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IUCN World Parks Congress

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The upcoming World Parks Congress is a once in 10 year event with over 3000 delegates from around the world. On Monday the 17th of November there are two sessions on park accessibility and inclusion.

Diverse parks, diverse communities - parks and protected areas for everyone. 1:30 to 3:00pm in Hall 3B1

Learn about some fascinating and innovative programs that are being run in parks and protected areas to improve the health and well-being of diverse community groups. The variety of programs featured include social inclusion programs for people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds; engaging and empowering communities through place-based education and activation; universal design of park facilities and how providing specialised equipment and detailed accessibility information can encourage people with a disability to visit parks and protected areas.

Key Speakers: David Stratton - TrailRider Advocate, Sam Cuff - Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service Australia, Aimee Freimanis - Parramatta City Council, Mr. Yoon, Sang-heon - Korea National Park Service, John Kenwright - Parks Victoria, Bill Forrester - Travability.

Creating and promoting accessible protected area experiences for visitors with disabilities. 

5:30 to 7:00pm Hall 3B1

This workshop will explore and discuss the common barriers to gaining protected area access information as experienced by visitors with disabilities. Workshop participants will gain an understanding of the: • Growing international need for accessible protected area infrastructure and protected area experiences. • Type and range of protected area experiences and activities that visitors of all abilities are seeking. • Importance of compiling protected area accessibility information guides in a practical format for visitors. Participants will be encouraged to share their lessons learnt on protected area accessibility and give ideas for application in other protected area settings including both urban and wilderness parks. This workshop will also provide a toolkit for participants to learn how to evaluate the accessibility of their own parks and protected areas using a protected area evaluation manual developed by Parks Victoria and Travability. This workshop is led by Parks Victoria in conjunction with Travability.

For more:

http://worldparkscongress.org/programme/programme.html

A Look at Europe in 2012

The text of the Destinations pour tous summit on Inclusive Tourism in anticipation of several multi-year United Nations projects promoting Inclusive Tourism as a development strategy.



  #D4All2014

Both funny and intelligent - this article by Bill Forrester is a great read for anyone implementing Inclusive Tourism.



 

The unemployment rate for persons with a disability continues to be almost double the rate for persons without a disability. Personal finance social network WalletHub conducted an analysis of 2014's Best and Worst Cities for Americans with Disabilities.

The group analyzed the 150 most populated U.S. cities across 23 key metrics. They range from the number of physicians per capita to the rate of employed people with disabilities to park accessibility. 
 

 Best Cities for People with Disabilities Worst Cities for People with Disabilities
 1Overland Park, KS 141Chicago, IL
 2Peoria, AZ 142Los Angeles, CA
 3Scottsdale, AZ 143Reno, NV
 4Lubbock, TX 144Fort Lauderdale, FL
 5Chandler, AZ 145Jackson, MS
 6Amarillo, TX 146Hialeah, FL
 7Gilbert, AZ 147Las Vegas, NV
 8Tampa, FL 148Miami, FL
 9Chesapeake, VA 149North Las Vegas, NV
 10Huntsville, AL 150Providence, RI
 
Key Stats

  • The adjusted cost of living in New York is 2 times higher than in Nashville, Tenn.
     
  • The employment rate of people with disabilities in Overland Park, Kans. is 2 times higher than in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
     
  • The percentage of the population with disabilities below poverty level in Rochester, N.Y. is 6 times higher than in Plano, Tex.
     
  • The cost of a doctor visit in Madison, Wis. is 3 times higher than in Jacksonville, Fla.
     
  • The annual cost of in-home services in Madison, Wis. is 2 times higher than in Brownsville, Tex.
     
  • The percentage of persons with disabilities living in Detroit, Mich. is 4 times higher than in Irvine, Calif.
     
  • The number of special education teachers per people with disabilities in Charlotte, N.C. is 26 times higher than in Detroit, Mich.
  • The percentage of the population with walkable park access in San Francisco, Calif. is 4 times higher than in Charlotte, N.C.
For the full report and to see where your city ranks, please visit: 
http://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-cities-for-people-with-disabilities/7164/

Accessible Oklahoma

Tour an A.D.A. accessible cabin at Roman Nose State Park with Shel Wagner. You'll see this cabin accomodates guests with any sort of disability. And Crazy Snake Trail at Lake Eufaula State Park is also A.D.A. accessible. The interpretive signs and educational elements at wheelchair level make for a perfect "hike" through dense forest on a winding paved trail.


 

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The aim of the Summit is to take stock of the achievements that have been made in the world's leading accessible destinations, regions and cities, to share and discuss best practices and methods and to chart a course for the development of One World of Inclusive Tourism for Everyone.

This event also aims to accomplish the following:

  • To make a decisive push forward on the determination of a set of international norms and standards with regards to accessible tourism and transportation;
  • To highlight the economic benefits for destinations to be fully inclusive and accessible, and to develop and enhance accessible tourist products;
  • To establish a world partnership and a common international strategy to develop universal accessibility1 for infrastructures and tourism services, transport services, and to increase the availability of information on different destinations' accessibility.

1 Universal accessibility, founded on an approach of inclusion for all, permits each person, whatever his or her capacities, to use services offered to the population at large in a manner that is identical or similar, autonomously and simultaneously.

Final Program:

http://www.destinationsforall2014.com/en/final-program#.VAnVTtddWK8

Irish Wheelchair Access Guidelines

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

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


More information at:

Accessible Wilderness Society

The Accessible Wilderness Society seeks to develop its 25 acre Roberts Lake wilderness property. Designed from the ground up using the principles of Universal Design, this will become BC's first universally accessible campground and wilderness lodge, able to accommodate those with physical, visual, auditory, or cognitive challenges along with their family and friends. This 'inclusive by design' approach will become a showcase of accessibility, sustainability, and a place to celebrate the natural beauty of our rugged west coast wilderness.


Clips from a presentation on Inclusion tourism with news commentary in Nepali.


 

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In 2011 my friend, Brazilian psychologist Marta Alencar, visited Nepal.She has a project that introduces people to mobility impairments in a unique way. She created an imaginary character named Tina Descolada who is a doll in a wheelchair. (http://www.tinadescolada.blogspot.com.br/) Marta created a heartfelt slideshow for me to include in some of my presentations next week. You will find it here: 
 http://www.slideshare.net/srains/imagining-a-wheelchairaccessible-nepal-with-tina-descolada

See the story behind the disability rights action in Lisbon Portugal that has gone viral from  Lisboa (In)Acessível.


Staged in the Duke of Saldanha Plaza in Lisbon this bold action went on to become a meme gone viral. Parabens Portugal!
 

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