July 31, 2007

"Complete Streets" -- Post-Petroleum Pedestrianism?

The concept is "complete streets." The driver is demographics -- and the-end-of-automotive-hegemony.

John Ritter writes in USA today:

A growing number of states and local governments are rejecting a half-century of transportation practice and demanding that streets accommodate all types of travel, not just automobiles.

The concept of "complete streets" — with bike lanes, sidewalks and room for mass transit — has attracted a diverse national alliance of supporters, including advocates for senior citizens and the disabled.

Watch for AARP's Livable Communities initiative to take leadership on innovative solutions incorporating the Disability Community's legacy of Universal Design:

"As an aging society, we need to look at the ability to get where we want to go not just as the driver of a car," says Elinor Ginzler, AARP's livable communities director. "Walking safely, getting to the bus stop safely, has to become more possible."

More:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-29-complete-streets_N.htm?csp=34

Thanks to Ruth Harrigan for this news tip!

Posted by rollingrains at 09:38 PM

July 30, 2007

Airport Innovation

From the Sun-Times News Group Wire:

The Chicago Department of Aviation says Chicago’s airports are on their way to becoming more accessible for disabled travelers.

“Accessible kiosks” are coming to O’Hare International Airport as well as Midway Airport in 2008, according to a release from the CDA on Wednesday. The kiosks are wired with videophones, allowing deaf or hearing impaired travelers to communicate using sign language.

Source:

Airports Become More Accessible For Disabled

http://cbs2chicago.com/local/local_story_210213230.html

Posted by rollingrains at 04:29 AM

July 29, 2007

LAX Compromises the Safety, Security and Health of Passengers

under_the_radar


The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy interviewed 275 passenger service workers at LAX. It seems that the poor service for passengers with disabilities is only the tip of an iceberg according to Richard Clough of the Los Angeles Business Journal:

Los Angeles International Airport compromises the safety, security and health of passengers, because of an inefficient contracting system for passenger services, according to a new study.

Less than a quarter of the security workers in the airport have received training on conducting plane searches, and even fewer have been trained to identify fake identification documents. In the event of an emergency, only one in ten workers have been trained to handle evacuation and emergency procedures, according to the survey.

“Instead of a trained, experienced and professional workforce, many passenger service workers are unprepared for major emergencies,” the report says. “In order to improve security and service quality at its airports, Los Angeles World Airports should increase its oversight of service contractors that operate on airport property.”

Read their report, Under the Radar

Posted by rollingrains at 09:19 PM

Senior Travel in Brazil

On Friday I mentioned Brazil's new Viaja Mais - Melhor Idade (Travel More! - the Best Age). So far I have seen nothing official in English so here's a preview until the site gets going at www.viajamais.com.br.

The project is a nationwide campaign involving 15 cities chosen by the Ministry of Tourism. The target population is travelers 60 and over but early signs are that planners are Boomer savvy. Domestic as well as international travelers are expected to benefit. In an innovative bid for the domestic market the Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal offer credit allowing payment plans to encourage travel.

Typical of mainstream marketing practice accessibility for people with disabilities is not highlighted. One can only hope that, with Brazil's pool of accomplished and innovative marketing professionals, they will invent new best practices for subtly portraying us in advertisement, provide the types of travel information that we need in formats that are fully accessible, and provide training for the travel industry service sector.

But it is not necessary to simply hope that we will be represented. Madalena Nobre has been contracted as one of the project trainers. With her long experience in Brazilian disability issues, policy, and the tourism sector she has the knowledge -- and the professional network of colleagues -- necessary to move Brazil into a world-class inclusive destination.

Brazilian Alexandre Kalache, formerly of the World Health Organization, has retired after launching WHO's Global Age-Friendly Cities Program. Rumor has it that his retirement plans include establishing a foundation in Brazil to continue Inclusive Destination development type work.

It is not a rumor, but rather a fact flying below the media radar, that Instituto Inter-Americano sobre Deficiência & Desenvolvimento Inclusivo is planning an international conference on Inclusive Travel in Brazil for 2008 - but we'll let that continue to germinate quietly until we - er, they - also get the web site up.

Further reading on Viaja Mais (Note: site not live yet as of this posting):

www.viajamais.com.br

Posted by rollingrains at 03:26 AM

July 28, 2007

Desenho Universal & a Qualidade dos Serviços Turísticos para a Melhor Idade (Portuguese)

Tem ouvido ja da programa Viaja Mais - Melhor Idade?

O Projeto Viaja Mais - Melhor Idade, a ser lançado no próximo mês de agosto, oferecerá pacotes de viajem aéreo ou rodoviário, com produtos customizados de nível turístico superior e luxo.

O pagamento pode ser efetuado através de cheque, dinheiro, cartão de crédito e/ou débito, além de crédito consignado via Banco do Brasil e Caixa Econômica Federal para viagens no valor de até 3 mil reais, que podem ser parceladas em até 12 vezes com juros de 1% ao mês.

A programa vai estimular a adotacao do Inclusive Tourism com Desenho Universal tambem:


Entre outros benefícios, o programa contribui para o fortalecimento do mercado turístico interno, estimula a atividade em períodos de baixa ocupação, eleva a qualidade dos equipamentos e serviços turísticos, estrutura os destinos e diversifica a oferta turística brasileira, e promove o desenvolvimento da pequena e média empresa, que são a maioria na atividade turística nacional.

Como sabe a industria:

Os “avós de antigamente” já não são mais os mesmos. Com espírito jovem e muita animação eles resolveram que depois de ter trabalhado a vida toda, não há nada melhor do que tirar férias merecidas e duradouras e ocupar seu tempo viajando.

E como ja disse, cumplido com o meu contrato com SeniorNet estou pronto voltar pelo Brasil escrever para o mercado norteamericano do roteiro Viaja Mais - Melhor Idade!

Recursos:

Balneário Camboriú

Ceará

Maceió

Manaus

Para

"Renovando Sempre"

Articulo de 2004 analizando acontecimentos em Santos para a "melhor idade"

Posted by rollingrains at 01:12 AM

July 27, 2007

Accessible Sailing & Good Design in Boston are Good for Tourism

Tom McCarthy photo from http://bygonebureau.com/

For the past week it has been my privilege to host several out of town visitors. Playing host is always a valuable exercise in seeing the familiarly local with new eyes. On the return from an excursion into Big Basin redwood park Brazilian tourism student Mariana Coelho and I discussed a new video that we previewed together by the Brazilian inclusive adventure and eco-tourism tourism activists at Aventura Especial. The question we chewed on most of the way home was how to measure success - how to know when "first stage" pioneering efforts in Inclusive Tourism have matured into sustainable "second stage" initiatives or passed into a ubiquitous "third stage" where inclusion is no longer a conceptual or design challenge but a commonsense assumption.

Let me introduce you to The Bygone Bureau with an engagingly written look at accessible sailing in Boston. I see in Boston's program innovation at that second stage where a strong international inclusive sailing community devotes significant talent and financial resource to improving their sport -- and in the process enhancing the appeal of Boston as a destination of choice for travelers with disabilities. Kevin Nguyen's Smart Design chronicles a sailing adventure with Tom McCarthy in an experimental craft. Nguyen observes:

The Accessible Sailing Program is a great example of user-centered design, a philosophy that boils down to multi-step problem solving. The Community Boating team adjusted the make of the boat to accommodate, not accept, each limitation of its driver. Most admirably, no part of the universal sailing experience is diminished.

In a world where people are constantly struggling with clumsy design—poor user interfaces, products made for form rather than function—it’s refreshing to see that there are some folks out there with enough heart to make something that really works the way it should. Time and effort seem to be the key.

By the way, if you are not familiar with The Bygone Bureau you an keep an eye on it here in their Travel section. Anybody with the writing talent they demonstrate and the self-effacing bravado of a start-up publication deserves to be on your RSS list:

We’ve been playing with the idea of starting an online publication for a while now. Even in its conceptual stages (a euphemism for drunken brainstorming), I knew there’d be a few hitches––dealing with limited contact between writers through e-mail, finding a simple hosting plan, coding a solid site design, et cetera. I never imagined that the project’s biggest snag would be giving it a name.

Seriously. It took forever.

Realizing that just about every domain name had already been registered and parked, Nick and I were forced to throw around names for two or three weeks. Some were quirky (Deep Sea Life), some were sophisticated (The Emperor), and some were just plain stupid (Higgledy-Piggledy).

And so the fruits of our labor yielded the Bygone Bureau. It’s a pretty snappy name for what I can only guess will become the world’s most popular publication.


Related reading:

Access Dinghies & Universal Design
http://www.rollingrains.com/archives/001043.html

Posted by rollingrains at 05:41 PM

July 26, 2007

The Design for All Journal

Design-for-All


The new issue of Design for All from Dr. Sunil Bhatia's Design for All Institute of India has been released. This issue highlights Japanese UD efforts. The journal may be acquired through the contact below.

Design For All Institute of India

13,Lodhi Institutional Area,
Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003

Telephone: +91-011-2785-3470
E-Mail: dr_subha@yahoo.com

Posted by rollingrains at 07:03 PM

The Launch of EU Inclusive Skies Regulations

From the European Disability Forum (EDF):

Brussels, 26 July 2006 – “It took us more than three years to obtain this important piece of legislation and I would like to congratulate all those that have actively contributed to make it happen. The European Union has taken an important step forward to advance disability rights in Europe, but we need to continue to work together in order to overcome the current gaps of the Regulation”, said today Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum.

The overall aim of the Regulation is to guarantee equal treatment for all passengers, including ‘any person with reduced mobility or sensory impairment, intellectual disability or any other cause of disability, age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention and the adaptation to his or her particular needs of the service made available to all passengers’.


Only articles 3 (‘Prevention of refusal of carriage’) and 4 (‘Derogations, special conditions and information’) of the new Regulation enter into force today. The entire Regulation, which is directly applicable to European airports and airlines, will be totally effective in one year.

For the European Disability Forum, the umbrella organisation representing the interests of 50 million disabled people in the European Union that has lobbied the European union in favour of the Regulation, there is still room for improvement:

We are worried that the exceptions established in Article 4 will be used to continue discriminating disabled air passengers. If we want the Regulation to be effective, the safety reasons that allow to deny the boarding of a disabled person need to be clarified”, said Vardakastanis.

According to the Regulation, an airline can still refuse the boarding of a disabled passenger due to ‘Safety reasons established by national, Community or International law’. “We need the European Union to clearly define these exceptions and to agree on common safety reasons across Europe. Otherwise, a disabled passenger might be allowed to travel to a Member State applying certain rules, but not to come back!”, stressed EDF President.

EDF campaign on air passengers’ rights will therefore target the adoption of common safety rules in Europe, as well as the wide dissemination of the provisions of the law. The EDF will also concentrate its efforts to improve the Regulation, as well as to obtain similar legislation for all forms of transport.

EDF President: “Disabled people have new rights and they must apply them. It is important to inform them and to encourage them to complain if these rights are violated anywhere in Europe. This will ensure better quality for all passengers, with and without disabilities”.


For more information, please visit EDF webpage: http://www.edf-feph.org/en/policy/transport/trans_pol.htm


The text of the Regulation can be downloaded from:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2006/l_204/l_20420060726en00010009.pdf

For more information, please contact: Helena González-Sancho Bodero, EDF Communication and Press Officer; Tel office: (+ 32 2) 282 46 04; E-mail: communication@edf-feph.org


The European Disability Forum (EDF) is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 50 million disabled citizens in Europe. EDF membership includes national umbrella organisations of disabled people from all EU/EEA countries, as well as European NGOs representing the different types of disabilities. The mission of the European Disability Forum is to ensure disabled people full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe.

Posted by rollingrains at 01:19 PM

How Accessible is Monticello?

Not sure? Read Darren Hillock's new post at the Get Around Guide, Accessing Jefferson

Posted by rollingrains at 01:59 AM

L’espace aérien : ouvert aux passagers handicapés? (French)

Alors que les premières dispositions du règlement européen sur les droits des passagers aériens entrent en vigueur, le Forum européen des personnes handicapées met en garde sur les lacunes de cette législation.

Bruxelles, 26 juillet 2006 – « Il nous aura fallu plus de trois ans avant l’obtention de cette importante législation et j’aimerais féliciter tous ceux qui ont contribué activement à atteindre notre objectif. L’Union européenne a fait un grand pas pour mieux protéger les droits des personnes handicapées, mais nous devons continuer à travailler ensemble afin de surmonter les lacunes de ce règlement », a déclaré aujourd’hui le Président du Forum européen des personnes handicapées, Yannis Vardakastanis.

Le but du règlement est de garantir l’égalité de traitement de tous les passagers, y compris « toute personne avec un handicap physique, sensoriel ou moteur, handicap intellectuel, ou avec toute autre cause de handicap, ou de l'âge, et dont la situation requiert une attention appropriée et l'adaptation à ses besoins particuliers du service mis à la disposition de tous ».


Uniquement les articles 3 (« Interdiction de refuser le transport ») et 4 (« Dérogations, conditions spéciales et information ») du nouveau règlement entrent en vigueur aujourd’hui. L’ensemble du Règlement, qui sera d’application dans tous les aéroports européens et sur toutes les compagnies aériennes, entrera en vigueur dans un an.

Pour le Forum européen des personnes handicapées, l’organisation faîtière qui représente les intérêts de 50 millions de personnes handicapées dans l’Union européenne et qui est derrière l’adoption de ce règlement, la législation devra être améliorée.

“Nous sommes préoccupés parce que les exceptions énumérées dans l’article 4 laissent la porte entrouverte à des futures discriminations envers les passagers handicapés. Pour que le règlement soit réellement effectif, il faudra clarifier les motifs de sécurité qui peuvent être invoqués lorsqu’une personne handicapée se voit l’embarquement refusé » souligne M. Vardakastanis.

Selon le règlement, une compagnie aérienne peut refuser l’embarquement d’un passager handicapé suivant les exigences de sécurité applicables, qu'elles soient prévues par le droit international, communautaire ou national. « L’Union européenne doit clairement définir ces exceptions et se mettre d’accord sur des règles communes en matière de sécurité. Dans le cas contraire, un passager handicapé pourra voyager vers un Etat membre où ces règles le lui permettent, mais ne pourra plus rentrer dans son pays ! » rappelle le Président du Forum.

Les futures activités du Forum dans ce domaine cibleront l’adoption de ces règles harmonisées de sécurité, ainsi qu’une ample diffusion des dispositions prévues par la loi. Le FEPH concentrera également ses efforts dans l’amélioration du règlement. Il tentera aussi d’obtenir une législation similaire applicable à tous les autres moyens de transport.

Le Président du FEPH : « Les personnes handicapées ont aujourd’hui des droits et ils doivent les exercer. Nous devons les en informer et les encourager à porter plainte en cas de violation de ces droits sur le territoire de l’Union. Nous contribuerons ainsi à garantir un transport de qualité pour tous les passagers, avec ou sans handicap »


Pour plus d’information, beuillez visiter la page du site du EDF (seulement en version anglaise) :
http://www.edf-feph.org/en/policy/transport/trans_pol.htm


Le texte du règlement peut être téléchargé sur:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/fr/oj/2006/l_204/l_20420060726fr00010009.pdf

Pour plus d’information, veuillez contacter: Helena González-Sancho Bodero, Responsable de Communication et Presse; Tel: (+32 2) 282 46 04; GSM : (+ 32 ) 485 64 39 93; Courriel: communication@edf-feph.org


Le Forum européen des personnes handicapées (FEPH) est la plateforme européenne qui représente les intérêts de 50 millions de citoyens handicapés au sein de l’Union européenne. Les organisations membres du FEPH incluent les plateformes nationales des personnes handicapées de tous les Etats membres de l’UE et de l’Espace économique européen, ainsi que les ONG européennes représentant les différents types de handicap. La mission du FEPH est de garantir le respect total des droits fondamentaux et humains des personnes handicapées par le biais d’une implication active dans le développement et application des politiques européennes.

Posted by rollingrains at 01:03 AM

July 25, 2007

Travel to Turkey: The Spinal Cord Paralytics Society of Turkey

TOFD Banner

The Spinal Cord Paralytics Society of Turkey held a unique travel opportunity for children with disabilities in Istanbul during April 2007. From their web site:

Our prior purpose of founding this organization is to help handicapped children to socialize with the other kids and to protect the future of our children in this changing world in the frame work 23 April National Children’s Day which the great leader Ataturk has given as a gift to the kids of the whole world. Our children are our future and to protect their rights is our duty.

The disabled children coming from various countries of the world to will be hosted for a whole week in Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities of the world, so that they will live unforgettable moments in Istanbul through experiencing the Turkish culture, Turkish hospitality, Istanbul’s natural and historical richness.

From Istanbul to the whole world, all disabled and non disabled children will give the message of a world where all the obstacles to peace and brotherhood has been demolished.

http://www.gulencocuk.org/eng/index.htm

Initiatives such as this become fertile ground for growing a movement for Inclusive Tourism and Inclusive Destination Development. Note also the emergence of Access Centres Turkey as a hotelier determined to be world-class in service to people with disabilities.

I wonder. Have the seven principles of Universal Design been translated into Turkish yet? If so, they would be a great addition here - and a boon to the efforts underway in Turkey.

Posted by rollingrains at 06:12 PM

July 24, 2007

Tourism : An Endless Opportunity

Mariana at Day on the Beach in Santa-Cruz


I want to share something Scott told us when we were having dinner in Santa Cruz with other people that participated at the Day on the Beach. When Scott was younger he became a ski instructor, and not so long after he was paralyzed. And instead of being depressed because he wouldn’t be a instructor anymore, he said something like “A part of me still wants to live, and what is half of infinite opportunities that I have? It is still infinite, right?”


Let me tell you something about my experience in Santa Clara County. My name is Mariana Coelho, I’m from Brazil and I’m a senior university student in tourism back home.

A couple of years ago, I decided that Accessible Tourism would be an interesting theme for my final thesis. Since then, I’ve been developing my ideas and I also started paying more attention to accessible places and people with disabilities. One question that has always been in my mind is why I’m used to seeing so few people with disabilities outdoors in Brazil. What I am discovering is that, compared to California, we do not provide enough accessible infrastructure nor do we have a reliable healthcare system.

One reason that I am in the US is because the professor I’ve chosen to advise me in my final thesis encouraged me to come here and experience a different society to learn more about accessibility, tourism, universal design, inclusion and so on. That’s how I learned about Scott Rains’ work. We’ve been talking ever since. He told me about the Day on the Beach event, in Santa Cruz.

Basically, what first interested me in this area was the Day on the Beach, because I really wanted to experience it firsthand. One of the things I realized when I met Accessible Tourism expert Simon Darcy in Las Vegas, in June 2007 is that if I really want to help people with disabilities I have to at least try to understand their world and culture. And this is something that I believe that anyone should do when you want to develop anything: try to know and understand it.

Anyway, observing and being part of Scott’s life this weekend has already opened my eyes and my mind to a lot of details. It begun when I met him at San Jose’s bus station and started to learn how to set up a wheelchair (I’m starting to do a better job by now). Then I saw how hard it is to transfer and put a chair in your car on your own. What was also really nice to see an attractive accessible house.

Well, I could name many things I’ve noticed and places I’ve gone so far, but my point is that it is important for everyone to be able to go outdoors, have fun and experience the world, even if some special elements are required. I mean, who doesn’t need some special requirements to live and be happy? Everyone does. And that’s why I believe so much in tourism as an activity that deals with happiness, joy and fulfilling our lives.

Posted by rollingrains at 04:53 AM

July 23, 2007

New San Francisco Access Guide Published

access san francisco

Berkeley, CA July 23, 2007 --San Francisco's newest access guide, Access San Francisco is now available from the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau (SFCVB). Compiled by Access Northern California (ANC), this free resource includes access details on over 100 San Francisco-area attractions, restaurants and hotels; plus information on accessible transportation, local disability organizations, wheelchair rentals and medical supply dealers.


All properties in Access San Francisco were personally inspected by Access Northern California
, a one-stop accessible travel information and consultation service for travelers with disabilities and the hospitality industry.

Says ANC founder, Bonnie Lewkowicz, "Accurate access information is hard to find, so I'm very proud of the fact that ANC visited every property included in this access guide. Seeing is believing as far as access is concerned."

Now in its fourth edition, Access San Francisco was made possible with help from the SFCVB, the San Francisco Mayor's Office on Disability and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

Says Lewkowicz, "Access San Francisco is easy to use, yet it contains all the access information travelers need. For example, we included the hotel and restaurant information in tables, but we also listed the access features that could not be depicted by icons in the notes section."

Access San Francisco is available free from the SFCVB at (415) 391-2000 or (415) 392-0328 TTY. Large print and audio versions of the guide will be available in August from the Mayor's Office on Disability at (510) 554-6789 or (415) 554-6799 TTY. Updated access information about San Francisco can be found on the ANC website at AccessNCA.com.

Posted by rollingrains at 09:03 PM

Access Santa Cruz

To locate accessible holiday resources in Santa Cruz, California try the guide by Shared Adventures, Santa Cruz County Access Guide.

Posted by rollingrains at 01:12 AM

July 22, 2007

Day on the Beach 2007

Mariana-and-Dr-Kim

Each year we watch the appeal of Foster Andersen's Day on the Beach grow. This year I was pleased to host researchers from Korea and Brazil for the weeks before and after the event.

Madiana Coelho, on the left, and Dr. Kim Dae Kyung, president of the Journal of Korean Sport Research and professor at Mokwon University in Korea dove into the task of assisting the 200+ people with disabilities participating.

Foster-Andersen

The event commemorates the anniversary of Foster Anderson's paralysis. He has written on his experiences in My Second Life.

Posted by rollingrains at 08:11 PM

The Story Behind the Photo

Monterey-Bay-Aquarium.jpg

The project I have been doing for SeniorNet ended several weeks early. The coming week at the Rolling Rains Report will be a Bay Area travelogue with Day on the Beach today, a Korean research team in tow exploring activities for seniors, and the delightful Mariana Coelho visiting from Brazil. With luck Mariana will share her impressions here also as she collects data and approaches for her senior thesis in Tourism with the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais..

The fun started with an event planned by Steve Lyons at Accessible Adventures and carried out by Jim Covel of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The photo is a not-so-candid shot donated by professional photographer Randy Wilder

For those who read below -- and between the lines -- the fact that my time is freed up from a major project means that I am again available for speaking, research, consulting on inclusive travel.

Posted by rollingrains at 02:46 AM

July 21, 2007

O 3º Encontro "São Paulo, Meu Destino" (Portuguese)

São Paulo, Meu Destino 2007 promove workshops de capacitação para agentes de viagens e operadores.

O 3º Encontro "São Paulo, Meu Destino", organizado pela São Paulo Turismo e com o apoio do São Paulo Convention & Visitors Bureau, irá promover cursos de capacitação para os mais de 800 profissionais de turismo do Brasil e da América Latina esperados durante os dias 10 e 12 de agosto.

Os três workshops acontecerão no dia 11 de agosto, sábado, no Palácio de Convenções do Anhembi, na capital paulista e contarão com a expertise das profissionais Luciana Canto e Carolina Negri, da SPTuris.

Para os agentes de viagens e operadores, os treinamentos versarão sobre os atrativos e a capacitação no destino São Paulo. Já os organizadores de eventos poderão conhecer mais sobre o programa "São Paulo, Fique Mais Um Dia". O São Paulo Convention também apresentará sua filosofia de trabalho e a logística para atrair eventos à cidade.

Durante o evento, estarão presentes autoridades de todo o país, operadores de quase todos os estados brasileiros e representantes do Chile, Espanha, México, Argentina, Peru e Uruguai.

"Nosso objetivo é mostrar uma São Paulo diferenciada aos operadores e agentes de viagens, que são os nossos interlocutores diretos com os potenciais visitantes. Para isso, eles devem viver esta cidade de forma intensa e emocional e criar produtos criativos e inusitados para o público", explicou Caio Luiz de Carvalho, presidente da São Paulo Turismo.

O evento tem início na noite de sexta-feira, dia 10, com a recepção dos convidados de fora de São Paulo no Museu na Língua Portuguesa, região central da cidade. No sábado, o dia começa com palestras de profissionais renomados - a publicitária Bia Aydar (MPM), Gilberto Dimenstein (jornalista), Adriana Cury, também publicitária (McCann-Erickson) e o profissional Lula Vieira já estão confirmados - para palestrar sobre temas que vão de compras na cidade a oportunidades existentes na capital paulista.

Na parte da tarde, os agentes e operadores participarão de rodadas de negócios. Serão organizadas mais de 40 mesas de trabalho. Além disso, os profissionais também poderão visitar a quadra da escola de samba Unidos de Vila Maria. Na ocasião será escolhido o samba enredo da escola para o carnaval 2008. Por fim, no domingo, dia 12, eles farão roteiros turísticos já oferecidos pela cidade.

Informações no site www.spmeudestino2007.com.br

Fonte: Mercado e Eventos

Posted by rollingrains at 06:45 PM

Site de hospedagem sobre São Paulo (Portuguese)

sao paulo hoteis


Um serviço exclusivo para quem procura hospedagem no estado de São Paulo. Este é o diferencial do www.saopaulo.tur.br que apresenta conteúdo específico para o turista que percorre o estado a negócios ou lazer. Com informações sobre hotéis, pousadas e pontos turísticos possibilita a busca por destino - Capital, Interior, Litoral Norte e Sul -, roteiros dos circuitos paulistas, e acesso a mapas de ruas, rodovias e imagens satélites de todas as cidades paulistas.

Em seu conteúdo, o guia de hotéis tem mais de 1400 registros, localizado em 645 cidades detalhadas de A a Z. Acrescenta indicações turísticas e o aspecto regional. Em seu primeiro ano, completado em abril, o site recebeu mais de 1,5 milhão de visitantes, com média de cinco mil por dia.
Fonte: Brasilturis Jornal
Posted by rollingrains at 06:42 PM

July 20, 2007

Off to College in India: Waiting for Students to Find Their Own Voices

International educational tourism is a booming niche in the travel industry. For some students moving way from home to go off to college can be a challenging adventure. As India works to implement inclusion at the university level a new national discussion is taking place. To foreign ears it is discordantly patronizing (i.e. "these special children") but worth monitoring because policy and practice developed on campuses will eventually have on broader infrastructure and the travel & hospitality industry.

A number of disability quota seats are going empty in DU? Why?

This year too, Delhi University (DU) has not seen many applications for UG courses in the disability category. The officials are worried about the dwindling number of applications. And so, the colleges have now trying their bit to attract these students back to their colleges.

From constructing ramps, providing special softwares to assigning them key roles in the college in an effort to integrate them to the larger student community, the colleges are making sure that these special children see the college as their 'second home'. "On an average, DU receives around 325–350 applications each year for disability category. Although the total number of seats sanctioned for disabled candidates is well over a thousand, we have received about 330 applications this year," says SK Vij, dean, student's welfare.

From constructing ramps, providing special softwares to assigning them key roles in the college in an effort to integrate them to the larger student community, the colleges are making sure that these special children see the college as their 'second home'. "On an average, DU receives around 325–350 applications each year for disability category. Although the total number of seats sanctioned for disabled candidates is well over a thousand, we have received about 330 applications this year," says SK Vij, dean, student's welfare.

College authorities are forced to leave most of the seats vacant due to the non–availability of suitable candidates. They hope that a few 'positive' steps to identify and solve the various problems of these students will help in reversing the trend in the coming years. Claims Kanika Khandelwal, media coordinator, LSR, "Our college has one of the largest number of disabled students in DU. All our seats that are reserved for disability category get filled up every year." She said that it was the college's policy to encourage these students. "We have constructed a new ramp for the students in the administrative block along with the existing ramp near in the academic building. We have also provided them with softwares like JAWS and SAFA. The students are given writers who are handpicked from NSS volunteers. These volunteers also help them in their studies in the college hostel," she adds.

LSR has also set examples of its inclusive policy by assigning major duties to these students. "We have stood by them and encouraged them. Three years ago, a visually impaired girl, Jyoti Magu, was popularly elected as the sports president of the college," elaborates Khandelwal.

SR Arora, principal, Hans Raj College says, "We generally manage to fill up all the disability quota seats." He says that his college takes special care of these students. "We have already installed four ramps in our college. We have provided Braille books and special softwares for the visually challenged students. In addition, apart from the NSS volunteers, we have a Blind Students' Club especially formed by Hans Raj College students to look after them. Our teachers can be personally approached, and wherever possible, we send step in to solve their problems."

According to Pratibha Jolly, principal, Miranda House, the resource centre of the college has been made disabled friendly. "Along with ramps, we have made sure that the special needs of these students are met in our state of the art resource centre," says she.

Source (via Disability News India):
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/City_Supplements/Delhi_Times

Posted by rollingrains at 02:18 PM

Accessible Taxis

Moving More People, Making Less Impact

The greening of the world's mass transit systems calls for
innovative thinking, public regulation and private funding

by Douglas MacMillan

The venerable yellow cab, once a symbol of cosmopolitan
efficiency, has come to represent all that is wrong with transit
in congested urban centers like New York City. "We can't afford to
have 13,000 gas guzzlers," says Deborah Marton, executive director
of the Design Trust for Public Space, a nonprofit taking strides
to bring sustainability and accessibility to taxi design in New
York and abroad (see BusinessWeek.com, 10/28/05, "A Taxi for the
Next Hundred Years").


The Design Trust's Taxi '07 exhibit at this year's New York
International Auto Show gave visitors the chance to see taxis they
might hail in the not-too-distant future. Participating companies
displayed taxi prototypes addressing at least 5 out of 10 design
challenges, such as incorporating hybrid or alternate-fuel
engines, wheelchair accessibility, a driver partition, a skylight,
and integral child seats.

While some entrants put a new spin on an existing vehicle such as
Chrysler's (DCX) PT Cruiser with a lithium battery and Kia's
(KIMTF) Rondo with enhanced safety lightinglesser-known Troy
(Mich.)-based Vehicle Production Group fielded its Standard Taxi,
a boxy vehicle measuring more than six feet in height.

It allows for wheelchair access, seats up to four passengers, and
has a smaller footprint than most cabs along with an engine that
gets as much as 20 miles per gallon.
The cab will cost about
$25,000, nearly the same as the old standby for cabs, Ford's (F)
Crown Victoria.

The Standard Taxi goes into production in 2008, and the company
expects to sell as many as 5,000 in the U.S. and in Canada in the
first year alone.

...

To read the entire article, go to:
http://www.aapd.com/News/transportation/070530bw.htm

Posted by rollingrains at 04:33 AM

July 19, 2007

AirAsia Discrimination Not Tolerated in Malaysia

From Peter Tan in Malaysia:

The Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT) in Malaysia carried out a protest at the Low Cost carrier, Air Asia, Terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. There were about 50 of us who carried placards denouncing the discriminatory measures taken by our country's budget airline Air Asia for refusing to take us if we cannot walk up the steps to the plane.

Links to newspaper reports and response from the Ministry of Transport Malaysia can be
found in the following:

http://www.petertan.com/blog/category/disability-issues/air-asia/

A statement from BEAT (via the blog Present Point Power )

DATE : 15TH JULY, 2007, SUNDAY, 11 AM AT LCCT

PRESS STATEMENTS ON AIRASIA’S REFUSAL TO TAKE PASSENGERS WHO REQUIRE SPECIAL ASSISTANCE TO BOARD AIRCRAFT.

We, members of Barrier-free Environment and Accessible Transport Group ( BEAT), are gathered here this morning, to express our outrage and disappointment with AirAsia, for its refusal to take passengers who require special assistance to board the aircraft.

In AirAsia’s Terms and Conditions, it states :-

1. AirAsia is unable to accept passengers who are completely immobile
2. As access to our aircraft is by the boarding stairs, the carriage of persons with limited mobility is subject to whether they are able to climb the boarding stairs unaided or aided.
3. A passenger who is able to walk up the boarding steps unaided may travel without a carer.
4. If the passenger is unable to climb the boarding stairs without any assistance, then AirAsia will request that the passenger travels with a carer.

We find AirAsia’s terms and conditions blatantly discriminating, unfair and unacceptable !! A check with AirAsia Call Centre confirms that only those who DO NOT require special assistance to climb the boarding stairs are allowed to travel in AirAsia. These terms and conditions have denied disabled passengers and persons with limited mobility, their right to fly like everyone else !! These terms and conditions imposed by AirAsia has caused further inconvenience and hardship to them.

The freedom to fly should be applicable to EVERYONE including passengers who are immobile and persons with limited mobility who may travel unaccompanied but require assistance to go onboard the aircraft.

AirAsia, Asia’s leading and largest low fare airline, has failed to live up to its slogan “Now Everyone Can Fly”. It is obvious that “ Now Not Everyone Can Fly” and “ Now Not Everyone Is Allowed To Fly in AirAsia”.

AirAsia has failed in its responsibility and obligation to provide facilities and services without discrimination, harrassment and vilification of its passengers.

We are here to reaffirm our commitment to fight any form of discrimination against disabled persons !! Discrimination against any person on the basis of one’s physical condition is a violation of the inherent dignity and worth of the human person.

We are here to demand that AirAsia reviews its policies and takes reasonable steps to ensure that the facilities and services provided and the terms on which they are provided are non discriminatory !!

The provision of such facilities not only benefit disabled passengers but also senior citizens and international tourists who are wheelchair users and their family members who may choose Malaysia as their holiday destination. Besides this, it also further enhance the corporate image of AirAsia and tourism industry of Malaysia.

We also call on Malaysia Airports Berhad to make sure that all new and old airports be equipped with facilities to improve accessibility to disabled passengers.

We are deeply concerned that despite assurances from relevant authorities and Ministers, disabled persons continue to face barriers and discrimination in their everyday life.

Come this 31st August, Malaysians from all walks of life will be celebrating our country’s 50th year of independence. But disabled persons here are still struggling to understand and experience the meaning of independence.

We have internationally well known mega development projects called Southern Corridors, Northern Corridors, Eastern Corridors, etc, etc, but disabled persons are still struggling to get out of their house corridors !!

We have RapidKL which has launched 1200 new buses on the roads but none of these are accessible buses. Despite our appeals, Prasarana, a 100% government owned company, continues to purchase and launch non-accessible buses ! We have newly launched taxis which cannot take wheelchair passengers due to limited booth space filled with gas tank !

We have light rail transit system called STAR Line or Ampang Line and Monorail but are completely inaccessible ! Now, we have AirAsia, which has done the nation proud by being the fastest growing and largest low fare airline in the region, refusing to take passengers who are immobile requiring assistance to go onboard !

We call upon YAB Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as Prime Minister of Malaysia, to hear our cries and consider our pleas for full inclusion in the overall Masterplan and Masterpolicy of the country. We ask to be treated with the same dignity and respect as equal members of society and full citizens of the country.

We also urge our Prime Minister to review the proposed Disabled Persons Act and to endorse the “ UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” to protect and guarantee disabled persons the same rights as other persons and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against them.

Thank you.

Christine Lee
BEAT Coordinator

V. Murugeswaran
BEAT Assistant Coordinator

Peter Tan
BEAT Assistant Coordinator

Barrier-Free Environment and Accessible Transport Group (BEAT) comprises 18 Organisations as listed below :-

• Persatuan Damai Orang-Orang Kurang Upaya Selangor & W.P
• Malaysian Spinal Injuries Association
• Persatuan Mobiliti Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
• Persatuan Orang-Orang Cacat Anggota Malaysia
• Society of the Blind in Malaysia
• Malaysian Association for the Blind
• Society of the Chinese Disabled Persons Malaysia
• Persatuan Kristian Shuang Fu untuk orang Kurang Upaya Kuala Lumpur
• Beautiful Gate Foundation for The Disabled
• Persatuan Pemulihan Orang Cacat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan
• Selangor Cheshire Home
• Malaysian Information Network on Disabilities
• Dignity & Services
• United Voice (Self-Advocacy Society of Persons with Learning Disabilities Selangor & Kuala Lumpur)
• Selangor Council for Welfare and Social Development
• Majlis Paralimpik Malaysia
• Malaysian Council For Rehabilitation
• Lovely Home-

More at

Malaysia Hotel News:
Order to Malaysia Airports and AirAsia: Ease movement of the disabled
http://malaysiahotelnews.blogspot.com/2007/07/order-to-malaysia-airports-and-airasia.html#links

Corporate Social responsibility Asia:
Protests against AirAsia
http://www.csr-asia.com/index.php?p=10320

Daily Express
AirAsia, MAB told to ensure disabled are not deprived
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=51400

Posted by rollingrains at 01:51 PM

Road To Freedom: Keeping the Promise of the ADA

Road to freedom banner

There are many reasons to travel. Traveling to protect the basic civil rights that allow the opportunity for other people with disabilities to travel is what motivates the crew of the Freedom Bus of the project Road To Freedom: Keeping the Promise of the ADA.

Read more about the tour.

Posted by rollingrains at 01:11 AM

July 18, 2007

Mercado Modelo (BA) & Casa da Cultura (PE) (Portuguese)

Como foi aqeula musica por Daniela Mercury, "I don't want to stay here. I want to go back to Bahia!"


Mercado Modelo em Salvador


O mercado Modelo, em Salvador (BA), é uma espécie de máquina de baianidade. Funciona assim: você entra por uma porta turista paulista --ou mineiro, ou alemão-- e sai pela outra porta meio baiano.

É que, pelos corredores desse mercado, o visitante entra em contato com todos os clichês baianos de uma vez só. Então, ao sair de lá, palavras como dendê, iansã, berimbau e tudo o mais que forma o léxico do turismo em Salvador parecem tão familiares como pai e mãe, cachorro e casa. Todos os dias, 2.000 turistas passam por esse processo de baianização.

(Mais: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/turismo/noticias/ult338u309714.shtml

Pois e. E quantos sao cadeiristas com nos -- o novo setor brotando no turismo?

O mercado baiano pasara por renovacoes. Sera acessivel?


Lampiao em Recife

Em Recife a Casa da Cultura, un mercado semelhante, e espetacular. Passei o meu ultimo dia em Pernambuco curtindo o velhao carcel

Da porta quase-acessivel genta ve o Lampiao marcando o grande nao-passa-cadeirista do premeiro andar. Nao preciso ninguem proteger a santidade do segundo andar -- a Casa falta elevador. E dize que a minha casa esta cheio dos tesouros turisticos do primeiro andar.

Posted by rollingrains at 09:44 PM

July 17, 2007

"Specialness" & Scarcity: The Paternalism Syndrome

New civil rights legislation is having its positive effect in the lives of individual citizens with disabilities in many countries. The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilties will continue the momentum.

There is a built-in limiting factor that will increasingly hamper such efforts. To their surprise those who are most likely to be the obstacle are those who have been involved in implementing the concrete changes mandated by the legislation.

Below is an article on accessibility features that have been added to Egmore railroad station in Chennai, India. In all retrofit situations such attempts at inclusion are marked out as "special" (stigamatized) if simply through the fact that they are obviously not part of the original design -- that the original design did not apply the seven principles of Universal Design.

What then often happens is a mentality of "protecting" the scarce resource (in ths case a ramp) from interlopers (in this case motorcyclists.

Instead of correctly seeing the widespread use of the human-centered correction to the previous poor design as a sign of success the paternal attitude of reserving a scarce resource for "those people" sets it. Rather than design for all resulting in full social participation by all what results is "special protection for the few." Note the comment by the engineer below who states:

There is also a special washroom with railings and low level sinks and commodes that is open to disabled people on request. "We do not want others to use it. The sad thing is that even the ramps are being used more by motorcyclists," said an official.

Who is this "we" that will not share what is good -- what is clearly better, in fact -- with citizens simply because they are not disabled? Yes, there are a limited number of ramps but the right question to ask is not "How do we protect the scarcity of proper accommodation?" but how do we eliminate the scarcity of proper accmmodation?

Who is the "we" that decides that inaccessibility will remain the norm so that "special" - and therefore scarce - accommodation needs a social caste who derives its sense of wellbeing from protecting that scarcity and "thise people" who depend on it? Cartainly, regardless of their disability status, they are not persons who uderstand the core values of disability culture: inclusion and interdependence.

CHENNAI, Jun 21: The Egmore railway station is in the process of becoming more disabled–friendly with the construction of a series of new ramps with supporting railings. "Earlier the ramps would be in some corner. Now we are putting them at every entrance," said a senior railway official.

Less than a year after the Madras High Court issued guidelines for the railways to ensure an accessible environment for the disabled, the station is working towards this end. According to Southern Railway officials, additional funds were sanctioned in the 2007–08 railway budget.

"Last year we started work with our own funds. This year we can spend up to Rs. 1 lakh for each work; for example just for the ramps. There are no longer any constraints on funds and the Chennai Division can spend Rs. 22 crore for passenger amenities alone," the official said.

Within the last three months, two new ramps at each entrance, a separate parking lot and a separate counter for the physically challenged have been set up at Egmore. There is also a special washroom with railings and low level sinks and commodes that is open to disabled people on request. "We do not want others to use it. The sad thing is that even the ramps are being used more by motorcyclists," said an official.

"Just putting in ramps is not enough," pointed out Meenakshi. B, assistant coordinator of the Disability Legislation Unit of Vidhya Sagar, a non–profit organisation committed to the rights of disabled persons. "Disabled persons continue to face several hardships when using public transport," she said.

Vidhya Sagar was at the forefront of bringing about the guidelines following a PIL filed by the coordinator of the Disability Legislation Unit, Rajeev Rajan.

Source: www.hindu.com/2007/06/21/stories/2007062157330100.htm

Posted by rollingrains at 05:20 AM

Alpinistas Ciegos con la Global Explorers (Spanish)

Famoso alpinista ciego Erik Weihenmayer acompaña a jóvenes invidentes en un
trekking por los Andes del Perú...Este programa ha sido desarrollado e impulsado por la
organización no gubernamental y sin fines de lucro, Global Explorers.


¿VIAJAR CIEGO?


EEUU., Colorado.- 2 de julio del 2007 - "Escalar a ciegas" es más que una
metáfora cuando el renombrado atleta Eric Weihenmayer dirige a 23 estudiantes
entre los que se encuentran; ciegos, débiles visuales y con visión normal, por
los Andes del Perú este próximo julio. El programa "Leading the Way 2007", 5-18
de julio del 2007 reúne a 9 estudiantes ciegos y 14 estudiantes con visión
normal de diferentes ciudades de los Estados Unidos y Canadá para participar en
un enorme reto y que será sin lugar a dudas una experiencia de vida única para
los participantes. Este programa ha sido desarrollado e impulsado por la
organización no gubernamental y sin fines de lucro, Global Explorers.

Al lado de Weihenmayer - la única persona totalmente ciega que ha llegado a la
cumbre del Everest - los alumnos recorrerán caminos por montañas Andinas que
llegarán a una altura de 4,800 metros de altura sobre el nivel del mar. Este
programa combina la aventura con cuatro componentes principales; ciencia- harán
actividades sobre cómo preservar los ecosistemas de la región, cultura-
realizarán dinámicas que permitirán un intercambio cultural integral, liderazgo-
aprenderán herramientas sobre cómo ser un buen líder y servicio a la comunidad-
llevarán a cabo proyectos que permitirán servir y beneficiar a las comunidades
que habitan en la zona. Lo más interesante del programa con ciegos es que les
permitirá romper las barreras y prejuicios que actualmente tienen sobre la
ceguera. Habrán actualizaciones vía satelital sobre la evolución de esta
interesantísima aventura en nuestra página de internet en
www.globalexplorers.org

Global Explorers es una organización sin fines de lucro, ubicada en Colorado,
EE. UU. que organiza viajes educativos, interesantes, emotivos y divertidos que
buscan crear conciencia e inspirar a los futuros líderes globales, tanto a
estudiantes como a profesores.


Adam Dolezal
Coordinador de Programas para Estudiantes Ciegos
Global Explorers
adam@globalexplorers.org
(303) 317-2033


Noticia gracias a la Rosangela Berman-Bieler

Posted by rollingrains at 01:46 AM

July 16, 2007

UN Convention Reaches Milestone in Signatures

On 9 July, Qatar became the hundredth country to sign the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
, which
opened for signature on 30 March.

The landmark Convention, which was adopted by the General Assembly
in December 2006 after three years of negotiations that included
members of the disability community, will take effect 30 days
after the deposit of the twentieth ratification with the
Secretary-General.

In addition, 55 countries have, as of today, signed the Optional
Protocol to the Convention, which allows individuals and groups to
petition the yet to be established Committee on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities, once all national recourse procedures
have been exhausted.

"We are pleased by the commitment shown by so many Member States,"
said Thomas Schindlmayr of the United Nations Secretariat for the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The countries that have signed both the Convention and its
Optional Protocol are: Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda,
Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso,
Burundi, Central African Republic, Chile, Republic of the Congo,
Costa Rica, Ctte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Ghana,
Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Lebanon,
Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Namibia,
Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of
Korea, San Marino, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia,
South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Uganda
and Yemen.

The signatories to only the Convention are: Australia, Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark,
Dominica, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Greece, Guinea, Guyana,
Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Poland, Qatar,
Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, United
Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu and the European
Community.

Jamaica also ratified the Convention on 30 March. The Treaty needs
19 additional ratifications to come into force - a figure the
United Nations Secretariat of the Convention feels will be reached
by the end of the year.

When the Convention opened for signature at the United Nations on
30 March, 81 Member States and the European Community signed the
treaty and 44 signed the Optional Protocol. Together, this is a
record for the first day of signature for any Convention.

For information, please visit:
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable or contact at the
Department of Public Information, Daniel Shepard,
tel.: 212.963.9495, e-mail: shepard@un.org, or Edoardo Bellando,
tel.: 212.963.8275, e-mail: bellando@un.org.

SOURCE: United Nations via AAPD

Posted by rollingrains at 01:04 AM

July 14, 2007

University Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Programs

TIES (the International Ecotourism Society) has spent significant time and energy both researching and
recording the many university degree programs and courses dedicated
to ecotourism and sustainable tourism. As a part of TIES mission to
promote the principles of ecotourism and educate professionals, we
have made our global list available to the public.

TIES expects this
comprehensive list to be a valuable tool as it includes direct and
live hyperlinks. The list has been divided by region and is available
in PDF form below for viewing and printing.

If you, as a student or teacher, notice that your university-level
degree program is not included in our list, please send the program
information to education "at" ecotourism.org so we can continue to
keep this public resource up-to-date.

Africa
http://tinyurl.com/3y82uu

Asia and the Pacific
http://tinyurl.com/2ovnn3

Australia and New Zealand
http://tinyurl.com/2o8xbt


Europe and Central Asia

http://tinyurl.com/34v8ws

Latin America and the Caribbean
http://tinyurl.com/2r3rno

North Africa and the Middle East
http://tinyurl.com/355znk


North America

http://tinyurl.com/2uhtsw

Posted by rollingrains at 01:35 PM

July 13, 2007

12th Adventure and Backpacker Industry Conference

Conference header

Marcus L. Endicott at Green Travel Network send in the following:

Adventure and Backpacker Industry Conference http://www.backpackersexpo.com/new/html/conference.html

When it's on: Wednesday 7 November 2007

Where it is: Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney

Organisers are looking for suggestions on further topics and speakers.


I know there are backpackers with disabilities out there who will have some suggestions!

The Adventure and Backpacker Industry Conference (ABiC) this year celebrates its 12th year. Tiger Airways CEO Tony Davis has been confirmed as this year's keynote speaker. Tiger is about to launch domestic flights in Australia and Davis will discuss the impact of the low-cost carrier's impact on the backpacking sector.

The conference dinner at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf Sydney will host
the Golden Backpacker Awards - the only tourism gongs dedicated to the
independent travel sector. There will be a national campaign to gather
votes from consumers in more than 40 categories.

Posted by rollingrains at 03:37 PM

July 12, 2007

Environmental Travel Companions and More!

As I bring in delegations from Korea, South America, and around the US to participate in this year's Santa Cruz California Day on the Beach I find myself contacting local travel suppliers and arranging meetups. Below is contact information on some of the notable Inclusive Travel resources in the San Francisco Bay Area for the benefit of inbound travel agents, tourism researchers, and travelers with disabilities. Enjoy!

Environmental Travel Companions

Environmental Travel Companions
http://www.etctrips.org/website/about.html

Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC) opens the beauty and challenge of outdoor adventures to people with special needs. Every year over 2,000 people of all abilities join us to raft whitewater rivers, ski across alpine meadows, sea kayak the waters of the Golden Gate and sleep beneath the open sky.

30th_anniversary Logo

Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program
http://www.borp.org/

Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to improve the health, independence and social integration of people with physical disabilities through sports, fitness and recreation programs. BORP was founded in 1976, by people with disabilities to create access to the outdoors, to fitness, to sports and to recreation for a population that had been left out. In the 1970's, there simply were no recreation programs in the state specifically for people with disabilities.


Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS)

No Web site

PO Box 103730
San Francisco, CA 94119

415.282.0212 Phone - messages only

A non-profit organization that teaches sailing and offers outings on the San Francisco bay to people with disabilities. Every Sunday during most of the year they offer a sailing class. With enough advance notice it may be possible to arrange an individualized sailing.

Posted by rollingrains at 05:25 PM

July 11, 2007

Reportagem de Qualidade e Extensão Historico na Folha de Sao Paulo (Portuguese)

Parabems a Verena Fornetti, Mauricio Paroni, Rafael Targino, e os outros autores responsaveis por a reportagem na Folha de San Paulo dia 5 de julho 2007!

Turismo

Posted by rollingrains at 08:23 PM

Inclusao no Turismo (Portuguese)

Ta falado, Dadá!

"Se não tem banheiro adaptado, a pessoa pode fazer pára-quedismo, mas não vai ao banheiro"

Limitação não impede esportes radicais

Pode-se fazer surfe, rafting e pára-quedismo; procura por esse tipo de turismo, no entanto, ainda é fraca

RAFAEL TARGINO
VERENA FORNETTI
Colaboração para a Folha

O tetraplégico Ricardo Shimosakai faz rafting e pára-quedismo. A publicitária argentina Nélida Barbeito, que tem uma deficiência que compromete o equilíbrio, esquiou no Colorado, nos EUA. E Silvio Batagini, que teve uma das pernas amputada, pratica escalada.

Tanto quanto com o próprio entusiasmo, esses viajantes tiveram que contar com pacotes turísticos e com destinos ajustados às suas limitações.

"Se não tem banheiro adaptado, a pessoa pode fazer pára-quedismo, mas não vai ao banheiro", exemplifica Dadá Moreira, 41, sobre a infra-estrutura para a prática de esportes radicais pelos deficientes. Moreira tem ataxia, a incapacidade de coordenação dos movimentos musculares voluntários.

Os esportes radicais e o ecoturismo não têm regulamentação específica para atender os portadores de deficiência física, mas algumas agências de turismo começam a se adequar às necessidades desse público.

A procura ainda é pequena. A agência paulistana Freeway lançou pacotes especiais para atender os interessados em 2004. Até agora, apenas 30 pessoas procuraram o serviço. A título de comparação, nas viagens sem adaptações, a agência atende, em média, 500 pessoas por mês. Edgar Werblowsky, proprietário da Freeway, atribui o baixo movimento à falta de divulgação e afirma que algumas famílias têm medo de viajar porque não acreditam que os lugares estejam preparados para recebê-las.

A agência oferece pacotes para Ilha Anchieta (SP), Itacaré (BA), Maraú (BA), Bonito (MS), Pantanal (MS), Fernando de Noronha (PE) e Lençóis Maranhenses (MA).

Em Brotas, a 245 km de São Paulo, a agência Alaya Expedições (www.alaya.com.br) começou a treinar os monitores de esportes de aventura com equipe de fisioterapeutas e profissionais de educação física. A empresa já atendeu pessoas com deficiência visual e dificuldade de mobilidade. O objetivo é preparar todas as modalidades esportivas para atender esse público.

Em atividades como asa-delta, mergulho e rafting, dependendo das características do turista, não é preciso modificar as técnicas. Já esportes como esqui e surfe são adaptados.

A estação do Colorado em que Nélida Barbeito esquiou pela primeira vez foi a de Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center. "Cheguei com medo, mas tudo foi excepcional. Não fiz o percurso todo, mas esquiei desde o primeiro minuto", conta. Ela esquiou com protetores especiais de segurança.

Nélida também fez rafting na Patagônia, no Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. "Foi algo maravilhoso, a melhor oportunidade de percorrer 18 km sem andar", entusiasma-se.

O próximo destino da publicitária será Maresias, no litoral paulista, onde fará surfe adaptado .

Depois do acidente que atingiu sua perna, Silvio Batagini, 35, teve dificuldade para voltar a confiar no próprio corpo. Na primeira vez que viu uma escada rolante, teve medo de enfrentá-la. O esporte renovou sua confiança. "Fui vencendo meus medos e meus próprios preconceitos", conta.

Para Ricardo Shimosakai, 39, "às vezes, só é necessário ter boa vontade para que o deficiente pratique esportes".
Paulo Guilherme Rocha, 35, que tem distrofia dos membros superiores, cita outra vantagem das atividades: a independência. Ele foi incentivado desde pequeno a manter uma vida autônoma. "Meus pais decidiram me matricular em um colégio normal. Foi o primeiro passo para minha total independência. O segundo foi quando eu quis aprender a andar de bicicleta", afirma.

"Quando era pequeno, minha mãe dizia que eu não deveria ir longe. A primeira vez que consegui dar uma volta no quarteirão, senti uma liberdade... Foi marcante." Rocha já praticou trekking, fez mergulho e voou de asa-delta.

Lugares raramente são 100% adaptados

Posted by rollingrains at 01:56 AM

July 10, 2007

Ecuador: Turismo para Todos (Spanish)

ecuador

Havia una revolucion en Ecuador. Brotó en la ciudade de Baños. Segue la fórmula que notamos en la presentacion al primero International Accessible Tourism Conference en mayo de 2005, "El Alcance Global del Turismo para Todos" (inglés ; http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/travel_with_disabilities/115976 y se aproxima la filosofia que apresentamos en "La Declaracion de Rio: Diseno Universal para un Desarrollo Inclusive y Sostenible"


Segundo un reportaje en el sitio del MinTur:


El Programa Económico del Gobierno Constitucional del Presidente Rafael Correa, tiene un horizonte con objetivos de corto, mediano y largo plazo, y plantea combinar la estabilidad macroeconómica con el desarrollo social, ambos factores indispensables para fundamentar la gobernabilidad democrática, condición que abre la posibilidad de acelerar un desarrollo sostenible (económico, social y ambiental).

En este contexto, la Política de Turismo del Gobierno del Presidente Correa, bajo el liderazgo de su principal, María Isabel Salvador, tiene algunos ejes prioritarios que corresponden a la política nacional: erradicar la pobreza a través del turismo como herramienta productiva sostenible, fomentar el turismo interno, apoyar los proyectos de microempresas turísticas, y fomentar el turismo sostenible en todo el Ecuador.

Las estrategias para que entre en acción el Programa Turismo Para Todos son: conformación de mesas de trabajo y concertación con los actores que intervienen en las cadenas productivas vinculadas a las Microempresas Turísticas: implementación de programas de capacitación acordes a la realidad de la Microempresa Turística en cada región; brindar asistencia técnica para la creación de proyectos y el acceso a créditos; coordinación con entidades financieras que otorguen líneas de crédito a los microempresarios turísticos; y coordinación con organismos de cooperación técnica multilateral y bilateral que apoyen al programa de microempresas.

La sostenibilidad de este programa se garantizará con la activa participación de los actores, y además de la fase de capacitación tendrá una fase de asistencia técnica y habilitación de los créditos. Otras fases complementarias que potenciarán el Programa son: fomento del turismo social, es decir, el uso adecuado del tiempo libre de jubilados, personas con discapacidades; turismo para jóvenes, especialmente estudiantes y microempresarios; y el fomento del turismo comunitario y vivencial.

http://www.turismo.gov.ec/ministerio/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=290&Itemid=2

Posted by rollingrains at 01:27 AM

July 09, 2007

Wikipedia: Sustainability, Sustainable Tourism & Ecotourism

Marcus L. Endicott of the Green Travel Network has concatenated three useful Wikipedia definitions in the latest issue of his newsletter: Sustainability, Sustainable Tourism & Ecotourism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainability

Sustainability is a characteristic of a process or state that can be
maintained at a certain level indefinitely. For planet earth, it is
thus the intent to provide the best outcomes for the human and
natural environments both now and into the indefinite future. One of
the most often-cited definitions of sustainability is the one created
by the Brundtland Commission, led by the former Norwegian Prime
Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. The Commission defined sustainable
development as development that "meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their
own needs."[1] Sustainability relates to the continuity of economic,
social, institutional and environmental aspects of human society, as
well as the non-human environment. Sustainability is one of the four
Core Concepts behind the 2007 Universal Forum of Cultures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_tourism

There are many different definitions of sustainable tourism, or
responsible tourism, that have been developed over the last decade.
Most tend to assume that all tourists are responsible for respecting
and conserving a location's economic, environmental, and socio-
cultural balances.

Global economists forecast continuing international tourism growth,
ranging between three and six percent annually, depending on the
location. As one of the world's largest and fastest growing
industries, this continuous growth will place great stress on
remaining biodiverse habitats, often used to support mass tourism.
Sustainable tourists are aware of these dangers and seek to protect
their favorite destinations, and to protect tourism as an industry.
Sustainable tourists face many responsibilities to reduce tourism's
impact on communities, including:

- informing themselves of the culture, politics, and economy of the
communities being visited.
- anticipating and respecting local cultures' expectations and
assumptions.
- contributing to intercultural understanding and tolerance.
- supporting the integrity of local cultures by favoring businesses
which conserve cultural heritage
- supporting local economies by purchasing local goods and
participating with small, local businesses.
- conserving resources by seeking out businesses that are
environmentally conscious, and by using the least possible amount of
non-renewable resources.

The Multilateral Investment Fund MIF[1] Focus on destinations where
there is already a critical mass of tourism businesses, MIF projects
[2] aim to boost the competitiveness of locally owned small and
medium enterprises, helping them to organize themselves and work
toward the shared goals of increasing income, employment and economic
development. See the Sustainable Tourism Action Plan and project
proposal Guidelines[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotourism

Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is a form of tourism
which appeals to the ecologically and socially conscious. Generally
speaking, ecotourism focuses on local culture, wilderness adventures,
volunteering, personal growth, and learning new ways to live on the
planet; typically involving travel to destinations where flora,
fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions.

Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the negative
aspects of conventional tourism on the environment, and enhance the
cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to
evaluating environmental and cultural factors, an integral part of
ecotourism is in the promotion of recycling, energy efficiency, water
conservation, and creation of economic opportunities for the local
communities.[1]

Many global environmental organizations and aid agencies believe that
ecotourism has great potential for sustainable development.[2]

Ideally, ecotourism should satisfy several criteria[3][4], such as:

- conservation of biological diversity and cultural diversity,
through ecosystem protection
- promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to
local populations
- sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and
indigenous people by having their informed consent and participation
in the management of ecotourism enterprises.
- increase of environmental & cultural knowledge
- minimization of tourism's own environmental impact
- affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury
- local culture, flora and fauna being the main attractions

For many countries, ecotourism is not simply a marginal activity to
finance protection of the environment but as a major industry of the
national economy. For example, in places such as Costa Rica, Ecuador,
Nepal, Kenya, Madagascar, and Antarctica, ecotourism represents a
significant portion of the gross domestic product and economic
activity.[5][6]

The concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood, and in practice is
often used as a marketing tool to promote tourism that is related to
nature. Critics claim that ecotourism as practiced and abused often
consists of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment
of the ecosystem. According to them, ecotourism must above all
sensitize people with the beauty and the fragility of nature. They
condemn some operators as "greenwashing" their operations; using the
label of "ecotourism" and "green-friendly", while behaving in
environmentally irresponsible ways.

Although academics disagree about who can be classified as an
ecotourist[2] and there is precious little statistical data, some
estimate that more than five million ecotourists - the majority of
the ecotourist population - come from the United States, with others
from Western Europe, Canada, and Australia.

Currently there are various moves to create national and
international ecotourism accrediation programs[7], although the
process is also controversial. Ecotourism certificates have been put
in place at Costa Rica, although some critics have dismissed these
programs as greenwashing.

Posted by rollingrains at 11:02 PM

July 08, 2007

India's Right to Information Campaign for PwD

The following is courtesy of Mahesh Chandrasekar:

Sakshi Trust

I am very happy to share with you a guide developed by Sakshi Trust and ActionAid India on the use of RTI to get information related to the issues faced by persons with disabilities.

This guide can also be downloaded from the following link http://www.actionaidindia.org/RTI_guide_Disability_Issues.htm

I am very happy to share with you a guide developed by Sakshi Trust and ActionAid India on the use of RTI to get information related to the issues faced by persons with disabilities

Some of the current issues such as:

* Getting a Disability Certificate
* Getting an allocation in Poverty Alleviation Schemes
* Ensuring barrier free access in Public spaces and offices
* Access to education and related services for PWDs
* Employment opportunities for the disabled
* Getting Assistive Devices
* Ensuring complaint are heard by the Commisioner for PWDs.

For each of these issues model RTI applications have been developed in this guide that can help you solve the problem

We kindly request you to circulate the information widely and use the guide extensive

This guide can also be downloaded from the following link http://www.actionaidindia.org/RTI_guide_Disability_Issues.htm

Kind regards

C. Mahesh
Advocacy Coordinator

CBR Forum
14, CK Garden
Wheeler Road Extension
Bangalore - 560 084

Tel - 080- 2549 7387 or 2549 7388

advocacy.cbrforum@gmail.com

cbrforum@blr.vsnl.net.in

cbrforum@gmail.com

Posted by rollingrains at 05:11 PM

Just Flew in with the Latest Edition of Global Access Travel E-zine

Kudos to the Bird Watcher’s’ Digest for including a state-by-state list of places a wheelchair user can utilize in the U.S.

http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/site/backyard_birds/travel/wheelchair.aspx

Source:

Global Acces E-zine

Missed a Travel E-Zine? Catch up on a previous issue by visiting their E-Zine Archive at http://www.globalaccessnews.com/travel_ezine_archive.htm

Posted by rollingrains at 01:13 AM

July 07, 2007

Caminhadores: Ecoturismo Acessível Para Todos (Portuguese)

Solidaridade

De uma olhada nos eventos do ONG Caminhadores e veja os fotos do evento "Ecoturismo Acessível Para Todos aqui.

A nossa, Ong Caminhadores, realizou mais uma etapa do projeto Turismo na Redenção, onde pessoas em cadeira de rodas puderam conhecer os pontos históricos do mais famoso parque de Porto Alegre, usando a cadeira de trilha com uma só roda.

Nessa 5ª edição contamos com mais de 40 parceiros, todos mostrando o que cada instituição faz.

Vários convidados andaram na nossa cadeira de trilha e no dia 10 de junho estaremos realizando mais uma etapa do projeto "Ecoturismo Acessível Para Todos", no parque natural do Morro do Osso.

O sucesso deste evento, aconteceu graças ao belo trabalho voluntário do comitê gestor do Dia da Solidariedade, e de todas as instituições que participaram e apostam nesse grande evento.

Posted by rollingrains at 10:09 PM

UK: Aviation Becomes Accessible to All

Press release:

DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (077) issued by The Government News Network on 5 July 2007

Aviation Minister Jim Fitzpatrick today outlined measures coming in later
this month to give disabled people new rights when travelling by air in Europe.

From 26 July 2007 it will be illegal for an airline, travel agent or tour
operator to refuse a booking on the grounds of disability or to refuse to
embark a disabled person who has a valid ticket and reservation.


The law also covers persons with reduced mobility, including people who would not normally be classed as disabled, such as those with a temporary mobility problem.

The new rules will mean that anyone who has been refused boarding on the
grounds of disability or reduced mobility will be able to complain to the
Disability Rights Commission (DRC). The Commission will advise them on their
rights and could refer the matter to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
which will have power to prosecute. If found guilty, an airline could face
an unlimited fine.

Mr Fitzpatrick said:

"The new measure coming into force later this month is only the first step
in ensuring that disabled people and those with reduced mobility have the
same access to air travel as others.

"The second stage, which will come into force next year, will bring further
significant benefits to disabled travellers. When all these measures are in
place disabled passengers will be assured that they can expect a consistent
and seamless level of service from airports and airlines."

Background Notes:

1. EC Regulation 1107/2006 imposes new legal obligations on airport operators,
air carriers, their agents or tour operators. The Regulation was largely
progressed under the UK's Presidency of the European Union in 2005.

2. The Regulation comes into force in two stages. The first stage (prohibiting
refusal of booking or embarkation) comes into force on 26 July 2007. In very
occasional circumstances these rights may not apply - for example, where there
are legitimate safety or technical reasons why a disabled person cannot board
an aircraft. The rest of the Regulation will apply from 26 July 2008. From
this date, airport managing bodies will be required to organise the provision
of the services necessary to enable disabled/reduced mobility passengers to
board, disembark and transit between flights, with costs recovered through
a charge on airlines proportionate to the total number of passengers they
carry to and from the airport.

3. The two stage approach gives the industry time to make changes to
contractual arrangements for provision of ground-handling assistance.

4. In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority has been designated to enforce
the Regulation. The Disability Rights Commission has been designated to
handle complaints from passengers (along with the Consumer Council for
Northern Ireland).

5. The Government has worked with the UK aviation industry to produce a
voluntary code of practice (published in 2003) which aims to improve access
to air travel for disabled people. We intend to revise this code by 2008 to
reflect the new European Regulation and ensure the spread of good practice.

Press Enquires: 020 7944 3118
E-mail: press@dft.gov.uk
Out of Hours: 020 7944 4292
Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk


Source:
http://media.netpr.pl/notatka_80677.html

Posted by rollingrains at 08:53 PM

July 06, 2007

Access Centres Turkey

access centres Turkey

Access Centres Turkey is filling a niche in that country that has long gone unmet. With Europeans retiring to Turkey the government and local investors have been looking for technical advice on Universal Design for several years. Let's hope that Inclusive Destination development takes hold in Turkey.


http://www.accesscentres.com/en_resorts.php

One wonders what other major architectural mistakes were made if the PR photo of the lobby includes stairs as the main path of travel.

access centeres turkey lobby with stairs

Posted by rollingrains at 07:43 PM

July 05, 2007

The UK's Mobility Roadshow -- July 19, 20, & 21

Mobility Roadshow

This year’s Mobility Roadshow that takes place on 19, 20 and 21 July at Kemble Airfield near CirencesteK, UK. So, if you are not in the neighborhood for the 13th annual Day on the Beach in Santa Cruz, California then the Mobility Roadshow is the only other place to be that weekend!

Over 30 accessible hotel, cruise, travel and holiday operators from around the world are attending the show. Prestigious names include InterContinental Hotels, which is launching a new ceiling track hoist facility, Royal Caribbean Cruises, P&O Cruises and Virgin Holidays join operators from Egypt, Cyprus, Holland, Majorca, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey and of course the United Kingdom.

The annual Mobility Roadshow is the world’s largest event of its kind. As well as adapted vehicles to test drive, from around 200 exhibitors there will be scooters, trikes and wheelchairs, mobility aids for indoor and outdoor living and recreation, plus a large number of information and charity organisations offering information and impartial advice. This year also sees a new Sports Arena and Flying Zone with opportunities to take part.

Source:
Easier Travel
http://www.easier.com/view/Travel/Holidays/article-125883.html

Posted by rollingrains at 07:13 PM

15th Annual Day on the Beach

thumbs up

Adventure travel combines with a festival atmosphere of music, food, and friends each year at the Santa Cruz "Day on the Beach" organized by Foster Anderson and Shared Adventures. Attendees come from farther away each year.

Day on the Beach Logo.jpg


This year attendees will include a Tourism student from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil and a team of researchers from the Korean Sports, Health & Welfare Foundation. Stop by Cowell Beach on Saturday July 21 if you are near Santa Cruz, California.

Shared Adventures.
building on the beach

On the Beach

Posted by rollingrains at 04:27 AM

July 04, 2007

Due Diligence on the Part of Airport Assistants for People with Disabilities

News media have picked up on a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation last week filed by two SEIU members.

Service workers at Los Angeles International Airport filed a federal complaint on Thursday, saying they had not received adequate training for assisting travelers with disabilities. The two workers said in the complaint that their employer, Aero Port Services, had not offered real training in how to operate a wheelchair since 2003. Because of that, they said, workers dropped three passengers with disabilities in the span of a year.

KPFK Evening News, Thu, June 28, 2007
http://64.27.15.184/parchive/mp3/kpfk_070628_181500kpfknews.mp3

Los Angeles Times June 29, 2007
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-disabled29jun29,1,2937708.story?coll=la-headlines-california_&ctrack=1&cset=true

Wheelchair provider at LAX targeted
By Francisco Vara-Orta
Times Staff Writer

Two workers who provide wheelchair assistance to disabled travelers at
Los Angeles International Airport filed a complaint Thursday with the
U.S. Department of Transportation, alleging that their employer has
failed to provide legally mandated training and properly maintain
wheelchairs.

Backed by a group of eight disability and workers' rights organizations,
the complaint alleges that Aero Port Services has failed to train some
of its 350 wheelchair assistance employees, leading to eyewitness
accounts of three customers being dropped from their wheelchairs in the
last 12 months, among other problems.

But Stephan Park, director of Aero Port Services' legal department,
rebutted the allegations, adding that he had not yet seen the complaint.

Park said the company has nurses provide training in how to help people
in wheelchairs. He said the company has 75 new wheelchairs in its fleet
of 100 and has ordered an additional 40 chairs.

For about four years, Inglewood-based Aero Port Services has had a
contract to serve the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Park said the complaint may be an attempt to "put pressure" on the
company to unionize.

"We are one of only two ground-handling companies that are not
unionized," he said.

Carolina Briones of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a
labor-backed community group, said Parks was mistaken.

Unionizing "is not what the complaint is about," Briones said. "This is
about safety for the disabled and those handling them."

The employees' complaint states that Aero Port Services has violated
parts of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Air Carrier Access
Act, requiring that airlines and airports make accommodations to assist
disabled passengers with traveling.

/francisco.varaorta@latimes.com/

Daily Breeze.com Friday, June 29, 2007

http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/8241147.html

LAX workers seek training for aiding disabled passengers
Service employees say three passengers in wheelchairs were dropped.
From staff reports

Service workers at Los Angeles International Airport filed a federal
complaint on Thursday, saying they had not received adequate training
for assisting travelers with disabilities.

The two workers said in the complaint that their employer, Aero Port
Services, had not offered real training in how to operate a wheelchair
since 2003. Because of that, they said, workers dropped three passengers
with disabilities in the span of a year.

The workers also said they had not been trained to help passengers with
different types of disabilities, such as visual impairment. They argued
that the federal Air Carrier Access Act requires such training, as well
as periodic refresher courses.

"We do our best to figure it out," one of the workers, Tim Maddox, said
at a press conference in front of the main international terminal at
LAX. The other worker, Xiomara Osorio, said that it's "uncomfortable for
us and for the passengers to have to guess what to do."

The company had not received formal notice of the complaint by late
Thursday afternoon, said Stephan Park, the director of its legal
department. He declined to comment on the workers' claims: "I can't
comment on something I haven't seen."

Aero Port Services employs about 800 people at LAX, Park said; he
estimated that about 300 of them work in what the company Web site calls
"wheelchair operations." The company also offers security and cargo
services at the airport, according to its Web site.

The two workers filed their complaint with the U.S. Department of
Transportation. A copy provided to the media laid out a list of demands,
including a "disability liaison" to train workers and penalties against
the company.

Several advocates for disabled people added their names to the complaint
as supporters. They included the American Association of People with
Disabilities and the California Alliance for Retired Americans.

Workers for Aero Port and other service providers at LAX have been
pushing for better pay and working conditions in recent months.

Posted by rollingrains at 07:33 PM

US Census Reports Releases Statistics on Disability

U.S. Census Bureau releases disability statistics

The Census Bureau recently released a Fact Sheet on Disabilities
in preparation for the 17th Anniversary of the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Updated numbers show the following:

* 51.2 million people have some level of disability
(18 % of population).

* 32.5 million have a severe disability (12% of whole population).

* 4 million children have a disability (or 11% of children
ages 6 to 14
)

To view the entire fact sheet, go to:
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/
facts_for_features_special_editions/010102.html

Editor's note:

The preceding data were collected from a variety of
sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other
sources of error. Questions or comments should be directed to the
Census Bureau's Public Information Office: phone: 301-763-3030;
fax: 301-763-3762; or email: pio@census.gov.

SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau

Posted by rollingrains at 01:44 AM

July 03, 2007

Good Work Carlson Hotels!

cis_logo

I have always had good experience with the Country Inn & Suites by Calson in Naperville, Illinois either as a guest or when referring guests. I was pleased to learn today that they are taking a leadership position - and receiving credit for it.

Kudos for Carlsons' foray into Universal Design thinking and their work to accommodate people of short stature!

Country Inns and Suites in Naperville is one of 950 Carlson Hotels where Sandra Wolf is the manager.

"Carlson Hotels believes in diversity and inclusiveness, and through that, they take it beyond the realms of ethnicity and they always try to accommodate all kinds of guests," Wolf said.

She says the idea of providing accommodations to people of short stature came from Matt Roloff, the star of TLC's reality show "Little People, Big World".

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=community&id=5430953

And congratulations to Sandra Wolf. If she really does manage 950 Carlson Hotels as ABC7 Chicago.com reports she must be someone extraordinary!

Posted by rollingrains at 07:57 PM

July 02, 2007

Integrating Universal Design Principles in Asset Building Program

Universal Design began as a design philosophy applied to the arrangement of space -- architecture, stage design, landscape design. It grew in parallel with a liberation philosophy of its era. That philosophy was radically interested in equity.

As Universal Design has evolved and been popularized it has come full circle as an encapsulated summary of the disability rights philosophy from which it sprang in the 1970's. Universal Design thinkers have been reinserting the concept in an ever widening circle of societal settings. Here Dede Leydorf of the World Institute on Disability presents
Integrating Universal Design Principles in Asset Building Programs

More:

http://www.wid.org/publications/integrating-universal-design-principles-in-asset-building-programs/

Posted by rollingrains at 02:44 PM

Monitoring the Skys: Flight Rights @ Disability Now

flight-rights

Find out what is going on with airlines and travel for people with disabilities at Disability Now's Flight Rights site here:

http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/campaigns/flight/index.htm

baywatch

And, when they're not watching the skies, Disability Now is watching parking bays. Join their July 2007 survey on the abuse of disabled parked at:

http://www.disabilitynow.org.uk/news/news_jun_2007_015.htm

Posted by rollingrains at 03:07 AM | TrackBack

July 01, 2007

News From Pakistan at Rethinking Disability


Naveed alerts us to a public service in Islamabad - Internet Cafe & Software for the Blind

Posted by rollingrains at 10:12 PM