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November 07, 2008

Advising President Obama on Tourism: An Initiative by the National Tourism Association

eTurboNews reports that the National Tour Association is extending its campaign to advise the US government on issues of tourism:

Leaders of the travel and tourism sector of the national economy will convene to share ideas and prepare recommendations to assist President-elect Barack Obama in accelerating the economy through travel and tourism. The outcomes will be presented to President-elect Obama, his transition team, and key members of Congress following a meeting in Washington, DC on December 16.

A broad cross-section of travel and tourism leaders has been invited to be a part of creating workable solutions for the struggling economy. The participation of more than 20 organizations has been confirmed including leaders representing packaged travel, lodging, travel agents, cruise lines, ground transportation, air transportation, and special interest travel, according to the National Tour Association, which is managing the effort.


At the time of this post staff at the National Tourism Association are researching my inquiry on how the organization intends to position Inclusive Tourism as well as the market of senior and disabled travelers in their policy recommendations.

Posted by rollingrains at 11:31 PM

October 28, 2008

RollAwayz in Australia

RollAwayz Logo.jpg

RollAwayz is a Google Earth tool for locating wheelchair accessible accommodations throughout Australia. The publisher, Spinal Cord Injury Australia, also offers an accessible transit map for Sydney.

The directory includes this explanation:

Each location on this map has been reported as having at least one room that is wheelchair accessible. That means that there are no steps to get to and into the room, and that its bathroom has a stepless shower stall and a hand-held shower.

To ensure that your holiday and business travel won't be spoilt by an inaccessible room it is important that you check for yourself before booking. Speak to someone who has been in the room and is familiar with its access features. What suits one person might not be right for another so it’s essential to ask detailed questions.

More locations and information are being added all the time, so visit www.scia.org.au/publications for a fresh copy when you are planning your next Australian roll away.

RollAwayz is published by and copyright Spinal Cord Injuries Australia.

1 Jennifer St, Little Bay | PO Box 397, Matraville, NSW 2036 AUSTRALIA
p: (61 2) 9661 8855 | f: (61 2) 9661 9598

Posted by rollingrains at 02:02 PM

October 15, 2008

Great Accessible Hikes.com: Leadership by a 15 Year Old

Citizen journalism and resource creation keeps on developing in the disability community.

Take the web site GreatWheelchairAccessibleHikes.com by Chris Trzcinski. Chris recommends Ann Siek's site San Francisco Bay Area Wheelchair Accessible Trails. Davey's site Accessible Trails.com and Loren's site Accessing Arizona and Catherine Marsden's Accessible Chicago

Slowly the dispersed team of outdoor inclusion enthusiasts is coming together.

Next they will need to start looking international. Like Red's follow up to NZonWheels called "Walking is Overrated"

From Great Wheelchair Accessible Hikes:

My name is Chris, and I'm a hiker and high school student from California. I've created this website to share information with other hikers about great, not just fair, wheelchair accessible hikes. To me, a great hike includes the following things: a hard surface such as pavement, cement, plank, packed dirt or gravel over a hard surface (not sand or deep gravel); free from ruts and rocks; wide enough for a wheelchair or scooter to pass through easily; minimal or gradual elevation change; and beautiful or interesting scenery. The trails listed here are ones I or other contributors enjoy hiking over and over again. I put red asterisks next to trails that are my favorites.

My hope is for this website to become a valued resource for other hikers. In order to build the site, I will continue to add more great hikes from around the U.S. and other countries. I will also include recommendations from other hikers. So if you have a favorite hike, please send me information and I'll add it to the website. There must be lots of amazing, accessible hikes out there; we just need to share the information. For example, does anyone know of an accessible hike on the Appalachian Trail or a scenic hike in Boston?


For more on Chris see:

Teen creates reliable Web site for hikers using wheelchairs

Posted by rollingrains at 09:08 PM

October 13, 2008

Calling Travel Writers: Contribute to Rough Guide's Accessible Britain

Accessible Britain.jpg

This travel writing competition is open to UK residents age 16 and over. Click here to register. Here's the offer:

Have you recently been on a fabulous day out? Have you discovered a hidden gem? Or do you simply feel the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain has overlooked one of your favourite trips?

If so, tell us about one of your own favourite days out and you could see your review in print. The best five entries will be featured in the next edition of the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, due for publication in spring 2009. But please hurry as the competition ends Friday 7 November 2008!

Source: http://www.accessibleguide.co.uk/write_review

Rough Guides and Motability have joined forces to produce an inspiring new Rough Guide to Accessible Britain. Packed full of ideas on days out across the UK, this pocket-sized guide lists 100 wonderful places, tested and recommended by our researchers. Read what people who have bought the Guide say about it here.

Badge User friendly, with colour coded sections of different days out in Britain, it highlights the accessible facilities at each location as well as containing handy maps to help plan your day.

The Guide is FREE to Blue Badge holders (£1.99 for postage and packing) and just £6.99 (inc p&p) to others.

Please click to read our Terms and Conditions

Source: http://www.accessibleguide.co.uk/

Posted by rollingrains at 08:33 PM

September 09, 2008

Mayor Sam Sullivan: Establish the Most Accessible & Inclusive City in the Country

Sam Sullivan.jpg

The Paralipmics are underway - but I'm already looking forward to the 2010 Winter Games. They will be in Vancouver, BC where Sam Sullivan is mayor.

Mayor Sullivan is a recipient of the nation's highest honour, the Order of Canada, for his community service on behalf of marginalized people. He has won several other awards, including the Terry Fox Award for national excellence, and the Christopher Reeve Award for his outstanding contributions to the community of persons with spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities.

He obtained a Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University and has also taught himself the basics of several languages including Cantonese, Italian and Punjabi.

Sullivan broke his neck while skiing at the age of 19 and is a quadriplegic. He is the founder of six non-profit organizations that have improved the lives of thousands of North Americans with disabilities, including the Tetra Society which recruits technically-skilled volunteers to create assistive devices for people with disabilities (30 chapters throughout North America), and the Disabled Sailing Association which provides opportunities for people with disabilities to sail (20 chapters in North America). He is an avid sailor, and also enjoys hiking using an assistive device he co-invented called the TrailRider, a one-wheeled vehicle that enables people with disabilities to travel and participate in hiking/camping trips and is in use throughout North America.

From the web site of Mayor Sam Sullivan:

The following is a summary of accomplishments on this goal since the election:

* approved funding to establish “311 Access Vancouver” service in time for 2010 to provide information and city services around the clock and in multiple languages
* secured 2008 Beijing Paralympic Torch relay
* established regular online interactive surveys to gauge public opinion on important civic issues - resulting in over 4000 survey responses submitted
* $1.7 million annual funding increase over 2005 civic budget for Vancouver arts, culture & heritage projects
* worked with provincial government to develop $1 million accessible tourism strategy
* more accessible buses and taxis
* established a Triple R (Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships) panel to modernize Vancouver's volunteer civic agencies
* re-established Citizens Days to provide regular direct access with Mayor Sullivan
* increased cooperation with federal & provincial governments and outreach to First Nation and Metis
* supported expansion of Multicultural Helping Village to enhance community services for new Canadians
* initiated community roundtables on multiculturalism, accessibility & immigration
* renewed three-year funding agreement with Vancouver Heritage Foundation
* introduced Citizenship Ceremonies at Vancouver City Hall
* introduced YouthPolitik to encourage youth participation in local government
* conducted hundreds of hours of community meetings and public consultations
* approved a plan for guided tours of City Hall with the goal to educate newcomers and familiarize citizens with Vancouver, and its array of public services
* endorsed the recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force on Immigration, including providing funding for a recommended Business Summit to be held in Spring 2008

Posted by rollingrains at 09:28 PM

September 06, 2008

Adrenaline Influx: The Spirit That Drives the Paralympics

It is also the spirit that brings disabled adventure travel experts to the podium at Adventure Travel World Summit, the Adventure Travel World Fair, and the Brazilian Adventure Society in São Paulo, Brazil right now and to the 2009 national conference of SATH and the Adventure Tour Operators' Association of India 2009 national conference in India this coming January.

Posted by rollingrains at 12:36 AM

August 05, 2008

Interview on Family Travel

Below is a reprint of an interview recently done by The Family Center on Technology and Disability.

Inclusive Tourism and AT: And Away We Go

In this Issue...

In the 1950s comedian and TV variety show host Jackie Gleason opened his prime time Saturday night show by hoisting a coffee cup filled with a mysterious liquid. Glancing toward his studio orchestra, he’d say, “A little traveling music, please.” Then, lurching toward the camera, The Great One would bellow, “And awaaaaaaaaaaay we go!”

For families of children with disabilities going away for a summer trip is easier said then done. There may or may not always be traveling music involved, but there is hard planning and thorough preparation. Fortunately, families engaged in travel planning are not doing so in an information vacuum. Thanks to pioneers such as this month’s interviewee Dr. Scott Rains, inclusive tourism is a field of interest that is fast emerging from the shadows into the daylight of the information age.

As defined by Dr. Rains, who invented the term, inclusive tourism is “the comprehensive application of Universal Design by the travel and hospitality industry at all stages of product lifecycle.” A related term, inclusive destination development, “similarly starts with Universal Design in looking at the creation, management and marketing of tourism destinations, Dr. Rains notes.

A travel activist and blogger, Dr. Rains produces The Rolling Rains Report (http://www.rollingrains.com/) through which he distributes news items and reflections on the tourism industry from the perspective of a veteran traveler with a disability.

Today, as families of children with disabilities who use assistive technology venture forth during vacation season, Rains strongly recommends a structured and thorough planning effort in order to minimize inconvenience and difficulty while maximizing the chances for relaxation, recreation and pleasurable enlightenment.

“For anyone with a disability and for families of children with disabilities all travel is adventure travel,” Rains points out. The trick for inclusive tourists, though, “is to do everything possible to ensure that the adventure is the right kind of adventure, a positive experience, not a frustrating and negative one.”

This issue examines the concept of inclusive tourism and its impact on families of children with disabilities.

Dr. Scott Rains Speaks

An enthusiastic hiker, camper and skier in his youth, Scott Rains, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, entered the world of disability very suddenly just before his 18th birthday and less than a week after realizing his greatest triumph to that point: certification as a ski instructor. He awoke after spinal surgery to remove a cancerous tumor paralyzed from the waist down.

Although devastated, the teenager soon found an upside to his disability. “My paralysis occurred at the same time that the disability rights movement and the civil rights movement were going strong. Thanks to my paralysis I was invited into a community of like-minded individuals involved in social change around disabilities.”

Dr. Rains had his first experience with the vagaries of AT use during his first post-paralysis road trip. “My friends and I were headed to a Shakespeare festival in Atherton, Oregon. A car pulled up next to us. The driver said he’d seen a wheelchair in the road about a mile behind us. Uh-oh. We stopped the car and checked. Sure enough, the chair that had been strapped on the top of the car was gone. We found it in the road, exactly where the other driver said he’d seen it. Thankfully, it was undamaged.”

During his college years Dr. Rains founded the first disabled students commission at the University of Washington. “I learned that I do not have the stamina and the hard shell that’s required for the constant political battles involved with being a lobbyist or a legislator.”

Since age 17, he says, “My willingness to emphasize my disability has fluctuated as has my identity as a member of the disability community. Thus, my professional career has centered on non-profits and higher education with the purpose of better serving the under-served. After I’ve been in a job for several years I will include an element connected to disability.”

The career turning point for him occurred when he and his wife “were doing what we like to do most, driving around northern California and having one of those car conversations that lasts three or four days. One of the conversation threads was, What is realistic for us to do to keep us passionately involved and yet will produce an income stream as we age? For me that meant turning to writing, a task I can perform by dictating to the computer, and travel. I had put off travel early in my life to do other things but it had been of interest to me since high school, when I was an exchange student in two countries.”

Dr. Rains realized because of the unique exposure that he has to disability rights history in the US, including some of the personalities involved -- Seattle was the first locale to develop an accessible transit system, for example – that U.S. disability history was going to repeat itself worldwide. In such a scenario, he remembers, “I was convinced I could be most helpful to the disabilities community by being a living contact with that piece of history. I could help local disability communities around the world. In the process I could fulfill my desire to travel and to write and my natural gravitation to teaching.”

The result, he says, was his blog, The Rolling Rains Report. At first, he points out, “I kept myself under the radar by only doing select articles and discrete events like the Adaptive Environments conference as well as the international accessible tourism conferences. I continued to remain under the radar until I rolled out my strategy, which focused on contacting the key points in business, academia and government, thereby making first-hand strategic contacts around the world.”

In addition to his blog and advocacy work, Dr. Rains is an executive producer for [with]tv (http://www.with-tv.com/) a company developing an inclusive, mainstream television channel to serve as a media presence for people with disabilities. He is also associated with the company’s non-profit arm, PWDBC (People with Disabilities Broadcast Corporation) where he develops broadcast training methods for individuals with disabilities. He is affiliated with the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development, which partners with the cruise industry and deep-water cruise ports along the Atlantic coast of South America to improve accessible travel options for seniors and those with lifelong disabilities, including children.

Dr. Rains earned a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Washington, an M.A. in pastoral ministry from Seattle University and a D.Min. in pastoral ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation, South Bend, Indiana.

Supporting our interview with Dr. Rains are resources that provide information on inclusive tourism and accessible travel. We also feature members of our Knowledge Network. The members spotlighted this month focus on inclusive tourism and advocacy on behalf of travelers with disabilities. We invite you to contact these members for further information. Please share this newsletter with other organizations, families and professionals who may benefit from it. We invite you to visit us at http://www.fctd.info. We welcome feedback, new members and all who contribute to our growing knowledge base.

Principles of Universal Design

1. Equitable Use: The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users.
2. Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
3. Simple, Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
4. Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.
5. Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.
6. Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.
7. Size and Space for Approach & Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility.

The Principles are copyrighted to the Center for Universal Design, School of Design, State University of North Carolina at Raleigh [USA]

Inclusive Travel & AT: All Travel Is Adventure Travel
An Interview with Dr. Scott Rains, Inclusive Tourism Blogger and Disability Rights Advocate

Dr. Scott Rains“All travel is adventure travel,” declares Dr. Scott Rains, inclusive tourism trail blazer. “The trick for inclusive tourists is to do everything possible to ensure that the adventure is the right kind of adventure, a positive experience, not a frustrating and negative one. A sense of lightheartedness contributes to the spirit of adventure and can attract help from strangers when help is needed most and makes the trip a whole lot more fun.”

This approach, he insists, is especially effective at helping families of children with disabilities who use assistive technology cope with the unique challenges they face when traveling, Dr. Rains asserts.

The Six Knows of Travel Planning

Careful planning, he emphasizes to parents and others, is the key to creating a positive travel adventure. “Travel can be a time of self transformation. Parents and children with disabilities can grow in confidence and self-esteem while gathering memories that will last a lifetime.” One way to help ensure that result, he says, is adherence to his rules for inclusive tourism, The Six Knows of Preparing to Travel:

1. Know yourself – “Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ Take it from me; it’s not worth carting along on the road with you either.” Parents should pare down to the non-negotiables. Arrange a realistic budget based on your means and travel aspirations. Review the physical health of all family members traveling. Evaluate travelers’ physical strength, stamina, immune systems, chronic pain issues and medication supply. Evaluate travelers’ mental health and emotional state and emotional resilience.
2. Know Your Equipment – Parents should take the responsibility to know their child’s equipment and their own. Create a repair toolkit and include it in the carry-on luggage. Prepare an instruction sheet, with illustrations, for assembling and disassembling AT. Arrange a pre-departure equipment check-up. Bring replacements for items that often fail. Make a list of equipment vendors at each travel destination. Know how to report equipment failures to a vendor and manufacturer. Troubleshoot all equipment prior to departure. Prepare instructions for baggage handling and equipment stowing. Memorize the accessibility features of the planes on which you have reservations.
3. Know your safety net – “Traveling with a disability can be a test of skill; expect the unexpected.” Game plan around the worst potential areas of mishap. Parents should leave a copy of their itinerary with friends. Double check contact information for friends you expect to encounter at each destination. Review the family’s insurance coverage.
4. Know your rights and responsibilities – “Laws, policies, business practices and cultural norms change from region to region and country to country. Keeping track of the specifics merits an advanced degree in traveling with a disability. Be as knowledgeable as possible.” Parents should be aware of the point in a trip when the Americans with Disabilities Act jurisdiction ends and the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) begins. Know what accessibility features are required by law in airplanes with more than 30 seats. Are parents capable of advocating for their child with a Canadian or European air carrier?
5. Know your travel companions – Family members should know what to expect from each other during the duress and fun of travel.
6. Know your destination – “Destination research is the least overlooked of the Six Knows. Holiday spots can be very effective in communicating their image and color. The danger lies in being lulled into assuming that the specific accessibility information that parents need is easily available.”

“Do the Research; Assume Nothing”

Parents, says Dr. Rains, should make sure that their child is equipped with the correct converters and plugs, plus step-down transformers and other critical accessories.

Little girl sitting in hotel roomParents should contact the hotels or the family that they will be staying with to learn about the environment in which they will be living at each destination. “You could be in a place with a hotel that has both kinds of electricity, static and current, coming into the rooms. I’ve been in hotels where that is the case. Last week, for example, I was up in Alaska. Although I don’t require any life support-type AT I read that the cruise ship I was on turns off the diesel engine when it anchors and that the supplemental electricity is turned off at night. I was thinking about this cruise for my father. I asked the owner of the ship, ‘What happens if a sleep machine is being used?’ He replied, ‘We have battery back-ups.’”

For parents, he adds, the most effective strategies involve knowing precisely what will be needed to support a child’s assistive device. He recommends that parents write out their AT support requirements and send them ahead to their destination. “Every point of contact during the planning process should be carefully addressed, including boarding the plane, booking the hotel, asking airline or hotel representatives if they are making a written note of the information being provided.” Dr. Rains cautions, “Never assume that the individual with whom you’re communicating has actually taken down the information.”

Dr. Rains believes that each point of contact in the planning process is an opportunity for parents to educate others about their child’s disability. For example, he strongly recommends that parents contact the hotel concierge at each stop on their itinerary to make certain the hotel knows what equipment is being brought. “Ask the hotel to do some research about how to locate replacement sources for things like batteries.”

The reason for this recommendation, he states, “is not [simply] because parents may actually have a need for items like batteries. The real reason for my recommendation is that parents need to place the research responsibility on the shoulders of a concierge or travel agent. This provides these travel professionals with the opportunity to dig into the research themselves.”

In taking this approach “parents are teaching these travel professionals who then become better at their jobs because they are being provided with detailed information accompanied by a sense of urgency, plus clarity and specificity – and at the same time parents are protecting themselves.”

Take the Multi-Modal Approach: Specificity Is King

When communicating information to travel professionals about a child’s equipment requirements, the multi-modal, written/spoken approach is best, Dr. Rains emphasizes.

According to Dr. Rains, “Seasoned travelers with disabilities can predict where the important points of contact will be and can therefore educate travel employees before the fact.”

A recurring problem, he says, is care of electric wheelchairs when they are being loaded on an airplane. His advice to parents: “Write up the procedure for breaking down a child’s wheelchair and include clear instructions about what must never be done during that process, plus answers to frequently asked questions, such as, ‘Is this a gel battery? Does it contain acid?’ Write the directions and comments in English on one side of the piece of paper and in Spanish, or another appropriate language, on the other side.”

The instruction sheet, he adds, should be laminated, hole-punched, attached to a bungee cord and attached to the chair “so that even if you are not present the individual who is loading baggage will be educated.”

In other words, Dr. Rains advises, parents should always have a set of written answers to the questions they will likely be asked about their child’s AT. He urges parents to manage the process by making certain the document gets into the hands of a hotel manager or cruise ship director. Reiterate those instructions and information in the conversations, he suggests. Parents, he says, “will then have the satisfaction and the relief of knowing that their spoken words will be documented on a paper that is circulating through the organization or institution.”

“Disability Imposes a Discipline”

Scott Rains in Plaza in Bratislava“Disability imposes a discipline,” Dr. Rains asserts. “We all chafe at discipline, but we can grow from it if we use it skillfully. Any travel with another person requires that what ‘I’ want to do will not always be what we as a group actually do. There should be a respect for the unexpected when traveling.”

There is an advantage from having multiple players on a family travel team. “Parents can do the good cop, bad cop routine to get what they need from travel professionals.” Employing this strategy, he notes, “can produce the same effect – called “mobbing” by birdwatchers – generated when flocks of birds descend on a food source and hop around to distract potential predators.

However, he warns, “the flip side of mobbing is that if a story is not tight inside a family, conflicting instructions and information may inadvertently be imparted to those who are trying to help or with whom parents are trying to communicate.” Rehearsing those interactions can be very helpful, he advises.

“Help the people on your family travel team understand what needs to be communicated to a specific person at a particular time. If you don’t feel that the person who took the lead in communication did it effectively in terms of content you can supplement the content while being careful never to contradict instruction. If that person was worn out or short-tempered you can mollify by asking him/her to say the same thing in another way or introduce humor, which is a way to engage and motivate the person who is providing services and to whom your need is being communicated.”

Putting the Child Forward

A family travel team approach is also helpful when team members become tired or short-tempered or may not be proficient at some aspects of travel, Dr. Rains notes. “Maybe a person provides the brawn and not the silver tongue. If that is the case you sequester that team member until he/she is needed.”

What can be satisfying to parents is putting their child forward, even if the child has communication disabilities, Dr. Rains says. “Have the child use his/her talking table or voice communicator and take responsibility in a controlled environment where the child is going to succeed and also educate the service provider.”

A few years ago Dr. Rains implemented this strategy when he was employed by a community comprised of individuals with and without disabilities living together in upstate New York. “One of the traditions in this community is that everyone gets to ‘take a vacation’, those with disabilities and those without.” In a parental role he traveled with community members as someone with a physical disability supervising other members with developmental disabilities.

“In one case I was living in Syracuse, New York with the community and had traveled home to visit my family in Seattle. Accompanied by other community members I was returning my car East by driving cross-country. We crossed the Canadian border at the Peace Arches in North Dakota. It was late at night. Given the nature of our group we didn’t expect much scrutiny at the border. We were so wrong.”

The group of disabled people trying to cross the border raised much suspicion on the part of the Canadian border patrol. “In short, they were giving us a hard time. The border guards could see that the guys in our back seat had Down syndrome, which made them suspicious of us.” The group was ordered out of the car.

“I got out with the wheelchair. I’m sure the border guards thought they had captured some sort of ‘coyotes’ (illegal immigrants). They were tough on me. Finally, I was the one who needed to be sequestered and not do the communicating. I told the guards, ‘You’re talking about these individuals as if they’re invisible. I’m not going to answer questions for them. They’re perfectly capable of giving you answers. But you’re going to have to figure out how to get those answers.’”

A member of his group was a “jokester” with minimal intellectual capacity, “but he held his own when the guards realized that they were going to have to deal with this situation themselves. Another fellow traveler had non-functioning vocal cords. He typed things out on what appeared to be an old adding machine with a roll of tape. He was slow, slow, slow in his writing. He’d pause between every letter that he typed. The guards asked a question, like ‘How much money do you have?’ He would type out his response, digit by digit, print it out and hand it to them slowly. I’m sure that that was a life-changing experience for those border guards!”

Parents: Share Your Story

In order to minimize challenges and maximize the chances of travel success, Dr. Rains urges parents of kids with disabilities to “share their story” while the trip is in the planning stage by announcing their travel intentions via participation in parent-to-parent blogs and bulletin boards like Cruise Critic http://www.cruisecritic.com/, a popular site for those who are planning cruises.

“Post on multiple bulletin boards,” he advises. When posting, parents should state their destination and ask for opinions of that destination. “I urge families of children with disabilities that have traveled to document, provide kudos or blacklist travel agents, destinations and accommodations.” Again, specificity of information is key, he cautions.

“Go to http://www.tripadvisor.com/. Post photos of accessible bathrooms and public spaces that show accessibility. Write reviews. Create a new group for travelers with disabilities to share reviews regarding accommodations.”

“I have been working with two other new travel sites that have pleasantly surprised me with their awareness of the needs of travelers with disabilities: VibeAgent (http://www.vibeagent.com/) and Trip Wolf (http://www.tripwolf.com/). I was able to work with both before the sites went live and helped them identify issues related to web site accessibility and providing the right sorts of destination data for parents traveling with a child who has a disability. At either site you can find me and the reviews I have done under the screen name ‘Rolling Rains.’ ”

When parents have experienced travel with their child, when they have negotiated their way through a trip, “leave a trail for those who follow. Hotel owners may or may not appreciate your efforts although my experience is that most do appreciate these evaluations.”

Parents should consider creating a caucus within any kind of organization in which they are involved as a parent of a child with disabilities. “Create that caucus specifically around travel and travel issues,” he urges.

Children Traveling with Their Peers

Occasionally older children with disabilities travel with their friends but not their parents. In such situations Dr. Rains offers the following advice:
“A lot of the problem-solving involves pre-planning that inculcates resiliency and handiness with problem-solving. At a certain point in your teenage years it is your job to break away from everything that is constraining you. On the one hand it is very important for families to understand that kids, even those with disabilities, are going to put themselves in risky situations. Planning for a child’s trip with his or her peers has more to do with parenting than with trip planning: Let the child mess with and adapt [equipment and care routines] in order to arrive at the right AT solution, whether that’s durable medical equipment or ways that they are being lifted, let them own that.”

He continues, “If children are mechanically minded let them tear the equipment apart and put it back together, because travelers are sometimes their only resource. That’s one practical approach that is related to travel but focused on parenting. Get to know your kid’s companions. Parents who are unable to talk their child out of being friends with someone of whom they don’t approve can provide their child with strategies for dealing with peer pressure. They can also give the child their heartfelt insights about his/her friends’ potential strengths and weaknesses as traveling companions, i.e. who’s not a good driver, who will likely not be careful with the child’s AT.”

In Dr. Rains’ case, when his wheelchair fell from his traveling companion’s car [on a road trip during high school], “our driver was super responsible. He went on to spend his professional life as a counselor for at-risk youth in Alaska. But he was totally shocked and embarrassed when he learned that the wheelchair had fallen out of the car. His embarrassment resulted in an incredible bonding experience between us because somehow the darned thing didn’t break when it collided with the pavement!”

“A Worldwide Commonality”

Much of Dr. Rains’ advice to parents and other travelers with disabilities is dispensed on his blog, The Rolling Rains Report, which he has provided since 2004. “I write every day. I write articles or thought-starters. I relay news articles or press releases. I’m trying to reach readers with disabilities who travel, or the travel industry itself, including individuals responsible for making decisions or providing services to those who travel.”

The blog’s strategic purpose, he explains, is to create awareness of a centralized resource of information. “It’s a tool to attract individuals to me who then provide me with further information that I can use in articles or presentations.” The news items that attract his attention, including new products or recent reviews or articles or travelogues, are often contributed by fellow travelers with disabilities or companions of travelers with disabilities.
Responses and contributions to The Rolling Rains Report, he notes, are numerous, knowledgeable and spirited. “I’m finding a worldwide commonality in terms of the issues I write about. That’s encouraging to me because it indicates a high baseline of understanding and awareness about disabilities.”

In fact, he adds, “I find stronger ideological support for people with disabilities as travelers outside the US, outside the developed world.” The reason, he explains, is that many less developed countries have a greater dependence on tourism dollars for their gross national product. “Tourism dollars become a cultural fertilizer and source of cash inflow that determines, in many cases, what a location will look like in terms of physical infrastructure.”

“Adaptations Are Made for Us”

“As people with disabilities travel self-aware of who they are and with cash to spread around, the physical landscape changes to accommodate them,” Dr. Rains declares. “This accommodation has not been carried out with any degree of sophistication or even systematic thought but thoughtful systemization is nevertheless beginning to appear,” he says.

“I’m finding that even small mom-and-pop hotels, resorts and restaurants have an awareness of my needs as someone in a wheelchair and are delighted to hear whatever advice I want to provide when I stop in.”

According to Dr. Rains, that level of awareness is not as high in Europe and the US. He has a theory as to why that disparity exists. “Speaking as a person with a disability who has been paralyzed as a quadriplegic since 1972, I – we – have worked really hard to articulate and translate into legislation our needs and desires and our political agenda.” That effort, he insists, “has created a backlash, especially in the US, where Americans are so litigious.”

Claims Dr. Rains: “A law becomes a challenge to those who want to circumvent it, an approach that creates a degree of tension for parents traveling with a child with a disability. Where there is a less developed economy and less precedent you see a higher level of resourcefulness.”

In such environments, he adds, “proprietors are interested in serving customers. If the customers are people with disabilities and there are no laws or precedent then we are simply accepted as customers. Adaptations are made for us. Sometimes the adaptations are quite creative. This was surprising to me. Of course this attitude is not universal but it is common among entrepreneurs and the merchant class of less developed countries who have monetary incentive, despite cultural differences with their customers, to adapt to disabilities.”

UN vs US

Dr. Rains points out that there is a significant difference between the United Nations’ Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the US approach to participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport, a disparity that impacts inclusive tourism.

A key distinction is due to a difference between definitions of disability, Dr. Rains says. “When the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 we had educated the government for more than 30 years about our political consensus as a community of people with disabilities and had communicated that neither a ‘charity’ nor a ‘medical’ approach was acceptable. In the ADA the result was to emphasize the social nature of disability and the social nature of discrimination based on differences in abilities.”

The ADA, he notes, defined disability “as something that interferes with one of more activities of daily living. Historically that was a good definition in its era and is a consensual statement of the disability community’s understanding of what our political agenda was. Most important, the definition served as a rejection of the ‘charity’ and ‘medical ‘models of disability as applied to us as citizens or as travelers.”

There is an evolving definition of disability which is rooted in the social description of disability, he says. That definition flows from the International Catalog of Function (ICF) which is affiliated with the World Health Organization. The definition describes disability as an interaction between functionality, ability and environment.

“This definition is much more applicable, flexible and forward-looking. On the one hand there are those individuals in physiometrics who are seeking to determine the ranges of function – including reach, visual and auditory – in human populations and apply those findings to standards of design and/or policy development.” That is what the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) focuses on and that is where we ought to be,” Dr. Rains declares.

“We are working on the ADA Restoration Act, which a year ago was introduced in the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The legislation is a response to court challenges to the ADA. Incorporating newer definitions, like that in the UN convention, can help realize the potential of the ADA in the US based on newer definitions emerging from the WHO.”

The UN convention, he explains, is a compendium of systematic documents on the rights of people with disabilities and acts as a screen through which individual nations sieve their own standards for people with disabilities and measures them against these articles. CRPD is the gold standard on the rights of people with disabilities and the focus of CRPD is Article 30, which includes leisure sports and tourism.

“The difference at one fundamental level is a difference in definition. In addition, the CRPD establishes a right to cultural participation and to leisure and travel. It’s the first human rights document with that focus. That is very significant and raises the bar for the US.”

“We Are Ambassadors”

US travelers with disabilities, including families of children with disabilities, represent all Americans with disabilities when overseas, Dr. Rains asserts.

In a December editorial he wrote for New Mobility Magazine, Dr. Rains emphasized that American travelers with disabilities “are ambassadors for a culture that we refer to as ‘disability culture.’ We surprise people when we visit places that are paternalistic and protective, everything that we have fought against as a disability rights movement. But in fact we are a living example in that location and we ought to be aware of how privileged we are to be present at this cultural turning point every time we as disabled people travel around the world.”

He encourages families of children with disabilities to go about their travel with a pilgrim’s reverence. “It’s like carrying a soap bubble in your hand that’s fragile and precious. Taking that approach keeps travelers with disabilities aware of the unique possibilities being created right in front of your eyes. That in itself represents the biggest challenge: to not be overwhelmed by the very real physical and cultural challenges we face when traveling with a disability or when traveling, as a caretaker, with more than one person who has a disability. That is the central point of everything I do, everything I write.”

Inclusive Tourism and Universal Design

Dr. Rains says that he coined the term inclusive tourism. “I conceived it, defined it and was the first to publish articles about it.”

He was very strategic in his approach, he notes. “Inclusive Tourism is the phrase that I use and am trying to have universally adopted because I want those with whom I communicate to understand that there is a cultural and political agenda behind what I do.”

On a very specific level, he insists, “inclusive tourism means that we are applying the seven principles of Universal Design to travel.” If the concept does not include a design phase, an imagination phase where individuals with disabilities and those with a range of abilities are not included in the creation of the product, space or policy using those principles of Universal Design then it is not Inclusive Tourism or Inclusive Destination Development as I mean it.”

His creation of the term was inspired in the 1970s by the work of architect Ron Mace, founder of the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University. Explains Dr. Rains: “Mace’s work has penetrated housing design and aging in place as well as aspects of gerontology in the US.” Therefore, he declares, “I intend Inclusive Tourism to mean the use of Universal Design by the travel and hospitality industry and also the cumulative best practices and the self-generating cycle emanating from that.”

According to Dr. Rains, quoting the definition formulated by Adaptive Environments, Universal Design is a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. “Most simply, universal design is human-centered design of everything with everyone in mind.”

Universal design, he notes, is also called Inclusive Design, Design-for-All and Lifespan Design. “It is not a design style but an orientation to any design process that starts with a responsibility to the experience of the user. It has a parallel in the green design movement that also offers a framework for design problem solving based on the core value of environmental responsibility.” Universal Design and green design, he adds, “are comfortably two sides of the same coin but at different evolutionary stages. Green design focuses on environmental sustainability, universal design on social sustainability.”

Green design and Universal Design, he remarks, “are the two ascendant hot concepts in architecture and social planning. However, when I talk about Inclusive Tourism I am referring to social inclusion. When I first used the expression ‘inclusive tourism’ I was aware that I would confuse some people in the tourism industry who refer to ‘all-inclusive packages.’ I really mean social inclusion and the social movement supporting that inclusion. I wanted to signal that meaning to consumers and those inside the travel industry who possessed a political orientation toward cultural inclusion and diversity. That way it would be easier to weave related concepts together in people’s minds.”

A “Revolutionary Program” for the Travel Industry
He advocates “a revolutionary program” in the travel industry to promote inclusive tourism. “I went about this in a very systematic way. I got my strategy from Peter Senge’s reflections on the writing of his book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization (Doubleday 1990).”

Senge, Dr. Rains says, “writes about being your own competitor, about being a thought leader in an area, that a thought leader must define his/her terms, phrases and concepts as well as sharing ‘springboard stories’ that analogize and make connections between concepts that will be familiar to the readership of the FCTD Newsletter along with the new configurations that the thought leader is striving to get across.”

Dr. Rains began, he explains, by doing survey studies of individuals who were pioneers in specialized travel – traveling with disabilities – as well as travel agents and tour operators. He distributed talking points to specialized travel writers who focused on travel and disabilities. He scanned all related information on the web and began correspondence with mainstream travel writers and travel agencies, developing a network of individuals who came to share his perspective on specialized travel.

Next he collaborated with entrepreneurial individuals, disabled and non-disabled – to help them set up specialized agencies or what Dr. Rains calls “second generation,” i.e. mainstream businesses involved in tourism that want to tap into the specialized travel market.

He defined Inclusive Tourism in academia as editor of the first issue of an academic journal in the field of Disability Studies to address tourism and disabilities. The article appeared in the journal Review of Disability Studies (University of Hawaii 2005).

Dr. Rains maintained a tireless advocacy campaign. “I did as many interviews as I could. I traveled and helped organize international conferences on inclusion in tourism, in Taiwan and Australia.”

Dynamic AT Trends for Inclusive Tourists
According to Dr. Rains, several salient trends are emerging that will benefit travel and tourism for families of kids with disabilities who are AT users.

“Right now I’m traveling with a device called SPOT, a GPS tracking device. We are seeing the advent of Google maps and low-cost personal GPS satellite tracking devices, whether they have a map or send a signal like SPOT does. You push a button and the message goes out that says ‘I’m here and I am safe.” Push another button and the message is, ‘I’m here and I am in trouble.’” There are also other devices such as watches that enable parents to track their kids’ location, which are useful for safety, for orientation and for navigation.

“There is work being done on ruggedizing luggage as cost-crunched airlines become less and less service oriented. There is an awareness that boomers are traveling. Travelwise, the three main boomer characteristics are: the desire to travel; the economic means to travel; and the time to travel. Boomers, being this huge population bulge, will transform the tourism industry by their numbers and by their character as a generation.

As the generation moves en mass into the travel and leisure age “we are going to acquire disabilities. There is something very significant about this trend from my perspective as someone who self-identifies as disabled and as a longtime participant in the disability rights movement: Those who acquire disability at an older age do not self-identify as disabled.”

Scott RainsThis trend, he notes, is important for the travel industry and has relevance for families of children with disabilities “because those parents will find common ground with seniors as family members or as fellow travelers. “That common ground comes from a desire for what some of my colleagues in Australia term ‘easy travel.’”

A Legacy

Asked to sum up his legacy in a sentence or two, Dr. Rains replies, “I saw a need that had to be met on behalf of travelers with disabilities. Meeting that need has fulfilled my own need to build something that is intellectually challenging, adventurous, sustainable and satisfying as my disability becomes more and more debilitating.”


Wheelchair Adventure Travel and Kayaking in Glacier Bay, Alaska
By Scott Rains
The author, creator of the blog The Rolling Rains Report (http://www.rollingrains.com/), is a mid-50ish quadriplegic well-known for his online commentaries on his “adventure travel” journeys worldwide. He writes, “Thirteen feet below me the water is the murky grey-green of saltwater laced with glacial silt. My bright red snowboarding pants reflect off the glassy surface but, like a mirror, nothing below the surface is visible. The naturalists onboard tell me that spots like this roil beneath with sea life in a feeding frenzy.” The article includes photos of accessible facilities.

Have Wheelchair Will Travel
By Donna Goodacre
The author writes, “We are a family of four - Donna and Neil (parents), Chelsea (14) and Richie (18). Richie has cerebral palsy which restricts his mobility. He can communicate normally but cannot walk unaided. His chair is a manual one which he can operate, but he usually depended on us during this ‘trip of a lifetime.’” Her travelogue describes Richie’s trip to Australia, Singapore, Thailand, England and France in detail, an interesting read for families of children with disabilities planning their trips.

Inclusive Tourism: A New Strategic Alliance for the Disability Rights Movement
By Scott Rains
e-bility.com (2007)
Presented by the author at the November 2007 International Conference on Accessible Travel (ICAT), the article describes the three “models” of disability: the charity, medical, and social models. The first two, Rains maintains, “present individuals with disabilities as recipients rather than sources of action. They prevent people with disabilities from political expression and economic participation as adults because both models assume worlds that are too small for real people.”

The social model, which Dr. Rains endorses, “claims that the world where people with disabilities “really” belong is the real world, the whole world - like everybody else! That’s a big world.” Universal design, he adds, “is what lets us live at home in this world. “ Dr. Rains calls for an alliance between the disability community, governments and businesses to accelerate the evolution of accessible travel.

Before You Go: Accessible Travel Tips
By Bruce Mumford
e-bility.com (2007)
Australian travel expert Bruce Mumford provides travel tips for travelers with disabilities, their families and traveling companions. The highlights:

* Take plenty of medication
* Choose a good airline and inform the airline’s representatives of special needs
* Book ahead
* Don’t rely exclusively on “wheelchair friendly” access symbols
* Purchase travel insurance to cover medical emergencies
* Bring a “disabled parking” pass
* Don’t be afraid to ask for help


Wheelchair Travel Guide
Access for Disabled Americans (2007)
This trip planner for wheelchair users provides information on locating accessible hotels and on air travel, ground transportation and cruises. The 160-page guide is published in a spiral binding for convenient lay-flat reading. Cost: $30.00 USD. Cost is considered a donation. A donation slip accompanies shipment. For more information, contact:
Access for Disabled Americans
3685 Mt. Diablo Blvd. #300
Lafayette, CA 94549
Phone: (925) 284-6444 Fax: (925) 284-6448
Email: psmither@aol.com

Wheelchairs on the Go: Accessible Fun in Florida
This access guide is aimed at Florida visitors and residents who use canes, walkers or wheelchairs or are unable to walk more than a short distance. The 424-page paperback lists wheelchair accessible and barrier-free accommodations, tourist attractions and activities throughout Florida.

Access-Able Travel Source
Created in 1995 this site offers information on a variety of topics relevant to travelers with disabilities. Links are provided for the following topics: world destinations, travel professionals, cruise ships, “travel tales,” magazines, a featured destination and tips of summer fun.

Accessible Journeys
Founded in 1985, this organization provides information on vacation planning, group tours, group cruises, individual accessible cruises, licensed travel companions and disability travel resources for slow walkers, wheelchair travelers and their family and friends.

Global Access News
GAN is a travel network for individuals with disabilities, providing information on accessible travel options for wheelchair users and others who are mobility-impaired. The site offers an extensive archive of travel reports as well as information on accessible accommodations and trip planning. Travel books and a free E-Zine are also available. http://www.globalaccessnews.com/

World on Wheels
Dedicated to wheelchair travel, this site is comprised mainly of first-person trip reports that concentrate on a specific destination’s accessibility and attractions.

Disabled Travelers.com
This site offers a comprehensive listing of businesses worldwide specializing in disability travel, including travel agents, tour operators, adventure travel companies, accessible cruise specialists, accessible van rentals and equipment and access guides.

Internet Pubic Library (IPL)
IPL offers articles on accessible travel via links to accessible travel resources.

Ability Magazine
The magazine is published bi-monthly and features articles on a range of disability issues including travel. Cost: $29.70 USD per year. For more information, contact:
Ability Magazine
1001 W. 17th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Phone: (949) 854-8700; (949) 548-5966
Email: ability@pacbell.net

Abilities Magazine
Published by the Canadian Abilities Foundation, this is Canada’s foremost cross-disability lifestyle magazine. The publication is available in print, on audio cassette and computer disk. All past issues can be accessed in the Abilities Archive section of the magazine’s website. In addition to its subscriber base, the magazine is distributed across Canada to every disability organization, plus corporations, professionals and government officials. Cost: $14 USD for one year, $34 USD for two years. For more information, contact:
Abilities Magazine
Canadian Abilities Foundation
#501 - 489 College St.
Toronto ON M6G 1A5
Phone: (416) 923-1885
Fax: (416) 923-9829
Email: able@interlog.com

Active Living
Formerly Disability Today, this bi-monthly magazine focuses on ways to improve health, fitness and mobility, where to enjoy accessible leisure and what to look for in a new therapeutic, recreational or sporting activity. Cost: $19.97 USD per year; add $30 USD to all non-US international subscriptions. For further information, contact:
Active Living
PO Box 237
Grimsby, ON L3M 4G3 Canada
Phone (905) 309-1639 Fax: (905) 309-1640 fax
Email: activelive@aol.com

Emerging Horizons – Accessible Travel News
This quarterly magazine focuses on travel options available to individuals with disabilities. Cost: $14.95 USD; non-US $19.95. For further information, contact:
Emerging Horizons - Accessible Travel News
Candy & Charles Creative Concepts
P.O. Box 278
Ripon, CA 95366
Phone: (209) 599-9409 Fax: (209) 599-9482
Email: horizon@emerginghorizon.com

Hearing Health
A quarterly publication, Hearing Health covers all aspects of the deaf community, including lifestyle and travel. Cost: $24.00 USD. For additional information, contact:
Hearing Health
PO Drawer V
Ingleside, TX 78362-0500
Phone: (361) 776-7240 Fax: (361) 776-3278

New Mobility
Published by No Limits, this monthly magazine covers a range of disability issues, including articles on travel, sports and recreation. Subscription cost: $27.95 USD per year. For further information, contact:
New Mobility
P.O. Box 220
Horsham, PA 19044
Phone: (888) 860-0344 (toll free); (215) 675-9133
Fax: (215) 675-9376
Email: Ginal@jvleonard.com

Paraplegia News
Published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America this monthly magazine provides information on travel-related subjects as well as on sports and recreation. A monthly column is entitled “Travel Tips.” Cost: $23.00 USD per year. For more information, contact:
Paraplegia News
2111 E. Highland Ave., Ste. 180
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: (888) 888-2201 X19 (toll free); (602) 224-0500
Fax: (602) 224-0507
Email: pvapub@aol.com

Special Living
This quarterly magazine covers most disability issues, including travel, in each issue. Cost: $12.00 USD per year. For additional information, contact:
Special Living
PO Box 1000
Bloomington, IL 61702
(309) 825-8842
Email: gareeb@aol.com

We Magazine
We is a lifestyle publication for all individuals with disabilities. Cost: subscription is free. For further information, contact:
We Magazine
495 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (800) 963-2426 (toll free); (212) 941-9584
Fax: (212) 941-6459
Email: editors@wemagazine.com


Access Tours
Access Tours logoA non-profit organization, Access Tours packages all-accessible tours of the American West, including national parks, for tourists with disabilities, especially slow walkers, scooter and wheelchair users and those who accompany them. The typical tour consists of 8-10 travelers. Access Tours is a service of the Access Institute.
For additional information, contact:
Access Tours
PO Box 1320
Driggs, ID 83422
Phone: (800) 929.4811 (toll free); 208.787.2338
Fax: (208) 787.2332
Contact: Clint Grosse, Director
Email: access@silverstar.com

Adaptive Environments (AE)
Adaptive Environments logoFounded 29 years ago, AE has been a lead organization in the universal design movement, having hosted or co-hosted five international conferences on universal design, as well as student design competitions, smaller regional meetings and publication of web and print materials. AE maintains a collaborative relationship with the International Association for Universal Design in Japan, the Design-for-All Foundation in the European Union and the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs. AE is currently working with the UN on the implementation of the new Treaty on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities that endorses universal design as the basis for design guidelines. For more information about AE, contact:
Adaptive Environments
180-200 Portland Street
Suite 1
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: (617) 695-1225 (Voice/TTY)
Fax: (617) 482-8099
Email: info@AdaptiveEnvironments.org

Deaf Globetrotters Travel
Deaf Globetrotters Travel logoFor over forty years, Deaf Globetrotters Travel has been arranging and creating travel experiences for their clients with hearing impairments. With an expansive knowledge of popular travel destinations, they have designed river and ocean cruises and land tours, available throughout the year. They have certified sign language interpreters to accommodate their travelers on all of their escorted tours.
For more information on Deaf Globetrotters Travel, please contact:
9618 Oregano Circle
Houston, TX 77036
Phone: (800) 646-8157
Contact: Don Hahn, Owner

National Federation of the Blind Travel and Tourism Division
The NFB Travel and Tourism Division works with local NFB chapters, state affiliates, and the national organization to promote travel for individuals who are blind or have visual impairments. They also work toward encouraging those individuals to pursue careers in the travel and hospitality industry. As a part of the national organization, the Division provides access to all NFB publications. The publications provide a variety of resources on living with visual impairments and blindness, including information on accessible tourism.
For more information, please visit:

Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH)
Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality logoFounded in 1976, SATH fosters awareness of the needs of travelers with disabilities in the US and overseas. SATH participated in the writing of the regulations for the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Air Carriers Access Act, as well as Resolution 700 and 1700 of the International Air Transport Association. A Code of Conduct toward travelers with disabilities written by SATH was adopted by the World Tourism Organization in 1991. SATH provides detailed training on how to serve travelers with disabilities, organizes conferences and provides speakers and panels for other industry. SATH has sponsored the World Congress for Travelers with Disabilities and the Mature since 1977 and also sponsors Travelers with Disabilities Awareness Week, created in 1990 by SATH founder Murray Vidockler. Since its inception, SATH has served as a clearinghouse for access information. SATH’s travel magazine, Open World, features articles by travelers with disabilities and updates on destinations, cruises, web sites and legislation.
For further information, contact:
Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH)
347 Fifth Ave, Suite 605
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 447-7284
Fax: (212) 447-1928
E-mail: sathtravel@aol.com

Student Air Travel Association (SATA)
Student Air Travel Association logoSATA is an international association of student travel agencies committed to providing accessible and affordable travel for fulltime students and youth under age 26. SATA agents maintain a distribution network of 2,500 retail outlets worldwide. SATA agents have negotiated partnerships with more than 80 airlines around the globe. For further information, contact:
Student Air Travel Association c/o IAS
Keizersgracht 174-176
1016 DW Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 421 28 00
Fax: +31 20 421 28 10
Email: satainfo@istc.org

The Guided Tour, Inc.
The Guided Tour, Inc. logoThis organization offers supervised travel and vacation programs in the United States and overseas for individuals with developmental and physical challenges. It is staffed by professionals who have experience working in the field of mental retardation and developmental disabilities. The travelers they accommodate include individuals, ages 17 and up, with mental retardation, developmental disabilities, Down Syndrome, autism, learning disabilities, Williams Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, ADD, Prader Willi, and ADHD. They accept people from all over the country and their guided tours offer both recreational and social opportunities.
For more information on The Guided Tour, Inc., please contact:
7900 Old York Road; Suite 114-B
Elkins Park, PA 19027-2339
Phone: (215) 782-1370
Toll-free: 1-(800) 783-5841
Fax: (215) 635-2637

Travelin’ Talk Network
Travelin’ Talk Network logoThe Travelin’ Talk Network is a global network of individuals both with and without disabilities. The goal of the network is to share information on accessibility issues and safety while traveling. Individuals living in a particular travel destination are able to share information that will may eliminate barriers in communication or mobility that could potentially arise. They can also serve as an emergency contact in their home town if someone is visiting and may need assistance. This is a members-only network. The benefits of joining include a monthly newsletter, access information, and resources. Members also receive various hotel discounts.
For more information on the Travelin’ Talk Network, please contact:

Posted by rollingrains at 06:49 PM

July 25, 2008

Samarthya: A World-Class Example of Inclusive Tourism Promotion

One organization in India has distinguished itself on the national and international stage for innovation and expertise in Inclusive Tourism - Samarthya. It follows the path of "Promotion of a Barrier Free, Rights-Based Inclusive Society."

At the center of this remarkable organization are Ms. Anjlee Agarwal and Mr. Sanjeev Sachdeva. They have been trained in the Promotion of Accessible Tourism at Bali (Indonesia), 2000; Non-Handicapping Environment for Disabled People by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), 2002 & Asia Pacific Development Centre on Disability (APCD), Bangkok (Thailand) 2004. They have in turn taken this training and put it to continuous use for the benefit of their nation and the region.

* Sanjeev and Anjlee have represented India at various International forums such as: International Conference on Transport & Mobility for Elderly and the Disabled (TRANSED), Hamamatsu (Japan), 2004;
* Panelist at the 2nd International Conference for Universal Design, Kyoto;
* Guest Lecturer at Osaka Municipal Lifelong Learning Centre, Osaka, (Japan) October 2006
* Resource Persons at International Workshop on Implementing Accessibility Regulations in Sri Lanka, Colombo (Sri Lanka) December 2006

So far Samarthya has conducted Access Audits (facilities checks) of more than 80 public utility buildings in various States, most of them with implementation results.

In addition, Samarthya has organized more than 60 Awareness & Capacity Building Excursion Tours for persons with severe disabilities to Indian places of historical, cultural, religious and tourist interests’ promoting the concept of Barrier-Free Tourism. Some of the places visited include Agra, Mathura, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Mt. Abu, Ahmedabad, Vadodra, Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Dalhousie, Chamba, Amritsar, Shimla, Kurushetra, Rishikesh, Mussoorie, Nainital, Lucknow, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mysore, Chennai, Tirupati, Goa, Port Blair, Bangalore, Gauhauti and Shillong.


* Access for All- Technical Brochure on Internal & External Design Considerations prepared in consonance with internationally accepted standards and building bylaws fourth edition in English, Hindi and Braille for Professionals, Administrators and Planners.

* Authored first Training Manual to promote Barrier Free Environment- Guidelines for Training of Trainers, 2005 published by Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). The contents as far as practicable, developed in Indian perspective with simple line illustrations, easy to understand format and result oriented case studies with photographs. Second Edition of the Manual is underway.

* Authored chapter in Handbook of Inclusive Education for Educators, Administrators and Planners, 2005 published by SAGE Publications; New Delhi/Thousand Oaks/London

* Authored chapters in Work Book for In-service Teachers, 2006 on Barrier Free Environment in Inclusive School published by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

* Currently reviewing of first edition of Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Environment for Disabled and Elderly Persons, 1998 by Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Ministry of Urban Affairs and Employment, Government of India, is underway.

Other reports on Samarthya at RollingRains.com dating back to 2004 are available here.

Posted by rollingrains at 11:34 AM

July 24, 2008

Ação no Brasil (Portuguese)

Aventurero e pionero de turismo adaptado em Brasil, Dadá Moreira de Aventura Especial, tem ataxia. Aqui tem varias entrevistas com ele.

Posted by rollingrains at 01:09 AM

July 22, 2008

European Blind Union on Air Travel in the EU

As I prepare to fly to India to deliver a series of workshops on disability to the travel industry the following bulletin came in from the European Blind Union. With such common sense affirmations of the right to travel by people of all abilities it become all the more important that all tourist destination nations abandon discriminatory practices if they wish to participate in the profits of the growing seniors and disabled traveler market:

Over the past ten years the European Blind Union has been working to improve travel by air for blind and partially sighted, deaf blind and blind people with additional disabilities. As a result of our work, we are pleased to inform you that from 26 July 2008, the new Air Regulations come into operation at all airports throughout Europe.

To ensure these regulations work, we need your help in monitoring them at your local airport, to find out if they have in place, their staff with disability awareness training.

This must include the special requirements of training staff in the needs of blind and partially sighted people, which should include guiding a blind person, making sure that a wheelchair is not offered as an automatic help but only offered if the blind person has difficulty in walking.

Following are the parts of the regulations that you need to be aware of, and which we would like you to monitor for us. If you require a full set of the regulations they will be available from the Federation's office, address as above.

This summary is based on Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air.

Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility have the same right as all other citizens to free movement, freedom of choice and non-discrimination. This applies to air travel as to other areas of life.

Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility should therefore be accepted for carriage and not refused transport on the grounds of their disability or lack of mobility, except for reasons which are justified on the grounds of safety and prescribed by law. Before accepting reservations from disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility, air carriers, their agents and tour operators should make all reasonable efforts to verify whether there is a reason which is justified on the grounds of safety and which would prevent such persons being accommodated on the flights concerned.

In order to give disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility opportunities for air travel comparable to those of other citizens, assistance to meet their particular needs should be provided at the airport as well as on board aircraft, by employing the necessary staff and equipment. In the interests of social inclusion, the persons concerned should receive this assistance without additional charge.

Assistance given at airports situated in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies should, among other things, enable disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility to proceed from a designated point of arrival at an airport to an aircraft and from the aircraft to a designated point of departure from the airport, including embarking and disembarking. These points should be designated at least at the main entrances to terminal buildings, in areas with check-in counters, in train, light rail, metro and bus stations, at taxi ranks and other drop-off points, and in airport car parks. The assistance should be organised so as to avoid interruption and delay, while ensuring high and equivalent standards throughout the Community and making best use of resources, whatever airport or air carrier is involved.

To achieve these aims, ensuring high quality assistance at airports should be the responsibility of a central body. As managing bodies of airports play a central role in providing services throughout their airports, they should be given this overall responsibility.

Managing bodies of airports may provide the assistance to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility themselves. Alternatively, in view of the positive role played in the past by certain operators and air carriers, managing bodies may contract with third parties for the supply of this assistance.

In deciding on the design of new airports and terminals, and as part of major refurbishments, managing bodies of airports should, where possible, take into account the needs of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. Similarly, air carriers should, where possible, take such needs into account when deciding on the design of new and newly refurbished aircraft.

All essential information provided to air passengers should be provided in alternative formats accessible to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, and should be in at least the same languages as the information made available to other passengers.

Where wheelchairs or other mobility equipment or assistive devices are lost or damaged during handling at the airport or during transport on board aircraft, the passenger to whom the equipment belongs should be compensated, in accordance with rules of International, Community and National Law.

Complaints concerning assistance given at an airport should be addressed to the body or bodies designated for the enforcement of this Regulation.

Member States should lay down penalties applicable to infringements of this Regulation and ensure that those penalties are applied. The penalties, which could include ordering the payment of compensation to the person concerned, should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

An air carrier or its agent or a tour operator shall not refuse, on the grounds of disability or of reduced mobility, to accept a reservation for a flight departing from or arriving at an airport to which this Regulation applies.

An air carrier or its agent shall make publicly available, in accessible formats and in at least the same languages as the information made available to other passengers, the safety rules that it applies to the carriage of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, as well as any restrictions on their carriage or on that of mobility equipment due to the size of aircraft.

A tour operator shall make such safety rules and restrictions available for flights included in package travel, package holidays and package tours which it organises, sells or offers for sale.

The managing body of an airport shall, taking account of local conditions, designate points of arrival and departure within the airport boundary or at a point under the direct control of the managing body, both inside and outside terminal buildings, at which disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility can, with ease, announce their arrival at the airport and request assistance.

The points of arrival and departure shall be clearly signed and shall offer basic information about the airport, in accessible formats.

Air carriers, their agents and tour operators shall take all measures necessary for the receipt, at all their points of sale in the territory of the Member States to which the Treaty applies, including sale by telephone and via the Internet, of notifications of the need for assistance made by disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility.

When an air carrier or its agent or a tour operator receives a notification of the need for assistance at least 48 hours before the published departure time for the flight, it shall transmit the information concerned at least 36 hours before the published departure time for the flight: (a) to the managing bodies of the airports of departure, arrival and transit, and (b) to the operating air carrier, if a reservation was not made with that carrier, unless the identity of the operating air carrier is not known at the time of notification, in which case the information shall be transmitted as soon as practicable.

As soon as possible after the departure of the flight, an operating air carrier shall inform the managing body of the airport of destination, if situated in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies, of the number of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility on that flight requiring assistance and of the nature of that assistance.

When a disabled person or person with reduced mobility arrives at an airport for travel by air, the managing body of the airport shall be responsible for ensuring the provision of the assistance in such a way that the person is able to take the flight for which he or she holds a reservation, provided that the notification of the person's particular needs for such assistance has been made to the air carrier or its agent or the tour operator concerned at least 48 hours before the published time of departure of the flight. This notification shall also cover a return flight, if the outward flight and the return flight have been contracted with the same air carrier.

Where use of a recognised assistance dog is required, this shall be accommodated provided that notification of the same is made to the air carrier or its agent or the tour operator in accordance with applicable national rules covering the carriage of assistance dogs on board aircraft, where such rules exist.

If no notification is made, the managing body shall make all reasonable efforts to provide the assistance in such a way that the person concerned is able to take the flight for which he or she holds a reservation.

The assistance provided shall, as far as possible, be appropriate to the particular needs of the individual passenger.

Air carriers and airport managing bodies shall ensure that all their personnel, including those employed by any sub-contractor, providing direct assistance to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility have knowledge of how to meet the needs of persons having various disabilities or mobility impairments. They should also provide disability-equality and disability-awareness training to all their personnel working at the airport who deal directly with the travelling public, including that upon recruitment, all new employees attend disability-related training and that personnel receive refresher training courses when appropriate.

National Federation of the Blind of the UK

Posted by rollingrains at 01:58 AM

July 17, 2008

Manual de Convivência (Portuguese)

Está disponível para download em PDF o Manual de Convivência, um guia prático de como se relacionar com as pessoas com deficiência.

Manual de Convivência: Pessoas com deficiência e mobilidade reduzida

Posted by rollingrains at 01:02 AM

Hacer accesible el turismo beneficiaría al 35% de los ciudadanos europeos (Spanish)

Desde El Cisne:

El coordinador de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Oficina de Accesibilidad de Bélgica, Steven Vos, afirmó durante su intervención en el 'II Congreso de Turismo para Todos ENAT' que, teniendo en cuenta a las personas con discapacidad, a los mayores, a las mujeres embarazadas, a las familias con niños pequeños y a quienes tienen otras limitaciones, 'alrededor del 35% de todos los europeos pueden beneficiarse de las mejoras de la accesibilidad en el turismo', como las instalaciones y los servicios accesibles.

"No obstante, sólo un porcentaje muy pequeño del mercado se ocupa de las necesidades en materia de turismo accesible", agregó Vos. Este experto belga comentó que hay una gran cantidad de hoteles, servicios de transporte y lugares turísticos que "no son físicamente accesibles" para muchas personas con discapacidad y personas mayores. "Falta información precisa y accesible, los empleados no están capacitados para proporcionar servicios adaptados a las personas con discapacidad, y el personal de los servicios de turismo a menudo carece de formación sobre los medios para satisfacer las necesidades de accesibilidad de los turistas con discapacidad", agregó Vos.

Por su parte, la directora de Ocio y Bienestar del Reino Unido, Susan Thomas, hizo un llamado a los estados miembros de la UE para que compartan "las buenas prácticas", armonicen los criterios de accesibilidad y fomenten y permitan que todos los servicios relacionados con el turismo "elaboren y apliquen planes de acción sobre accesibilidad para mejorar la experiencia de los viajes y el turismo del cliente".

Por su parte, Ercan Tutal, representante de la Asociación Turca de Agencias de Viajes, habló sobre el turismo accesible en Turquía y comentó que en los últimos años se han producido muchos avances con el objetivo de convertir a Turquía en un lugar más accesible, con "más habitaciones para personas con discapacidad en los servicios de alojamiento, nuevos hoteles sin barreras y nuevos reglamentos en la accesibilidad del transporte". Asimismo, recordó que la normativa de la UE en materia de accesibilidad turística se basa no sólo en la "rehabilitación" de las personas con discapacidad, sino también en la "integración" de este colectivo en la sociedad, lo que se considera "una cuestión de derechos humanos". Tutal explicó que la asociación a la que pertenece creó una "Comisión de turismo sin barreras para todos", que, entre otras iniciativas, ayuda en la creación de una guía turística titulada "Estambul sin barreras para todos", dirigida a personas mayores y personas con discapacidad.

En representación de Noruega, Aina Olsen, consultora de la Dirección de Sanidad y Asuntos Sociales, destacó el hecho de que en el 2004 se estableciera una comisión en su país con el objetivo de crear un "sistema de etiquetado" para los destinos turísticos accesibles. Ello supone, en su opinión, un gran reto para "ver cómo un sistema nacional de etiquetado puede abarcar las necesidades de todos los grupos de discapacitados". En cuanto a las medidas que se pueden tomar para convencer al sector turístico de la necesidad de adoptar el sistema de etiqueado, Olsen destacó que hay que "apelar a la conciencia social", porque el bienestar de las personas con discapacidad "no es sólo responsabilidad del sector sanitario, sino también del turístico", sin obviar que "la gran proporción de personas con discapacidad y mayores suponen un área de mercado muy importante".

En este sentido, la secretaria delegada de la Asociación de Turismo y Discapacidad de Francia, Emmanuelle Tulliez, comentó que desde su institución se ha creado la etiqueta "Turismo y Discapacidad", que comprende los cuatro tipos de discapacidad (motora, visual, auditiva y mental) y todos los alojamientos turísticos, hostelería, sitios turísticos, lugares de ocio, etc. Dicho sello distintivo, explicó, "sirve para potenciar los esfuerzos de las personas que trabajan en la industria del turismo y hace una invitación a todos los que quieran abrir sus lugares a la mayor variedad de clientes".

Posted by rollingrains at 01:00 AM

July 01, 2008

Sri Lanka: IDIRAYA and CEAT Tyres Team up for Inclusion

Dr Ajith C S Perera has worked tirelessly to promote Inclusive Destination Development in Sri Lanka through his organization IDIRAYA. Below is an article from Lanka Business Online noting his new sponsor CEAT Tyres.

Sri Lanka access for disabled campaign gets corporate support

June 05, 2008 (LBO) - Only two percent of the public buildings in Sri Lanka have easy access to the disabled, CEAT Tyres which is backing an organization that is campaigning to improving access to public buildings by the disabled, has said.

"Statistics show that less than two per cent of all buildings, private or public, have access for the mobility impaired," Oscar Braganza, managing director of CEAT Sri Lanka , was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Wittingly or unwittingly we are discriminating against this increasingly large sector of the community."

The tyre maker is supporting 'IDIRIYA', an organization of professionals that is campaigning to improve access of public buildings to the disabled.

Very often what is needed is very simple. For example, access to each and every public and private building and its facilities," Braganza said at a ceremony to launch a book called ‘Access Ability For All - Why You?’ by the IDIRIYA organization.

"We know this to be a fact instinctively, but somehow our corporate plans and strategy do not factor in this basic human right.”

Activists say the true extent of the disabled in Sri Lanka is not known.

"Decision makers should not be misguided by the published figures on disability, which are often underestimated," IDIRIYA secretary general Ajith Perera said.

"For numerous reasons, disability in both visible and invisible forms is on the rise in Sri Lanka. Today, the risk of becoming disabled has become a grave social problem afflicting a wide range of people."

"By the way we continue to design our buildings, man is creating more physical barriers to man in attending to normal daily activities. This is wholly unacceptable in modern day Sri Lanka.

Activists are promoting ‘designing for inclusion’ in Sri Lanka’s construction industry to accommodate the increasing numbers of people who are physically or sensorily disadvantaged.

Posted by rollingrains at 07:14 AM

June 30, 2008

Sydney: Inclusive Tourism Portal Opens

Sydney for all logo

The inclusive tourism market incorporates people with disabilities and those who are ageing and who have access needs (mobility, vision, hearing and communication). Significant numbers of Australians and people from overseas have disabilities – 600 million worldwide. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that 4 million Australians have a disability [1]. Based on the National Visitor Survey 88 per cent of these people travelled within Australia in the previous year, 7 per cent travelled overseas and most travelled in independent groups with an average size of 4.1 people. The accessible tourism market has recently been valued at $4.8 billion to the Australian economy [2] with significant latent demand.

Yet, finding tourism experiences and day trips that are accessible has been a major issue for people with disabilities and those with access requirements. Many disability organizations provide member created word of mouth lists, tips and stories to help others plan their day trips and holidays more easily. However, these information systems are incomplete and problematic.

A prototype Web “portal”, www.sydneyforall.com, aims to make it easier to find accessible destination experiences around Sydney for those with access needs.

The portal reflects the findings of a research project and seeks to provide accessibility information about key tourism experiences that people can enjoy when they are in Sydney. The area covered by the portal includes The Rocks, Circular Quay, The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain. It also includes the Sydney Fish Markets, a ferry trip to Manly and a visit to North Head.

The research project was sponsored by the Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre, Tourism NSW, the Tourism and Transport Forum and the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change. The project was led by Associate Professor Simon Darcy of the University of Technology, Sydney.

One key feature of the portal is its ability to provide information to people with vision impairment. The portal has been developed to meet international W3C Web Accessibility standards and was independently assessed by Vision Australia to verify compliance with those standards.

Sydney portal

The information provided on the portal was gathered by people with disabilities actually experiencing the attraction and documenting that experience. Information was also provided by the attraction, many of which have implemented strategies to improve their access for people with access needs. For example, the Sydney Opera House has not only started to improve mobility access but also access for people with vision and hearing impairment.

The web portal offers information by icon, text, photographs and links to additional information. It embraces ‘wayfinding’ maps, transport, parking, toilets and most importantly the experience itself. The portal will also help providers within the tourism industry plan to market collaboratively, improve their services and encourage more tourists with disabilities to visit them.

As this is a test site and will be reviewed at the end of three months, feedback on the portal and suggestions are welcome. People can complete the independent survey that is linked to the portal, or you can contact either the researchers directly on accessibletourism@uts.edu.au or sydneyforall@tourism.nsw.gov.au

The long-term aim is to have a more expansive portal that will assist people to plan their holidays and will incorporate detailed transport, accommodation and disability support information.

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2004). Disability Ageing and Carers Summary of Findings, 2003 (Cat No. 4430.0). from http://www.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/

[2] Dwyer, L., & Darcy, S. (2008). Chapter 4 - Economic contribution of disability to tourism in Australia. In S. Darcy, B. Cameron, L. Dwyer, T. Taylor, E. Wong & A. Thomson (Eds.), Visitor accessibility in urban centres: Technical Report 90040 (pp. 15-21). Gold Coast: Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (forthcoming).

Printable .pdf version:

Download file


Further Information, please contact:

Dr Simon Darcy, University of Technology, Sydney – 61 2 9514-5100 Simon.Darcy@uts.edu.au

Bruce Cameron, Easy Access Australia – bruce_eaa@bigpond.com

Web Portal Front Page http://www.sydneyforall.com/

Posted by rollingrains at 02:18 PM

June 13, 2008

Progress in New Zealand: Research Results in New Outdoor Access

The Department of Conservation (DOC) on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is sitting up and taking notice of access tourism.

Knights Point 1.JPG

DOC manages more than 1.9 million hectares (about 4.7 million acres) of land on the West Coast, which is about a quarter of New Zealand's protected public land. Within its 600 km (373 mile) long West Coast boundary are two kiwi sanctuaries, five national parks, two Wilderness Areas and a World Heritage Area. The West Coast has remarkable collection of natural features which includes rainforests, glaciers, wetlands and an ocean habitat that is home to the world's stronghold population of Hector's dolphin. DOC also looks after more than 150 actively managed historic places on the West Coast ranging from historic buildings to mining sites. This richness of natural and made-made heritage attracts about 1.2 million visitors per annum to the region, but to date, little attention has been paid to tourism for PWDs.

A report by Dr. Sandra Rhodda of Tai Poutini Polytechnic on access tourism on the West Coast (http://www.tpp.ac.nz/taipoutini/report.asp?id=4#item) and a talk given by her at the New Zealand Eco Tourism Conference in 2007 highlighted the issues for people visiting the coast with some level of disability. The report highlighted specific design elements required at sites that need to be taken into consideration where tourism operations are providing facilities for people with mobility difficulty. These include ensuring appropriate surfaces in car parks and on footpaths, providing access through kerbing and channelling, having suitable access to toilets, and removing barriers at the entrance to tracks.

The examples of issues faced by people with mobility difficulties outlined in the report highlighted the need for DOC to have a whole of site design approach when carrying out upgrades to facilities and attention to detail. As a result, DOC has carried out some projects to improve access for PWDs and is planning to undertake further work at front country sites in the coming years.

Work completed in the last twelve months includes:

• Knights Point, South Westland: provision of parks for PWDs; sealing of the footpath to new viewpoint; provision of accessible toilets. The design brief included wheelchair access through kerbing and channelling (previously, footpath was gravel, there was no break in the kerbing, and no provision for PWDs parking).

knights Point car park.JPG

• Pororai Walk, Punakaiki. New sealed car park at the eastern side of the State Highway now provides a safe access to the Pororari Walk and a picnic area which includes wheel chair access. A short walk up the Pororari River has been resurfaced providing people with limited disability the opportunity to enjoy this valley. Previously, people who use wheelchairs did not have access to this location.

Work planned for the future includes:

• Ship Creek, South Westland. Upgrade of short walks. Improve access for PWDs (mobility) to both the Dune Lake walk and Kahikatea Swamp Forest Walk. This will involve redesign of the car park, boardwalk to the beach, resurfacing of the swamp forest walk, and identifying any impediments to those who use wheelchairs e.g., lack of manoeuvrability on the track.

Lk Math.JPG

• Lake Matheson, South Westland. Development of a design for a new car park and toilets at Lake Matheson. Design elements in the brief are to cater for those with disability. The project also includes upgrading the walking track from the car park to the jetty viewpoint. Currently sections of the walk are to steep and the viewing area at the jetty needs to be improved.

• Cape Foulwind, Buller. Planned upgrade of the toilet facilities.

• Various short walks. Upgrade of two of the 6 kilometres (about 4 miles) of accessible walks to reduce grade, widen surface where required, compact surface, removal of loose material, and remove gated structures where present.

• Improving access to some of the DOC visitor centres, particularly doorways at the entrances to these buildings.

“Given that currently about 17% of Kiwis report a disability, and given that this number is probably going to rise steeply because of our ageing population, it is timely that DOC on the West Coast is improving access. Already about half of tourists in New Zealand are 45 years old or older. Because the worldwide population is ageing the same as here, these improvements can’t help but act as a draw card for both international and Kiwi tourists who need an accessible tourism product” said Rhodda.

Posted by rollingrains at 02:44 AM

June 10, 2008

Summary: Alaskan Travelogue

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." ~ Kenneth Grahame

Except maybe reflecting on it afterwards!

Below are links to each Rolling Rains post on exploring Glacier Bay, Alaska. Starting with:

Cruising in Alaska

It Would be Easier if…

Meet Annie Mae

Reporting from a Different Perspective

Journaling and Natural Beauty


Food – the Key to Nautical Tranquility!

Photos from Glacier Bay

My First Kayak Trip ( or Ode to the McKinnon Hugger and Crew of the Sea Wolf!)

Return from Kayaking Glacier Bay, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Sound Sketch – Multisensory Travel to a Glacier

Transfers – Aboard and Abroad

Resources on Glacier Bay, Alaska

Why Go?

After Tourism Alaska – Ripples of Inclusive Destination Development

“This I Believe” by Colin Bates ( A Man Who has Discovered the Core value of Disability Culture – Interdependency )

Co-Dependent Arising: Retrospective on Wheelchair-Accessible Cruising

Posted by rollingrains at 11:12 PM

June 08, 2008

Clientes y Capacitación de Recursos Humanos (Spanish)

Por Nélida Barbeito, Lic. en Turismo y Asesora en viajes y accesibilidad desde el Clarin.com:

"Soy un cliente. ¡Pago por su servicio, y lo quiero acorde a mis necesidades!"

Esto deberíamos vociferar quienes tenemos alguna discapacidad antes de iniciar un viaje. El viaje es un proceso: lo imaginamos, lo planeamos y lo realizamos. Para ello hay que considerar los aspectos que deben ser accesibles: traslado al aeropuerto, al hospedaje y a los atractivos. Si falla un eslabón, el viaje no se concreta. Es como alquilar un auto sin volante.

¿La gran falencia en Argentina? El transporte terrestre de enlace (para llegar al hotel, al atractivo), y los autos de alquiler. ¿Un gran avance? La cantidad de hoteles que construyen habitaciones accesibles y los parques nacionales, en especial las concesiones, que ofrecen dispositivos especiales.

¿El desafío? Capacitación de recursos humanos. De nada sirve la mejor rampa si el anfitrión no sabe cómo atender las necesidades de sus huéspedes.


Desafíos para un turismo accesible

Posted by rollingrains at 07:58 PM

June 04, 2008

After Touring Alaska - Ripples of Inclusive Destination Development


If my travelogue did not make it clear already let me compliment the arrangements made by Sherri Backstrom of Waypoint Yacht Charter Services in Bellingham Washington and the foresight and commitment shown by Kimber Owen, owner of the wheelchair-friendly Sea Wolf. Articles will appear in various publications. One went off to Sandra Vassallo at ebility.com in Australia this morning and two more are in process.

Pioneers like Kimber and Sherri shift cultures.

To get to the Sea Wolf ported in Gustavus, Alaska we flew in a six-seater prop bush flight from Juneau on Air Excursions. Not quite adept at accommodating passengers with mobility limitations the pilot's brute-force solution to not having the proper equipment landed me on the floor as I noted on May 24. They won't make many more mistakes like that -- and accessibility will improve for those who will increasingly come for early-season cruises on the Sea Wolf (i.e. after June 1 Alaska Airlines flies jets into Gustavus with a more polished passenger loading protocol.)

The night before the cruise we stayed at Annie Mae Lodge. The meal was sumptuous and the welcome was like family. The owners have built a stylish Alaskan lodge and given great detail to accessibility. My room had a roll-in shower. I can recommend Anni Mae. As our community provides them with business we will see the trend to inclusion spread to other venues including the towns single - but inaccessible - grocery store.

Alaska is on the "Must Visit List" of many travelers. To take the trip yourself contact:

Sherri Backstrom
Waypoint Yacht Charter Services

t 888-491-2949 or 360-656-5934

Posted by rollingrains at 05:01 PM

May 16, 2008

Cruising with Royal Caribbean International Cruise Lines

Just in case you need another reason to cruise, listen to Ron Pettit, Access Manager for Royal Caribbean/Celebrity Cruises, discuss Royal Caribbean's offerings with Elio Navarro.

In this short, but very informative interview, you see an example of the quality of Elio's work at Xable.com as well as evidence of why I personally find it so rewarding to work with Ron Pettit of RCCL:

Posted by rollingrains at 05:43 PM

April 02, 2008

From Tourism-Review.com

April issue cover Tourism-Reviw
A special issue of the magazine Ethical has been published on Barrier-Free Tourism. The 13 page pdf download is available here.

Articles include:

Tourism Accessible for All in Europe
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For those who associate tourism only with holiday and leisure and luxury it should be mentioned that tourism is a sector of remarkable economic importance. The European tourism economy contributes to about 5 % (depending on its definition up to 11 %) to the GDP of the European Union and provides between 8 and 24 million jobs (depending on the definition of the sector). Furthermore, it should be taken into account that tourism is indispensably linked with travel...

Case Study: Economic Advantages of Accessible Tourism in Germany
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In November 2002 Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour commissioned a project group, comprising the University of Münster and the consulting firms NEUMANNCONSULT and Reppel + Lorenz, to conduct a study on the economic impulses of accessible Tourism for All. For the first time reliable data and statements were brought together, which represent the customer’s potential and manner regarding accessible Tourism in Germany...

Merging Architecture and Accessibility
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In the Nordic countries, improving disabled people's access to museums, art galleries and other cultural institutions has been an important consideration for a number of years. It is evident that museum buildings and the way displayed objects are presented should embrace all visitors; one of the challenges confronting museums at the turn of the twenty-first century is to ensure the greatest possible accessibility for all without compromising the architectural expression...

Providing Services in an Accessible Manner
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Access is about the absence of barriers to the use of facilities. Although this is usually seen in terms of physical access or access to informa¬tion and communication, poorly trained staff can represent a serious barrier for disabled people if they are unable to provide services in an appropriate, non-discriminatory way...
Barrier-Free Asia?

Posted by rollingrains at 10:31 PM

March 08, 2008

European Regulation on Air Passengers' Rights

Brussels, 5 March 2008 – Guaranteeing full accessibility of disabled passengers to the transport system and overcoming the existing barriers in Europe remain a priority for the European disability movement, but also for the European Commissioner Jacques Barrot, as he expressed yesterday during a meeting with Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum (EDF): “I can guarantee you my full commitment to advance access of disabled people the transport system’, said the Commissioner.

Referring to the recent entering into force of the European Regulation on Air Passengers’ Rights, Barrot highlighted the importance of a proper implementation of this key text: "adopting the Regulation was only the first step; we will now use all our means to make sure that it is also correctly implemented, but most important, we need disabled users’ support to do it well”.

Yannis Vardakastanis welcomed Barrot’s commitment to disability issues and stressed the important role of 50 million disabled people in the European integration process: “By securing access of disabled people to all forms of transport, the European Union is responding to the needs of citizens at the very grass root level, contributing to the improvement of their daily lives” said Vardakastanis to the Commissioner.

The discussion also focused on the forthcoming European Regulations on maritime and coach passenger rights, currently in preparation. “The Regulations will be proposed in the course of 2008; we will particularly make sure that the discrimination of passengers with disabilities will be addresses in these texts through a series of specific measures”, promised the European Commissioner. Barrot also thanked the European Disability Forum for the numerous cases of discrimination reported in the field of maritime transport and agreed on the need to simultaneously address the rights of disabled passengers and the accessibility requirements to be applied to this sector.

During the meeting, EDF President presented to the Commissioner the proposal for a comprehensive European disability Directive, tackling disabled people’s discrimination in all fields of life, including transport. Welcoming the proposal and congratulating the EDF for the success of its campaign “1million4disability” in favour of the disability Directive, Barrot recognised the specificities of the discrimination faced by disabled people, “made of prejudges and stereotyped , but also of structural barriers”

For more information on the EDF campaign “1million4disability”: www.1million4disability.eu

For more information, please contact: Helena González-Sancho Bodero, EDF Communication and Press Officer; Tel: (+32 2) 282 46 04; Mobile phone: (+ 32 ) 485 64 39 93; 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, organisations and individuals committed to disability issues. 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 03:06 PM

March 06, 2008

Forum européen des personnes handicapées (French)

>>> Communiqué de presse

Les droits des passagers handicapés, au cœur de l’agenda européenne

Rencontre hier à Bruxelles entre Jacques Barrot, Commissaire européen au Transport, et Yannis Vardakastanis, leader du mouvement européen des personnes handicapées

Bruxelles, 5 mars 2008 – Garantir une totale accessibilité des passagers handicapées au système de transport et surmonter les barrières existantes en Europe demeurent parmi les grandes priorités du mouvement européen des personnes handicapées, mais aussi parmi celles du Commissaire européen au Transport, Jacques Barrot, tel qu’il l’a exprimé hier lors de sa réunion avec le Président du Forum européen des personnes handicapées (FEPH), Yannis Vardaksatanis : “Je peux vous garantir mon engagement total afin de faire progresser l’accès des personnes handicapées au système des transports“, a déclaré le Commissaire.

Faisant référence au Règlement européen sur les droits des passagers aériens handicapés, récemment entré en vigueur, Barrot a souligné l’importance d’une bonne application de ce texte clé: "l’adoption du règlement n’était que le premier pas; désormais nous utiliserons tous les moyens à notre disposition afin d’assurer sa correcte application, et pour bien le faire, nous avons besoin du soutien des usagers handicapés”.

Yannis Vardakastanis a favorablement accueilli l’engagement de M. Barrot envers les questions liées au handicap et a souligné l’important rôle que les 50 millions de personnes handicapées jouent dans le processus de construction européenne: “En assurant l’accès des personnes handicapées à toutes les formes de transport, l’Union européenne répond aux besoins des citoyens de base et contribue à améliorer leurs vies de manière tangible” a exprimé Vardakastanis au Commissaire.

La discussion s’est également focalisée sur les futurs règlements européens en matière des droits des passagers maritimes et des autocars, en cours de préparation. “Les règlements seront proposés au cours de 2008; en particulier nous nous assurerons de la prise en compte de la discrimination à laquelle les passagers handicapés font face et cela, à travers des mesures spécifiques”, a promis le Commissaire européen. Barrot a également remercié le Forum européen des personnes handicapées pour les nombreux cas de discrimination dont l’organisation lui a fait part dans le domaine du transport maritime. Il a par ailleurs exprimé son accord sur la nécessité de travailler simultanément dans l’amélioration des droits des passagers handicapés et les critères d’accessibilité qui devront être appliqués dans ce secteur.

Au cours de la réunion, le Président du FEPH a présenté au Commissaire la proposition de directive européenne en matière de handicap actuellement promue par le Forum, dont le but est de combattre la discrimination des personnes handicapées dans tous les domaines de la vie, y compris les transports. Barrot a favorablement accueilli cette proposition et félicité le FEPH pour le succès de sa campagne “1million4disability” en faveur de la directive, tout en reconnaissant les spécificités liées à la discrimination des personnes handicapées, “faite de préjugés et des stéréotypes, mais également, de barrières structurelles”.

Pour plus d’information sur la campagne du FEPH “1million4disability”: www.1million4disability.eu

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 03:34 PM

March 03, 2008

More on the Travolution/Fortune Cookie Travel Website Accessibility Survey

HotelMarketing.com echoes the keynote address, "Inclusive Tourism: A New Strategic Alliance for the Disability Rights Movement" and the Conference Recommendations of the Second International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT 2007) held at the UN in Bangkok November 2007. It does so by quoting from the Travolution analysis of the recent UK website accessibility study done by Fortune Cookie. Standardization in the field of Inclusive Tourism is the order of the day from the construction of hotel rooms, treatment of airline passengers, to the construction of web sites:

Technology moves fast. How can accessibility - and disabled people - keep pace? The answer may lie in standardisation.

Now Travolution and Fortune Cookie have the opportunity to do something paradigm shifting. Here's how:

  1. Replicate the original study of UK websites at the end of the year in preparation for 2009 (The 2009 version could be announced at the Society for Accessible Tourism & Hospitality (SATH) Congress in Orlando, Florida January 2009)
  2. Reverse the focus of the original study (Examine the accessibility of the top 5 destinations visited by travelers with disabilities from the UK)
  3. Coordinate internationally (Collaborate with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and disabled peoples' organizations (DPOs) in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as they evaluate the accessibility of their travel websites and those of the top 5 travel destinations of people with disabilities for each of these countries)
  4. Educate widely (Create simple resources educating the travel industry on the business advantages of accessible information. Include best practice recommendations as well as mandated legal minimums. Provide similar material for consumers to enable them to present their needs to businesses and tourism ministries in an informed and solution-oriented manner. Encourage translation and distribution of these resources.)
  5. Announce globally (Present the results of the international study of top travel websites for English-speaking travelers with disabilities at the April 2009 International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT) Conference in Singapore and the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT)
  6. Repeat annually (Become the monitor of travel industry compliance with standards of online accessibility. Disseminate best practices. Award excellence.)

Analysis of the study results is available at Travolution: http://www.travolution.co.uk/Articles/2008/02/12/1270/Accessibility+-+gaining+access+to+an+online+world.html

Posted by rollingrains at 03:19 AM

February 17, 2008

Seminário Técnicos de Turismo de Aventura (Portuguese)

From February 21 to 22 there will be a seminar on adventure tourism security and certification. Inclusive Tourism will be represented at a session on February 21 entitled "Our Future Client" (Nosso futuro cliente!).

Seminário Técnicos de Turismo de Aventura AVENTURA SEGURA Qualificação e Certificação em Turismo de Aventura

O Seminário Técnico de Turismo de Aventura é a ação inicial do
Programa Aventura Segura no destino Foz do Iguaçu, iniciativa do
Ministério do Turismo, com parceria do SEBRAE e executado pela

Os objetivos do Seminário são:
• inspirar lideranças, empresários e profissionais no seu trabalho
com o turismo de aventura;
• envolver as empresas e os profissionais nas iniciativas do
• esclarecer o trabalho de organização do turismo de aventura no
• mostrar uma nova realidade de profissionalismo e competência.

O Seminário ocorrera nos dias 21 e 22 de fevereiro em Socorro, de
08hs ás 19hs, na Prefeitura Municipal da Estância de Socorro - Av.
José Maria de Faria, 71 – Bruna Maria

Com foco na agregação de valor e conhecimento para empresários,
profissionais e lideranças, o evento não perde tempo, tem um
formato dinâmico de interação, produtividade, trazendo informações e
desafios aos participantes de maneira instigante e objetiva.

O primeiro dia do evento é composto por palestras, apresentações
de casos de sucesso, estudos, estratégias e projetos. Informação
qualificada e precisa. Os destaques são os casos de sucesso,
inspiradores e estimulantes, os estudos e planos que apontam
caminhos a seguir e a apresentação do Programa Aventura Segura, que trás
oportunidades e desafios.

No segundo dia do seminário, nada de palestras. O evento é
organizado em oficinas de trabalho, no qual serão abordados os 3 grandes
temas do Programa Aventura Segura, fazendo com que todos os
participantes comecem os trabalhos para o desenvolvimento do turismo de

1. Oficina Associativismo
2. Oficina Formação de Grupos Voluntários de Busca e Salvamento
3. Oficina de Assistência Técnica para Gestão da Segurança

O Seminário é destinado para todos os envolvidos com o turismo no
destino, principalmente lideranças locais, empresários,
profissionais, guias e condutores que trabalham com o turismo de
aventura, ecoturismo e turismo de natureza.


1º Dia - 21/02 – Quinta Feira - Abrindo os olhos!

8h Boas vindas e inscrições
Recepção dos participantes e entrega de material de apoio

9h Abertura do Seminário
Lideranças locais, autoridades e representantes da ABETA iniciam
as discussões do dia.

9h30 A Nova Zelândia é aqui? – apresentação caso de sucesso
Resultado do Projeto Destinos de Excelência, um vídeo mostra a
receita de bolo para o desenvolvimento do turismo de aventura.
Será que podemos fazer no Brasil?

10h Turismo de Aventura no Brasil: passado, presente e futuro
Entenda qual é o passado e o presente do turismo de aventura no
Brasil, com a apresentação do Diagnóstico do segmento no país.
Conheça estratégias, recomendações e ações práticas que podem
mudar o futuro das empresas e profissionais do turismo de aventura no
Tempo para perguntas e discussões de 30 minutos
Palestrante: Marianne Costa - ABETA

12h Almoço livre

13:30h Projeto Destinos Referência: Socorro – SP
Palestrante: Rodrigo Lopes - ICBC

14h Ação para a mudança – Programa Aventura Segura
Associativismo, Busca e Salvamento, Gestão da Segurança, Normas
Técnicas, Certificação de empresas e condutores – entenda todas as
oportunidades e desafios que o programa oferece e apresenta.
Tempo para perguntas e discussões de 30 minutos
Palestrante: Raquel Muller e Alvaro Barros - ABETA

16h Coffee Break

16h30 Nosso futuro cliente!, "A pessoa com deficiência, realmente
um turista especial", potencial, recursos, turismo adaptado em outros

Um setor em amplo crescimento a nível nacional. O resultado de
ações em locais que a acessibilidade foi implantada como prioridade, e
hoje são destaque no mercado.

Tempo para perguntas e discussões de 30 minutos
Palestrante: Alexis Muñoz - AVAPE

18h Colocando as mãos na massa
Breve apresentação das oficinas de trabalho do segundo dia do

18h30 Encerramento

2º Dia - 22/02 – Sexta Feira - Colocando as mãos na massa!
O segundo dia do seminário é dedicado a realização de oficinas de
trabalho das grandes temas do Programa Aventura Segura. É um dia
de trabalho prático, com foco nas pessoas interessadas em se
envolver de maneira prática e objetiva com as ações propostas.
Entenda o teor de cada oficina em detalhe e decida a sua

08hs Oficina Formação de Grupo Voluntário de Busca e Salvamento

Objetivo: Iniciar a discussão sobre a necessidade de formação de
um grupo voluntário de busca e salvamento.

Público alvo: Todos os envolvidos com o turismo no destino,
principalmente lideranças locais, empresários, profissionais,
guias e condutores que trabalham com o turismo de aventura, ecoturismo e
turismo de natureza.

Conteúdo da oficina: A oficina tem o objetivo de responder a duas
perguntas: existe a necessidade de se formar um grupo de busca e
salvamento na região? e existe interesse e mobilização para a
formação deste grupo entre as pessoas presentes na oficina?

11h Oficina de Apoio para a implementação das normas de

Objetivo: Iniciar os trabalhos de acessibilidade em comércios e
empreendimentos, esclarecendo duvidas e criando um sistema de
apoio local.

Publico alvo: Empresários e gestores de empresas que oferecem
turismo de aventura.

Conteúdo da Oficina: Em esta oficina, será abordado como dar
início aos projetos de acessibilidade em um empreendimento ou comercio
para o atendimento da pessoa com deficiência, normas, formas de
atendimento, atividades.

12h30 Almoço Livre

14hs Oficina de Associativismo

Objetivo: Iniciar o trabalho de fortalecimento de uma instância de
representação dos interesses do turismo de aventura

Público alvo: Empresários e gestores de empresas que oferecem
atividades de turismo de aventura.

Conteúdo da oficina: Um trabalho inicial de diagnosticar os
interesses de fortalecer uma associação que represente os
do Turismo de Aventura no estado.

16hs Oficina de Assistência Técnica Sistema de Gestão da Segurança
Objetivo: Iniciar o processo de assistência técnica com as
empresas que decidirem aderir ao programa.

Público alvo: Empresários e gestores de empresas que oferecem
atividades de turismo de aventura.

Conteúdo da oficina: Apresentação da norma ABNT NBR 15331 Turismo
de Aventura – Sistema de Gestão da Segurança – Requisitos e de todos
os passos da assistência técnica para implementação da norma nas
empresas que oferecem atividades de turismo de aventura

Posted by rollingrains at 04:10 PM

February 07, 2008

Turismo Adaptado (Portuguese)

Uma Entrevista de Ricardo Shimosakai falando sobre Turismo Adaptado no programa Estilo Saúde, da apresentadora Solange Frazão.

Posted by rollingrains at 02:17 PM

February 06, 2008

Svayam Receives Pro Forma Apology from Jet Airways

Backsliding on issues of air travel safety for people with disabilities has recently been a frequent issue here. One issue in India with Jet Airways has reached an unsatisfactory conclusion:

Ms. Sminu Jindal travelled by Jet Airways to Bangkok and back, on the Christmas vacations on 25th December 2007 and return on 01 Jan 2008. She was shocked to see the lack of sensitivity, ill-trained ground staff, absent essential services and above all how the Airliner like Jet Airways treat people with reduced mobility. Although Jet Airways issued a public apology, when media highlighted the incident, however, that doesn't solve the problem of millions of other people with disability whose voice doesn't reach the public/media.

Specifically, the apology indicates that Jet Airways will provide aisle chairs only on international flights. Such assurances by Jet Airways CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer certainly make for interesting case studies of worst practices in the anthology of business cases that I provide to faculty colleagues. However, I think he and I both share the ideal that such examples should be on the decrease rather than on the increase.

I would advise Jet Airways that their policy failure has already had negative impact on the company's international reputation. The smart business decision would be to consistently apply internationally recognized standards of non-discrimination and protect against further brand erosion.

Download apology from Jet Airways as .pdf

For more on this case see Svayam:

Posted by rollingrains at 05:21 PM

January 23, 2008

Kudos to Travel Age West Magazine!

It is always encouraging to see the mainstream travel press pick up stories on Inclusive Tourism as with this TravelAgeWest piece. It is especially satisfying when experts with the credibility of Ron Pettit with Royal Caribbean Cruises can talk about historic breakthroughs in best practices and Candy Harrington's insights are featured. For an excellent piece on our community as travelers read J. L. Erickson's full article

Nearly 4,000 cruisers hit the decks and staterooms of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas this fall for an eight-day cruise from Miami with ports of call including the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. But there was something different about this cruise: The entire ship was chartered for individuals with hearing impairments for a jaunt dubbed “The Deaf Freedom Cruise 2007,” led by Virginia-based specialty travel agency Passages Deaf Travel.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Ron Pettit, access manager, trade support and services, with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “I mean, think about it, we had a ship filled with more than 3,600 passengers with special hearing needs. It was a major thrill to do it.”

Posted by rollingrains at 11:24 PM

January 18, 2008

Bangkok Recommendations on Accessible Tourism in Asia and the Pacific

The following recommendations are the result of the CAT 2007 Conference held at UNESCAP in Bangkok, November 22-24, 2007.

Bangkok Recommendations on Accessible Tourism in Asia and the Pacific

We, the representatives of Governments, tourism business sector and tourism-related professional organizations, accessibility experts, disabled people's organizations and other civil society organizations, met in Bangkok, Thailand from 22 -24 November 2007 at the Second International Conference on Accessible Tourism,

Appreciate the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Royal Government of Thailand, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration for their hospitality and support for the Conference, which was jointly organized with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Disabled Peoples' International Asia-Pacific (DPI);

Acknowledge the commitment made by the Royal Government of Thailand as well as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) civil society, in particular, Disabled People’s International – Asia Pacific (DPI-AP) and the Asia and Pacific Disability Forum (APDF) for their leadership in promoting accessible tourism;

Recognize the significance of all international and regional documents on disability, in particular, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), the Biwako Millennium Framework for Action towards an Inclusive, Barrier-free and Rights-based Society for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific (BMF) and the Biwako Plus Five, the supplement to the BMF;

Also welcome that accessibility to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public is a right articulated in CRPD Article 9.
Note the Plan of Action for Sustainable Tourism Development in Asia and the Pacific Phase II (2006-2012), launched by ESCAP, which pays due attention to the needs of improving accessibility for travelers with disabilities;

Recognize further the Bali Declaration on Barrier-free Tourism for People with Disabilities in 2000 and the Sanya Declaration on Accessible Tourism in Asia and the Pacific in 2006 both of which affirmed our commitment to promote accessible tourism;

Affirm our shared belief in the full social inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities;
Recognize persons with disabilities, older persons and cross-generational families as an increasingly important tourism and travel market segment;

Recognize further that inclusive accessible tourism entails removal of attitudinal and institutional barriers in society, and encompasses accessibility in the physical environment, in transportation, information and communications and other facilities and services that consequently benefit not only persons with different disabilities, but also older persons, families with young children and all other travelers.

To achieve the goal of creating an inclusive, barrier-free, and rights-based society for all;

We recommend that:

1) Governments sign and ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol and implement the provisions therein;

2) Those, who are responsible for tourism promotion and disability matters at all levels in government, take legislative and administrative measures to promote accessible tourism, in particular by, including relevant provisions and/actions on it in overall economic/social development policies and plans and in tourism development policies and plans;

3) Government focal points on disability and tourism policy, tourism industry, accessibility experts, disabled persons' organizations and other civil society organizations build partnerships for effective study, promotion, implementation, and monitoring of accessible tourism;

4) Governments as well as business, academia, disabled people's organizations and the media make use of research to promote awareness of the importance of accessible tourism and knowledge of the travel needs of persons with different disabilities and cross-generational travelers;

5) Governments, business, and academia collaborate effectively with disabled people's organizations to establish, and where necessary amend, standards and practices to assure uniform international minimum standards and promote innovation in best practices through application of the principles of Universal Design ;

6) Governments create a national committee on inclusive accessible tourism to coordinate the effective implementation of measures to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in tourism and monitor related progress. The committee should consist of representatives from ministries responsible for tourism, social and infrastructure development, building, and transport, associations representing travel agents, hotels and restaurants, organizations and individuals representing persons with disabilities and tourism education and training institutes;

7) The following measures be taken by the travel and hospitality industry;

Introduce accessibility as a criterion in the rating of hotels and restaurants;
Present awards for outstanding achievements relating to accessible tourism;

8) The travel industry ensures that its employees and staff are properly trained to communicate with and provide services to travelers with disabilities and older travelers;

9) Accessible tourism caters to the needs of persons with different disabilities;

10) Governments and employers take affirmative actions to increase number of persons with disabilities working in the tourism industry;

11) Governments provide economic and other types of incentives to promote accessible tourism for the industry;

12) Governments as well as other stakeholders acknowledge the following seven elements as essential components of effective accessible tourism and take measures for each element, as recommended hereafter;

a) Travel planning;
b) Access to information;
c) Inclusive transportation;
d) Accessible tourism attractions;
e) Accessible accommodation;
f) Mainstream services for all tourists;
g) Destination experiences;

a) Travel planning

The travel and hospitality industry should include data relevant to travel with disabilities in travel planning materials;
Travel planning professionals should equip themselves with knowledge and resources on the needs of travelers with disabilities;

b) Access to information;
Information should be provided in accessible format;

c) Inclusive transportation;
Governments need to establish and enforce accessibility policy on various modes of transportation (air, sea and land) and make it mandatory;

The transportation industry must take responsibility for the provision of high-quality services equal to or above that of industry norm; Transport operators are responsible for the provision of seamless connectivity between different types of transportation and this needs to be monitored by the transportation authorities.

d) Accessible tourist attractions;
Governments ensure facilities and services are accessible;
Tourism providers ensure accessible information at points of services; Government, travel and hospitality industry, disabled persons organizations, and experts develop and disseminate of technical guidelines on improving accessibility of historical attractions;

e) Accessible accommodation;
The principles of Universal Design are to be used in the construction of all accommodations;
International/ regional standards on accommodations applying universal design so that all facilities and rooms in accommodations are accessible for all; Accessible accommodation should cater to the needs ofpersons with different disabilities and levels of functionality;

f) Mainstream services for all tourists;
Governments, travel and hospitality industry and the civil society should promote the understanding on mainstreaming, which means that persons with disabilities are included as a norm that the built environment and technology is usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design, and that all staff must be competent to accommodate persons with disabilities;
Accessible tourism information should be an integral part of mainstream tourism information;

g) Destination experiences;
The travel and hospitality industry should ensure the positive destination experiences of persons with disabilities through the application of Universal Design in the creation of place, products, and policies;
The travel and hospitality industry should ensure the positive destination experiences of persons with disabilities through the regular training for all employees on the needs of persons with disabilities;
Involve Governments, tourism authorities, and consumer /human rights advocates to monitor and evaluate the quality of accessible tourism;.

13) Educational Institutions develop and improve on curriculum to include subjects related to accessible tourism in travel-related training and education;

14) All relevant stakeholders mentioned in these recommendations utilize appropriate technology to improve on accessible tourism;

15) All relevant stakeholders collaborate to provide innovative and affordable solutions to promote accessible tourism in rural context;

16) UN ESCAP provides regional policy and technical guidelines and appropriate expertise to accelerate the growth of accessible tourism

Posted by rollingrains at 05:55 PM

January 17, 2008

Samartha Travels in Mumbai has Rentals: Do India in a Lift Van!

Prasad Phanasgaonkar of Mumbai runs a car rental agency. He also has Muscular Dystrophy. They built this lift-equipped van.

Check out their web site at http://www.samarthatravels.com/

Posted by rollingrains at 04:58 PM

January 02, 2008

Universal Design & Blindness: Creating A Barrier Free Society

As Inclusive Tourism and Inclusive Destination Development emerge further into mainstream thinking it is important the its implementation be truly "universal."

With the age inversion of populations in an increasing number of countries, the prevalence of older travelers, and the frequency of blindness as a consequence of aging the observations and guidance of those who have had long experience with blindness is a social asset of increasing value. Below is the document, Creating A Barrier Free Society, from the World Blind Union on the proposer implementation of the seven principles of Universal Design.

Creating A Barrier Free Society

Creating a barrier free society for persons who are blind and partially sighted is a goal of the World Blind Union. Over the years a great deal of attention has been given to the accessibility requirements of persons with ambulatory disabilities however the need to create a barrier free society for persons who are blind and partially sighted is equally important and not to be forgotten.

In more recent years a movement known as "Universal Design" has evolved. Universal design is based on the principle that, the built environment, communication and products should be accessible to the widest range of people possible. Universal design is different from accessible design in that accessible design creates products and environments for people with disabilities, which often tend to segregate people creating separate systems. Universal design is considered to be usable and inclusive to all, including people with disabilities.

Although the concept of universal design is well documented, the unique design needs of persons who are blind and partially sighted have not always been fully considered or incorporated into the built environment.

One very important component to consider in advocating for a barrier free society is the development of a consumer group that represents different consumer groups, organisations and individual advocates. The group is an invaluable asset to obtain ideas, and consensus and endorsement on areas of importance to person's who are blind and partially sighted. It is important to note that many countries have developed excellent laws, standards, guidelines and recommendations governing the accessibility requirements. (Please see websites and material noted at the end of this document)

The information that follows provides guidelines and recommendations on key areas related to the built environment for people who are blind and partially sighted. These areas are key in creating a built environment that is barrier free and inclusive for persons who are blind and partially sighted. You may wish to consider them in your advocacy efforts of person's who are blind and partially sighted.


Adequate lighting is the single most important aid to vision. The lighting needs of persons who are blind or visually impaired vary according to the individual and their particular eye condition. One level of light might work well for a person with glaucoma and be to low for someone with macular degeneration.

The three principle light sources are natural light; incandescent and florescent each has their own attributes and weakness when considering lighting situations for persons who are blind or partially sighted. The key is to utilize these light sources optimally and considering the following:

* Avoid glare and reflection, which are often caused by shinny or glossy surfaces.
* Place light sources in locations to avoid creating shadows. Shadows created by natural or artificial light can create optical illusions.
* Distribute light levels evenly throughout working and walking areas as many people have difficulty adjusting to fluctuations in light levels.

* Include task and spot lighting to augment the overall lighting system.
* Use of dimmer switches allows light levels to be adjusted to suit the unique needs of users.

Colour Contrast

Colour contrast is another key component in designing spaces for persons who are partially sighted; its importance cannot be overemphasized enough. A building can be logically laid out, include proper use of signage, provide good lighting but the building can cause disorientation if there is very little use of colour contrast within the building. Colour can be used effectively for many purposes such as:

• To draw attention to signage.
• To define a route of travel.
• To define areas.

Colour contrasting items, is also a very effective means in defining spaces. A colour contrast of 70% is generally accepted in many countries as the preferred amount to define items such as:

* A dark door frames, against a light door and a light wall.

* A light floor colour with a dark perimeter against a light coloured wall.
* Hand rails that colour contrast with the surrounding wall colour.
* Stair nosing is best seen when a colour-contrasted edge is provided.

Furniture that is colour contrasted with the floor and walls assists in locating furniture. Considerations when using colour: * Colours to avoid using together include red/ black, yellow/ grey, yellow /white, red/green, black /violet and blue /green.

• Be consistent in use of colour to convey messages.

• Limit use of colour and keep colour schemes simple and avoid large-scale patterns. Keeping in mind that too many Colours used in design can create confusion.

Sounds can assist in providing orientation clues about a space. A person can use reflected sound to determine a room size, the presence of corridors and proximity of walls or other structural barriers.

Inappropriate use of sound can create problems such as high levels of ambient sound or high levels of reflective sound. Some things to consider when planning space are:

* Well-defined, acoustically alive spaces are easier for people who are visually impaired to negotiate safely. Position items such as escalators, fountains, and elevators to create useful sounds.
•* Carpets, acoustic tiles and furniture reduce sound reflectance. Consideration should be given to providing some reverberation so that people can obtain a feel of the space.
* Noise sources may mask sounds intended to provide directional cues, such as ventilation ducts or air-conditioning units. These sounds may be useful, however they should not obscure the sound of an elevator.
* Sound reflections are frequently a good source of auditory cues.

• Consideration should be given to the structure and texture of planned circulation routes and how they would interact with the sound created by the tapping of a cane.

Signage: Tactile Signs

Information on signs should be available for persons who are blind and visually impaired. It is commonly considered adequate for tactile signs to consist of raised characters only. However, Braille can be read so much faster and easier than raised print for those who read it. A best practice in some countries is to include raised print and Braille in signage that identify rooms or spaces such as auditoriums, cafeterias, washrooms and elevator floor numbers.

Signage should be consistently located at a height and distance from the door to which it defines. The raised tactile lettering should be colour contrasted with the background. The sign should be colour contrasted with the surrounding wall surface.

Protruding Objects

Objects that protrude into paths of travel can be hazardous to persons who are visually impaired. In many cases protruding objects consist of:
• Signs
• Canopies
• Underside of stairs
• Drinking fountains
• Items protruding from walls
• Over hanging branches
• Telephone booths

Consideration should be given to eliminating these hazards such as:

* Placing a railing or planters below the underside of stairs.

* Ensuing all overhangs are removed within a certain height range.

* Telephone booths and drinking fountains are cane detectable. This can be achieved by placing an object at floor level.

Detectable Warning Surfaces

Detectable warning surfaces have a texture that can be felt under foot or detected by a person using a long cane. The texture is usually built in or applied. The texture alerts a person who is visually impaired to a hazard.

Detectable warning surfaces should be used on unprotected platforms, around reflecting pools, top of stairs, and curb ramps.

Detectable warnings should be consistently used to identify features in the built environment.

Audible Pedestrian signals (APS)

Accessible Pedestrian Signals are common in many countries and can assist people in knowing when it is legal to cross an intersection.

Fundamentally APS's should have the following:

* Two distinct tones one to indicate a north crossing and one to indicate a south crossing.•

* APS should be standard throughout a country or region.

* APS should provide both audible and verbal tactile information so that they are usable by person's who are deafblind.

* All light controlled intersections should have APS's, so that travelers who are visually impaired will always know they are available.

* APS's should not require a user to have special equipment to use them.

* APS's should be audible to users only and should not interfere with the area.

* APS's should be pedestrian activated.

* APS' s should emit a sound during the wait phase to help people to locate the button to actuate the sound.

Bank Machines

A movement is underway to develop bank machines that are accessible to people who are blind and partially sighted. In considering the bank in machine requirements of those who are blind and partially blind. Consideration should be given to the following when designing bank machines for the blind and partially sighted:

* All banking machines in a country or region should be consistent.
* All banking machines should have an access card that identifies the orientation of the card i.e. a notch.
* All portals should have a tactile graphics that are colour contrasted with the background symbol to identify them.
* Characters and symbols on the keys should be visually contrasted with the background and as large as the area on the key permits and have a sans serif font

* Each key press should be acknowledged visually audibly and by tactile registration
* The keypad should be telephone style, have the number five with a raised dot. The function keys should be separated by at least three times the distance from the numeric keys, and the surface should be such that it minimizes glare and is placed on an angle.
* The function keys should be placed to the right of the numeric keys and be arranged vertically, top to bottom, in the following order Cancel, correction OK/Enter
* Raised tactile symbols should be used to identify the function keys, either to the right or on the key itself. Using the following symbols: cancel X- correction- raised arrow<, and OK/ enter-raised circle O. Each function key if colored should be Cancel red correction, yellow and OK/enter- green.
* The functional display keys should correspond with in screen instructions, have a surface that is minimizes glare and leader lines that contrast with their background. * There should be an audio interface that is provided. The audio interface should have a socket with a raised ridge or a telephone hand set. The audio display should provide an orientation of the bank machine. The audio communication should be in the lower frequency range.
* Information printed by the ABM should be a minimum of 14 point.
•* Screen and printed material should contrast with the background. The text should use sans serif font and be mix an upper and lower text. Decimals and commas should be larger than normally used. Known advertising should be displayed with in the instructional area.

Further information
Following is a list of Recommended Websites and Material Websites: www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.html www.ap.buffal.edu/idea/publications/udnypdf.htm www.tiresais.org/terminal.htm


Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Clearing our Path ISBN 0-921122-28-4 August 1998 contact CNIB 416 413 -9480

Transportation Development Centre, Going Places ISBN 0-921122-
22-5 August 1997 contact CNIB 416 413-9480.

U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. Building a True Community Final Report Public- Rights- of Way. Access Advisory Committee.

The Canadian Institute on Barrier free Design and Betty Doing Enterprises LTD, International Best Practices In Universal Design: A comparative Study, March 2000

Canadian Standards Association, B651.1-01 Barrier Free Design for Automated Banking Machines February 2001


Armor Tile Tactile Systems

300 International Drive Suite 100
Williamsville, NY 14221
Phone: 1-800-682-2525

Posted by rollingrains at 02:26 AM

December 29, 2007

Design for All Institute India

Design For All Institute of India and EIDD-Design For All Europe are jointly publishing December2007 Vol-2, No-12 issue of the Design for All Newsletter. From the editor, Dr. Sunil Bhatia:

Different eminent designers from different countries and those are the members of EIDD under the guidance of Mr. Pete Kercher have contributed the articles and our current issue is in front of your computer screen. Our December issue is very special and historic, reason is, we are celebrating completion of our two years of publication of newsletter. We have started a new section of CASE study for benefits of our readers. We have loaded a movie and those who wish to see the movie they can click the below given link
Kindly visit our web site www.designforall.in for our current as well as past publication of our monthly newsletter or click this link

http://www.designforall.in/newsletter_dec_2007.pdf (For Newsletter)

The download link for mechanical elevator

First unzip it by using winzip

Posted by rollingrains at 06:47 PM

December 17, 2007

Tourism Websites Fall Short On Accessibility

Almost all UK tourism websites are failing to meet basic acceptable
standards of accessibility, according to a new report from technology
access charity AbilityNet.

The report, the latest in a series of 'State of the eNation' surveys by the
charity, assessed ten websites at random from a list of the most popular
UK visitor attractions. The sites were rated using a five star scale from
'very inaccessible' (one star) to 'very accessible' (five stars), with
three stars representing an 'adequate' level of accessibility.

Only one of the ten sites examined - the Glasgow Science Centre - met
or exceeded this 'adequate' threshold. The centre's site
(http://www.glasgowsciencecentre.org ) has been improved in the past
year with accessibility in mind and as a result achieved four stars.

Of the other sites assessed, four achieved two stars (the Eden Project,
The Giant's Causeway, National Waterfront Museum and Portmeirion)
and five were deemed very inaccessible, receiving only one star
(Belfast Zoo, The Burns Heritage Museum, Edinburgh Castle, Kew
Gardens and the London Eye).

Sites which fail to meet the three-star level may be falling short of
service access requirements set out in the UK's Disability
Discrimination Act
, AbilityNet says.

The report took into account sites' compliance with the international
World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines, as well as the practical difficulties that visitors with a range
of disabilities may experience. Among the features that cause problems
are small text that cannot be resized; unnecessary complexity; closely
clustered buttons; unlabeled images and over-reliance on visual clues.
Since the audit was taken at least three of the single-star-rated
attractions have expressed a commitment to improving the accessibility
of their websites.


E-access Bulletin, Headstar, Issue 96

Copyright 2007 Headstar Ltd http://www.headstar.com .
The Bulletin may be reproduced as long as all parts including this
copyright notice are included, and as long as people are always
encouraged to subscribe with us individually by email. Please also
inform the editor when you are reproducing our content. Sections of
the bulletin may be quoted as long as they are clearly sourced as 'taken
from e-access bulletin, a free monthly email newsletter', and our web
site address:
is also cited.

Editor - Dan Jellinek
Reporter: Majeed Saleh
Editorial advisor - Kevin Carey
Marketing Executive - Claire Clinton
Sales and Marketing - Jo Knell, Will Knox.

ISSN 1476-6337

Posted by rollingrains at 03:54 PM

December 11, 2007

Collusion: Airlines Warned Not to Bar Disabled

Steve Creedy, Aviation writer for the Australian reports [Editor's note, Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes access to transportation as a right. And Graeme Innes rocks!]:

LOW-COST carriers have been warned not to attempt to cut costs by discriminating against the disabled after two airlines recently sought exemptions from laws designed to grant handicapped travellers equal access to transport.

Singapore-backed Tiger Airways has applied to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission for an exemption to the Disability Act so it can temporarily refuse to carry some passengers with limited mobility.

It says it needs to do this because it does not have the equipment to get wheelchair-bound [sic] people safely on to its Airbus A320 jets.

Disability groups are also fighting a move by Australia's biggest independent regional carrier, Regional Express (Rex), to introduce restrictions they say will make flying harder for disabled people in the bush.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre is pursuing court action against Virgin Blue to head off moves to require some people with disabilities to buy a second ticket for a carer if they want to travel.

"It's fine for low-cost or budget airlines to reduce services," human rights commissioner Graeme Innes said yesterday. "But not carrying passengers with disabilities can't be part of those reductions and to do so is against the law.

"As commissioner, I intend to ensure wherever I can that airlines meet their obligations to all passengers, not just passengers without disabilities."

Tiger is offering affected passengers a full refund and says the problem stems from the inability of its third-party ground handler to obtain special hydraulic devices capable of lifting wheelchairs on to planes. It did not expect the lifters to be available at all destinations until the end of February.

Tiger's application comes as a report, due to be released this week by the PIAC, says an analysis of the experiences of 110 airline passengers demonstrates a systemic failure of legislation introduced in 2002 to set standards for disabled access to public transport.

The report finds recent development and application of airline policy, and changes to baggage handling, have made disabled access more difficult, particularly for people with motorised or bigger wheelchairs.

"Some passengers who travelled independently for many years now find themselves barred from travel or facing the imposition of unreasonable conditions," it says.


The Australian

Posted by rollingrains at 03:39 AM

December 09, 2007

Amar Latif Takes Inclusive Tourism to a New Level with Traveleyes

Recently, I had the opportunity to see firsthand what a skilled interpretive guide like US Parks Department Ranger Lori T. Brosnan can do. I observed her at work as she led National Center on Accessibility staff person Ray Bloom and I through Alcatraz. Her attention to detail and the tactile-based learning opportunities she structured into the tour added a depth to the experience that I had not expected.

That experience gave the following news item a sense of personal connection:

Set up by Amar Latif, Traveleyes aims to provide blind people the experience of world travel by offering trips to both sighted and visually impaired individuals. The visually impaired and sighted travellers’ journey together in a mutual independence, with the sighted traveller acting as the ‘eyes’ for the blind traveller.

The company was established in 2005 and offers holidays in Cuba, Canada, Italy, Spain, America, Africa and Asia. Activities can include sky diving, hiking and kayaking, cookery courses. Latif is also working on a ‘walking with lions’ safari in South Africa for 2008.

Traveleyes also exclusively offers its blind travellers the world’s first accessible electronic versions of the Lonely Planet travel guides

Amar has left a bit of a media trail. Here is a profile at work.Amar was also a member of the Beyond Boundaries tour.

Posted by rollingrains at 01:21 AM

December 03, 2007

ENAT Moves Europe to Positive Action on Inclusive Tourism!

Following hot on the heels of the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT)
conference, the European Parliament is registering some action on behalf of travelers with disabilities. Note in particular the emergence of an EC "Tourism for All" label at the same time we are writing the ASEAN standards in Thailand following ICAT 2007.

I was unaware how quickly the Inclusive Tourism scene would mature s I closed my presentation at UNESCAP last week with the following:

The next two years will be a surprise to those in the industry who have not yet prepared their profit-based approach to disability. Some will be asking you to help. You have an opportunity to contribute and to shape the travel industry. That may be with the rights-based emphasis through government, education, or policy. It may on the profit-based side through invention, construction, marketing, or business creation.

Whatever opportunity you choose, take your pride - and your money - on the road. Travel. Teach the industry and level the path for the ones who come after you!

For immediate release:

European Parliament Puts Accessible Tourism on EU Agenda

On 29 November 2007, European Members of Parliament passed a resolution on
a renewed EU Tourism Policy: "Towards a stronger partnership for European
Tourism", calling for Member States to make a united effort to support
Accessible Tourism.

MEPs gave their backing to Italian MEP Paola Costa, who provided a
wide-ranging report on the challenges faced by the European Tourism
sector, and a set of 22 concrete proposals for renewed action.

The keyword which runs throughout the report is "partnership" - for only
by working together, says Paolo Costa, can EU Member States tackle the
fragmented policies and practices which currently frustrate efforts in
the tourism sector.

Accessible Tourism

Actions for the future of accessible tourism in Europe are called for in
six specific paragraphs, declaring that the European Parliament:

"...Welcomes initiatives to coordinate at European level the information
on accessible tourism that would allow tourists with reduced mobility and
their families to find information about the accessibility of tourist
destinations; calls on all Member States, tourism providers and national
and local tourist organisations to join and/or to support this kind of

- At the same time, calls on the Commission and the Member States to
consider the feasibility of drawing up a charter of the rights and
obligations of European tourists, in view of the riotous and violent
incidents caused by European tourists in European tourist destinations ,
and also a European code of conduct for tourist businesses;

- Calls on the Commission and the Member States to initialise an "Access
for all " EC label that would guarantee core accessibility facilities for
tourists with reduced mobility and would cover offers such as
accommodation, restaurants, leisure and natural sites, auditoriums,
monuments, museums, etc.;

- Stresses, furthermore, the need to protect, conserve and restore the
European cultural heritage; and calls for more stringent management of
such sites and of the conditions under which they are visited, and for
greater efforts to improve access for people with disabilities, growing
numbers of whom now travel for leisure purposes;

- Calls on the Commission to draft a Communication with an action plan on
the enhancement of such a label based on the work it has already carried
out , on experiences and best practices at national and local level and
taking stock of what has been achieved at EU level in the transport field;

- Notes that the accessibility of tourist destinations is a matter that
also has to do with the transport services provided or available; calls,
therefore, on the Commission, for the purposes of the new European tourism
policy and of developing European transport policy, to take due account of
the accessibility handicap affecting regions with specific natural or
geographical characteristics, such as the outermost regions, island and
mountain regions, and the sparsely populated northernmost regions..."

Moreover, the Parliamentary Report presents no less than twenty-two
suggestions for actions by the Members States, Regional and Local
authorities, including the need to:

"... protect, preserve and restore European cultural heritage assets and
[calls for] more rigorous management of cultural sites and their visiting
arrangements, as well as for greater efforts to improve access for
disabled people, an increasing number of whom are travelling for tourist

Responding to the Tourism Report on the European Day of People with
Disabilities, ENAT Coordinator Ivor Ambrose stated: "We welcome this firm
and forward-looking resolution by the Members of the European Parliament,
as it gives a timely and much-needed message for public authorities and
the tourism industry.

"All parties must work together across national and regional borders to
make accessible tourism a reality, both for European consumers and
international visitors. ENAT's members are ready to play their part in
fulfilling the ambitions that are contained in this resolution."


Ivor Ambrose, Coordinator
European Network for Accessible Tourism
c/o EWORX S.A.,
Rodou St., 22
GR-15122 Marousi, Athens
Tel. 0030 210 614 8380
Fax. 0030 210 614 8381
E-mail: enat@accessibletourism.org
Web: http://www.accessibletourism.org
SKYPE name: ambroiv

ENAT: The European Network for Accessible Tourism is
a voluntary association of organisations and individuals
from the private, public and NGO sectors. Our mission is
to make European tourism destinations, products and
services accessible to all visitors.
>From December 2007 ENAT will be established as an
international NGO with its head office in Brussels.

Posted by rollingrains at 01:48 PM

November 30, 2007

Spain & Inclusive Tourism: Ara Lleida

Ara Lleida accesible

Ara Lleida presents Inclusive Tourism in the typical European fashion as a "social benefit that ought to be available to all." This "rights-based" orientation may be somewhat foreign to those in the United States. It should not be. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) affirms transportation accessibility as a right. Tourism is a specific case of that right to transportation access. In fact, in Asia, the UNESCAP Biwako Plus Five document explicitly calls for promotion of Inclusive Tourism as goal of regional development policy.

Take a look t Ara Lleida's approach to inclusion on the Iberian Peninsula available here in Spanish

Posted by rollingrains at 01:07 AM

November 17, 2007

RollOn Travel: Thailand by Wheelchair

Volker Posselt and Mitsch Schreiner are making an impact on Thailand with RollOn Travel. Here is an interview with Mitsch ( in German). Find out more about their team here.


More on RollOn Travel:


Tel: +49 6221 329544

Posted by rollingrains at 09:43 AM

November 14, 2007

Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities from MIUSA

Travell Guide.jpg

MIUSA is having a holiday sale on the book "Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities." They sent the following information:

Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities is an intuitive step-by-step guide sharing the best advice on:

· Choosing the right kind of international program to meet individual goals and plans

· Advice on the application, fundraising and preparation process as a person with a disability

· Tips on air travel, navigating unfamiliar places, and cultural considerations once abroad

· How to readjust after the overseas experience to life at home

· And More!

November 7, 2007— Beginning November 12, 2007 and continuing through the 2007 holiday season, Mobility international USA will reduce the prices by 40% for the popular book Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities. It’s now only $10! This book brings together people with disabilities from a wide variety of backgrounds to share their experiences as people who have studied, worked, taught and volunteered all over the world.

Laura Hershey’s combination of personal experience and excellent writing makes this book extraordinarily valuable for international travelers with disabilities and their families. Kudos to Laura and Mobility International USA for creating such a valuable resource.” Andrew J. Imparato, President and CEO at American Association of People with Disabilities.

The NCDE is administered by Mobility International USA and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State.

“If you have a disability and are planning an international trip for any reason, Mobility International USA’s new book, Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities, should be your first destination.” Greg Smith, Host/Founder of On a Roll – Talk Radio on Life & Disability.

The practical advice and candid stories in this book will show readers that anyone with or without a disability can have an amazing international experience.

Don’t miss this opportunity! Go to http://www.miusa.org/publications/books/ss, and order a sale copy of Survival Strategies before December31, 2007, or while supplies last.

Posted by rollingrains at 11:59 PM

November 07, 2007

Accessible London - and a Few Other Places

It's a sign that Inclusive Tourism has caught on when Spain's premiere disability & travel e-zine, Polibea Turismo, features a story on accessibility in London. You can read about Artsline in the latest issue. Artsline's CEO, Alan Kerr, writes tha the organization was was founded in 1981 and now has an online database with information on over 1,400 accessible arts and entertainment venues in London.

Next door, Accessible Portugal, writes about BritRail, Eurail and new EU-wide air transportation regulations for people with disabilities. Somewhere on the ocean DeafMom writes about the first all deaf cruise - the Deaf Freedom Cruise. Across the pond, Global Access News has a story about wheelchair travel in Outer Mongolia! And, if you have been reading your subscription to Candy Harrington's Emerging Horizons, you would know that "New Orleans is Open for Business."

From all the press one might guess that we're a community on the move!

Posted by rollingrains at 05:35 PM

October 25, 2007

Friends in the Sky: Good Work United Airlines!

United Airlinesf

While discount airlines continue their efforts to balance their books on the backs of passengers, Carl Kole from United Airlines has done important work on behalf of passengers with disabilities.

Following a change in CFR power wheelchairs and scooters that have gel batteries and are secured on the device will no longer have to be disconnected. Work is underway to standardize it internationally with both IATA (International AirlineTransport. Assoc) and US DOT.

The text of the regulation: Download file

Posted by rollingrains at 01:56 PM

October 18, 2007

Museums and Access to Culture

In the field of disability studies and among those who champion disability pride it is commonplace to talk about "disability culture." The concept will figure in an essay I wrote for New Mobility magazine about travel and disability.

There is another conversation heating up. It seems to be happening in several places around the world simultaneously. One would hope it is in part due to the impact of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that includes access to culture.

Both in the Spanish-speaking and the Portuguese-speaking worlds access to museums has surfaced as a recent issue for advocacy. On a broader scale, access to heritage sites such as the Taj Mahal or Angkor Wat, reflects the same concern. Below are two articles in Spanish and Portuguese and a link to a museum project reported by Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts 2007.

Universal Design Model: The Museum At The Mill by Kristen McCosh, Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts 2007:


Denuncia la falta de accesibilidad en museos

Como se apunta en el texto, “muy pocos museos españoles pueden presumir de disponer de las condiciones arquitectónicas, materiales y de formación necesarias para que las personas con discapacidad puedan acudir a disfrutar de los recursos culturales”.

“Según la normativa vigente en España, los museos no tienen obligación de tener medidas de accesibilidad concretas, ya que tan sólo existe una legislación general que no se cumple en la inmensa mayoría de los casos y que aquí no es sancionadora como en otros países como Estados Unidos”, señaló la jefa del departamento de recursos culturales de la ONCE, Mercedes Hernández.

En cuanto a las instalaciones, estas personas necesitan ascensores acristalados para poder comunicarse con el exterior y sistemas de inducción magnética que mejoren la señal auditiva a los usuarios de prótesis en las salas de proyección y de conferencias.

Por otro lado, una persona ciega no obtiene información de las obras pictóricas o no puede leer los carteles de los materiales de un museo. Del mismo modo, una persona sorda no puede atender a las explicaciones verbales de un guía o a las locuciones de los vídeos que se proyectan. A todo esto se le puede añadir la dificultad que representa tener que moverse por las diferentes salas. Del mismo modo, los recursos de accesibilidad para personas sordas que debería poseer cualquier museo son: alarmas de emergencia luminosas, señalización suficiente, avisos de información visuales mediante rótulos o displays y audioguías con información textual en las pantallas.

La formación del personal del museo también es indispensable para este sector social, por eso el movimiento asociativo pide formación básica y específica en lengua de señas y subtítulos en los diferentes medios audiovisuales.

El trabajo de las organizaciones de la discapacidad está centrado en conseguir mayor accesibilidad a la cultura en una doble dirección: por un lado, sensibilizando a la Administración sobre la imperiosa necesidad de adaptar los recintos y exposiciones para todos los ciudadanos y, por otro, asesorando a los profesionales que trabajan en ellos en la ejecución práctica de la accesibilidad y en el trato de las personas con discapacidad.

El Cisne


Museus acessíveis

Por Leandra Migotto Certeza

Profissionais trabalham para o acesso à cultura. A especialista em acessibilidade em museus Viviane Panelli Sarraf, lança um pesquisa para conhecer melhor o público com deficiência que visita os museus. Participe!

Segundo o IPHAN - Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional existem aproximadamente 2.208 museus no Brasil. São 366 só no Estado de São Paulo. Você costuma visitá-los? Com que freqüência? Por quê? Quais são suas expectativas em relação a eles?

Caso você tenha alguma deficiência visual (dependendo do grau) pode precisar de ajuda para consultar os sites dos veículos de comunicação - que ainda não são acessíveis - e saber as principais atividades dos museus.

Você consegue chegar até os museus e permanecer neles com tranqüilidade? Se você utiliza cadeira de rodas para se locomover, poderá encontrar dificuldades de transporte e barreiras arquitetônicas, externas e internas. Se você quebrou o pé e precisa, temporariamente, de um par de muletas para conseguir andar, encontrará dificuldades para subir degraus e/ou escadas.

Ao visitar um museu, você compreende o que os educadores explicam durante as visitas guiadas? Se você tem alguma deficiência auditiva ou intelectual, poderá encontrar dificuldades para se comunicar, pois os museus estão começando a treinar os monitores para falar a Língua Brasileira de Sinais, e como se relacionar com diferentes formas de pensar.

Você interage durante as atividades propostas pelos educadores? Se você tem surdocegueira encontrará dificuldades, pois os museus estão começando a produzir recursos sensoriais, como maquetes e/ou réplicas de 'obras', por exemplo.

Você encontra sanitários com portas mais largas dentro dos museus? Caso você se locomova com ajuda de um andador, devido à idade; ou vá ao museu acompanhado do seu filho (carregando-o em um carinho), encontrará dificuldades, pois os museus começaram a se tornar acessíveis há pouco tempo.

Viviane Panelli Sarraf, especialista em acessibilidade em museus,explica que até meados do século XX, os europeus ainda estavam muito voltados às suas origens, às elites. O público dos museus, ou seja, as pessoas, só começaram a receber atenção da museologia, após o término da segunda guerra mundial. Museu do Louvre, Museu D'Orsay, Museu do Prado e Tate Gallery, são exemplos de instituições acessíveis.

Já os brasileiros começaram a respeitar a diversidade humana no final do século XX e início do século XXI. Os principais museus que se tornaram acessíveis foram o MAC - Museu de Arte Contemporânea da USP (Universidade de São Paulo); o Museu Histórico Nacional no Rio de Janeiro; a Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, e o Centro de Memória Dorina Nowill, em São Paulo.

Para conhecer o público com deficiência que visita os museus, Viviane lança uma pesquisa. Respondê-la é simples e rápido, são apenas quatro perguntas objetivas. Clique aqui e participe!

Programa de Orientação para Museus Acessíveis

O Centro de Memória Dorina Nowill foi criado em 2002, na FDNC - Fundação Dorina Nowiill para Cegos, com o objetivo de preservar a história da inclusão da pessoa com deficiência visual no Brasil.

O Centro de Memória também é acessível às pessoas com deficiência física. E desde 2003, vem ampliando sua atuação em prol da inclusão, com a criação do Programa de Orientação para Museus Acessíveis. O programa faz visitas de sensibilização e ministra workshops de formação sobre acessibilidade para pessoas com deficiência visual.

"Durante as visita, estamos na companhia de pessoas videntes que nos descrevem com detalhes o local, além do que, utilizamos as escadas; rampas (quando existem); sentimos sinais pódo-táteis (quando os mesmos estão lá); verificamos se existem publicações acessíveis (folhetos em braille, catálogos digitais etc) e recursos sensoriais (maquetes, réplicas, etc), além de áreas de descanso, e principalmente, se os monitores foram treinados", explica Antonio Carlos, um dos voluntários do programa.

Coordenados pela especialista em acessibilidade em museus, Viviane Panelli Sarraf, os voluntários do programa (em sua maioria pessoas com deficiência visual) já estiveram no Museu de Zoologia da USP; Museu de Geociências da USP, Museu Lasar Segall; Espaço Cultural do Banco Real; Museu do Instituto Biológico; Museu Biológico; Museu de Microbiologia do Instituto Butantã; Museu da Bíblia; MAM - Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo; Museu do Instituto Adolfo Lutz; Museu de Arte Brasileira da FAAP; e exposições na OCA; (Parque do Ibirapuera), todos no município de São Paulo.

"Os museus que efetivamente implantam programas acessíveis começam a receber mais visitas", comenta Viviane. Desde abril de 2005, a exposição "Fundação e Suas Muitas Histórias" do Centro de Memória Dorina Nowill recebeu aproximadamente 1.200 pessoas com deficiência acompanhadas de educadores. Segundo a especialista, esse número é maior ainda, somado aos visitantes espontâneos.

Para Viviane, "a acessibilidade torna o museu mais atrativo para um maior número de visitantes potenciais. As rampas para pessoas em cadeiras de rodas também são úteis para carrinhos de bebê; e sinalizações e identificações de peças em letras grandes também facilitam a leitura de crianças e de pessoas da terceira idade, por exemplo. No entanto, o grande desafio hoje é tornar a informação acessível e eliminar as barreiras mais difíceis, as atitudinais (o pré-conceito de cada indivíduo)".

Para tornar ou criar ambientes convidativos a todas as pessoas, é preciso unir forças e trabalhar em conjunto. Parcerias eficazes e de baixo custo com ONGs, instituições, órgãos públicos, escolas e universidades, centros culturais, empresas privadas, e profissionais é o melhor caminho para levar cultura a todos. Os museus são um dos melhores exemplos de como é possível que a arte esteja ao alcance de todos.
Basta querer!

Antonio Carlos e Marieta são voluntários do programa de acessibilidade em museus da FDNC. Saibam o que eles pensam sobre o assunto e conheça um pouco mais sobre o trabalho que realizam, clicando em seus nomes.

*Leandra Migotto Certeza é paulista, deficiente física, Produtora Editorial, Jornalista há oito anos (MTb 40546), Repórter e colunista voluntária da Rede SACI e do Site Sentidos. Participa da Rede de Ativistas de Direitos Humanos do Hemisfério Sul e Rede Diálogo DH da Conectas - Direitos Humanos. É Diretora de Divulgação Voluntária da ABOI - Associação de Osteogeneis Imperfecta, e voluntária do Conselho Municipal da Pessoa Deficiente de SP. Foi uma das quatro brasileiras premiadas no concurso de periodismo Sociedad Para Todos na Colômbia, e ficou em segundo lugar no "Sexto Congresso Internacional Prazeres Dês-Organizados - Corpos, Direitos e Culturas em Transformação", promovido pela IASSCS - Associação Internacional para o Estudo da Sexualidade, Cultura e Sociedade, em Lima no Peru na Categoria: apresentação de pôster sobre o projeto "Fantasias Caleidoscópicas" (ensaio fotográfico sensual de pessoas com deficiência) sobre o tema: Sexualidad y Mujeres con Discapacidad, em 2007. Desenvolve o projeto, Caleidoscópio Comunicações - Consultoria em Inclusão Social, realizando palestras, treinamentos e assessoria técnica em empresas, escolas e ONGs. Informações: inclusaosocial@yahoo.com.br e Tel: 55 (0xx11) 3453-5370 ou 8697-9067.

*Viviane Panelli Sarraf é Especialista em Acessibilidade em Museus, Pesquisadora da ECA - USP na área de Políticas Culturais de Acessibilidade em Museus, e Diretora da Museus Acessíveis Serviços Museológicos e Culturais, que presta serviços para a Fundação Dorina Nowill para Cegos, além de outros museus e/ou centros culturais. Informações: vsarraf@gmail.com.


Posted by rollingrains at 01:36 AM

October 06, 2007

Guy Fisher Does New York

Guy M Fisher at Statue of Liberty

Guy Fisher demonstrates the best of this site's Flickr.com Travel With a Disability Photo-Sharing section by uploading a photo essay today.

Yankee Stadium, Empire State Building, John Mayer concert (backstage even!), Ellis Island, and the ever invigorating dash from one side of the street to another in NYC. He's done it all -- and lived to tell:

John Hockenberry once wrote that "New York City will probably always require an aggressive mix of physical and social skills to get a wheelchair off the street and back onto it." Navigating the crowds and traffic in Times Square will definitely put your wheelchair skills to the test. We ended up taking several trips through the square, and I enjoyed the challenge of dodging pedestrians, mixing into the flow of the crowds and jockeying for a straight shot to the curbcuts. On our last trip through the hurly-burly, I went ahead and turned the traffic bollards that lined the streets into my own private wheelchair lane.

I especially appreciated his reflections on the history of disabled immigrants here:


Posted by rollingrains at 07:57 PM

September 30, 2007

Tom Chun's Travels - Rolling Downunder

More from Tom Chun as he lives the life of leisure writing from Surfer's Paradise, Australia:

Surfer's Paradise, Australia

Hi Friends,

I left Brisbane and headed south to Surfer's Paradise. The waves are a surfer's dream, but the city is big, reminds me of Miami or other big Florida cities. There are lakefront homes with boats docked nearby the ocean. There's a huge party scene every night in Surfer's. During the week, Surfer's was the host for the Uni Games, where drunk college students from all over Australia come to party. I think I attended college in the wrong country.

One day, I spent the day at the DreamWorld amusement park. There were some crazy rides: Tower of Terror, shot me up a steep tower and then dropped right back, The Claw swooped up and down, like a giant see-saw, as my legs dangled everywhere, and the Giant Drop ascending me up 38 floors and then dropped my in free fall for 4 seconds (supposedly the tallest free fall in the world). Great way to increase the adrenaline! Sorry no pics at the theme park, forgot my camera. Around Surfer's Paradise, in the Gold Coast, there are "heaps" of little coastal towns to relax and enjoy yourself. The sand is soft and fine. The beaches stretch for miles!!!! Burleigh Heads is a small town and has a great beach and views of Surfer's. Coolongata is a little more busy. Byron Bay is a popular getaway for hippies and celebrities, with a lighthouse on a hill with amazing views. There are so many spots on the Gold Coast where you can get away from everyone and everything. Truly the Gold Coast is a mecca for beach bums! Sign me up for the surf contest! I am now in Sydney. I believe Nemo is just around the corner somewhere. I will find him! More pics to follow (I need to find a good internet connection): tompchun.shutterfly.com Old blog at tompchun.blogspot.com
Cheers Mates! Tom "International Man of Leisure"
Posted by rollingrains at 04:48 PM

September 07, 2007

Indian Aviation Norms for Disabled Passengers Revised

Ananth Krishnan
of the Hindu reports on positive developments for air travelers in and to India as theoretical distinctions made by disability scholars find their way into public and governmental discourse.

In the ongoing controversy over civil air regulations in India the definition of disability has been somewhat clarified. Distinguishing between permanent disability and illness, the regulations begin to extricate themselves from the Medical Model of Disability. In so doing they provide clarity for air transport providers while capturing distinctions in passenger functionality relevant to air travel.

Such campaigns for human rights as C. Mahesh, Rajiv Raman, the Community-Based Rehabilitation Forum and Vidyasagar are an ongoing necessity. Often they attract censure when they appear to raise the level of conflict beyond "polite" levels of acquiescence. Unjust regulations, inadequate infrastructure, preemptory expulsion from aircraft, or forced sedation will simply never be tolerated by the community of persons with disabilities.

However, the worldwide disability community now hopes that, with an inkling of the positive social benefit available in adopting the Social Model of Disability as a basis for policy, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation will affirmatively pursue policy that enables the airline industry to profit from the untapped financial resources of travelers with disabilities to the mutual benefit of that community and the tourism industry.

CHENNAI: Following objections from disabled rights groups, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has revised the civil aviation requirements for disabled passengers that were put into effect on August 15.

Disabled rights organisations had voiced their protest against the implementation of the guidelines stating that they were not clear enough in their definition of disability. The requirements also made it necessary for disabled passengers to be accompanied by escorts. The disabled rights groups claimed this was discriminatory.

The revised requirements define a disabled person or a person with reduced disability as "any person whose mobility when using transport is reduced due to physical disability (sensory or locomotor, permanent or temporary), intellectual disability or impairment, or any other cause of disability, or age, and whose situation needs appropriate attention."

The requirements also state that airlines "shall not insist for the presence of an escort," acknowledging that "many persons with disabilities do not require constant assistance for their activities." If a passenger declares "independence in feeding, communication with reasonable accommodation, toileting and personal needs," he or she will not have to travel with an escort.

"Welcome relief"

"The revised guideline is a welcome relief," C. Mahesh, advocacy coordinator of the Community-Based Rehabilitation Forum told The Hindu on Thursday. "The earlier version was draconian and would have greatly hampered independent air travel for persons with disabilities."

Mr. Mahesh said that the earlier requirements had not made a distinction between disabled passengers and those with a medical condition.

"Thankfully, this has been done away with," he said. "This distinction is very important because not all disabled persons have a medical condition. Disability is not an illness but a condition that is more or less permanent in nature."
Mr. Mahesh added that the DGCA had written to the disabled rights groups for feedback on the revisions. The revised requirements will come into effect on October 1.

The issue of aviation requirements for disabled passengers has come under the spotlight following the prevention of Rajiv Rajan, a cerebral palsy patient, from boarding an Air Sahara flight in Chennai on June 18 for failing to produce a medical certificate. Mr. Rajan was also forced to take a sedative pill before boarding a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Chennai two years ago.

According to the new requirements, airlines will no longer have the authority to take such steps.
Disabled passengers who require assistance only in embarking or disembarking, or needing "reasonable accommodation" in flights, cannot be asked by airlines to produce medical certificates.

Right to travel

For the disabled rights groups, the revisions are a welcome measure. Mr. Rajan, also an activist with the disabled rights non-governmental organisation Vidyasagar, told The Hindu that the earlier requirements, in particular the
demand for escorts, infringed on a disabled person's right to travel.

"If the August 15 draft were to come into effect, it would affect my right to movement," he said.
"I travel at least three times a month, so it is very difficult for me to find an escort on my own. It is a violation of my right to be independent."


Further Readings on Disability Studies and Inclusive Tourism:

Defining the Market of Travelers with Disabilities

Inclusive Tourism: Some Definitions

"Specialness" & Scarcity: The Paternalism Syndrome

ahistoricality: Progressive Engagement With Disability

Getting the Design Right: Inclusive Destination Development

Posted by rollingrains at 11:45 PM

August 23, 2007

Update on Inclusive Travel from the BBC

Clive Gilbert writes, "Despite a new European law to prevent airlines from discriminating against disabled people, planning a holiday can be a fraught exercise for a wheelchair user." Read his observations at "Ticket, passport, wheelchair..."

Posted by rollingrains at 01:56 AM

August 13, 2007

Traveling With Attendants

The older leadership of the disability rights movement has been reminding the gerontology profession and senior care industry that we are "beta testers for aging." Changes to policy, product, legislation, and lifestyle that we have achieved over the past 30+ years have become so mainstream that AARP could hold a conference on diversity touting Universal Design, lifespan homes, Visitability and never once mention the word disability or include a PwD as a presenter!

An article in Myrtle Beach Online talks about seniors bringing their attendants on vacation with them. Will we delay in order to reinvent the wheel or are lifestyles and strategies of resilience and self-efficacy developed by the Disability Community about to become legitimized?

At the core of Disability Culture is an affirmation that life is communitarian; that interdependence is more adaptive, sustainable, and resilient than popular images of independence. Does Disability Culture scale?

In the past, some vacationers with disabilities hired medical transport services to assist them with air travel, such as moving through airport security and getting on and off the plane. But now, "it has absolutely broadened," says Elinor Ginzler, who oversees projects on mobility and housing for AARP in Washington, D.C. Now nurses are not only helping travelers on plane trips; they also are staying in hotels or cruise ships with them - often in the same room.
For years, people with special needs have hired non-medical caregivers to travel with them - or they have simply stayed home. But increasingly, as the population ages and more people are living with chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, patients are seeking specialized care when they travel. Unwilling to give up the active lifestyle that many retirees today enjoy, older trekkers are also taking advantage of advances in medical technology - from portable dialysis equipment to airplane-friendly oxygen tanks - to keep them on the go even after they become frail.

There are no statistics tracking the number of travelers who vacation with nurses, but health care experts say the demand is increasing. Nursing agencies, home-care specialists and nursing schools say more travelers are seeking nurses who will pack up and come along. And a number of companies have sprung up to provide skilled caregivers for travel - including Trip Nurse in Boulder, Colo., and Executive Care Service in Orlando, Fla. One firm, Accessible Journey[s] in Ridley Park, Pa., offers organized tours for frail or disabled travelers, with nursing care available.

At Partners in Care, the private-care unit of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, President Marki Flannery says more patients are asking for nurses to accompany them during leisure travel.


Posted by rollingrains at 01:25 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!


Balneário Camboriú





"Renovando Sempre"

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

Posted by rollingrains at 01:12 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:


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



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

Corporate Social responsibility Asia:
Protests against AirAsia

Daily Express
AirAsia, MAB told to ensure disabled are not deprived

Posted by rollingrains at 01:51 PM

July 07, 2007

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


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.


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.

Easier Travel

Posted by rollingrains at 07:13 PM

June 25, 2007

Resources for Training Travel Industry Professionals in Inclusion

Sincere apologies are followed by acts of reconcilliation. Effective reconcilliation requires accurate knowledge of the aggrieved party.

To facilitate the effectiveness of Air Sahara's public apology the following list of training resources is offered. To delive them I recommend my capable Indian colleagues:

EuForMe Project

EuForme Document Links


Diada Documents

Diada Portal (Accessible Tourism Learning Hub)

Posted by rollingrains at 01:52 AM

June 18, 2007

Travel Abroad Testimonials from the Disability Community

Documentation of Inclusive Travel is catching on all over.

If you have not been therre recently, you may want to visit TransitionsAbroad.com for their section on Travel & Disability. Here's a catalog of their offerings:

Simon Says Teach Abroad by Melissa Mitchell

The Accessible Himalayas by Mary Ann Davis

18 Tips for International Travelers: Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities by Laura Hershey

Accessible Melbourne by Anne Vize

Disability Travel in Egypt by Lynn Atkinson

Accessibility Overseas: Is There a Way to Get There? by Sharon Gerlach

Adventures in Teaching from a Wheelchair in Venezuela by Marie Sharp

Young Adults with Disabilities Explore World by Pamela Houston

Study Abroad in Ireland by Johana Schwartz

Study Abroad with a Disability by Beth Ocrant

Abroad with a Disability: Prepare Yourself for the Unexpected by Jennifer Kettler

Resources for Study Abroad with a Disabilities in Europe by Tracy Scharn

Study Abroad and Accessibility: Overseas Experience leads to Activism at Home by Shannon Cun Lin Huy

Diversity in Study Abroad: Ways to Include Underrepresented Communities in Exchange Programs by Carole Patterson

Travel With a Purpose by Pamela Houston

Why Not Visit the U.K.? by J. E. Killick

Paris by Wheelchair by David W.E. Smith

Disability Travel Abroad Checklist by Barbara Ballard

Traveling with a Service Dog by Tracy Scharn



Posted by rollingrains at 06:37 PM

May 18, 2007

Gobsmacked on the Way to the Algarve!

I am not quite sure if being "gobsmacked" is painful or leaves a bruise afterward but that is how Anne Leece described what happened to her when she learned that she and her husband Bill were beiing given a trip to the Algarve in Portugal. The couple are enjoying "the exclusive resort of Amacao De Pera to stay in the £1,500- a-week Vila Vita Parc Hotel on The Algarve in Portugal where they can enjoy first-class service in surroundings which include a private beach."

"There must have been plenty of behind-the-scenes work to find the right place because this is ideal for me in my wheelchair, and it looks amazing!" Anne said.

Posted by rollingrains at 11:55 PM

May 07, 2007

Martin Gaballa & Egypt for All

Egypt for All logo

Martin Gaballa has a unique travel service -- Egypt for All. Now he also has a spiffy new web site to display the selection of tours and actvities he and his team have developed over the years.

Scuba Training

Contact information:

Tel: 0020123118975




Posted by rollingrains at 10:46 PM

April 14, 2007

OSSATE Extends Its Reach: Accessible European Travel


The European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) was formed in 2006 and continues to improve

They will launch new information service later this
month at http://www.europeforall.com

Dear AAOutils Group Members,

Since the AAOutils project finished we have been busy, taking
Design-for-All issues into other areas. Especially we have focussed on
improving Download file accessibility in the Europoean tourism sector.

Disabled people are travelling more, both independently and with their
families and friends. And with the ageing of the population, more and
more sebiors are travelling, which means that design-for-all is even
more relevant in transport, infrastructure, information and service

In 2006 we formed the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT):
www.accessibletourism.org The network is supported by a European
Commission grant and 9 founding sponsors. ENAT has over 200 members in
30 countries (worldwide - not just in Europe). Please join!

As a member of ENAT, besides receiving your Membership Certificate,
you can meet and share information on-line with people from travel and
tourism enterprises, service providers and manufacturers, experts in
accessibility, public authorities, National Tourist Boards, disability
NGOs and many others. From 21 - 23 November 2007 we will hold the
"ENAT Congress on Tourism for All" in Valencia, Spain, organised by
Fundación ONCE - one of the major sponsors of ENAT. This will be a
landmark event for all who are interested in accessibility in travel
and tourism: providers, consumer groups, educators, public agencies,
NGOs - all are welcome.

Join ENAT now - it's free throughout 2007. Follow this link to the
registration form:


Accessibility information for tourists:

With 11 European partners in 6 countries, we have been developing a
new on-line service for tourists, giving accessibility information
about tourist venues, accommodation, attractions etc.
For details see http://www.ossate.org for details.

The OSSATE partners will launch the new information service later this
month at http://www.europeforall.com

The Europe for all database will initially contain venue information
from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Sweden, Norway and the UK. In
contrast to other accessibility databases, which often use "access
norms" or building regulations as guide, we have used an objective
approach to describe the accessibility of a venue, with a set of
simple statements and measurements. Users can then search for the
venue information which matches their individual requirements.

Please contact me if you need any further information about ENAT or

Best regards,
Ivor Ambrose

Posted by rollingrains at 11:21 PM

April 11, 2007

Write for NZ on Wheels

If you live in New Zealand - or even if you are just visiting - consider adding your review of tourist destinations to the growing list at NZ on Wheels

Here is a link to how to write for NZ on Wheels

Posted by rollingrains at 12:09 PM

March 30, 2007

Braztoa, Marta Suplicy, Aventura Especial e Turismo Inclusivo


Ontem, na Braztoa,
a nova ministra
Marta Suplicy


fez questão de receber a Dadá Moreira da Ong Aventura Especial, e anunciou á imprensa, que o ministério terá desde agora uma ênfase especial nos temas de acessibilidade no turismo.

Obrigado ao Mauro Brucoli, da Aventura Especial e Turismo para Todos, para as noticias.

Posted by rollingrains at 11:05 PM

Biosfera Brasil: Socially Responsible and Inclusive

biosfera Brasil logo

It is rare, but becoming more frequent, that I encounter an inbound tour supplier that is capable of providing quality service to travelers seeking eco-friendly, socially responsible, and accessible travel opportunities in the same product. In Biosfera Brasil it appears I have found all three.

Have a look for yourself here. For a list of their project go to:


Blue Lake Grotto

For more information contact:

Cassiano Ciampone

Biosfera Brasil Eco-Social Tours
Phone: (55 11) 3078-7901 or 3554-0272
MSN: capitao@hotmail.com

Posted by rollingrains at 03:58 PM

March 29, 2007

Accessible Portugal Magazine


Accessible Portugal Magazine premiered in September 2006. It has been going strong ever since examining the unique offerings of Portugal for travelers with disabilities.

Take a look, for example, at the piece in this month's issue entitled Eco-Villages for more on the burgeoning theme of sustainable inclusion.

From the web site:


Accessible Portugal
is always looking for new projects and new areas that can improve our services.

Seminar for students

In order to be in constant contact with all kind of Associations, Accessible Portugal is planning a Seminar for students, with the title “Challenging Disability”.´

Accessible Pedestrian tours
In the meanwhile Accessible Portugal is working with Associations in order to make some pedestrian tours for disabled people. This is an interesting Project, the first in Portugal.

Accessible Portugal Magazine Archive


Accessible Portugal


Posted by rollingrains at 11:10 PM

March 24, 2007

Handi Cap Evasion (French)

Handi Cap Evasion has an Inclusive Adventure tour message to share. If the French is a barrier, take a look at the photo gallery here.

Gracias a la Silvina Casey por las noticias del sitio.

Posted by rollingrains at 03:43 AM

March 13, 2007

An Interview With Candy Harrington of Emerging Horizons

Inside Bay Area has an interview with Candy Harrington full of her usual sound advice about travel with a disability. Read it here.

Posted by rollingrains at 05:16 AM

March 12, 2007

DisabledGo: UK Access Guide


There have been some recent upgrades to Gregory Burke's Inclusive Travel website DisabledGo.com. More than the continuned improvements to graphical quality and navigation is an assertion of unique value.

The following distinctions about their mission reveal the emergence of a second stage of maturity in this market -- differentiation between stable businesses that exclusively serve travelers with disabilities:

What we do

The information provided by DisabledGo in the Detailed Access Guides is designed to provide the broadest range of fine-grain access information for a wide range of disabled people. It is the most in-depth disabled access information guide ever. The information is designed to empower disabled people to make their own informed decisions as to the usability of the venue based on their own particular access requirements.

You may find venues which are totally unsuitable for your disability but they will have relevance for other people's impairments. Additionally, our research has shown that sometimes it is as important to know what is not accessible to your own individual circumstances as to know what is. That way, journeys are not wasted and evenings are not ruined.

What we don't do

Although DisabledGo's Detailed Access Guides convey a lot of pertinent information, they are not Access Audits. The purpose of an Access Audit is to carry out a physical assessment of a building and service and make recommendations. DisabledGo does not make recommendations. Instead, DisabledGo's Researchers record a wide range of detailed access information - "we say it as we see it" - so that disabled people are in control by having independent, reliable information from which they can decide whether they wish to go to that venue.



Posted by rollingrains at 12:44 PM

March 10, 2007

A Barrier-Free Resort: Inclusive Design at Work in the Virgin Islands

Multi: Design for People does excellent work. They are defining the field of sustainable Inclusive Destination Development.

Here's one more affirmation of that through their presentation posted at Slideshare.net

Posted by rollingrains at 09:51 PM

March 07, 2007

CruiseRespite.com and Book The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach

Cruise respite Logo

To a large extent our coverage of cruising and disability has focussed on mobility issues and blindness and occassionally about deafness or dialysis.

I just received this press release from Gwendolyn de Geest of Cruise Respite about a unique, and to all appearances, promising travel product - cruises tailored to those with dementia.

for immediate release

The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach

- Caregivers Discover What Works and What Doesn’t

Vancouver, BC, (March 6, 2007) - CruiseRespite today announces the release of The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach book.

With insight and clarity, the Living Dementia Case-Study Approach book explores common issues that caregivers face on a daily basis, from memory loss and communication challenges to bathing and wandering issues. Utilizing the 4-T Dementia Care Model, readers will embrace who the person was prior to the diagnosis.

The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach is a philosophy of dementia care to assist both professional and family caregivers to understand the journey. They will discover that there is an invisible “black thread” separating them from the reality of the person with dementia. As the person gives up the burden of their reality, relationships become lighter.

David Troxel, co-author of The Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care, comments that “Family and professional caregivers may be easily overwhelmed. Many of them do not have time to read books from start to finish. Instead, they benefit from quick, easy-to-read chapters that tell a compelling story and then summarize key points. The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach can be used as caregiver resource material to enhance bedside care (or taught in the classroom) so that busy and stressed caregivers can learn at their own pace.”

To order The Living Dementia Approach book, click here.

About the author

Gwendolyn de Geest, RN, BSN, MA is the author of The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach. Gwendolyn has been an educator and front-line caregiver in dementia care for over two decades. She has a passion to enhance the quality of life for seniors, and knowledge of the issues that are important to them.

As a result of witnessing the joys and sorrows of many of these individuals, Gwendolyn was moved to write The Living Dementia Case-Study Approach. This work touches the lives of these individuals in a most intimate manner, allowing both their dignity and humanness to remain intact.

Gwendolyn can be reached at 778-772-7776 or at gmdegeest@CruiseRespite.com.

website: www.CruiseRespite.com

Posted by rollingrains at 06:59 PM

February 23, 2007

Entrevista Sobre Turismo Acessivel: Ricardo Shimosakai

Avape logo

Veja entrevista do estudante de Turismo e membro da equipe Turismo & Aventura Adaptado, Ricardo Shimosakai, que falou sobre a criação da equipe de turismo adaptado, que tem como objetivo principal promover a inclusão social através das atividades de turismo, esporte, aventura e lazer adaptados. Para assistir clique aqui.

Sobre AVAPE:


Posted by rollingrains at 04:47 PM

Travel: The Current Issue of "Breath & Shadow"

The February 23, 2007 issue of the journal of disability culture and literature, Breath & Shadow is on the theme of travel. You can find it here (until it is archived and the URL is changed.)

Posted by rollingrains at 01:39 PM

February 07, 2007

Rural Accessible Tourism: Mark Your Calendars

actur 07 logo.gif

Encuentro Iberoamericano Sobre Turismo Rural Accesible - ACTUR 07
LUGAR: Centro "Costa Salguero" Ciudad de Buenos Aires - Argentina
FECHA: 26 al 29 de mayo 2007

Look for the Accessible Rural Tourism Conference at the Centro "Costa Salguero" Buenos Aires - Argentina May 26 - 29.

Conference site:

Defintions of accessible agrotourism (Spanish):

From the web site:


Las Jornadas ACTUR ´07 tendrán lugar en el Auditorio Salas 1 y 2.
Tienen como objetivo, formar y capacitar al sector turístico sobre la mejora de la competitividad y la accesibilidad al turismo rural.
Participarán en las Jornadas disertantes argentinos y extranjeros expertos en la temática del turismo rural y la accesibilidad.

* Sábado 26 - Auditorio Centro Costa Salguero - Ciudad de Buenos Aires
* Domingo 27- Auditorio Centro Costa Salguero - Ciudad de Buenos Aires
* Lunes 28 - Estancia El Silencio - Ciudad de Cañuelas - Provincia de Buenos Aires
* Martes 29 – Ciudad de Tandil - Provincia de Buenos Aires

Las jornadas tiene como un atractivo para los participantes inscriptos la incorporación de la degustación de la Gastronomía Regional Argentina

En la inauguración el 26 de mayo de 2007 se disfrutará de un desayuno argentino, con la presencia de más de 200 productores los cuales presentarán sus delicias.

Durante todo el evento habrá: Degustación y cata de vinos.

ACTUR 07 Virtual

Este evento reviste un carácter profesional y de difusión destinado al acercamiento entre personas con intereses y motivaciones afines que no pueden participar presencialmente del I ENCUENTRO IBEROAMERICANO SOBRE TURISMO RURAL ACCESIBLE -ACTUR ´07-


# JORNADAS / Turismo Accesible
Luis Grünewald
E-mail: actur07@actur.com.ar

DownUnder Travel
Maipú 812 Piso 7 "D" (1006) Buenos Aires
TE +54 11 4115 0115
Silvina Rios - Jorge Carlos Salatino
E-mail: silvinarios@downunder.com.ar
E-mail: jorge.salatino@downunder.com.ar

Posted by rollingrains at 07:02 PM

December 17, 2006

Voyages Accessibles au Canada (French)

logo of handirect

The site Handirect offered a brief piece on Canadian travel Voyages Accessibles au Canada although the cited link should be www.accesstotravel.gc.ca/

A little deeper into Handidirect you will find an archive of articles and inclusive travel guides. See Tourisme et Loisirs:

Posted by rollingrains at 12:18 AM

December 16, 2006

Accessible Canal Tours: The Willow Trust, UK

Over at Travel With a Disability photographer who contributes as Lumpen Heap has shared a find:


The Willow Trust is a charity that offers freedom for the disabled on the water by providing days out for children and adults with learning and physical disabilities and those who are seriously ill.

The Trust has two boats based at Saul Junction, and guests can enjoy the excitement of adventure and the therapy of tranquility in beautiful surroundings - all travelling totally free of charge.

For more on the Willow Trust see:


Posted by rollingrains at 01:21 AM

December 04, 2006

The Impact of Ageing on Aviation

harry wolfe
Professional colleague and personal friend Harry Wolfe presented at the Airneth Conference, The Impact of Ageing on Aviation, held at the Hague, Netherlands on November 23.

Presentations are downloadable here.

Meeting the Needs of Older and Disabled Air Travellers

by Anne Frye

Ageing and Air Transportation

by Harry Wolfe

Ageing and Travel Behaviour in the 21st Century
by Ton van Egmond

Ageing at Work in the Netherlands
by Rob Gründemann

Upcoming Airneth event:

Optimal Use of Airport Capacity: April 11-13, 2007

Posted by rollingrains at 02:25 AM

November 28, 2006

Travel With Wheelchair Dancer

Wheelchair Dancer has several posts on her recent travels.

"On my last trip to NYC, I had the misfortune to meet the TSA person from hell."

Two Posts on NYC:



Disabled Toilets:


Posted by rollingrains at 12:17 AM

November 26, 2006

A Story of South African Travel

south africa flag

A travelogue at Youreable.com includes the following:

After reading a book called The Wilderness Family by Kobie Kruger I was determined to visit Africa myself. The book is about living in the Kruger National Park as the wife of a game ranger and the trials of bringing up three children with orphaned animals running riot through the house and crossing hippo infested rivers to get to the car every day. I was so inspired by the book and my Dad’s tales of the African bush throughout my childhood that I just had to go and give Dad a chance to see it all again.

The story begins:

I would like to share with you all the wonderful experiences we had on two visits to South Africa in 2002 and 2004. What prompted me to write to the magazine was the wonderful disabled facilities that existed 300 miles into the African bush.

The adventurers consisted on myself, a nurse and single Mum, my two boys Richard and Peter and my Dad, Bob, who was the real star of the show. Dad was 74 when we first travelled to South Africa but he was no stranger to the continent as he previously emigrated to Zimbabwe, or Rhodesia as it was then, in the late 1950’s. Unfortunately a visit home one Christmas resulted in him catching polio and sadly was unable to return to his former life and work.

For the rest of the story see:


Posted by rollingrains at 09:15 PM

October 04, 2006

Jimmy Goddard and Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro 2006 Logo

Some people take sports to extremes! Meet Jimmy Goddard.



Posted by rollingrains at 11:30 PM

September 21, 2006

Blog on Travel With a Disability at The Guardian

After a brief hiatus of four years The Guardian has resurrected its Travelling With Disabiities Blog.

Launching what we hope is to be a regular set of posts is John Horan with "The Wheels Come Off."

In one encounter he analyzes a particular bottleneck and recommends the venerable "teach a class about your disability" approach. Effective. Also tedious for those of us who have been traveling with disabilities for more then 30 years -- or more than 30 days if my memory serves me correctly:

In fact, the Deutsche Bahn train was a model of good disability practice. It had a wide door which could accommodate the widest of wheelchairs, a special disabled passenger cabin with wide corridors and a disabled toilet which was cavernous and well laid out.

So what had gone wrong? Quite simply, it was a new situation for all concerned. The German railway staff want to help, but they didn't know how. What they need, then, is for more disabled people to take a risk and use the German railways so that an unfamiliar situation becomes a common one.

After a quite ambitious an upbeat start I was sorry to read of the -- all too common -- disillusionment following episodes of "exclusion by design" where physical spaces, products, policies, and discrimination belie the fact that we live in a world with more than 30 years exposure to the principles of Universal Design:

Now I'm a happy-go-lucky kind of person and can take a few knocks, but after the evening's events, I was distraught. My distress lasted the entire train journey back. People like me have a right to go wherever able-bodied people do, and we have a right to be treated as courteously as able-bodied people.

In the end, the cumulative pressures of bad design, exclusionary policy, and personal discrimination (whether through ignorance or mailce) make day-to-day social participation with a disabiity an "extreme sport" that only rarely gets presented for the education of those still temporarily able-bodied except in momentary glimpses like John's blog.



Other posts by John Horan:

Disability: Just Comedy in a Serious World?

The Wrong Sort of a Lovely Time

Posted by rollingrains at 03:10 AM

September 15, 2006

Megan Smith Makes Travel a Lifestyle

"Disabled Traveler" Megan Smith has traveled to India and to Costa Rica and Peru - and she has only just begun to see the world. She enjoyed her travel so much that she plans to establish a career that involves travel. As she travels she opens up new perspectives t the people she meets.

Further resources:


Posted by rollingrains at 02:42 PM

September 12, 2006

Avis Tries Harder in NYC

Avis Rent A Car System, LLC today announced it has received the Title III Public Accommodations Award from the Mayor's Office of New York City. The award is part of New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's second annual Mayoral Advocacy Awards, at which companies are recognized for doing exceptional work in supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

From the press release:

Avis Wins the 2006 Title III Public Accommodations Award from the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities


Posted by rollingrains at 01:55 AM

August 29, 2006

Ever Been to Nerja?


Nerja is on the Mediterranean Coast of Spain about 55 km (about 35 miles) from Malaga, in the direction of Motril and Almeria. Not coincidentally, Nerja is where you will find Casa Charlotte.


Your hosts at Casa Charlotte are Frans & Nuttee

Contact Information:

C. San Pedro,16
E 29780 Nerja-Malaga
Phone. + 34. 606 96 68 96 & + 34.95 252 1121
Skype : casacharlotte

e mail: casacharlotte@hotmail.com

CASA CHARLOTTE : http://www.casacharlotte.com

Posted by rollingrains at 07:24 PM

August 19, 2006

Candy's Contribution

For those who always enjoy the wit & substantial wisdom of Candy Harrington on travel for those with limited mobility be sure to see her collection of articles at Boots n All

Posted by rollingrains at 07:00 PM

August 18, 2006

El Pollo Patagónico: Photography for Social Change

Flickr.com is alive with photographic expression - everything from point & shoot images of a 2 year old's birthday party to this carefully staged parody of wheelchair X-treme sports from an artist named "PolloPatagónico" (the Patagonian Chicken).

Without his permission yet to publish his work the best I can do is offer these links:

X-Treme [parody]

And his moving testimonial:


Here's a link to PolloPatagónico's profile:

You can see all of PolloPatagónico's contacts here:

And photos here:

Posted by rollingrains at 12:28 PM

August 15, 2006

Josh Blue and Travel wih CP

"The other day I got stopped by a cop for being drunk," he said. "I said, 'I'm not drunk; I've got cerebral palsy.' The cop says, 'That's an awfully big word for a drunk guy.' "

Source: StarTribune.com

Traveling with a disability nearly always has its edge of unpredicatbility and adventure. Comedian Josh Blue tweaks that truth to get a laugh -- and maybe tells a truer story than most. It seems he's had the gift of blarney ever since he was a wee one:

At age 7, he came home from school one day while his mother was sipping tea with a friend.

"How was school?" the friend asked.

"Didn't go," the little boy said.

"What?" his mother said. "I put you on the bus."

Josh told a story of going to the park with friends, more disabled than he.

"Meet any chicks?" his mother's friend asked.

"No, but we saw some ducks," he said.

The two women doubled over with laughter at this fantasy trip to the park.

Source: StarTribune.com

Josh Blue's Site:


Posted by rollingrains at 06:32 PM

August 10, 2006

Bill Hinchberger and BrazilMax

This weekend the RollingRains Travel With a Disability photo & discussion group was launched at Flickr.com. This week I want to profile just a few of the more than 35 people who joined in the first three days.

Bill Hinchberger, Editor of BrazilMax has an impressive CV - and an impressive web site. For sheer visual impact - whether or not you plan a trip to the country - BrazilMax is well worth the visit. Like many Rolling Rains readers Bill is also generous with his impressive specialized knowledge. He is truly the "Go to Guy" for reliable information on all aspects of Brazil if you are an English speaker.

So it was a particular honor to have Bill be the first to introduce himself in the Discussion section at the Flckr group Rolling Rains - Travel with a Disability. He writes:

I'll paste in my thumbnail bio below. Before that, I'll just note that BrazilMax - www.BrazilMax.com - is interested in accessible travel in Brazil. It would be nice to produce a little guide on the subject sometime. If anyone has ideas on how to make that happen, we're interested in hearing them. We also invite posts on our travel forum: brazilmax.com/forum/forum.cfm?FID=4

Here comes the thumbnail bio:

Bill Hinchberger is the founding editor of BrazilMax, www.BrazilMax.com, “the hip guide to Brazil” and host of Secret Brazil, a television project co-produced by BrazilMax and TV PUC in São Paulo. A former correspondent in Brazil for The Financial Times, Business Week and Institutional Investor, he contributes to publications like The Lancet, ARTnews, Metropolis and Nickelodeon and does contract writing for the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, the World Wildlife Fund and others. He is an accomplished public speaker and teacher and gives “understanding Brazil” sessions to visiting executives of a European bank. He holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a B.A. in Political Science, both from the University of California, Berkeley. He is the former president of the São Paulo Foreign Press Club (1995-99) and a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA).

Source: Travel With a Disability

Posted by rollingrains at 05:58 AM

August 08, 2006

Visual Delights From Norman Montifar

This weekend the RollingRains Travel With a Disability photo & discussion group was launched at Flickr.com. This week I want to profile just a few of the more than 35 people who joined in the first three days.

Norman Montifar is a professional photograper from the Philipines residing in New York City. He enjoys travel. He also happens to have had polio as a child.

You can see Norman's spectacular work at Norman Montifar.

You can also see some of it at Rolling Rains - Travel with a Disability the new Flickr group on travel & disability.

Posted by rollingrains at 02:41 AM

July 22, 2006

Swiss Federation of the Blind & Visually Impaired

Here is a European lodging resource put together by the Swiss Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Posted by rollingrains at 11:09 PM

July 06, 2006

Turismo de Aventura para portadores de necessidades especiais

Social inclusion, adventure travel, agroturism, an ecoturism all converge in the tourism economy of Brazil. Below is a report (in Portuguese) on the maturation of this trend.

Turismo para portadores de necessidades especiais é um caso de sucesso


Inclusão social por meio do turismo e o ecoturismo são dois dos exemplos expostos sobre casos de sucesso já desenvolvidos no Estado de São Paulo e que servem como opções a serem fortalecidas em Mato Grosso.

Dirigido a estudantes, empresários e dirigentes públicos, nas oficinas desenvolvidas na tarde desta quinta-feira (27) durante a Festa Internacional do Pantanal foram apresentados os casos de sucesso do “Turismo para portadores de necessidades especiais e melhor idade”, de Piracicaba e “Turismo de aventuras em Brotas”, ambos desenvolvidos no interior paulista.

Para a secretária de turismo de Piracicaba, Maria Cristina Arzolla, o número de pessoas que buscam por atividades turísticas levou a prefeitura do município a desenvolver programas voltados ao segmento com a preocupação de incluí-las socialmente.

“Trabalhamos com a meta de incluir essas pessoas. Inclusão essa que passa por estruturar as opções turísticas e estabelecer a quebra de barreiras arquitetônicas”, enfatizou a secretária.

O programa é desenvolvido há dois anos em Piracicaba e, segundo Maria Cristina, são desenvolvidas dentre outras atividades passeios de barco, city tours e turismo rural.

“Além de incluir socialmente por meio do turismo centenas de pessoas que consomem, são cidadãos, o programa serve de exemplo para que outras cidades possam aliar a prática social às atividades turísticas”, observou Maria Cristina, destacando que o programa é um exemplo a ser aplicado em Mato Grosso.

“Com patrimônio natural da humanidade como o Pantanal e Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso tem um amplo potencial para desenvolver essas atividades de turismo e quebrar barreiras, oportunizando a inclusão social”, enfatizou.

Turismo de aventura

Umas das atividades que mais crescem no setor turístico, o turismo de aventuras foi outro caso de sucesso implantado em um município paulista que tem no agronegócio a principal fonte econômica.

Em Brotas já é desenvolvida a atividade há mais de dez anos e há seis, empresários de turismo criaram, em parceria com o setor público, um código de proteção ambiental e de segurança aos desportistas.

“A necessidade desse código veio pela crescente expansão das atividades de aventura junto com a preocupação em proporcionar segurança aos visitantes”, observou o empresário Carlos Zaith, que ministrou a palestra.

Conforme Carlos, em Brotas o turismo gera cerca de 1.500 empregos diretos e indiretos. As principais atividades de aventura são o rafting, o canyioning e o circuito de arborismo. "Mato Grosso tem inúmeras características e locais que proporcionam o crescimento dessa atividade", frisou o empresário.

Visite o website: www.secom.mt.gov.br

Posted by rollingrains at 08:36 PM

May 18, 2006

Where Do the Pros Go?

Today I'm in Dallas. After a less than satisfactory experience last night at the Euless, Texas Microtel (the worst being loose grab bars, improperly installed in the bathtub) I am enjoying a restful evening at the Fort Worth Microtel.

But I was asking myself, "Where do the pros go to research inclusive travel for their own agenecies?"

Travel professional Philip Scott has his eyes on Fort Meyers and southwest Florida for inclusive travel. Read
"A Tour For Tour Operators, Travel Writers: Foreigners Take SW Florida Snapshot."

Posted by rollingrains at 10:25 PM

May 16, 2006

"Is it Getting Easier to Travel with a Disability?"

Judith Cameron says, "No." Read her story published in the Telegraph, " Not Quite Access to all Areas."

Posted by rollingrains at 10:08 PM

April 14, 2006

Maine's Opportunity To Lead the Way To Information Access For Everyone

In September 1997, leaders from Maine State government, business, education, and the non-profit community gathered for the Conference, Maximizing Economic Potential. They set out to explore how Maine could develop the information technologies to be globally competitive. Surpisingly, one of the documents to result was a good analysis of Universal Design that still has relevance to the creation of good sources of information for the traveler with a disability:

Universal Design: Maine�s Opportunity To Lead the Way To Information Access For Everyone

Posted by rollingrains at 03:42 AM

April 11, 2006

Divi Tiara Beach Resort in Cayman Brac

Divi Resorts offers accessible scuba. Road & Travel Magazine reports on a January 2006 tour sponsored by Craig Rehabilitation Hospital held at Cayman Brac near Cuba.

Posted by rollingrains at 05:10 PM

February 10, 2006

BBC & Inclusive Travel

BBC has a resource page on travel accessibility.

Posted by rollingrains at 07:30 PM

January 18, 2006

Beyond Service Animals

I recently told a friend about CHLA's "We Welcome Service Animals." I mentoined that, once a hotel makes sure that it properly complies with the ADA mandate allowing people with disabilities to travel freely with their service animals it requires only a business decision to accommodate guests with pets.

She shared with me the following marketing piece she received from W Hotels. They have made the leap.

Come play, stay and treat both of yourselves to a PAW package and receive:

* Two Complimentary Cocktails & Dog Perignon Champagne toy upon arrival

* W Hotels P.A.W. Treatment

* VIP (Very Important Pooch) Discount Card to Lucky Dog Boutique

* Complimentary Hollywood Dog magazine & Discount Subscription Offer

* And a Wonderful room you'll love starting from $229.

And if you stay with us the last Tuesday of every month you and your pooch may enjoy our P.A.W. Doggie Happy Hour.

Book by December 31, 2005 for stays through February 28, 2006.

Terms & Conditions

Posted by rollingrains at 01:35 AM

January 03, 2006

A Multilingual Lexicon

Here is a link to a post at the BBC's "Ouch" blog. It gives the translation for the English word "disability" in ten languages - and they are looking for more. A useful resource for travel planning:


Here is a link to a previous Rolling Rains post with other useful words:


  1. paaftsi (Albanian)
  2. canji (Chinese pinyin)
  3. nezp�sobilost (Czech)
  4. behinderung (German)
  5. onbekwaamheid (Dutch)
  6. nehut (Hebrew)
  7. rokkantsg (Hungarian)

  8. niepelnosprawnosc (Polish)
  9. discapacidad (Spanish)
  10. sakatlik (Turkish)

Posted by rollingrains at 01:06 AM

November 18, 2005

Transpdisc: Accessible Transport When Visiting Argentina

Gracias a Diego Alejandro Sadras of Argentina we have news about an accessible transport service in Argentina: Transpdisc.

They offer pick up from the International Airport of Ezeiza or the Port of Buenos Aires. They also offer excursions. They have been around since 1996 and their site is trilingual: English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Posted by rollingrains at 12:24 AM

October 03, 2005

A Series on Inclusive Travel from The Star, Malaysia

interview photo

The Malayasia Star has run a series of articles on Inclusive Travel. Reporter Lee Siew Peng has interviewed travelers with various disabilities, compiled resources, and revealed her own experiences as a no-longer-temporarily-non-disabled person.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Dont Leave Home Without It

Fear Factor

A Little Less Conversation

The Cost of Travel

Planning to travel

Travel Wish-List

Posted by rollingrains at 05:55 PM

September 28, 2005

Extreme Inclusive Adventure in Nicaragua - See it on BBC

The Independent Online reports on jungle adventure:

Take 11 people and film them as they trek for more than 200 miles in a tropical country: it sounds suspiciously like yet another voyeuristic entertainment show. Yet Beyond Boundaries, a four-part BBC programme, is a documentary with a difference: in this instance, the trekkers were people with disabilities....

By emphasising the ability of travellers with disabilities to tackle such a trip, the programme has highlighted the fact that the pool of companies offering "intrepid" holidays to this market is limited.

For the full story see:

Looking for a piece of the action in Nicaragua

'Beyond Boundaries' is due to start on BBC2 on Tuesday 11 October. For more information on disabled travel visit www.bbc.co.uk/ouch. The UK's first accessible holiday show takes place from 7-8 October at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire. For more information, visit www.accessibleholidayshow.co.uk or call 01452 729739

Further Reading:

Previous Rolling Rains Post;

Profile of Adventurer Amar Latif


Traveleyes Electronic Travel Guideshttp://www.knpd.org/gadgets/newsboard/messages/70.html

Posted by rollingrains at 12:55 PM

September 14, 2005

Right to Travel with a Service Animal in the Airline Cabin Threatened


Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty -- and it sounds like it is time to pay up again according to the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners press release below.

From the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners:

Right to Travel with a Service Animal in the Airline Cabin Threatened by
DOT Proposed Rule

The United States Department of Transportation has issued
proposed rules permitting airlines to charge disabled passengers
traveling with large guide, hearing or service dogs for an extra
. If their canine assistants cannot fit in the floor space
in front of them, DOT suggests three options unacceptable to the
disabled community
. These are charge for a second seat; separate
the team and ship the dog in cargo or make them wait for a later
flight which might or might not be less crowded. These
alternatives penalize, disempower and discriminate against the
disabled traveler. Friends and members of the International
Association of Assistance Dog Partners (IAADP) flooded the DOT
public comment site with more than 1,000 responses critical of
these proposed rules. There is strong support for IAADP's common
sense alternative proposals. This issue is critical to
maintaining the right to freedom of travel for assistance dog

DOT is currently in the process of writing the new rules and we
urge [you] to contact their Congressional and Senate
representatives to write to DOT Secretary Norman Minetta opposing
the proposed language and substituting the IAADP alternative
language. At this stage in the process, political pressure seems
to be the only viable approach!

The Problem

In the Notice of Proposed Rule Making published by the Department
of Transportation in the Federal Register on November 4, 2004,
the following language appears:

"If the service animal does not fit, it should be relocated to
another space in the cabin if possible in the same
service class. If no single seat will accommodate you may offer
the option of purchasing a second seat, traveling on a later
flight or having the service animal travel in the cargo hold."

Purchasing a second seat is not a viable option since the
financial burden would exclude most disabled people with large
guide, hearing and service dogs from traveling by air.
Traveling on a later flight does not guarantee the issue will be
resolved, since the same circumstances may exist on the later
flight. Taking a later flight would interfere with the disabled
traveler's ability to make appointments and meet commitments.
Shipping the assistance dog in cargo is an option unacceptable to
assistance dog partners. In addition to the safety of the
assistance dog in the cargo hold, what about the independence,
safety and quality of life issues for the disabled partner?

These recommendations would impose a set of conditions that would
make air travel unpredictable and stressful for those of us
working with large canine assistants. In fact, they would become
barriers to air travel by a segment of the disabled population.

The Solution

IAADP has suggested the following language be substituted as
advice to airline personnel:

"You may offer the passenger sitting in a seat adjacent to the
disabled passenger traveling with a large service animal a seat
in the same class of service in another part of the cabin. If no
seats are available in that class of service, you may ask for a
volunteer willing to occupy the seat next to the disabled
passenger requiring sharing of leg room. If no volunteer is
forthcoming and seats are available in another class of service
in another part of the cabin, you may ask the adjacent passenger
or the disabled passenger to occupy a seat in that other class of

These suggestions would place no financial burden on the airlines
nor would it inconvenience other passengers. This language would
maintain current practice throughout the airline industry.

Below is a letter addressed to our local congressional
representative which can be used as a model:

Ed Eames, Ph.D. / Toni Eames, M.S.

Authors / Educators / Disability Advocates

3376 N. Wishon, Fresno, CA 93704-4832
Phone: (559) 224-0544 Fax: (559) 224-5851
E-mail: eeames@csufresno.edu

As a blind constituent, I urgently request your help with an air
travel issue of importance to me and other disabled Americans who
work with guide, hearing and service dogs. A rule recently
recommended by the Department of Transportation for airline
personnel would infringe on my ability and right to travel by

On November 4, 2004 DOT published a Notice of Proposed Rule
Making in the Federal Register concerning air travel by
passengers with disabilities. The stated goal was to clarify
existing rules and make air travel more accessible for disabled
Americans. However, a segment of that document would have the
opposite effect.

My area of concern focuses on the situation where a guide,
hearing or service dog cannot fit within the floor space in front
of the disabled passenger and there are no open seats in the
class of service purchased. In its Notice of Proposed Rule
Making, DOT states:

"...If no single seat will accommodate you may offer the option
of purchasing a second seat, traveling on a later flight or
having the service animal travel in the cargo hold."

If the cabin is fully booked and no open seats are available, the
DOT recommendations would make it virtually impossible for me and
others working with large assistance dogs to continue traveling
by air.

The three DOT recommended options are unacceptable and
The first, charging for a second seat, would disenfranchise me
and many other disabled persons, since few could afford to pay
two fares to travel by air. Requiring the disabled passenger to
take a later flight makes little sense since the same crowded
conditions might exist on other flights. Furthermore, the
uncertainty this would create, the fear of being forced to miss
connections, scheduled pickups or appointments makes this option
unworkable. The third recommendation, shipping the dog in the
cargo hold is unacceptable because none of us would expose our
assistance dogs to this danger. In addition, separating the
service animal from the disabled partner threatens his /her
independence and is a violation of the decision made by the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals in the case involving quarantine
restrictions imposed by the state of Hawaii on guide dog partners
from the mainland. The court clearly indicated that separation
of blind travelers from their guide dogs was a violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act.

The outrage and distress these DOT recommendations evoked in
members of the disabled community and the general public who
responded to the NPRM can be viewed on the DOT's website. Of the
more than 1,200 comments posted, over 1,100 focus on this issue,
and request the elimination of those three unacceptable options.

Current airline practices of providing an empty seat where space
is available or asking for a volunteer to share leg space with
the assistance dog, have created excellent working relationships
between disabled passengers and the airline industry. The
International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, a consumer
advocacy organization opposing the DOT's proposed rules, has
recommended the following language:

""If no single seat accommodates, you may offer the passenger
sitting in a seat adjacent to the disabled passenger traveling
with a large service animal a seat in the same class of service
in another part of the cabin. If no seats are available in that
class of service, you may ask for a volunteer willing to occupy
the seat next to the disabled passenger requiring sharing of leg
room. If no volunteer is forthcoming and seats are available in
another class of service in another part of the cabin, you may
ask the adjacent passenger or the disabled passenger to occupy a
seat in that other class of service."

As the author of A Guide to Guide Dog Schools and Partners in
Independence: A Success Story of Dogs and the Disabled and many
articles in general and professional magazines, I can attest on
both a personal and professional basis to the life-changing
impact of assistance dogs on the lives of their disabled

I urge you to contact DOT on my behalf and on the behalf of the
more than 20,000 Americans with disabilities who work with canine
assistants and need them in the cabin of an airplane! These DOT
recommendations cannot be allowed to stand.


Ed Eames, Ph.D.
International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

President: Ed Eames, Ph.D.
3376 N. Wishon, Fresno, CA 93704-4832
Phone: (559) 224-0544 Fax: (559) 224-5851 E-mail: eeames@csufresno.edu

Board of Directors:
Chris Branson, Toni Eames, Jill Exposito, Joan Froling,
Lynn Houston, Carol King, Michael Osborn, Devon Wilkins

# # #

This press release is available at JFA ARCHIVES:

Posted by rollingrains at 10:00 PM

September 07, 2005

More on Katrina

Candy Harrington, editor of Emergng Horizons, writes on the availability of accessible accommodations in the three Carnival Cruise Line ships contracted by FEMA for those left in need by Hurricane Katrina: See "More on Cruise Ship Evacuee Housing"

Posted by rollingrains at 10:53 PM

June 08, 2005

"Freedom from One Generation to Another"

I have been quite pleased with National Public Radio this past week for airing stories that educate on Inclusive Travel and Universal Design without ever actually using the phrases. When topics like this move beyond topical publications like the Rolling Rains Report, and do so without the jargon, it is a sure sign that the concepts have spread into popular culture and cease to be a novelty.

Today's story on a group of disabled WWII veterans traveling from Michigan to the WWII Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC is at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4684360

Posted by rollingrains at 08:03 AM

May 27, 2005

Malaysia: A Self-Study on Destination Inclusivity

In June 2004 an informative piece of research was published by Khor Hung Teik in the Journal of the Socio Economic & Environmental Research Institute iin Panang. Malaysia. Fortunately for all of us, the volume exists in .pdf format online and can be downloaded at. It is well worth studying both for its content and methodology. More regions should undertake such work. See especially the section starting at the top of page six, Are We Ready for Elderly Tourists?:

Economic Briefing to the Penang State Government

Posted by rollingrains at 03:45 AM

May 25, 2005

Envisioning Universal Design: Creating an Inclusive Society

The conference, Envisioning Universal Design: Creating an Inclusive Society held October 2-3, 2003 produced a document that still has value today. While it only mentions Inclusive Tourism in passing, the central discussion on Universal Design is applicable throughout. Especially in light of the upcoming Australian consultation on developing a research agenda for barrier free tourism, this report still has relevance.

Envisioning Universal Design: Creating an Inclusive Society

Posted by rollingrains at 04:09 AM

April 30, 2005

2005 Conference on Accessible Travel: Discussion Groups

Join the Discussion Sessions for the 2005 Conference on Accessible Travel .

Respond to the conference questions below and I will see to it that your ideas get a hearing as the Asia Pacific Accessible Travel League is launched at the Taipei Conference.

Before major international events such as the Taipei conference, postings at the Rolling Rains Report transition from news to travelogue to give you an insider's view of developments in the world of inclusive travel worldwide. It can be hard to regularly publish while I'm on the road but the blog provides a chance for you to participate without attending. Add your thoughts to the discussion below.

Discussion Topics

1. Accessibility and Transportation

(1) How tourism can bring about greater accessibility of buildings, places of interest and transportation: What models or case studies are available that illustrate a successful harnessing of tourism revenue toward local infrastructure development other than the Perth, Australia Convention Bureau's project, "Beyond Compliance?"

(2) Is there need for accessible tour buses and coaches to encourage families and friends to travel together? What are typical, or minimal, design criteria that could be circulated as guidelines?

2. Reform, Reconstruct and Build the Accessible Tourist Sites

(1) Inclusive Destination development is the systematic application of Universal Design in the planning and development of tourism sites in order to make them destinations of choice for the tourists o the broadest range of abilities. What exemplary destinations or projects are you currently aware of? What might a checklist of essential items to include in such a project look like?

(2) What new solutions have been developed recently to deal with difficult destinations such as steep/uneven terrain? Historical sites? Low-light or noisy environments?

3. Accessible Information

(1) Availability of accessible information in major tourism web sites, both governmental and private: What are the criteria for defining accessibility? What is the procedure for holding each site accoiuntable for accessibility? Who is the accountability contact for each site?

(2)Monitoring of accessible information in major tourism web sites Is this already being done? What agency would be appropriate to take responsibility for this task? What conditions are necessary to make this service economically sustainable?

(3) Networking of disability based accessible tourism information web sites: Which sites? How to organize the network?

4. Human Resources in Accessible Tourism

(1)Influencing Employers to hire People with Disabilities: Good straegies? Case studies?

(2)Lobbying designers, engineers, builders and policy makers to include People with Disability in Tourism Plans

(3)How to create seamlessly accessible environments for both employee and tourist?

5. Social Enterprises in Accessible Tourism

(1) What are the good practices of social enterprises in accessible tourism in participating countries/regions and the lessons learnt from their experiences.

(2) How to make social enterprises in accessible tourism economically viable business as well as to provide employment opportunities for persons with disabilities in cooperation with government sector and business sector in the tourism industry.

Posted by rollingrains at 07:12 AM | Comments (12)

April 15, 2005

Arab Parliamentary Symposium on Disability Legislation

Will Jordan adopt Inclusive Destination Development? With King Abdullah the Second behind the concept, perhaps.

King Abdullah received the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award in New York, on March , 2005.

Abdullah, noting that the 60th anniversary of Roosevelt's death was only a few weeks away, called him "a man who - from the prison [sic] of his own leg-braces - championed global freedom."

"In the largest sense, Roosevelt understood that if this earth is to prosper and thrive, all people must have access to the promise. He worked to create a better life, not for himself alone, or his country alone, but for the people of the world," the king said.

He said Roosevelt's philosophy was the centerpiece of Jordan's commitment to the disabled.

"We know that free and successful societies must open the doors to opportunity and hope for all, because every person has a right to make the most of their life. And every person has a contribution to make to their nation," he said.

Abdullah said a key milestone was Jordan's 1993 law affirming the rights of the disabled. The country also gives free health insurance cards to the disabled, pays 90 percent of university tuition for disabled students who pass the secondary school exam, has a special enforcement unit to oversee job opportunities, and uses sign language on national television and in mosques.

(source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1111634305447

Nane Annan, spouse of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, delivered the following address at the ceremony:

i-Newswire, 2005-03-24 - It is a pleasure and a privilege to be with you for the presentation of this award, which helps bring much-needed focus to disability issues worldwide. My husband regrets he could not be here, but has asked me to read to you the following message on his behalf:

I am delighted to convey my warmest greetings on the occasion of this years Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award. Since it was established in 1995, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, this award has highlighted the shared endeavour of governments, the United Nations, civil society and the private sector to improve the lives of disabled people everywhere.

Ten years on, as the UN turns 60, we welcome this opportunity to recall that the enjoyment by all people of all human rights lies at the heart of the work of the United Nations. Since the adoption of the World Programme of Action on Disabled Persons in 1982, the United Nations has promoted, as a priority in human rights and development, the full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of the life of society. And since 2001, the United Nations has been elaborating an international convention on the protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities -- a process which has benefited from important contributions by Jordan, the recipient of this years award.

Jordans overall achievement in the field of disability provides a fine example of a human rights approach combined with leadership at the highest level. It draws inspiration from a rich variety of material -- ranging from Arab-Islamic tradition to the modern Jordanian constitution and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Jordanian law stresses the rights of persons with disabilities to have access to education commensurate with their abilities; to have work commensurate with their capabilities and qualifications; to live and work in an environment that allows them safe and secure freedom of movement; and to participate in any decision-making relevant to their lives.

Through media campaigns and school programmes, training facilities and public transport provisions, the Government of Jordan has made further efforts to build a more inclusive and accessible society. And it has undertaken a number of initiatives in the region and in the international arena. Just last week, under the patronage of King Abdullah the Second and Prince Raad bin Zeid, delegates successfully concluded in Amman the Arab Parliamentary Symposium on Disability Legislation, the first of its kind in the Arab region, in cooperation with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability.

In this way, Jordanian society is pursuing the universal goal of creating a just and equitable society for all persons -- regardless of disability. For these reasons and more, I am delighted to congratulate His Majesty King Abdullah the Second and His Royal Highness Prince Raad bin Zeid, as well as the Government and people of Jordan, on receiving the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award for 2005. It is richly deserved. I hope many more will follow your example.

Source: http://i-newswire.com/pr11847.html

First Arab Parliamentary Symposium on Disability Legislation

Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

UN Special Rapporteur on Disability

UN Enable

Monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/enable/srreportdec04.htm

Technorati feeds on Inclusive Destination Development:

Posted by rollingrains at 09:28 PM

April 14, 2005

Independent Living Institute - Sweden

Students with disabilities who wish to undertake study travel abroad will find useful information in the current issue of the newsletter circulated by Dr. Adolf Ratzka, Director of the Swedish Independent Living Institute.

Dear Colleague,

People with disabilities are under-represented in the workforce and in traineeships and volunteer opportunities, especially those requiring travel to another country. With support from the Swedish government the Independent Living Institute compiles information about university study, traineeships and volunteer work for all, including people with disabilities. Our online database covers many countries. It is in English, access is free of charge and open to anyone.

We encourage businesses, national and international government agencies as well as non-governmental organizations within and outside the disability field, everywhere, to include disabled people when offering traineeship or volunteer positions.

People with disabilities differ in their need for access or workplace adaptation. What may be inaccessible to one person, may not be an obstacle to another: an upstairs office without elevator is not a problem for a person with a hearing impairment.

To help businesses and organizations include disabled people we offer a resource kit with a checklist for assessing organizations accessibility, suggestions for a disability policy and similar resources.

Heres how you can make a difference:

  • if you are associated with an organization that offers traineeships or volunteer
    work, please have the human resources department fill in the form below

  • if you know people working in an organization, business or governmental
    agency, anywhere and who doesnt please forward this message to them

  • spread this message within your networks through newsletters, announcements, websites and word of mouth
  • Please, be part of this effort and register your organization at


    Adolf Ratzka, Ph.D.
    Independent Living Institute

    Other Services from the Independent Living Institute

    • Study and Work Abroad for All: www.independentliving.org/studyworkabroad/ In addition to information about traineeships and volunteer positions this free online database lists universities offering services for disabled students. Presently over 1,100 universities in 36 countries are covered. The database is in English, free of charge and open to anyone.
    • Accessible Vacation Home Exchange: www.independentliving.org/vacaswap.html lists offers for home exchanges for vacations. Next time you go for a vacation swap your home with somebody with similar accessibility needs in such destinations as France, Egypt, the UK or Canada. We have almost 200 homes in our free online database.
    • Assistant Referral Service: www.independentliving.org/assex/index.html matches disabled assistance users and assistants in their hometown or in other parts of the world, for live-in or part- time positions or as travel companions. Assistants help with the activities of daily living, such as getting bathed and dress
    • ed, going shopping, driving, etc.

    • Global Networking: www.independentliving.org/donet/index.html currently lists 300 organizations of and for persons with disabilities from around the world looking partner organizations for joint projects, events, sharing resource persons for lectures, training or technical assistance, for study visits, internships or other cooperation including funding.
    • Online full text Library: http://www.independentliving.org/library.html contains hundreds of articles, guides or manuals on independent living, Universal Design, human rights, legislation, women with disabilities, assistive devices.
    • Independent Living Discussion Forum: http://www.independentliving.org/discuss/ Regardless of what you have on your mind, you'll find an appropriate discussion forum that allows you direct contact with the thousands of visitors to our site each month.
    • Get Published: www.independentliving.org/publish.html Expose your articles, reports, training manuals or other resources to people with disabilities, researchers, service providers and policymakers all over the world.
    • Index of Previous Newsletters: www.independentliving.org/newsletter/newsltrindex.html

    Posted by rollingrains at 05:51 PM

    April 12, 2005

    Ichiro Kusanagi: The Reason Why Inclusive Tourism is Advancing in Japan

    Inclusive travel and, to a lesser extent (because it is a newer phenomenon), Inclusive Destination Development have their heroes. Heroes, especially when they are out of the spotlight, often teach us something unique and valuable about how to live.

    I have not given enough praise to someone whose vision and accomplishments raise him to that high status in both travel and destination development: Iichiro Kusanagi.

    So, I was very pleased to see him quoted in Asahi Weekly in an article released only an hour ago entitled, "Freedom to Travel a Right to be Enjoyed by All"

    In the past, an overseas trip was a bit of a risky gamble for people with disabilities,'' said Iichiro Kusanagi of Japan Tourism Marketing Co.'s Universally Designed Tourism Center. ``Nowadays, many people with disabilities go wherever they want to go, not just where they can go."

    The article goes on to note:

    It was 10 years ago that the Tourism Policy Council of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport noted, ``Everyone has a right to travel ... . The freedom to travel is of special value to people whose movements are restricted, such as those with disabilities and the elderly.

    What I found remarkable about Mr. Kusanagi is that, despite his international stature and demanding schedule, he took the time to attend to details, large and small, of my travel, after my keynote at Shizouka University in Hamamatsu, Japan.

    He met me at a difficult transfer point between trains and escorted me back to Tokyo; arranged for me to share a meal with several of the key people behind inclusive travel in Japan; and generally made for the smoothest of transitions between my time with my equally gracious host and Japan's preeminent promoter of Universal Design, professor Satoshi Kose, in Hamamatsu, and my return to the USA.

    Thank you, Iichiro. It should be no surprise that someone so clearly "trustworty in the small things" would be successful in changing the world for the better -- for all of us.

    Further Reading:

    Japan tour firms catering to disabled foreigners

    (Article provided thanks to the research of Darren Hillock of Get Around Guide - the Blog)

    Posted by rollingrains at 05:17 AM

    April 05, 2005

    Analise da Programa de Roteirizacao

    Que sera o resultado da confluencia destes dois correntes turisticos no Brasil?

    Regionalizacao �

    o ordenamento da oferta tur�stica com �nfase no turismo integrado, tendo, por princ�pio, a descentraliza��o. Seu objetivo � motivar o visitante a permanecer na regi�o, oferecendo-lhes uma gama de atrativos.

    Inclusive Destination Development �

    o ordenamento, por os princ�pios de desenho universal, da infrastrutura e oferta tur�stica a um turismo sem barreiras ao nivel de destino ou regi�o. Seu objetivo � atrair o visitante ja disposto a permanecer na regi�o.

    O comportamento consumidor da turitsta portador de deficiencias fisicas foi divulgado nas obras de Simon Darcy e Eric Lipp. A nova pesquisa da ultima se publicara em maio 2005. O que chama a aten��o � a disponibilidade de recursos financeiros aliado ao desejo dos portadores de necessidades especiais de viajar. Este fato despertou a ind�stria tur�stica mundial deste mercado tur�stico espec�fico.

    Exemplos de s�nteses de roteiriza��o existentes em outros pa�ses, adaptados ao Desenho Universal, forne�am modelos para o Brasil no Programa de Roteiriza��o.

    O Brasil esta pronto.

    O que ser� desenvolvido? H� oportunidade de palestrar sobre o assunto em junho no Sal�o de Turismo 2005 - Programa de Roteiriza��o, a ser realizado em S�o Paulo.

    Further Reading:



    Posted by rollingrains at 06:10 PM

    March 26, 2005

    Taiwan: International Class Inclusive Tourism Conference

    Taiwan has done it!

    APTL banner.gif

    Congratulations to Eden Social Welfare Foundation in Taipei for organizing the first international conference devoted entirely to inclusive travel.

    Yes, technically there have been several national conferences that have had regional or international participation. The European Union took an early lead with Tourism for All and still maintains a sophisticated intellectual infrastructure for promoting inclusive travel - allowing specialized programs such as I mentioned yesterday.

    But the 2005 International Accessible Tourism Conference in Taipei, Taiwan on 5-8 May is international by design. In fact, it marks the launch of a pan-Asian association for the development of inclusive tourism practice.

    The organizers seem to have covered all the bases necessary to insure a sustainable impact on tourism practice. Backed by an truly impressive array of government, NGO, educational, and industry representatives, Eden Social Welfare Foundation, together with the Asia Pacific Disability Forum, has formed the Asia Pacific Accessible Tourism League (APATL).

    See the conference and APTL web site at:


    Further Reading:

    UNESCAP Study on Inclusive Asian Tourismhttp://www.rollingrains.com/archives/000102.html

    Asian Pacific est Practices in Inclusive Travel

    Posted by rollingrains at 03:21 PM

    March 19, 2005

    NY Times on Cruise Ships & ADA

    Let's cut right to the end of Linda Greenhouse's Does the Disability Act Stop at the Shoreline?:

    Norwegian pointed out in its brief that it was acting "in
    response to competitive market dynamics in effect
    throughout the cruise industry." In other words, what the
    law itself might or might not accomplish, capitalism
    already has.

    Oh yes, wouldn't life be so much simpler if there were an Invisible Hand moving all things economic effortlessly toward justice? A world where carrots made sticks obsolete?

    The new ships they tout as solutions do not incorporate Universal Design or Visitability. The vessels may be improvements, I have not inspected them yet, but they do not represeant a radical break with the discriminatory anthropology that undergirds the sailor's culture and definitions of seaworthiness in the shipbuilding industry.

    Read tomorrow's NYT story here:


    Posted by rollingrains at 09:59 PM

    March 18, 2005

    Toward Sustainable Universal Design @ Temple University

    Universal Design takes a whole person/whole environment approach to design. The thrust is toward inclusion, and away from possible stigmatization, by designing places, processes, and products for the widest range of possible users.

    However, sometimes the best solution involves Assistive Technology -- a more customised design solution that is uniquely suited to an individual and their functional abilities. Both Universal Design and Asssistive Technology work together to produce a more inclusive world.

    And one program at Temple University is doing that on a global scale. As Mobility International USA (MIUSA) demonstrates worldwide, study abroad by students with disabilities is a powerful force for good in the world.

    From the "Culturally Appropriate Solutions" program website:

    On a daily basis, people with disabilities face numerous barriers that prevent them from participating in and contributing more fully to activities in their home, school and work environments, and their communities.

    Technology has enormous potential to eliminate such barriers. When technology supports are present at an early stage, persons with disabilities are better able to develop functional skills that enhance their opportunities for inclusion in everyday community life. The proposed interdisciplinary program seeks to train advanced undergraduates, mostly juniors and seniors, majoring in school-related disciplines (e.g. speech communication, special education, physical education, recreational therapy, occupational therapy, and educational technology) in the development of culturally sensitive approaches to utilizing assistive technology.

    Read a firsthand account in Jared Goyette's blog Disabilty in the Brazilian Context

    Further Reading:

    Promoting the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Society Through Assistive Technology: Culturally Appropriate Solutions

    Mobility International USA


    A Public Broadcast Sysytem (PBS) Resource on Universal Design

    A PBS Resource on Assistive Technology


    Posted by rollingrains at 11:23 PM | TrackBack

    March 17, 2005

    Accidental Tourism: Life Beyond Business Travel

    Today, at Suite101.com, you will find the article, "Accidental Tourism: Life Beyond Business Travel."

    Who says you can't mix business and pleasure?

    Further Reading at Suite101.com:

    Travel & Disability

    Posted by rollingrains at 12:15 PM

    March 16, 2005

    Single Planet Blog

    I confess that I do not get over to Single Planet as often as the site merits. However, with an invitation to speak in Taiwan pending and after conversing with several Chinese tour operators this weekend at the Bay Area Travel Show I found today's post insightful.

    I have not yet traveled to China but service would not appear to be one of their high points.

    Let us hope there is a revolution of their service culture before the Paralympics.



    Posted by rollingrains at 01:40 AM | TrackBack

    March 14, 2005

    Important Universal Design Definitions in Spanish

    Several Spanish keywords are defined in this post at Cultura Del Proyecto.com:

  • Accesibilidad

  • Discapacidad

  • Diseo Universal

  • Diseo Para Todos
  • See:

    Cultura del Proyecto.com

    Fundacin Sidar



    Posted by rollingrains at 06:16 AM | TrackBack

    March 13, 2005

    Hotel Book

    Pegasus has announced plans to build a new consumer website focusing on
    independent hotels. It will be called Hotel Book and will compete with
    major hotel chains websites. Hotel websites presently have 80% of the US
    Internet market. This web site will give independent hotels a chance to
    market to the consumer directly.

    Yes, but will Hotel Book turn the page and cover the essentials needed by travelers with disabilities or will a visit to the web site bring a stifled yawn and a "Been there. Done that." click through?

    A useable hotel site needs:

  • Category distinctions that are meaningful to people with disabilities.

  • Levels of detail, such as measurements and actual floorplans, that allow for informed consumer choice.

  • Information that is readily accessible in various formats

  • For a good discussion of what is necessary read Bruce Cameron's Easy Access Australia.

    See also Judith Bendel's Accessible Israel

    Pegasus Solutions web site:

    Posted by rollingrains at 01:53 AM | TrackBack

    March 12, 2005

    Role Reversal: "Accessibility for All" video in France

    For a video clip disability immersion experience -- with roles reversed -- see the "Accessibility for All" PSR at:



    Alejandra @ Gimp Girl

    Posted by rollingrains at 03:15 PM | TrackBack

    March 11, 2005

    Visitability Makes Continued Progress

    Eleanor Smith of Concrete Change has added a link to a new resource for promoting Visitability. It is the article Visitability: The Way Of The Future In Home Building by Roger C Claar and James S Boan. The two men are the mayor and the attorney of Bollingbrook, Illinos respectively.

    As Visitability and home modifications involving Universal Design continue to define the new American home, so too will it come to shape the new American standard of resort and vacation lodging comfort.

    At the federal level the Inclusive Home Design Act (HR 2353) introduced by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) has been referred to the Subcommittee on Benefits by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

    Further Visitability initiatives:

    Visitability: The Way Of The Future In Home Building

    Proposal urges wheelchair-friendly home design

    City eyes new rules for housing developers

    Recent Articles on Universal Design

    House Rules: No Restrictions
    For One Family, Universal Design Opens Doors Once Closed


    Universal design benefit for all ages:
    Inclusion of user-friendly touches in remodeling projects gaining acceptance.


    Posted by rollingrains at 11:31 PM | TrackBack

    Inclusive Tourism in Shanghai?

    English.eastday.com reports on the recent Wheelchair Experience and Accessibility Facility Survey in an article entitled, Seeing the World from One Meter High

    The full story:

    Groups of volunteers have got off their feet and into wheelchairs to see what everyday life in Shanghai is like for those unable to walk. Xu Wei reports that a lot more needs to be done to help the city's estimated 500,000 wheelchair-bound [sic] people.

    Getting around the city amid all the hustle and bustle is an ordinary daily experience for most people but for the disabled, it can be an adventure. And it's only when one experiences what such an ``adventure'' is like that the difficulties the disabled face all the time can be understood.

    ``It's hard to imagine the threats that steps, elevators, escalators and even restrooms may pose to people in wheelchairs,'' says volunteer worker Cao Kun.

    ``But now my fellow volunteers and I understand.'' Cao is a volunteer in a program entitled, Wheelchair Experience and Accessibility Facility Survey, initiated by the Wheelchair Foundation, a non-profit organization that is part of an international effort to help wheelchair-bound people in their daily lives. The program encourages ordinary people to experience what life is like for those in a wheelchair and the ultimate aim is to help make the city's facilities more ``friendly'' to the disabled.

    Cao, a 21-year-old machinist, has finished his ``wheelchair experience'' and has made a careful inspection of the access available to wheelchair users at stops along the city's metro lines. ``Last August when I read about the volunteer recruitment at www.online.sh.cn it occurred to me that I had a responsibility to extend more care to this disadvantaged group,'' Cao says. The program Cao joined had the apt title, Seeing the World from 1-Meter High, and it gave the volunteers a different view of the world from the one most of us know.

    It's also a world we cannot even imagine. From last August to October, after a total of 49 volunteers were trained in how to use wheelchairs safely, they set off to spend their leisure time going around Shanghai in wheelchairs to gain hands-on experience so they could begin to understand the everyday difficulties confronting disabled people. They visited major public facilities in wheelchairs to test how ``friendly'' its access was and how it could be improved.

    "The campaign is the first of its kind in Shanghai and even in China,'' says Yan Ling, an official with the Wheelchair Foundation China Office. "Experiencing life as a physically disabled person can help people discover facts of life they would never have imagined before.''

    The volunteers were divided into seven groups, with six of them conducting surveys in the bigger business districts around town and one group researching all the metro lines. Each group was provided with two wheelchairs, and except for the group surveying the metro lines, all the others were required to complete three questionnaires.

    The focus of the questionnaires was on ease of wheelchair travel along the streets, wheelchair access inside major buildings and people's attitudes towards the disabled when they encountered them in wheelchairs. When conducting the survey, each group split into two teams while one volunteer sat in a wheelchair and went through the streets or buildings in a selected area. One volunteer kept an eye on the wheelchair user from a distance and provided assistance when necessary and the other team conducted the survey, completed the questionnaire and took photographs.

    Anyone who thinks it would be easy to manage a wheelchair will be proved to be so wrong as Cao and his group found on their first day. ``The minute I sat on a wheelchair and moved along the street, my world suddenly shrank because of the low height,'' Cao recalls. ``I was sort of scared to face the road in front of me, not to mention steep slopes and you also have to put up with the curious eyes and looks on the faces of passers-by. I told myself I must be brave and endure all of it to complete the survey.'' ``Seeing the World from 1-Meter High'' means you may encounter problems even at places you normally pass through every day.

    Once, when Cao tried to get off a train at a metro stop, the front wheels of his chair became wedged in the gap between the train and platform. ``I was so frightened at that moment as the door of the train was about to close,'' Cao says. ``Without help from my teammates, it could have been very dangerous. I can imagine that when a disabled person is traveling in a wheelchair on his own, even the simple action of getting on or off a train or bus can become `mission impossible'.''

    Cao's words were echoed by Chen Shixin, another volunteer and a student from the Sociology Department of Fudan University. ``When I went shopping in a wheelchair at a convenience store, I couldn't reach the yogurt on the shelf and the two shop assistants just stood by and seemed reluctant to offer a hand,'' Chen says. ``It almost broke my heart and made me wonder why there wasn't a shelf especially provided for the disabled.''

    Based on their survey, a city guidebook written in Chinese and designed for wheelchair users has just been completed. The book is called ``Operation Mobility'' and provides detailed information on wheelchair accessibility, where and how to take a bus or the metro, which shopping mall or library is wheelchair friendly and where washrooms for the disabled are located in the city.

    It is the first of its kind in China and will be updated every year and distributed free to wheelchair users. A trial version of the guidebook is expected to come out later this month. "With information covering traffic, education, dining, shopping and entertainment venues, people in wheelchairs will have a clearer picture of the easily accessible facilities in town and won't have to isolate themselves by staying at home,'' says Tang Xiaoyan, an administrative employee with a local company and a voluntary editor of the booklet.

    "I'm so pleased to have been a helper to help fulfill the dreams wheelchair people have of being more mobile and of touring,'' Cao says beaming.

    According to the China Disabled Persons' Federation, in China today nearly 9 million people need to use wheelchairs. In Shanghai the figure is estimated to be around 500,000.

    Although increased attention has been paid to the needs of the disabled in newly constructed buildings in the city where specially designed elevators and sloping paths have been installed, a lot more work still needs to be done. For example, some ramps for wheelchairs are too precipitous and in the streets, the intervals at many traffic lights are too short for the disabled to be able to get safely across the intersection. And some entry points for wheelchairs on the metro lines are hard to find. ``Sidewalks for the blind and the ramps for wheelchairs are even occupied improperly by bicycles or cars and in some restrooms, wheelchair people can't reach the clothes racks,'' Yan says.

    "In the near future, the campaign will be extended to a nationwide project with Beijing and Guangzhou as the next two cities to promote an obstacle-free environment for the disabled.'' Chen Cun, a well-known local writer and a wheelchair user because of a severe spinal disease, appreciates the dedication shown by the foundation and volunteers. "This campaign is very meaningful, not only to the people confined [sic] to wheelchairs because of physical disabilities but also to ordinary persons who may eventually have need of a wheelchair when they are older,'' Chen says.

    Posted by rollingrains at 08:35 PM | TrackBack

    March 10, 2005

    "Dog Fight" in the Air: Guide Dogs, Airlines, and TransAtlantic Travel

    I received the following request for assistance.

    The urgency of the appeal has special meaning to me as I have just completed two interviews with the founder of Outta Sight Travel, Jackie Hull. The second article deals specifically with travel and guide dogs.

    Here is another example illustrating, as in the Spector vs NCL case, the need for internationalization of human rights practice, its harmonization between regions, and Universal Design thinking in design and management.

    Dear Friends and Fellow Assistance Dog Users,

    I am writing to request your immediate action regarding the refusal of all North American airlines to transport assistance dogs in the passenger cabin when traveling to the United Kingdom.


    The Pet Travel Scheme is the system that allows pet animals and assistance dogs from qualifying countries to enter the United Kingdom without quarantine as long as they meet certain conditions set forth by the UK'S Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

    In December of 2002, the British government extended the Pet Travel Scheme,
    (PETS) to North America so that pets and assistance dogs from the United States and Canada could enter on approved routes, however assistance dogs were Treated as pets and required to be transported in a "sealed crate' in the cargo hold of the airplane. In April of 2004, the British government removed the "sealing" requirement thereby making it legal to transport assistance dogs in the passenger cabin on flights into the United Kingdom. This was a great moment for assistance dog handlers worldwide who expected to be able to travel with their highly trained guide, hearing and service dogs at their side on flights to England. The British government left it up to each individual air carrier to decide whether or not they wanted to modify their practices and procedures to allow assistance dogs to be transported in the passenger cabin with their disabled human partners. Now, a year later not one U.S. based carrier has agreed to do so.

    How You Can Help - In the United States:

  • Denying access to passengers with disabilities who travel with their assistance dogs is a direct violation of the Department of Transportation's accessibility rules under the Air Carrier Access Act (14 CFR Part 382).

    Please take time to contact both of your U.S. Senators and your Congressperson and request their help in breaking the stalemate with the
    airlines. They can do this by urging the United States Department of
    Transportation, (DOT) to include language in the ACA which mandates that in
    cases where a foreign government of a country to which they operate routes
    from the U.S. requires the establishment of agreements of transport to
    permit the legal transportation of guide and other assistance dogs to these
    countries in their passenger cabins airlines must establish any, and all
    agreements with the relevant authorities to remain compliant with the
    non-discrimination mandates of the ACA.

    This apparent loophole in the ACA is currently being exploited by U.S. based airlines to deny disabled airtravelers the right to be accompanied by their guide, or assistance dog in the airplane cabin on routes in to countries; in this instance the United Kingdom. Furthermore the United States Department of transportation, (DOT) is currently of the belief that because these airlines have not established agreements with DEFRA to transport assistance dogs in to the UK in their Passenger cabins they are not in violation of the ACA. Let them know that not one United States based airline has made arrangements with the British government to transport assistance dogs in the airplane cabin on flights to the United Kingdom.

  • Tell them that approximately 26 other non-American airlines have already signed agreements with the British government to accommodate the needs of their disabled passengers by allowing assistance dogs to fly in the safety and comfort of the passenger cabin rather than in the airplane's cargo hold.
  • Let them know that for over 15 years, disabled people have relied on The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) to prohibit discrimination in airline service on the basis of disability.
  • Tell them why it is so important to you that they investigate, and
    demand that language be included in the United States Air Carrier Access Act
    which clearly mandates that to remain compliant under the ACA all U.S. Airlines must establish the required agreements with the governmental authorities of a country to which they operate routes from the U.S. when required to do so to permit the legal transport of assistance dogs in to these countries in their airplane cabins. Including such language in the ACA will establish a protocol all U.S. based airlines will need to follow in the future when faced with such requirements in order to comply with the Air Carrier Access Act.
  • It is clear that we need our government to step in to force the U.S. based carriers to do the right thing.

    We need everyone's help on this final step to force the U.S. based airlines to change their policies. Please take a few moments and contact your Senators and Congressperson today. While we would like for you to contact your own elected officials, we have focused our attention on members of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science Transportation - Aviation Subcommittee and the US House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure - Subcommittee on Aviation.

    Thank you in advance for your time and attention to this request for your
    help. Although you may never wish to travel to England with your assistance
    dog, it is our hope that you will agree to help support those of us who do.

    It is imperative that our elected officials hear from as many people as
    possible on this issue, please share this message with everyone in your
    circle of associates and friends. If each of us can get five people to join
    our campaign we willbe able to make a powerful statement.

    Remember: Call, email, or fax your Senators and Congressperson as soon as
    possible - local office or in DC. If he/she is not on the Aviation Subcommittees, ask them to contact that committee and tell them the disability community needs their help in ending the stalemate with the U.S. airlines.

    Please note that I have included a sample letter below.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 949-376-9242

    or michael.hastings at cox.net.


    Michael C. Osborn

    Here is a sample letter:

    Michael C. Osborn

    Post Office Box 4256

    Laguna Beach, California 92652

    Phone: 1 949 376 9242 E-mail:

    E-mail: michael.hastings at cox.net

    7 March 2005

    The Honorable John L. Mica

    United States House of Representatives

    2313 Rayburn House Office Building

    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Re: Refusal of U.S. Airlines to Transport Assistance Dogs

    In Passenger Cabins on Flights to the United Kingdom

    Dear Congressman Mica,

    I am a blind individual teamed with a guide dog, and on behalf of all assistance dog handlers I am writing to request your help with regard to the issue of transporting assistance dogs in the passenger cabins on flights from the United States to the United Kingdom.

    It has been nearly a year since the British government amended the Pet Travel Scheme making it legal for assistance dogs to be transported in the passenger cabin on flights into England. However, all of the major U.S. based air carriers that offer service to the U.K. have been unwilling to change their policies and we have reached an impasse.

    The United States Department of Transportation, (DOT) is currently of the belief that because our airlines have not established the required agreement with the UK's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, (DEFRA), to permit the legal transportation of guide and other assistance dogs in to the UK in their passenger cabins, and because the United States Air Carrier Access ACT, (ACA) (14 CFR Part 382) currently does not contain language that specifically mandates that airlines operating routes in to the UK, or to other countries with such requirements there is currently no violation of the ACA by these airlines.

    We need your help convincing the airlines (American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways) to abide by the Air Carrier Access Act andstop denying access to passengers with disabilities who use assistance dogs
    by exploiting loopholes in the ACA. Including language in the ACA that establishes a protocol all airlines operating routes from the U.S. to the UK, and to other countries with similar requirements will close this loophole, and will go a long way to ensuring true compliance with the ACA by all airlines.

    Those of us who are partnered with assistance dogs (guide, hearing and service dogs) will not compromise the safety of our dogs nor ourselves and will not allow our team to be separated and our dog to be shipped in a sealed crate in the cargo hold of the airplane.

    If you have questions or require additional information please feel free to contact me. Thank you in advance for any help you are able to provide in making it possible for those of us who use assistance dogs to finally be able to visit the United Kingdom for both business and pleasure.


    Michael C. Osborn

    Posted by rollingrains at 06:54 PM | TrackBack

    October 24, 2004

    MAPPED Project Announcement

    MAPPED is a project to develop travel assistance technologies that are disabled friendly.

    Project Description:

    Many disabled users are prevented from accessing functionally and socially important activities such as shopping, visiting public parks, theatres etc. because of a lack of real-time accessibility knowledge. Currently the simplest of excursions can involve military scale planning to ensure that the planned journey is feasible.

    MAPPED will provide users with the ability to plan excursions from any point to any other point, at any time, using public transport, their own vehicle, walking, or using a wheelchair, taking into consideration all their accessibility needs. In addition to this, MAPPED will provide the users with location-based services tailored to their accessibility needs.

    To meet these goals MAPPED will incorporate:

  • 1. a multi-modal route planner that allows for disability specific routing information and reservation of accessibility services

  • 2. Geographically indexed accessibility information

  • 3. disabled friendly mobile user interfaces MAPPED will "develop an intelligent system that will empower persons with disabilities to play a full role in society and to increase their autonomy".
  • It therefore fits squarely the specific objectives of strategic objective, eInclusion. MAPPED will be clustered with ASK-IT (Ambient Intelligence System of Agents for Knowledge-based and Integrated services for Mobility Impaired Users), an Integrated Project that aims to develop an Ambient Intelligence (AmI) space for the integration of functions and services for Mobility Impaired (MI) people across various environments, enabling the provision of
    personalised, self-configurable, intuitive and context-related applications and services and facilitating knowledge and content organization and processing. In order to develop a system with the potential to become a European standard for providing this information, we will establish four major demonstration sites in separate countries: the County of Hampshire UK, and the City of Dublin

    Posted by rollingrains at 07:38 PM

    October 12, 2004


    enable.net provides an online repository of information on disability with subsections on "Univeral Design" and "Travel". Their focus is South Australia:


    Posted by rollingrains at 08:03 PM

    January 12, 2004

    The Dialogue on Sustainable Development

    The dialogue on sustainable development will benefit from an expanded view of who we develop for. That is, as we adopt the UN definition of disability new opportunities and design solutions will become apparent.

    Disability must be seen as in a lifetime context - predictable at certain life stages (i.e. childhood, seniority, recovery from injury, etc.) and not simply the domain of those stigmatized as "disabled." Indicators of Sustainable Development will then include such basics as Universal Design and Visitablity under the topic "Housing" and metrics for measuring the population characteristics of those with disabilities.

    With a more coherent approach the links to sustainable tourism will be apparent. A hopeful sign is the introduction of regular statistical studies of human functioning and disability by the UN.

    Posted by rollingrains at 05:03 PM