August 2014 Archives

Seoul Park.jpg
Scott Rains has kayaked in Alaska's Glacier Bay, trekked through South Africa and India, and visited Guatemala and New Zealand. He also happens to be a quadriplegic, a fact the 56-year-old campus minister from San Jose, California, hasn't allowed to interfere with an ambitious travel schedule.

Rains has noticed something interesting lately. Other folks his age--the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 and referred to as the baby boom generation--have begun to see things his way.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were ramps for easier access to train cars? Bigger doors to hotel bathrooms that accommodated a wheelchair? Audiovisual paging systems for the hard of hearing?

Boomers, many of whom came of age holding a protest sign, are joining forces with disability and senior groups to add muscle to the cause of increased accessibility in travel. "They don't intend to let hip replacements and insulin shots stop them from traveling," says Rains. "Nor will they be pandered to, stigmatized, or written off."

Rains and his generation are part of a growing movement. Retiring 60-somethings have more time to travel, which has increased demand for accessible accommodations.

Full article:


ICAT 2014.png

Dear Sir or Madam;

Tourism International Conference, Travel Mart Exhibition, Optional Tour & More

It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in 5th International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT 2014) with the theme TOURISM FOR ALL that to be held from 4 till 7 December 2014, at MBPJ Civic Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

ICAT 2014 is an event that aims to bring the Elderly and People with Disabilities to the heart of a more inclusive global society, in the same time to create awareness on this potential and niche market.  It is the first of such world-wide international events organized in Malaysia and will positively lead to an increased recognition and encouragement of policies and actions to promote Accessible Tourism for all.

The purpose of this conference is to present a discussion forum to identify key policies, strategies, and to provide information to policy makers, industry players, consumers and the public on Accessible Tourism for all. At the meeting, international guest speakers will be invited to discuss on the implementations, as well as to share country reports and progress on the topic.

Pre-Conference Tour and Access Tour will be part of Conference program for participants to experience the exciting of touring in Malaysia and giving input for improvement. The tour will take the participants to explore the fascinating sights in and around the city. Enjoy visits to cultural & heritage places and cosmopolitan structures that will leave them enriched with an experience of Accessible Tour.

 During the course of the event, there will also be an on-going exhibition featuring the accessible tourist attractions in Asia Pacific Region, interesting packages and facilities on Accessible Tourism. One could easily plan for an exciting and accessible tour with all the information provided. Besides that, the exhibition of arts and craft and various traditional hand-made products created by PWDs would highlight the contribution of PWDs in the field of tourism industry. In the same time there will be International Disability Arts Festival, Singing and Dancing Contest for those who have talent in performance to take part.

Another important purpose of ICAT 2014 is to officially form the Asia Pacific Network On Accessible Tourism (APNAT), in order to build up a bigger and wider network to create greater impact of Accessible Tourism to the world. 

Below please find the Conference Fee, Hotel Room prices and details for Optional Tours. A draft program is attached for your reference. Further information is available on For all other enquiries, please contact


Registration Dateline: September 30, 2014



Conference Registration Fee (December 4-7, 2014)


Registration Fee
(Date Line: September 30th, 2014)



MYR 500

Group (5+)

MYR 400 each

Accompany Person

MYR 300


MYR 300


MYR 300


MYR 250 each



Accompany Person

MYR 250


MYR 250


Registration Equity



Accompany Person


Pre-Conference Tour with Lunch on Dec 4 (Only for International Participants register before September 30)


Welcome Dinner, Film & Photo Contest Prize Presentation on Dec 4


Disability Performing Arts Festival

Opening Ceremony on Dec 5

Main Conference on Dec 5 & 6

Break Out Session for Access Check or                        International Singing/Dancing Contest on Dec 6

Exhibition & Mini Mart on Dec 4 - 6

Awareness Walk on Dec 7

Closing Ceremony Dec 7

Lunch (3 days: Dec 5 - 7)

Coffee Break (2days: Dec 5 - 6 )

Conference Bag & Material

Relevant Information

Local Airport Transport (International Participants)






    Pearl International hotel

Room rate: RM 180/room/night (twin bed, include 2 breakfast)

    Hilton Petaling Jaya

Room rate: RM 280/room/night (twin bed, include 2 breakfast)




Optional Tours

(a)  KL City Tour, sightseeing and the experience of hardknock (making own pewter bowl) with lunch.

Price: MYR 210/person, Minimum persons: 10 persons, Date of tour: 04th Dec 2014


(b)  Selangor Nature Park & Fireflies Night View Tour with dinner.

Price: MYR 285/person, Minimum persons: 10 persons, Date of tour: 05th Dec 2014

(quite challenges, only for those who could do self-transfer)


(c)  World Heritage Malacca daytrip tour with lunch.

Price: MYR 260/person, Minimum persons: 10 persons, Date of tour: 06th Dec 2014


I am also attached here the tentative program and registration form for your perusal. We look upon of your participation as it will bring much support and contribution to the conference and to the disabled community. Thank you.



Yours sincerely,

Sia Siew Chin

ICAT 2014 Organizing Chairman

Executive Director, Beautiful Gate Foundation For The Disabled.



My first international adventure was an amazing one. Elaine Keane is an occupational therapist that has opened, Crecer, a free clinic in Ecuador. Six occupational therapy students, six physical therapy students, and our professors ventured to Ecuador to provide services at Elaine's free clinic along with other sites in the area, including an adult day care, nursing home, and orphanage.


Throughout the week, the OT and PT students took over the caseload at Crecer Centro de Rehabilitación, Educación, Capacitación, Estudios y Recursos, Inc. My group, composed of two OT and two PT students, saw clients pediatric to adult. One of our successful cotreat sessions was with a young boy with spastic cerebral palsy. The PT student held the boy on his knee focusing on breaking up his tone with proper positioning while I completed a tabletop activity with the boy encouraging him to bring his hands to midline while completing fine motor tasks. Our class also worked with an adult who suffered a TBI after a fall at his electrical job. One group worked on his mathematical skills by creating a mock store and asking him to purchase items and calculate the correct change. Another group arranged the therapy room to mimic his electrician job site. The client demonstrated what his job entails as the OT and PT students noted areas that needed improvement before he is able to return to his job.

At FUNHI, the adult day care, we had a sports day playing adapted versions of volleyball, soccer, hockey, and ring toss. We also celebrated a Quinceanera with the clients. We took this opportunity to create birthday cards with those who hoped to improve their fine motor skills. Those who needed to improve range of motion helped us decorate the room with crepe paper and balloons.

The Asilo orphanage and nursing home were less focused on individual therapy sessions and more so aimed at serving the large population in a volunteer aspect. The girls at the orphanage ranged from 18 months to 14 years old. From painting nails to making balloon animals, the girls had a blast and the students didn't want to leave. At the nursing home we first helped shower the residents each morning. It was a very humbling experience. In the afternoon we had a fiesta with the residents, which included balloon games, jewelry making, and a lot of dancing.

The trip wasn't all about work. We had plenty of fun- zip lining upside down in the Andes Mountains, white water rafting in intertubes, relaxing in the hot springs heated by volcanoes, learning how chocolate is made, going to a butterfly house, orchid tour, tasting guinea pig, and sightseeing. I thoroughly enjoyed my first traveling experience and can't wait for traveling opportunities in the future.


he Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) is planning to organize a Forum for Accessible Tourism and Sustainable Development for All on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 (tbc) to promote accessible tourism as an effective means for poverty eradication, employment generation and social inclusion of persons with accessibility needs.

DSPD is calling for nominations of initiatives (policies, projects and innovative solutions) that have proved successful in the promotion of the accessible tourism and sustainable development.  Interested Governmental authorities, UN agencies, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations and private sector partners are encouraged to send nominations by filling an online nomination form at: along with relevant supporting materials to by August 30, 2014.

Due to the high volume of nominations, please be as concise as possible. More detailed information may be requested by DSPD after the first-round contact.

Please note the following:

1.        Each chosen participant will be allotted, a preassigned display space, free of charge for showcasing their organization's initiative during the Expo. 
2.        Chosen participants will be responsible for funding their travel, accommodation and any other costs incurred by participation in the  Expo and the DSPD Forum. 
3.        DSPD reserves the right to utilize the information provided in this nomination form in future promotional and information sharing initiatives. Submitting organizations will be appropriately credited for their work.

For more information, please visit:

Thank you very much for your support.

Best Regards, 

United Nations Logo
Amine Lamrabat 
Civil Society and Outreach Unit (CSOU)
Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
Secretariat Building, United Nations Headquarters
Room S-2937 (29th Floor)
New York, NY 10017
Tel: +1 (917) 367-9456
Fax: +1 (212) 963-3062

Press Release:

Montréal, August 20, 2014-VIA Rail Canada ( is proud to announce that the Canadian leaving Vancouver yesterday will include, for the very first time, a newly renovated Park car featuring an accessible cabin designed for people with disabilities. This new cabin is a testament to VIA Rail's continued commitment to improving the accessibility of its services in order to ensure the safety and comfort of all its passengers.

The new accessible cabin for two was designed following extensive research of accessibility requirements within the transportation industry. In total, four Park cars used on the Canadian will be reconfigured to include a fully accessible cabin. "VIA Rail is committed to pursuing the improvement of accessibility on all its services. We are proud to now offer a cabin on board the Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver with a level of comfort designed specifically for our mobility reduced passengers," declared Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail Canada, "from Halifax to Vancouver, VIA Rail is able to accommodate persons with disabilities on board all its trains."

Passengers wishing to reserve this cabin may do so by telephone at the toll-free number 1 888 VIA RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or1 800 268-9803 (hearing impaired), through a travel agency or at the station.

Accessibility investments over the past few years

The newly reconfigured Park cars are amongst many other initiatives undertaken by VIA Rail to improve the accessibility of its services.

Over the past few years, VIA Rail has invested in building new accessible stations and renovating stations in order to improve the accessibility of its facilities.

The corporation has also improved accessibility to its rolling stock on other routes. Renaissance cars, used on the Ocean (Montreal-Halifax), were reconfigured to include an Economy class car wheelchair tie-down, an accessible bathroom and a fully accessible sleeper cabin on each departure. Furthermore, each Renaissance Economy class car was modified to offer seating for passengers travelling with a service animal, and fold-up armrests were installed on 2 two-person seats as well as 4 individual alley seats.

Two rail diesel cars (RDC) were recently modified for accessibility, one of which is currently in use on the Sudbury-White River route. VIA Rail also has an accessible Economy class car on each of its LRC train consists.

As well, VIA Rail's web site at was optimized in 2012, enabling people with disabilities to better access information on the site.

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical travel, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500 km network. Recipient of the Railway Association of Canada's Safety Award in 2012 for the 11th time in 12 years, and of Baxter Travel Media's 2013 Agent's Choice Award (voted on by Canadian travel agents), VIA Rail safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested more than a billion dollars in VIA Rail. Follow the progress of our transformation at
Follow us on our blog at, on Twitter @VIA_Rail and on Facebook.


I have just one thing to say about Alice Wong's gift to the US disability community known as the Disability Visibility ProjectJust do it!"

Register online to record your story then walk, roll or hitch a ride over to the nearest StoryCorps recording booth. 

If you have a disability, tell your story. If you are family, friend, coworker or ally of someone with a disability think about participating too. The StoryCorps model is based on the simple observation that telling a story in conversation can be a very moving experience for those who hear it. In this case it will become part of the archive of a generation's experience of the past 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act - the ADA.

In the US we are in the midst of a ridiculously politicized struggle to ratify the United Nations charter based on the ADA - the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). Beyond being part of the oral history of the early ADA Era your recording offers real life stories to educate Senators, their staff, and the general public.

What is involved? I'll let Alice answer:

  Some people asked whether they have to talk about the ADA or not and my answer is it's completely optional. The Disability Visibility Project is using the ADA as a springboard to have people with disabilities reflect about their past, present and future. Everyone has an interesting story to tell. It can be about your passions and hobbies, your personal life as a sibling, parent or spouse or something about the work you do. Much of it might depend on your interview partner and what you two share together when it comes to the disability experience. People don't have to talk about activism, disability rights or legislation like the ADA or section 504 of the Rehab Act but they could if those topics are important to them.

To read more:


Wet Wheels: Tourism for All

Travel Morocco

Guide on Access to Outdoor Sites Available from the U.S. Access Board

outdoor guide (cover)A new guide on achieving accessible outdoor sites, including trails and camping areas, is now available from the U.S. Access Board. The 100-page document discusses and illustrates provisions of accessibility guidelines the Board issued last fall for outdoor sites developed by the federal government. These guidelines provide detailed specifications for accessible trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, beach access routes and other components of outdoor developed areas when newly built or altered.

The new guide serves as a companion resource to the guidelines by explaining the intent of various requirements and how they can be met. It discusses provisions for trails and trailheads, outdoor recreation access routes, and beach access routes such as those addressing surface characteristics, width, and running and cross slopes. Outdoor constructed features, including viewing areas, camp sites, tent pads and platforms, picnic tables, grills, fire rings, and toilet and bathing facilities are also covered. In addition, the guide explains exceptions in the guidelines that may apply where compliance is not practicable because of terrain, prevailing construction practices, or other specified conditions.

The provisions for outdoor developed areas are part of the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards and apply to federal agencies that develop outdoor areas for recreational purposes, including the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. However, the guidelines and companion guide can be used as a resource by other entities, including those subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), in addressing access to outdoor sites.

Visit the Board's website for further information or contact Bill Botten at (202) 272-0014 (v), (202) 272-0073 (TTY),

Parapan Games - Toronto 2015

More Than Walking

An award-winning short film: quadriplegic college student and filmmaker Jonathan Sigworth returns to India to tell the stories of four of his quadriplegic friends.

To turn on subtitles, click on the closed captions [CC] button. 16 other subtitle languages are available here:


Original English version:

Irish Wheelchair Access Guidelines

IWA members have identified access to the built environment as one of the biggest issues facing them in their daily lives. It is also widely acknowledged that access issues have a direct impact on other priorities such as employment, housing, parking and transport. People with disabilities want to lead fully independent lives, and rightfully expect to be able to participate in all aspects of society.

In response to this issue, Irish Wheelchair Association have a dedicated National Steering Group on Access who work with others such as the NDA Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, the Department of the Environment and local authorities to improve knowledge and awareness of the importance of this issue.

More information at:

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