January 2014 Archives

Here is the 2012-2013 report from the 3rd European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities.

Here is an exciting new trend Guide Dogs NSW/ACT that we hope is taken up by organizations worldwide:

About the Awards

The Guide Dogs' Experience Unseen Travel Awards were established to promote independent travel for people with a vision impairment and to recognise that even though a person might not be able to see, that travelling still provides the same amazing experiences as someone with 20/20 vision.

betty & caitlin








In its inaugural year, this year we presented five lucky applicants with a $1,000 voucher to use as part of their travel experience.

To apply for the Awards, applicants were asked to write about their dream travel adventure. All applications were then judged by a five person, independent panel. The winners of the Awards for 2013 were:

You can read each winning entry via the links above. You can also follow each winner on their travel adventure through their respective blogs.



The organisers of the inaugural Universal Design Conference, taking place in August at Sydney Town Hall, have announced the call for papers is now open, giving experts in the field of the built environment an opportunity to contribute their knowledge and experience of universal design.

The conference will hear from keynote speaker, Dr Gerald Craddock, the chief officer at the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland. Since its inception in 2007, the centre has been at the forefront of the movement to develop universally designed environments that are accessible to everyone, regardless of background, age, or level of capability.

The conference is being hosted by the Council of the Ageing NSW and is sponsored by the City of Sydney. It is being organised by Interpoint Events, the events arm of the Intermedia Group, publisher of Australian Ageing Agenda. 

The conference, to be held 20 to 21 August 2014, aims to cover all aspects of the built environment including public domain, urban design, housing, tourism, workplaces and open spaces.

The call for papers closes on 6 February. Those interested are encouraged to share their knowledge and experience of universal design with a diverse audience including local government, advocacy and industry associations, and the construction industry.

For more information on the Universal Design Conference and to register, pleasevisit the website, call 1300 789 845 or send an email.



Join us on January 29th at 8:30 pm Eastern Time for a Virtual Support Group on travel with a disability. 

 Preregistration is required. Registration is online at this link: http://www.abc-med.com/register-abc-virtual-support-group

What are these virtual discussion groups from ABC Medical?

Abta updates accessibility guidance

Updated guidance has been produced for Abta members to help ensure that disabled and less mobile passengers get the most out of their travel and holiday arrangements.

A booking checklist, practical guides on each part of the passengers' journey and companies' legal obligations - particularly following changes to the requirements on maritime travel - plus free online training for members is included.

It is claimed to be the most comprehensive accessibility resource produced to date by the association, aiming to be a one-stop-shop for members looking for clarity on their obligations, and for practical support in improving their customers' travel experience.

Abta head of destinations and sustainability Nikki White said: "Meeting the needs of customers with disabilities is not only a legal obligation but also makes extremely good business sense.

"Throughout the UK there are millions of people with some form of disability. Properly understanding and servicing their needs and requirements opens up access to a substantial and important market and helps to ensure that passengers have problem-free and enjoyable experiences.

"However, knowing what kind of questions to ask, how to ask them and where the information needs to be sent is not always easy. Our guidance is intended to make this process clearer for our members."

A checklist is included for disabled and less mobile passengers, designed as an easy-to-use tool to use with customers in the booking process.

The checklist helps members obtain the relevant information so that operators and transport providers can assess the needs of passengers and give better advice on more appropriate holiday choices.

White added: "The travel industry and Abta members in particular have made great progress in making holidays and other travel arrangements accessible to all.

"A proper assessment of the needs of disabled travellers, obtaining relevant information and transmitting it in plenty of time to transport and other providers is essential.

"Members will now have a thorough and practical guide to this process - helping them to improve the customer's experience as well as better meeting their needs."

The guidance is available in the member zone of Abta's website: abta.com/member-zone/travel-essentials



Here at Leaving Evidence blog Mia Mingus deepens our understanding and gives a name to a phenomenon similar to what Fullbright Scholar Regina Cohen identifies as "atmospheres" in her excellent study of museum accessibility in Brazil.

First from Mia:

There are many ways to describe intimacy.  For example, there's physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, intellectual, political, familial or sexual intimacy.  But, as a physically disabled woman, there is another kind of intimacy I have been struggling to name and describe, what I have been calling "access intimacy".http://leavingevidence.wordpress.com/..

Access intimacy is that elusive, hard to describe feeling when someone else "gets" your access needs.  The kind of eerie comfort that your disabled self feels with someone on a purely access level.  Sometimes it can happen with complete strangers, disabled or not, or sometimes it can be built over years.  It could also be the way your body relaxes and opens up with someone when all your access needs are being met.  It is not dependent on someone having a political understanding of disability, ableism or access.  

Here Regina describes "atmospheres" in context:

Here is an article from BRACE worth reading that articulates well the groundswell that is also forming n the USA that has formed in reaction to intransigent injustice.

Just one quote and follow up at the link below:

Often, people like the idea of "inclusion" if folks with disabilities, they really do from the heart, but don't understand that it may very well mean a change is needed, and that we usually have a great deal of experience compromising and changing our own schedules and habits to suit your able bodied world. It would be nice if able bodied folks more often took the time and effort to recognize that when you invite us, you will need to do some adjusting, that things will simply not be as they have always been. That's just the way things go. And you never know, you may even like the change!

Read the full article: http://radicalaccessiblecommunities.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/psa-when-you-actually-welcome-us-shits-gonna-change/

PhotoAbility is  the work of New Mobility Person of the Year Deborah Davis and Australian tourism expert Bill Forrester. It charts a positive path through the excesses common in representing people  with disabilities in images. It marks a transition point by moving from discussion to providing a database of commercially available quality images.

Images at the poles the unaccepatable - off-the-path images - havebeen labeled "Inspiration Porn" and Desperation Porn."

Read Kara Ayers in her Audacity Magazine piece, "Desperation Porn: The Impact of Graphic Medical Images on the Disability Community":

 Stella Young wrote a phenomenal post on inspiration porn this summer. She describes the "feel good" images of children with disabilities as objectifying and limiting to our range of experience as people with disabilities.

I consider this newest trend a polar opposite type of image but with a similar impact. Graphic medical images of nameless children splashed across the Internet are a form of desperation porn. Posters seek short-term gratification of crisis support needs with little thought as to the implications of these images on their child's future.

Read the full article: http://www.audacitymagazine.com/desperation-porn-the-impact-of-graphic-medical-images-on-the-disability-community/

 The Destinations for All Summit will be an watershed event for diffusing our message to the industry. I am honored to be part of the organizing committee and overwhelmed at the quality and breadth of members of that committee.

Destinations for all website snipAre you working to make your tourism business or destination accessible and inclusive, or perhaps teaching or learning about this fascinating subject?

Then we'd like to hear from you!

Choose your theme from the areas of accessible tourism, culture and transportation and send your abstract by 3rd March to share and learn with the best at the 'Destinations for All' World Summit, Montreal 19 - 22 October 2014.


The deadline for submitting abstracts is the 3rd of March 2014.

More information is available at:


End Discrimination

Guide Dog Discrimination.jpg

ADVERTISEMENT: Image shows a dog's face, in what looks like a merging of a black lab and a golden retriever, looking directly at the viewer. There is a perfect line directly down the middle of the dog's face, in perfect symmetry separating both sides of the dog's face. One side is covered with black fur, the fur on the other side is white. The caption positioned just beneath the dog's eyes above 
the nose reads "BLACK OR WHITE: It's Time To End Discrimination." Further down there is additional text, in smaller print, white text on black fur. It reads: "Guide dogs are allowed into cafes and restaurants. Deny them access and you're breaking the law." Opposite the text, where the dog has white fur, is a logo of a dog wearing a harness with the word "Guide Dogs" and the website http://www.guidedogs.com.au/

From  the What's Next Boomer Business Summit:

The longevity economy is booming, with eight thousand baby boomers turning 65 every day. By 2050 there will be more than 160 million consumers over the age of 50, controlling more than 70% of the nation's disposable income. This generation is defying the myths of aging by adopting new technology, searching for new products and services, and becoming entrepreneurs during their third stage of life. Don't miss the highly sought after Analyst Sessions. Experts will share important data on these topics: 

  •  A broad look at Commrce Trends - Who, Why, How Will They Buy?
  • Boomer and Senior Housing Trends
  • 2014 Perspectives on Why Technology Adoption Matters
  • Healthcare Big Data: Analytics software for employers, providers and payors to address population health for Boomers and Seniors
  • Health, Wellness, & Lifestyle Trends
Experts at the What's Next Boomer Business Summit are known for bringing the very best content, data, case studies and strategies to participants. If you need tools to amplify your boomer business, register today. Register Now! The What's Next Boomer Business Summit is an annual event that is hosted by Mary Furlong and Associates that brings together the brightest minds in the growing boomer marketplace. Be sure toregister early for this important event that is being held in sunny San Diego on March 13, 2014!

The First Issue of PhotoAbility Magazine

Have a look at the first issue of Photo Ability Magazine.


 Here it is in another format:

A Study from Cyprus

A recent study conducted among youth with disabilities in Cyprus has shown that they are socially excluded due to barriers and obstacles that exist in society including lack of disabled access to public facilities.
The study was conducted in 2013 among 20 young people with disabilities and other youth volunteers of the European Social Forum of Cyprus "Forum Youth Club" within the framework of the "Youth in Action" programme.
It examined socialisation of youth with disabilities and the obstacles faced concerning social inclusion.
The research was conducted with active participation of youth with disabilities in order to get a more realistic result.
Findings showed that persons with disabilities, in general, want to be socially integrated and have active involvement in society. However, this is often not possible due to the lack of accessibility to public spaces and limited opportunities to socialise.  Accessibility still remains one the main barriers to socialisation of persons with disabilities.
Many social spaces are only accessible with the help of others, which means that a person with a disability cannot attend an event or go out on their own.
The study highlighted that social integration of persons with disabilities can only be achieved when people with disabilities no longer feel that they are a burden for a simple outing.
Another issue reported was the fact that many of them faced problems in the school environment something that stopped many of them from going on to high school, getting a job or to pursue further studies at university.
The study also showed that persons with disabilities whose family has accepted their condition and have good family relations are in a much better position than those who also face discrimination at home.
This is also true of those who got married, as they are generally more socially involved and active than those who never married and do not have a family.
Source: http://incyprus.philenews.com/en-gb/Blogs/4324/38913/youth-with-disabilities-are-isolated

Deborah Davis

Deborah Davis runs Push Living, Travabilty, PhotoAbility and many other projects.

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