This report overviews plans for a proposed Inclusive Tourism strategy. It was to be implemented during the FIFA 2014 Brazil World Cup. I developed this plan with four other senior-level experts in the area of tourism and disabilities. Although this plan was not implemented I present and endorse it here as an example of best practices that may be imitated in other countries.
My purpose with this strategy and in this report is to provide a pragmatic example of Inclusive Tourism (http://www.slideshare.net/srains/universal-design-the-seven-principles) in a historical context with which I am very familiar.
The deliverable in this strategy was to be a free itinerary developed for distribution to the tourism industry of Brazil. This itinerary includes the 12 Host Cities of World Cup 2014 and appropriately-formatted transportation information between them for travelers with four kinds of disabilities. The four kinds of disabilities covered in the strategy are: blindness, deafness, brain and cognitive disabilities and mobility-impairedness.
In order to qualify as inclusive tourism this strategy must use Universal Design. Specifically it must involve Universal Design applied by the tourism industry to its product in every phase including planning marketing and implementation. Described in simple English this means imagining persons with disabilities as consumers from the beginning and integrating them seamlessly throughout the tourism product.
Each state and municipality that hosted the FIFA 2014 Brazil World Cup had official organs designated for arranging and promoting the World Cup. Our team coordinated with each of these organs as well as with unofficial organs created by the disability and travel communities. In so doing we followed Inclusive Tourism's Universal Design protocols.
THE FOUR KINDS OF DISABILITIES COVERED
These categories were described in the broadest way possible in order to yield the most pragmatic results in both languages. The product to be delivered to the tourism industry would have documented the actual conditions for inclusive travel available to visitors with disabilities at the time the report was made. The following four categories are descriptions of the disability not of the completeness of the deliverables that we proposed to produce.
Complete or partial visual impairment.
Complete or partial hearing impairment.
Complete or partial impairment of any usually occurring cognitive ability.
Complete or partial impairment of any usually occurring mobility function.
ACCESSIBILITY IS NOT INCLUSION: A CLARIFICATION
Providing mere accessibility to a traveler with a disability is insulting. (http://www.slideshare.net/srains/accessibility-is-not-inclusion.) It is also not possible to sell such a product to a consumer with a disability. The core of our World Cup 2014 product was subsidized which positioned the Brazilian tourism industry to "sell" it back to us as consumers with no time or monetary investment on their part.
Inclusion points in both directions. At times we are the guest invited to travel with non-disabled friends. At times we are the host fully paying for others to accompany us. As promoters of Inclusive Tourism we have no interest in travel information that does not embed us at every stage with those we choose to be traveling with.
Having explained that the goal of our product I will leave technical details for my colleagues to explain.