July 30, 2008

Inclusive Travel and the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC)

Press from back home in San Jose, California illustrates that the disability movement travels -- and hints at an Indians abroad connection to promoting Inclusive Tourism. The next phase of Inclusive Tourism marketing involves Center for Independent living such as the one reported by San Jose magazine.Arminda Santos is a member of the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC) that was founded by a group of people with disabilities in 1976 - very early in the modern disability rights movement.:

“Before I came here, I had no computer training. So I took their computer classes. Now I am a lot better,” she says. “I’m currently doing Word and a little bit of Excel.”

Santos also took advantage of the travel opportunities organized by the SVILC, going to Disney World, Las Vegas, and Alaska. She kicked off her adventures with a trip to Hawaii, which was a big step because it was her first time flying.

“Six months after that, she went on her own on a trip to the Philippines to visit her parents,” SVILC’s Director of Development Shobha Srinivasan says. “She hadn’t been to the Philippines since she was a teenager. That’s what this center does for people. It gives them a ‘we can do it’ attitude.”.

The only independent living center in Santa Clara County, the SVILC was founded by a group of disabled persons in 1976. Today, more than 75 percent of SVILC’s staff and board members are disabled. “The consumers see people with disabilities as staff members and board members. It’s inyour- face empowerment,” Srinivasan says. “This diverse group has firsthand knowledge and a personal understanding of what independence means to people with disabilities and is thus the best service provider for the people we serve.”

This example of how disabled people's organizations (DPOs) have organized to assert the rights of our community in all aspects of society - even the parts covered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Article 30 on sports, leisure, culture, and travel.

For the entire rticle see:

http://www.sanjosemagazine.com/main/?p=898

Posted by rollingrains at July 30, 2008 01:00 AM