The Singapore Accessible Building Code.
Recently in Inclusive Travel Category
European Beach Access Best Practices from Elsa Integracio.
The Universal Design Mark Awards are voluntary standards for inclusion set forward by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore. They were established in 2012.
The Accessibility symbol website is an accessibility databank, featuring a collection of relevant pictograms and general information on accessibility signeage.
The databank is based on the 'Accessibility symbol project' conducted by the 'Helsinki for All' project and interest groups in 2010-2011. The purpose of this project was to compile and design pictograms indicating accessible functions and general public services that need to be accessible and clearly signposted.
The databank includes symbols designed and drawn in the course of the project as well as existing accessibility symbols already in use. In many cases, the new symbols are based on existing ones. The symbols designed in the course of the project form a coherent series that can be deployed on service maps, indoor signs, outdoor signs and online publicity. The symbols were designed by Kokoro & Moi Oy.
In addition to accessibility symbols, there are many general service symbols in the databank. There are also pointers to standards and design directives featuring pictograms.
The pictograms in the databank are divided into the following categories:
- Public transport
- Leisure time (including sports and culture)
- Premises and services (symbols indicating services available at a facility, functional symbols and symbols for various types of facilities)
- Standardised symbols (standard and official symbols whose use is subject to a permit)
The databank now has its first collection of pictograms, and it will be added to from time to time.
Note that not all of the symbols in the databank are free for use; there are standard and official symbols for whose use a separate permit must be obtained. Information on whom to contact regarding the use and availability of these symbols is included in the databank. All of the symbols developed in the 'Accessibility symbol project' may be used freely for non-commercial purposes. You can find all those symbols here.
The symbols developed in the project may be downloaded in JPEG format and AI (vector graphics) format. Some of the symbols compiled from other databanks are available in EPS format in addition to JPEG.
From the Anchorage Press:
Bonnie McGrew is a retired sales clerk. Jesse Owens is a professor. Nathan Carey is an athlete. They all have something in common: at some point in their lives, each has lost the ability to walk, and had to adjust to life in a wheelchair.
"Emotionally, it does a lot to a person," said McGrew. When she first started using a wheelchair in 2009, it was a manual chair that she wasn't strong enough to push.
"Not having my freedom, of being able to go places, it was hard on me," she said. "I had to be dependent on people to get around. It was really hard to deal with."
It was the farther reaches of Alaska's outdoors that Owens missed the most.
"In my opinion, the ability to get into wilderness and nature is one of the greatest losses of all, when you become wheelchair-bound," he said.
Carey was a running back on a football scholarship in 2008 and was working a summer job when a crate carried on a forklift fell on him, fracturing one of the lower vertebrae of his spine. He finished his degree in sports management and marketing, but life in a wheelchair has entailed a radical exploration of the 24-year-old's vocation.
-- /PRNewswire/ -- eSSENTIAL Accessibility launched a new magazine, MarketAbility: Your Guide to the Disability Marketplace, which caters to the people with disabilities community.
MarketAbility features news and stories targeted to people with disabilities in North America. The eight-page inaugural issue focuses on inclusive travel and hospitality, with short and engaging articles about people with disabilities who are breaking down barriers to leisure and adventure travel, as well as expert analysis on the future of the inclusive travel market.
MarketAbility can be viewed on the eSSENTIAL Accessibility website athttp://www.essentialaccessibility.com/marketability. Highlights include:
En Route with Scott Rains interviews Scott Rains, a seasoned traveler who is paralyzed, who travels around the world consulting with businesses and governments around the economic value of inclusive tourism and how to make cities, hotels, sporting events like the World Cup--and even safaris--more accessible for people with disabilities.
Leading the Way: A Disability Travel Report reveals the annual spend of travelers with disabilities, discusses their unique needs, and highlights the airlines, hotels and theme parks that are pioneers in making tourism and travel more inclusive for people with disabilities.
Return on Disability Index spotlights a Bloomberg-listed stock index that measures companies on specific disability benchmarks. U.S. travel companies in the index include Boeing, Carnival Cruise Lines, Marriott International, Royal Caribbean International, Southwest Airlines, Walt Disney Co., and Wyndham Hotel Group.
NIKE races ahead with innovative disability ads talks about how the sports giant is one the few major brands to feature people with disabilities in its advertising, including double amputee Oscar Pistorious, who raced in the 2012 Olympics in London.
In the U.S. there are 57 million Americans with disabilities, and there are 15 million people with disabilities in Canada, comprising a broad group across ages, ethnicities and interests. "The audience is out there--MarketAbility delivers real-life stories to inspire and empower the millions of consumers with disabilities," says Simon Dermer, Managing Director of eSSENTIAL Accessibility. "Through MarketAbility we give recognition to brands that are reaching and serving the disability and aging markets in innovative ways, and we're helping organizations discover new opportunities for creating loyalty in the people with disabilities marketplace."
The inaugural edition of MarketAbility appears in Ability Magazine, an award-winning bi-monthly publication featuring celebrity interviews with an emphasis on health, disability and human potential. The February/March issue profiles actor William H. Macy. Future issues of MarketAbility, which will be published four to six times a year, will debut in a variety of consumer magazines where people with disabilities, and their families and friends, are likely to comprise a large audience.
About eSSENTIAL Accessibility eSSENTIAL Accessibility helps leading brands build loyalty with the disabled consumer and employee segments. Organizations that feature the eSSENTIAL Accessibility icon signal their participation in a coalition of companies that are dedicated to serving the people with disabilities market to create economic and social value. For more information, please visit http://www.essentialaccessibility.com.
SOURCE eSSENTIAL Accessibility
Foreword Introduction Scope Normative references Terms and definitions Access strategies Risk assessments Staff training Accessible formats Pre-arrival Transport provisions Car parking Access routes to and around buildings Entry and exits to premises Movement around floors or levels (horizontal circulation) Entrance hall and reception Welcome pack and services Corridors and passageways Movement between floors and levels (vertical circulation) Interior features and design Communal areas Lavatories and changing facilities in public areas Accessible bedrooms Accessible bathrooms Internet access Public telephones Vending machines Leisure facilities Retail outlets, coffee shops and amenities Surrounds and gardens Check-out Conferencing, banqueting and entertainment Annex A - Useful contacts Bibliography
http://store.simplyaccessible.com/virtual-seminar/accessible-maps/A workshop by Derek Featherstone:
What good are maps to blind people?
That's a question we get asked all too often. Back in November, I hosted a talk at a local partners offices about accessibility and how we can use accessibility as a design tool to solve other problems. Because, quite often, when we make something more accessible to people with disabilities, we make it better for everyone.
After the talk, I spent time with some of the audience that was there and I was asked by a number of people about maps. "How do we make maps accessible?" they asked. "Why would we waste all that time on a tool that is so visual and that blind people wouldn't really want to use anyway?" "What value are maps to blind people?"
So let me be blunt. Here's why we put together this course:
Making maps accessible doesn't just mean making them accessible to people that are blind using a screen reader. It means making sure that we do everything we can to ensure that people with any ability or disability can use the maps that we create.
There's generally two kinds of maps in this world. Maps for the sake of maps, and maps that serve a very specific purpose -- to show data; to provide routes; to orient oneself to find a local landmark. Those functional, specific maps are the kind that most teams want in their sites. And that functionality is something that everyone needs, including people with disabilities.
If you think that the companies that create the maps and their APIs are going to make things accessible for you by default, you're wrong. For whatever reason, Google Maps, Bing Maps and others aren't very accessible. If you want to do maps right, you'll need a guide. That's what this course is all about.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the nations oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind people. As the voice of the nations blind, we represent the collective views of blind people throughout society. All of our leaders and the vast majority of our members are blind, but anyone can participate in our movement. There are an estimated 1.3 million blind people in the United States, and every year approximately 75,000 Americans become blind.
The NFBs three legislative initiatives for 2013 are:
· The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act
This legislation phases out Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which allows employers to pay disabled workers subminimum wages. By ending this exploitative, discriminatory practice, disabled Americans will receive equal protection under the law to earn at least the federal minimum wage and reach their full employment potential.
· The Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act
Electronic instructional materials and related technology have replaced traditional methods of learning in postsecondary settings. Although it would be inexpensive to create e-books, courseware, applications, and other educational devices and materials in accessible formats, the overwhelming majority of these materials are inaccessible to disabled students. This bill calls for minimum accessibility standards for instructional materials, ending the separate but equal approach to learning.
· Equal Access to Air Travel for Service-Disabled Veterans (HR 164)
The Space Available Program allows active-duty military, Red Cross employees, and retired members of the armed services to travel on military aircraft if there is space available. HR 164 reverses the exclusion of 100 percent service-disabled veterans who were discharged before retirement and entitles them to the programs privileges.
The real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight; it is the misunderstanding and lack of information that exist. Given the proper training and opportunity, blindness can be reduced to a physical nuisance. Blind Americans need your help to achieve these goals and reach economic security and full integration into society. Supporting these measures will benefit more than just the blind, as promoting our economic welfare increases the tax base. We urge Congress to hear our demands for equality and support these legislative initiatives.
The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013
Current labor laws unjustly prohibit workers with disabilities
from reaching their full socioeconomic potential.
Written in 1938, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) discriminates against people with disabilities by allowing the secretary of labor to grant Special Wage Certificates to employers, permitting them to pay workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage. Despite enlightened civil rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, this antiquated provision is still in force, with some disabled workers making only three cents an hour.
The subminimum wage model actually benefits the employer, not the worker. Subminimum wage employers receive taxpayer and philanthropic dollars because the public believes they are providing training and employment for people with disabilities. The executives use the substantial proceeds to compensate themselves with six-figure salaries on the backs of disabled workers they pay pennies per hour. People who raise their own standard of living while taking advantage of those who do not have the same rights as every other American are engaging in discrimination, not charity.
This discrimination persists because of the myths that Section 14(c) is:
Myth 1 a compassionate offering of meaningful work. Although the entities that engage in this practice demand the benefits that come from being recognized as employers, subminimum wage work is not true employment. These so-called employers offer days filled with only repetitive drudgery for which workers are compensated with third-world wages, leading disabled employees toward learned incapacity and greater dependence on social programs.
Myth 2 an employment training tool for disabled workers. Fewer than 5 percent of workers with disabilities in subminimum wage workshops will transition into integrated competitive work. In fact data show that they must unlearn the skills they acquire in a subminimum wage workshop in order to obtain meaningful employment. Therefore Section 14(c) is a training tool that perpetuates ongoing underemployment.
Myth 3 a controversial issue among the disability community. More than fifty disability-related organizations and counting support the repeal of Section 14(c) of the FLSA, and many former subminimum wage employers have abandoned the use of the Special Wage Certificate without terminating anyone. Only entities profiting from this exploitive practice refuse to acknowledge that it is discrimination.
The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013:
Discontinues the practice of issuing Special Wage Certificates. The secretary of labor will no longer issue Special Wage Certificates to new applicants.
Phases out all remaining Special Wage Certificates over a three-year period. Entities currently holding Special Wage Certificates will begin compensating their workers with disabilities at no less than the federal minimum wage, using the following schedule:
· private for-profit entities certificates will be revoked after one year;
· public or governmental entities certificates will be revoked after two years; and
· nonprofit entities certificates will be revoked after three years.
Repeals Section 14(c) of the FLSA. Three years after the law is enacted, the practice of paying disabled workers subminimum wages will be officially abolished, and workers with disabilities will no longer be excluded from the workforce protection of a federal minimum wage.
Anil Lewis, Director of Advocacy and Policy
National Federation of the Blind
Phone: (410) 659-9314, Extension 2374 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Glide-Path is a free-to-the-passenger web-based system that enables the passenger to enter more information about their specific needs, which can be accessed by airlines, airports and assistance providers to improve the quality of the service they deliver.
Passengers requesting assistance often experience frustration due to the actual process for making requests,
- separate requests for each journey/airline
- different information required on different forms
- details not passed to the airport staff
- sometimes it's a telephone call, sometimes a fax, sometimes online forms
And finally, just when think you've told the airline everything possible, you get to the airport and they have no idea of exactly what assistance you need.
With Glide-Path it's 3 simple steps:
- You tell us just once about you and your assistance needs
- Tell us about your journeys (this will automatic from your booking in later versions)
- You sit back while we ensure your details and needs are communicated to both the airline and the assistance team at the airport.
Occasionally, if medical clearance is needed, we will ask for you to supply additional information from you doctor.
Glide-Path offers facilities to register details of Assistance Dogs, people who will escort you on your journeys and the give you space to register needs not normally covered by Airline forms.
We can't guarantee that the airline and airport can meet all your needs, but we can guarantee that they have had the opportunity to know about them.
"We didn't know you were coming" won't cut it anymore.
At Glide-Path we have many years of experience in aviation and have been looking at the problems facing elderly and disabled air travellers, particularly addressing the problems miscommunication causes. For airlines, airport and service providers this improved communication and access to detailed information, will facilitate a more effective and efficient service.
This service will go live in early
Tel 0844 706 723
Mob 07917 868 502
Culture in the Further Development of Universal Design
Scott Rains, D. Min
Reprinted from Design for All India:
By now most readers of Design for All India have a healthy grasp of Universal Design. Many, perhaps most, have become highly competent in its application as is evident from the articles appearing in past volumes and today. Beyond technical mastery of the Seven Principles, knowledge of best-of-breed solutions, and familiarity with allied concepts such as Visitability, Adaptive Technology, or anthropometrics there is a cultural component to this design approach that is unquantifiably - but undeniably - transforming Universal Design. By systematically and thoroughly examining this cultural component in the coming decade we will discover the true nature of Universal Design to be social sustainability.
Defining the Cultural Component
There are two ways to define this cultural component.
The first is to take the generally accepted meaning of culture as a social system involving ethnicity, nationality, language, arts, shared values or some combination of these elements to define a coherent and dynamic system. The second is to apply the term culture to that system in relationship to persons with disabilities as a whole (pan-disability culture) or as various sub-groups (blind, deaf, deaf-blind, spinal cord injured, post-polio cultures).
Research into response to Universal Design in this first domain is still in its infancy. A rich body of literature will result from future inquiries into adoption, rejection, and adaptation of Universal Design by cultures as they have been traditionally defined. Such study can provide a complementary approach to other inquiries into disability in the field of Disability Studies.
Historically Universal Design arose in the 1970's as a product of the Disability Rights Movement in the United States. Closely associated with the work and teaching of North Carolina architect and quadriplegic Ron Mace it began to gain widespread acceptance in the 1990's through a dissemination process that has not been well documented. One theme in that documentation will be the interplay between the cultural values embedded in Universal Design, either intentionally or unintentionally, and those held in locations where it is introduced.
Anecdotal evidence indicates integration of Universal Design in Japan's Mitsubishi, Toto, NTT DoCoMo and a uniquely Korean appropriation of Universal Design at Samsung. Reference to the Tao and the principle of balance symbolized in Tae Kuk are being integrated into the approach as applied to product design by the latter. Research by Thai scholar Antika Sawadsri (2006) on affective responses to Universal Design in Tai domestic settings is the first of what ought to be a series of similar studies done around the world. Such a micro-scale look at cultural factors involved in receptivity to Universal Design will provide uniquely targeted guidance to social planners and businesses attempting macro-scale Universal Design projects in the same social conditions.
As successful application and adaptive enculturation of Universal Design occurs there will be impact beyond the predictable further inclusion of persons with disabilities into the economic mainstream. From the earliest conversations leading to what we now know as Universal Design pioneer Elaine Ostroff was involved in the arts and incorporating Universal Design. Other positive secondary effects of adoption will include the importation and fabrication of new materials, dissemination of new designs and new construction methods, and the economic enhancement of those able to consult, design, or build according to a culturally appropriate but inclusive norm as populations age. In areas where an age-inversion causes the numbers of elderly to exceed those of youth, adoption of enculturated Universal Design in infrastructure, products, and services will become necessary not only for social cohesion but as a user demand due to the natural conservatism common with aging.
Defining Universal Design
In order to pursue this research priority and ensure meaningful and generalizable results it is important that researchers share a common definition of Universal Design. That definition is found in the Seven Principles of Universal Design but requires ongoing attention to evolving definitions of disability and to local permutations of Universal Design such as Design for All.
The Principles of Universal Design are:
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.
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 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.
Current trends are toward a functional rather than a medical diagnostic approach to defining disability. The World Health Organization (WHO) reinforces that with its International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF 2001). This aligns well with the third of the three theoretical models of disability - Charity, Medical, and Social (or "Social Interpretation" see Gabel, "Disability Studies in Education".) The latter defines disability as an interaction between function and environment.
Rudiger Leidner of NATKO made a distinction between US conceptualizations of Universal Design and a European reformulation known as Design for All in his 2006 presentation "Tourism Accessible for All in Europe":
"...the main difference between the D[esign] F[or] A[all] idea and similar approaches such as "Universal Design" is that the targeted users should be involved in the process of product development."
The designation as Lifespan Design referred to in the citation from Adaptive Environments above captures the observation that human functionality changes through the natural course of maturation and aging. It reminds designers that the value of a product is not the only its durability through time. Predictable changes in the functional abilities of the user may prove to be more important measures of value. Large-scale changes in the ratio between the young and the old are poised to be socially disruptive in ways that immediate adoption of Universal Design can mitigate.
Studies to determine the culturally contextual rationales for accepting Universal Design will become increasingly essential. Already the narrative behind Universal Design projects for seniors or for people with disabilities differs. Public perception of the social value of publicly-funded Universal Design projects takes on added importance in times of scarcity of public resources.
The aging segment of the population appears to figure more heavily than the disability community in Japan's adoption of Universal Design. While in the US arguably the strongest non-governmental promoter of Universal Design, the non-profit AARP through its Home Design resources, conferences, and workshops educates on the concept without reference to its origins in the Disability Rights Movement or its foundation in disability culture. This appears to be a deliberate marketing strategy to present only images of "healthy" attractive seniors.
These and other examples serve to alert us to the reality that Universal Design applied to infrastructure may equally benefit both seniors and people with disabilities while the political discourse attached to such projects may work to drive a wedge between two groups with common interests and needs.
Culture(s) of Disability
Disability culture or disability cultures offer a second window of inquiry into the meaning and maturation of Universal Design as a global phenomenon.
Some have theorized that while definitions of disability have been imposed by non-disabled persons cultures of disability have risen up to protect the interests, identities, and political voice of those gathered into these categories. Current understandings emphasizing the multiplicity of social categories any individual is involved in and the multifaceted interactive nature of resistance to social movements' demands for change provide a fluid definition of culture and energize artistic production with a disability "voice." Colin Barnes and Geoff Mercer provide an overview of the topic in Chapter 21 of the Handbook of Disability Studies entitled "Disability Culture."
Defining, distinguishing, and uniting disability cultures remains problematic. One can list examples of distinctiveness: deaf culture maintains its own languages, blind culture it own institutions, and mobility impaired culture its own politics.
Conflicts arise when specific design solutions are confused with Universal Design itself.
The usefulness of curbs at corners for orienting blind pedestrians and the necessity of curb cuts for wheelchairs lead some to question the "universality" of some solutions commonly associated with Universal Design. It is important to recall that Universal Design is a design approach not a catalog of solutions or any specific construct such as a ramp or a flashing fire alarm. Universal Design understood as design and not a canon of prescribed solutions is capable of generating outcomes that address the unique needs disability groups with differing functional abilities.
The questions arise for professionals, "Who is responsible for maintaining that clarity of definition at the academic level? At the level of professional discourse? When working with stakeholders and clients?"
Language is a knowledge management system. Careful use of language is called for to both adequately communicate the process of Universal Design and to facilitate competing cultural values existing even within the disability community.
The "Culture" of Construction
The phrase "construction of culture" is commonplace in post-modernist discussions of the nature of culture. Similarly the "construction of disability" is a phrase indicating the social, and thus changeable, nature of the concept and social system known as disability. In such dialogue "avoiding the (re)construction of disability" is a responsibility of those who claim to be working in the interest of social inclusion such as practitioners of Universal Design. Part of that responsibility is to avoid design that stigmatizes.
There are also professional mandates upon those who work with designers in the fabrication phase of products and spaces. We might designate these as part of a "culture of construction" that seeks to resolve all discussion to specifications and measurements that are actionable within their domain of responsibility. The influence of this approach can also manifest from within the disability community.
Examples include accessibility auditor trainings that do not include an introduction to Universal Design principles or to the process and place of design in project development. The results are then evident in accessibility auditing survey tools that proscribe rather than describe. Mandated minimum accessibility standards from building codes are fashioned into check sheets or other proscriptive heuristics for gathering data. This data is then published in directories of building accessibility. The tools are thus unable to capture innovative (universally designed) solutions and the auditors unprepared to recognize them as good design. This self-defeating approach rewards businesses for mere minimum compliance and penalizes those who solve design problems in novel ways.
One museum designer reported a usability study of one of her projects conducted by persons with disabilities. They immediately flagged the lack of the typical (stigmatizing) artifacts of "accessibility": grab bars and tactile navigation in colors, materials, and textures that broke the integrity of the design of the space, Braille captioning that was easily located visually, etc. After an orientation with the designer they agreed that the design's non-traditional integration of handholds, navigation aids, and placement of Braille were superior as well as non-stigmatizing.
The auditors working from an internalized list of "accessibility features" had themselves failed to realize that the designer had achieved both accessibility and avoided reconstructing disability through stigmatized solutions. It must be remembered that even stakeholders with disabilities may need training in the tools such as Universal Design that are available to designers.
The Travel and Hospitality Industry as Locus of Transformation
The travel and hospitality industry will be the site of the next major developments in Universal Design.
A typical legislated strategy for social inclusion employs the language of rights. It mandates access to government properties and services in the name of citizenship, human, or civil rights. It extends the argument to the business sector and mandates compliance through threat of sanction.
Such a strategy is sound and within the purview of government. Yet it is not sufficient.
Persons with disabilities in numerous countries report accessibility requirements that conflict within the same jurisdiction, corruption that allows regulations to be ignored, and a general failure on the part of those regulated to imagine any accommodation beyond the mandated minimum.
A parallel approach is to use the industry's profit motive to achieve accessibility, employment, & attitude change for the benefit of the disability community.
Aside from metropolitan transit and national rail systems the infrastructure of transportation and lodging - of tourism - is under private ownership. In the language of private business the laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities place them in the category of cost center or as legal risks of lawsuits to be managed. While establishing a necessary legal baseline against discrimination such laws evoke a resistance response that, in practice, prevents business from imagining people with disabilities as a lucrative customer base.
Over the past several years the disability community has had some success gaining the attention of the tourism industry with research such as that done by the Open Doors Organization that US travelers with disabilities alone spend an average of $13.6 billion annually on travel.
During this period I have been researching, refining, and promoting a reconciliation of these two approaches to social change where legislative scaffolding sustains the market for profit-based incentive. While some countries may never adopt national civil rights legislation for people with disabilities, approval of the UN Declaration on the Rights of People with Disabilities will radically change the business and legislative ecosystems and raise expectations in the disability community. Tourism remains largely unprepared for the future impact of this UN document. As a global industry that is increasingly being held accountable to social responsibility metrics such as the inverse of Universal Design - Green Design - tourism may become more receptive than governments themselves to accommodating persons with disabilities.
I have proposed to the Echoing Green Foundation the creation of a series of strategically located Centers of Excellence promoting Universal Design within the travel and hospitality industry. We call this application of Universal Design to tourism Inclusive Tourism and Inclusive Destination Development.
Each Center of Excellence will work to standardize the diversity of accessibility laws, disseminate accessibility guidelines for hotels, train travel & hospitality industry staff, and promote the education and hiring of persons with disabilities in the industry. At the local level we will increase accessibility of the tourist destinations hosting the Centers and train a core of persons with disabilities as self-sustaining regional experts in Inclusive Tourism.
Expected outcomes include increased tourism infrastructure accessibility (hotels, airports, and transit systems), greater self-reported social inclusion of people with disabilities and disabled peoples' organizations (DPOs) (i.e. people with disabilities hired in the industry and DPOs contracted as travel industry suppliers), as well as people with disabilities positively portrayed as valued customers marketing by the industry.
This project will engage industry's self-interest in profit by recruiting and training an overlooked workforce, product development for this under-served market, best practices dissemination to an awakening industry, and marketing a new image of disability completing a feedback loop that encourages more in the disability community to travel.
Cultural factors influence the adoption of projects involving Universal Design as well as the development of the approach itself. These cultural factors include social groupings traditionally understood as cultures. They also include the communities of persons with disabilities as an aggregate and as sub-cultures differentiated by disability.
Universal Design, as a product of disability culture, represents an authentic voice of disability culture when understood as a design process and not a catalog of sanctioned and static design solution or "accessibility features."
Yet as a voice competing among other social systems and cultures Universal Design must be clearly articulated and intentionally directed.
One area of promise for shaping the Universal Design of the future is in dialogue with the cultures into which it is introduced. One vehicle for animating such a dialogue is the global travel and hospitality industry operating out of the profit, in addition to the rights and entitlement, motive. A network of Centers of Excellence of Inclusive Tourism and Inclusive Destination Development offers a scalable and sustainable mechanism for the continued development of Universal Design as an authentic voice of the disability community worldwide.
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Dr. Scott Rains writes daily on travel and issues in the tourism industry of interest to people with disabilities. His work appears online at www.RollingRains.com andhttp://withtv.typepad.com/weblog/travel/ . Rains' articles have also appeared in New Mobility, Emerging Horizons, Contours, Accessible Portugal, Audacity, Travel and Transitions, eTur Brazil, Turismo Polibea, [with]TV, and Disaboom among others.
For his research on the topic of Universal Design and the travel and hospitality industry he was appointed as Resident Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies of the University of California Santa Cruz (2004-05).
He is active as a consultant and speaker. Compiled by advocates of Universal Design in 1997. Participants are listed in alphabetical order: Bettye Rose Connell, Mike Jones, Ron Mace, Jim Mueller, Abir Mullick, Elaine Ostroff, Jon Sanford, Ed Steinfeld, Molly Story, Gregg Vanderheiden. The Principles are copyrighted to the Center for Universal Design, School of Design, State University of North Carolina at Raleigh [USA].The Principles established a valuable language for explaining the characteristics of Universal Design. They are in common use around the world, sometimes with slight modifications, primarily one or two principles grouped together. Source: Adaptive Environments
 One hallmark of disability studies is its adherence to what has been called a "social model of disability" (Abberley, 1987), first suggested by Vic Finkelstein (1980) and other disability rights activists, in which disability is understood as a form of oppression. Although "social model" is the most common usage of the concept, I agree with Vic Finkelstein (2001, ¶. 2) that the phrase "social interpretation" is a better and more inclusive representation of disability studies standpoints. In this paper, I use "social model" to refer to the traditional historical-materialist version of the social interpretation of disability. In contrast, I use "social interpretation" to refer to the wider array of disability theories in disability studies (e.g., disability identity, disability embodiment, disability discourse). As a whole, social interpretations of disability contrast with typical educational views wherein "disability" represents innate individual deficits. In disability studies, the disability-as-deficit notion is referred to as a clinical or medical model and is rejected as the basis for understanding the lived experiences of disabled people because it tends to pathologize difference and rely upon expert knowledge (i.e., physicians, special educators, rehabilitation counselors) to "remediate" difference (Society for Disability Studies, Guidelines for Disability Studies, ¶ 3). Disability Studies in Education: Readings in Theory and Method (2005, New York: Peter Lang) Source:http://www.nl.edu/dse/SusanGabel.htm
 Handbook of Disability Studies, Gary L. Albrecht, Katherine D. Seelman, Michael Bury, 2001 Sage Publications , ISBN 076192874X
 Personal communication, 2004
 Open Doors Organization, 2005
 It [Universal Design] 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 are comfortably two sides of the same coin but at different evolutionary stages. Green design focuses on environmental sustainability, Universal Design on social sustainability. Source:http://www.adaptiveenvironments.org/index.php?Itemid=3&option=Content
Excerpts from an interview with Tanni Grey-Thompson:
It is hard to pick just a few favourite moments.The atmosphere on Thriller Thursday when Jonnie Peacock silenced 82,000 people by merely holding his finger to his lips amazed even the most hard bitten supporters. One commentator said he had never heard that support for anyone, not even Usain Bolt. The 100m then turned into one of the best races of the Games, not just the most hyped. Leaving the Olympic Park every night, so many people came up and wanted to share the joy they had experienced. There were the families who said they were worried about taking their children to goalball because they feared that they couldn't keep quiet for that long, and they voiced their surprise when they did. And there were disabled children saying they now had a real choice of people they wanted to emulate.The overriding feeling in and around the Games was that theParalympic movement had developed - and is continuing to develop. Sometimes the signs were quite subtle: Seb Coe talking about the Paralympics, while the Olympics were still on, for example. Being able to say the Olympic and Paralympic Games instead of having to divide them by having two Games in the same sentence was another.And then, less subtle but genuinely groundbreaking, the sight of three Paralympians making the 12-strong shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. Most dramatic of all, though, were the recent UK Sport announcements of the specific funding packages. Paralympic sport came out of the deal generally quite well...
The Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968, one of the first laws passed by Congress addressing access for people with disabilities, requires that federally funded facilities be accessible according to established standards. The law applies to facilities designed, built or altered with Federal dollars or leased by Federal agencies. The ABA covers a wide range of government buildings, including post offices, social security offices, and Federal office buildings. It also applies to non-Federal buildings that are federally funded, such as schools, transit stations, local courthouses and jails, and public housing.
The Board enforces the accessibility standards of the ABA through the investigation of complaints from the public. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Board opens an investigation to determine whether the facility in question is covered by the ABA and if so, whether it meets the applicable accessibility standards. If a covered facility is not in compliance, the Board will pursue a corrective action plan and monitor the case until all necessary work is completed.
The new online submission form will make it easier and more convenient for the public to file ABA complaints with the Board. It also will improve how the Board monitors and tracks complaints. Members of the public are invited to view and try out the proposed complaint form which is available for comment until February 15. A published notice provides further details, including instructions on submitting feedback. The new form, which replaces an earlier one previously made available on the Board's site, will be launched under procedures that Federal agencies must follow in collecting information from the public.