disabilities worldwide has been widely recognized. He was instrumental in the inclusion of disability in the U.N. human rights legal framework.

The GUDC is supported by Gilberti, Stinziano, Heintz & Smith; BBI; the Center on Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA Center) at the University at Buffalo; the National Council on Independent Living; and members of the GUDC Board of Directors: Berthy de la Rosa-Aponte, a member of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities; Blanck; Joshua Heintz, partner, Gilberti, Stinziano, Heintz & Smith, P.C.; Graham Hill, CEO of Ice Miller Strategies LLC; Andrew Houghton, president of Disability Inclusion Solutions; Carmen Jones, president of Solutions Marketing Group; John Lancaster, executive director of the National Council on Independent Living; and Edward Steinfeld, director of the IDEA Center at the University at Buffalo.

For more information on the GUDC, contact James Schmeling at BBI at (315) 443-8953 or

Carers should travel free, say MPs

From This is Guernsey:

Launching the Access To Transport For Disabled People report, committee chair Louise Ellman said: "Changes made ahead of the 2012 Paralympic Games delivered access for disabled people to significantly more parts of the public transport network for the first time and highlighted the immense value of such improvements for all. Yet a year later, there is a risk that some of the momentum from London 2012 is being lost because further key accessibility improvements planned by the Department for Transport are been watered-down or abandoned..."

Carers should be able to fly for free if an airline requires them to travel with the disabled people they look after, a group of MPs have said.

The Transport Select Committee called on the Government to try to amend European Union regulations so carers fly free of charge if an airline requires them to be present because the person they look after cannot perform an emergency procedure alone.

Full article:

Recreate Packaging 2014: Call for Entries

Stora Enso has issues the challenge for Recreate Packaging 2014. Can you up the game and submit something that has the appeal of Universal Design?

Increasing numbers of people today are constantly on the move and travelling around the world. Everyone has different needs when it comes to travelling. People like travelling to specific types of destinations - sometimes on their own, sometimes with others along- but there are always products that people will take with them, no matter where they are travelling to, both near and far.

In current packaging solutions, very little attention is paid to portability, lightness, and convenience of packaging from the point of view of travelling individuals. Stora Enso's packaging materials have the potential to exhibit these qualities and can replace plastics, aluminium, and glass to create attractive packaging solutions using renewable materials in various end uses.

Recreate conventional travel packaging - After all, we have chosen the name of this competition for a reason!

Using renewable packaging material, your challenge is to recreate travel packaging in order to make travelling easier, smarter and more responsible from a consumer's point of view.

Think of the 3 beauty and/or healthcare products that you consider most important to have with you while travelling. Your task is to design a packaging solution for these products that meets or even exceeds the performance and portability of present-day primary and secondary packaging.

Once you have chosen your 3 products, you as the designer(s) have free hands to create something extraordinarily innovative. Although the conventional functions of primary and secondary packaging are important to take into consideration, we are looking for travel packaging solutions that stand out from what we see and experience today.

Consider that the final solutions you submit can either be carried personally by the future consumer in their travel luggage or it can be delivered to the traveller's destination by an external party (e.g. online retailer). Therefore, it is essential to make sure that the packaging design secures its contents safely but is "smart" in a logistical sense. While designing your solutions, keep in mind technologies like NFC, RFID, QR codes, for instance.

Challenge the predictable. Push the boundaries. Surprise us!



The Permanent Mission of Mexico, the Permanent Mission of Australia, the International Disability Alliance and the United Nations Children's Fund are pleased to invite you to a breakfast meeting on:
Disability in the Lifecycle: Investing in Children

Monday 23 September, 2013
7:30am- 8:45am
UNICEF House, Labouisse Hall
New York, NY, 10017


The breakfast meeting will provide an opportunity to enhance understanding of disability within the lifecycle framework and the importance of increased investment to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities across all sectors. The momentum generated by the High‑level Meeting of the General Assembly on the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals provides an opportune moment to mobilise political opinion and increased commitment to inclusion, particularly for children with disabilities.


·         Mr. Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF

·         Mr. Jose Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Mexico

·         Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis, Chair, International Disability Alliance

·         Mr. Gopal Mitra, Programme Specialist, Disability Section, UNICEF


Reserved seating will be available for Heads of Delegation, Government Ministers, and Permanent Representatives.  Delegations are requested to confirm registration details no later than Friday, September 20th so seating arrangements can be secured.

The sign language interpretation and CART will be available.

Please RSVP by Friday 20 September, 2013, before 4pm. For further information and to RSVP, please contact Ms. Anna Burlyaeva-Norman at<>

On Deborah Pierce's The Accessible Home

On Deborah Pierce's The Accessible Home. from The Miami Herald:

Conditions such as partial or complete loss of hearing or eyesight, for example, are far more common than severe spinal cord injuries or other limitations that prevent walking, and they can present numerous difficulties in coping with everyday tasks. Degenerative neurological conditions can affect balance, space perception and muscle control. Joint pain or arthritis can make it difficult to use doorknobs, faucet controls, cabinet latches and other common hardware. Even ordinary decreases in strength or flexibility can render an otherwise cherished home unfriendly, and Pierce notes that most homeowners queried want to "age in place," that is, to stay in their home even if they become disabled.

With this broader perspective outlined, the book turns to the specifics of design. As Pierce understands and conveys it, "universal design" aims at creating buildings and spaces that allow use by the disabled and able-bodied alike. The best features, she emphasizes, are user-friendly to all persons and don't give the home an institutional look or a makeshift appearance of improvised afterthoughts that detract from a home's aesthetics or value.

Full story:

Read more here:

From GRI for All:

 The United Nations need to include indicators related to inclusion of people with disabilities in its Post-2015 agenda:

Why indicators on disability should be in the GRI Guidelines:


  • People with disabilities are the world's largest minority and most disadvantaged population group. There are more than 1 billion people who are living with disabilities, who represent 15% of the world population. In all regions people with disabilities are disproportionately represented among the world's poorest, and lack equal access to fundamental resources.
  • This figure is increasing through population growth, medical advances and the ageing process, says the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • An estimated 386 million of the world's working-age people have some kind of disability, says the International Labor Organization (ILO). Unemployment among the persons with disabilities is as high as 80 per cent in some countries. By employing people with disabilities, companies could wisely take advantage of the wider range of human talents.
  • People with disabilities are also a large potential customer base, which continues growing, particularly in ageing societies, where any person could experience some kind of disability at some point in his/her lifetime. For instance, in the United Kingdom, 75 per cent of the companies of the FTSE 100 Index on the London Stock Exchange do not meet basic levels of web accessibility, thus missing out on more than $147 million in revenue.

Since its approval in 2006, more than 150 countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It refers to a wide range of areas such as employment, accessibility, education, health, work and employment, living independently, adequate standard of living and social protection, participation in the community, cultural and political life, just to state some topics. Although the UN Convention becomes mandatory and applicable to national legislations for signatories, much work needs to be done for its full implementation.




A key Australian state government department of Family and Community Services has initiated a roject to identify issues around the supply and content of information egarding accessible toilet facilities. A little of the background is ffered to explain the project.

This project forms part of the The National Disability Strategy NSW
Implementation Plan 2012 - 2014 (NSW plan) which  enunciates NSW priorities
and key actions towards ensuring equality of rights and opportunities
reflected by access to mainstream services by people with disability in NSW.
The NSW plan identifies six key priority areas. This research project fits
under the first priority area; Inclusive and Accessible Communities.

Participation in society requires access to basic facilities such as parking
and toilets. Information provision in respect to accessible toilets has been
spasmodic with initiatives pursued by several disability organisations, the
Master Locksmith Association Key (MLAK) scheme and the National Continence
Management Strategy which offers a searchable database of facilities and
map. These information delivery systems are all seeking to foster
participation. However, too many examples exist where this information has
proved to be inadequate, incomplete, inaccurate and often just not available
to potential users. Our project brief is to consult with stakeholders and
seek to draw out the specific issues around the provision of accessible
toilet facilities. We would then synthesise these issues so as to offer
recommendations for a way forwards. 

I have been undertaking this process by calling organisations, speaking with
a representative and recording the conversation. I am hoping to gain an
international perspective by contacting you for your insights and hope you
will be able to direct me to organisations or information sources regarding
accessible toilet facilities.

The following questions will give you some idea as to the information I am


Is there a (or more than one) publicly accessible database of accessible

Is the database a National Government initiative? Expand.

Is the database a Local Government or public organisation initiative?

How is the information contained in the database accessed by the public?

Examples:       RADAR UK, National Key Scheme 


Purchase Guide, Key, iPhone App

Australia, The National Public Toilet Map  <>

Web based, free iPhone App.

What details are held on the database? Example.

Do they include accessibility details, baby and adult change facilities etc?

How is the data gathered and who or which organisation is responsible?

What issues are you aware of in respect to information provision of
accessible toilets?

A number of smart phone apps are available on iTunes and GooglePlay - do you
know of any others or any web based sources of accessible toilet

Thank you so much for your assistance in this project. I would hope that one
day we'll meet when you travel to Sydney and I can show you the accessible
sights, of which there are many!


Bruce Cameron

Director, Easy Access Australia

 The UNWTO recommendations on "Accessible Tourism for All" (2013) have been approved and endorsed by the General Assembly. Updated from the 2005 version, the recommendations outline a form of tourism that involves a collaborative process among stakeholders to enable people with access requirements to function independently through universally designed tourism products, services and environments. These recommendations were developed within the framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2007.  

Accessible Tourism for All defines the appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, transportation, information and communications and facilities open to the public or for public use. 

 "Accessibility is a central element of any responsible and sustainable tourism policy. It is both a human rights imperative and an exceptional business opportunity," said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. "Above all, we must come to appreciate that accessible tourism does not only benefit persons with disabilities or special needs, it benefits us all," he added.  

Along this line, a manual on "Accessible Tourism for All" is set to be published in late 2013, designed to guide tourism stakeholders to improve the accessibility for tourism destinations, facilities and services worldwide. 

The development of the Manual is a joint effort between UNWTO, the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and two Spanish institutions, the ACS Foundation and the ONCE Foundation.  According to the World Health Organization (2011), there are approximately 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world, or 15% of the world population having a physical, mental or sensory disability. UNWTO´s "Declaration on the Facilitation of Tourist Travel (2009) underlines travel and tourism facilitation for persons with disabilities as an essential element of any policy for the development of responsible tourism.     

Useful links:                                                           

UNWTO General Assembly 

Contacts:  UNWTO Senior Media Officer: Marcelo Risi 
<>   Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 <tel:%28%2B34%29%2091%20567%2081%2060>      
UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme <>   
Tel: +34 91-567-8100 <tel:%2B34%2091-567-8100>   Fax: +34 91-567-8218 <tel:%2B34%2091-567-8218>        

Preliminary findings of the third edition of the CRPD Progress Report on ICT Accessibility will be released by G3ict - the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, in cooperation with DPI - Disabled People's International, on the occasion of the General Assembly's High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  

 Underlining the urgency for the United Nations to adopt a post-2015 development agenda inclusive of persons with disabilities, the CRPD 2013 ICT Accessibility Progress Report includes the latest data measuring the degree to which 72 States Parties are implementing the accessibility provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

The report, developed jointly by the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and Disabled People's International (DPI), offers disability advocates, governments, civil society and international organizations benchmarks for country laws, policies, and programs pertaining to accessible and assistive Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Results cover 65 percent of the world population.                  

While noting some progress in implementing core dispositions of the CRPD, the report documents significant deficits in promoting policies and programs to make essential services accessible to persons with disabilities around the world.  For example:

● 50 percent of countries - compared to 31 percent in 2012 - now have a definition of accessibility which includes ICTs or electronic media in their laws or regulations in compliance with the definition of accessibility in CRPD Article 9, but only 25 percent define, promote and monitor accessibility standards for ICTs.           

● In 2013, about 73 percent of the countries have dispositions to consult persons with disabilities in the development of disability-related policies and programs, but only 12 percent have a systematic mechanism to involve Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) working in the field of ICT accessibility for the drafting, designing, implementation, and evaluation of laws/policies.               

● Only 31 percent of the countries have government funds allocated to programs in support of ICT accessibility in both 2012 and 2013, indicating a lack of progress,

● In 2013, only 31 percent of the countries report that they have public procurement policies promoting ICT accessibility, meaning that a majority of countries continue to buy equipment or services which may be inaccessible to persons with disabilities; and           

● In relation to the above, only 35.6 percent of countries in 2012 provided services to the general public, including through the Internet, in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities, while 40 percent of countries report providing such services in 2013.   

The accessibility of the information infrastructure, a vital area of ICT accessibility with the greatest impact on the largest population of users, is lagging behind ratifying countries' general commitments to the CRPD: More than 80 percent of countries in 2013 report no or minimum levels of implementation of policies or programs promoting accessibility in critical areas such as mobile telephony, web sites, fixed telephony, transportation public address systems, television or Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).

Javed Abidi, Chairperson of Disabled People's International stated: "Depriving persons with disabilities from equal access to essential ICT-based applications and services violates the core dispositions of Article 9 of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and creates an unsustainable economic and social development gap in our digital age."    

Table: Accessibility Policies for Specific ICT Technologies, Products and Services by Level of Implementation

Are there any dispositions among Country laws, regulations and government supported programs promoting digital accessibility, the use of ATs or provisions from reasonable accommodations in the following areas of ICT? No  Minimum  Partial  Substantial  Full 
Copyright Exceptions84%7%6%3%0%
ATM or Kiosks69%21%7%0%3%
Fixed Line Telephony65%14%13%6%1%
Wireless Telephony65%18%9%4%4%
Public Building Displays64%26%7%1%1%
Digital Talking Books64%17%14%3%1%
Transportation Public Address Systems and Services59%25%12%4%0%

A second critical gap, which speaks to the role of persons with disabilities in the implementation of the CRPD, involves the support of DPOs. States Parties' policies are inconsistent with Article 4 (i) 3 of the CRPD and reflect a lack of respect for the participation of persons with disabilities: About 67 percent do not offer financial support for DPOs and NGOs for their work in developing policies and programs.  Yet, regression analysis across 72 countries data sets reveals that the participation of persons with disabilities is a common denominator among countries with the most successful ICT accessibility implementations.      

A third vital area of information and ICT accessibility related to the CRPD, and which remains low among surveyed countries, involves awareness raising and capacity building for persons with disabilities and key stakeholders. While 53 percent of the countries promote awareness-raising and training programs about the CRPD, a mere 10 percent provide mandatory training programs for future professionals about digital access for persons with disabilities;

This is inconsistent with Article 8 of the Convention and reflects a lack of understanding of the relationship between digital access rights and the capability of countries to engage in capacity building and inclusive development efforts to reflect CRPD dispositions.

Knowing how much progress is actually accomplished by CRPD ratifying countries in ICT accessibility is an essential step for all stakeholders in order to address gaps and opportunities in their own countries. While most countries are generally aware of their basic obligation to implement ICT accessibility, they have not: (1) translated essential CRPD dispositions into actual policies or programs, and (2) included persons with disabilities in the foundational countrywide policy development processes and capacity-building necessary to achieve valued outcomes.  As a result, more than one-fifth of the world's population may be vulnerable to a digital divide.      

Axel Leblois, President and Executive Director of G3ict said: "This 2013 edition of the CRPD ICT Accessibility Progress Report, which covers two third of the world population, documents critical global gaps in ICT accessibility. Those facts call for the United Nations post-2015 agenda to incorporate ICTs as a critical success factor for the inclusion of persons with disabilities."

Each of the critical areas of the Convention cited above present opportunities for improvement by ratifying countries, particularly in relation to their capacity for implementation and involvement of persons with disabilities and other stakeholders.  Bridging those vital gaps requires more than Governments work and resources. It requires a long-term partnership between the public sector, industry, DPOs and NGOs.

Overview and Methodology | List of Participating Countries |2013 Summary Tables

The full report, with detailed data and analysis, will be available as a free download on the G3ict and DPI websites by November 15, 2013.

World Summit on Destinations for All

Logo of Destinations for All World Summit Montréal. 19 to 22 October 2014. World Summit on Destinations for All addressing the themes of Tourism, Culture and Transportation for People with Restricted Physical Ability.

New! August 2013. Visit the website of the Destinations for All Summit

Press Release: Montréal, June 4th, 2012 - The number of international tourist arrivals is expected to climb to one billion in 2012.  Persons with physical limitations account for roughly 15% of the population  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.


Thumbnail image for destinations-for-all-keroul.jpg

We are delighted to announce that Mr. André Vallerand and Mr. Ivor Ambrose, two of the most active and respected figures in the tourism field, will be co-chairing our inaugural international event on accessible tourism in 2014.

Mr. Vallerand is President of the Montreal-based World Centre of Excellence of Destinations (CED), an innovative and powerful non-profit created with the assistance of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), for which Mr. Vallerand also acts as Special Advisor to the Secretary General. The UNWTO and the CED work collaboratively on creating strategies and disseminating know-how and good practices to help tourist destinations reach excellence. In addition to his CED presidency, Mr. Vallerand's illustrious resume includes having served as Québec Department of Tourism Minister.

Mr. Ambrose is Managing Director of the European Network forAccessible Tourism (ENAT), a non-profit organization he helped co-found by bringing together such key groups as VisitBritain, the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism, university management specialists, Greek web services company EWORX S.A., and various NGOs from Belgium, Spain and Greece. Born in England, Ivor Ambrose has lived and worked in the UK, Denmark and Belgium and is now based in Athens, Greece. He holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey, UK (1979) and a Ph.D. by research, completed while working at the Danish Building Research Institute (1991). From 1998 to 2001 he worked for the European Commission Directorate General Information Society, where he managed research projects and contributed to European policies on electronic services and support for the integration of persons with disabilities and seniors. Mr. Ambrose is an internationally known speaker in his field, and his scope of influence has established ENAT as a leading organization - in Europe and beyond - in developing the tourism sector's accessibility for people with disabilities.

Beyond their key roles as Co-chairs of the World Summit Destinations for All, Mr. Vallerand will also chair the Finance Committee while Mr. Ambrose will chair the Program Committee.

With such strong leadership at its helm, the World Summit Destinations for All is sure to be a landmark event in making accessible tourism a worldwide reality. For more details,

We hope you can join us in Montreal, Canada, from October 19 to 22, 2014.

Human Rights in Development

A new report was released this week by Human Rights Watch, making the case for the post-2015 agenda to be grounded in a human rights framework and emphasizingthe importance of disability-inclusive development.

The report is attached in Word and pdf format and is also available at:

The link to the pdf version is:

From the blog by Bill Peace, "Bad Cripple":

"The comment left today prompted me to write. These two diatribes accusing me of being: "self righteous", full of "bull shit", and a "piece of shit author".  I should also be "ashamed" of myself as I am a "self loathing cry baby". 

While the language leaves much to be desired I do not think the views expressed are far from the norm. Disability is grossly misunderstood. Much of what has been taught in secondary schools is badly antiquated. The fact is the vast majority of the population firmly believes disability is a medical problem.  A few may be aware that people with a disability have been discriminated against but that problem was solved a long time ago with a law that insures all new buildings are accessible. At no point does civil rights enter the equation. People with a disability it is thought are "suffering"...

 My anger and frustration does not stem from paralysis but rather a society that is knowingly reluctant to make the most basic so called reasonable accommodations. This is the leap in logic the majority of Americans have failed to make: disability is not about a given physical deficit. disability is about social, economic, and political exclusion."

For the full story:

FYMCA acogerá la primera edición del Congreso Internacional de Diseño UniversalLa primera edición del Congreso Internacional de Diseño Universal tendrá lugar del 30 de septiembre al 2 de octubre de 2009 en el Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga (FYCMA).

Esta cita, organizada por el Área de Accesibilidad del Ayuntamiento de Málaga junto con el Palacio de Ferias y Congresos de Málaga y coorganizada por la Fundación ONCE, reunirá a agentes públicos y privados para intercambiar experiencias y realizar contactos, identificar oportunidades y conocer las últimas novedades del sector. También colaboran en esta iniciativa el Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad y la Federación Española de Municipios y Provincias. 

Además de un congreso internacional que ofrece ponencias de importantes expertos en la materia, el certamen propone una zona de exposición en la que las empresas podrán mostrar aquellos productos y servicios relacionados con el diseño universal. 

On 5th September in Brussels theTask Force for Tourism of the European Commission will meet on inciuon in tourism


Ferrara, September 2nd, 2013 - in the strategy of the European Commission, Tourism is one of the most important items on which will develop investments in the next seven years 2014/2020. Accessible Tourism is one of these strategies from the beginning. Therefore, is very important the realization of this public hearing of the TRAN Commission - Transport and Tourism -, which will take place on September 5th at the European Parliament, to address the topic "Seasonality and accessibility. Ideas for developing tourist offers of European destinations and for increase the accessibility of tourist services". The European Commission in fact, expected in Accessible Tourism the engine of development and increase of individual states turnover, estimated at a potential growth of 15%.

Among the protagonists of the debate, authoritative representatives of the European Institutions, like Brian Simpson, President of the Transport and Tourism Committee and from Carlo Fidanza, vice president of the task force for tourism. Among the experts invited to address these issues Roberto Vitali, President of Village for all - V4A®and Cristina Nunez of NECSTouR.

Roberto Vitali, expressed great satisfaction: "I am happy because theparticipation in  a so relevant European event, represents a clear attestation of respect and credibility for their work from V4A® since 2008. Both from the point of view of the constant pursuit of quality of tourism for all, both in the promotion of a culture of autonomy and independenceonly an adequate information can guarantee a "everybody holidays", as says our payoff. The event of September 5 is a tangible sign of interest from the European Institutions which I hope will be followed by a commitment also by the italian Ministry of Tourism, to which I remember that the Accessible Tourism is not only a duty to protect the rights of citizenshipbut also the possibility of opening a market sector estimated in 15% of the value of tourist GDP (PIL) of every EU Country, including then Italy".

La Diputación de Badajoz, a través del Área de Fomento, Obras y Asistencia Técnica a Municipios, ha iniciado los trámites para incorporarse a la Red de Ciudades por la Accesibilidad.

Dicha red es una iniciativa capitaneada por el Ayuntamiento de Málaga que se constituirá oficialmente en el próximo mes de diciembre.

El primer paso dado por la institución provincial ha sido la solicitud formal de adhesión al Ayuntamiento de Málaga, que ha sido aceptada, según destaca en nota de prensa la propia diputación pacense.

Ahora, desde la institución se está preparando la documentación pertinente para hacer firme la incorporación, que convertirá a la Diputación de Badajoz en la primera de España en sumarse a esta Red, que de momento aglutina a una veintena de ayuntamientos del país y a organismos como la FEMP o el Cermi.

De esta manera, la Diputación de Badajoz, que desde hace más de una década viene trabajando en la accesibilidad en el medio rural, quiere aportar con su participación en la Red su experiencia territorial en el diseño y gestión de los planes comarcales de accesibilidad, así como nutrirse de las actuaciones que en otros lugares de España se hagan en materia de diseño universal y que puedan trasladarse a los municipios de la provincia.

La Red de Ciudades por la Accesibilidad se creó el pasado mes de junio en Málaga durante la celebración del tercer Foro Internacional de Diseño Universal y Movilidad, con el objetivo de convertirse en foro de intercambio de experiencias y buenas prácticas en el diseño de ciudades, donde la accesibilidad se contemple transversalmente en todas las actuaciones, así como en espacio de reflexión y análisis de futuro.

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Managing Emotion in Design.jpgManaging Emotion in Design Innovation has been published by CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group. 

This book presents an emotion centered research framework titled "emoha" for design innovation. It defines "emoha" and underlines the importance of the developed framework in culturalization of technology and thereby design innovation. The book explains the detailed research on product styling which leads to the creation of "emoha" and how to use it in product design. 

Check out link below to read details about the book and editorial reviews:

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