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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.
WASHINGTON, DC., March 19, 2013 (U.S. Travel Association Media Release) - Overseas travelers are avoiding the United States due to lengthy and inefficient customs and entry procedures at the nation's gateway airports according to a new survey released today by Consensus Research Group and the U.S. Travel Association. By experience and word of mouth, at least 100 million overseas travelers are receiving the message to avoid travel to the U.S. - costing the economy at least $95 billion in total output and 518,900 jobs.
"Too many visitors to our country - one in three - report that they have experienced a Customs process that they believe is inconsistent, inefficient or confusing," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "As the U.S. spends millions to recapture the world's interest and inspire international travelers to visit, we are failing to address a galling entry experience that is driving 43 percent of our guests to tell others to avoid travel to our country."
Prior to sequestration budget cuts, prominent gateway airports reported two-to-three hour waits to clear U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has stated publicly that those waits are likely to grow as CBP eliminates overtime and furloughs agents.
The survey, conducted by Consensus Research Group, of overseas travelers who have visited or considered visiting the U.S. in the last five years found that:
- Forty-three percent of travelers who have visited say they will recommend to others to avoid a trip to the U.S. because of the entry process;
Read more: http://www.travel-impact-newswire.com/2013/03/startling-usta-survey-results-reveal-u-s-entry-process-deters-millions-of-visitors/#ixzz2Ox1JMMoj
As the body responsible for promoting and monitoring the implementation of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the Committee applauded the significant advancements in UNWTO's engagement with the private sector, as well as the 47 companies and associations which signed the Code between September 2011 and February 2013. These include major tourism associations from Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Mexico, among others.
"With their signature, these companies have pledged to implement and promote the Code's values, both by integrating ethical practices into their business operations, and by reporting to the World Committee on Tourism Ethics on the actions they undertake", said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, in his welcome remarks to the participants.
The Chairman of the World Committee, Dawid De Villiers, called for a renewed commitment to ethical standards and values, stressing that "we live in difficult times and peoples and nations around the world are facing enormous challenges". He explained that "the tourism sector can make a valuable contribution to peace and progress if all stakeholders commit themselves to the principles and values of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. The Code is our roadmap towards a better future".
Advancing accessible tourism for all
Accessibility is a key area of UNWTO's work in sustainable tourism development. Against this backdrop, the Committee also discussed the on-going updating of the 2005 UNWTO Recommendations on "Accessible Tourism for All". The revised Recommendations will be submitted for approval to the upcoming UNWTO General Assembly next August.
Committee members also welcomed the production of a "Manual on Developing Universal Accessibility", a result of UNWTO's collaboration with the Spanish ONCE Foundation, the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and the ACS Foundation, expected to be available later this year.
Other issues discussed by the Committee included consumer protection, travel facilitation, sustainable tourism following Rio+20, intangible cultural heritage and fair tourism.
Adopted in 1999 by the UNWTO General Assembly and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET) is a set of principles designed to guide the development of tourism in a way that maximizes the socio-economic benefits of the sector, while minimizing any negative impacts.
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics is the impartial body responsible for interpreting, applying and evaluating the provisions of the GCET. A subsidiary organ of the UNWTO General Assembly, the Committee reports directly to the Assembly. Members are elected in their personal capacities and not as officials of governments or representatives of their countries.
At first, local authorities were targeted since often they are the ones responsible for services such as housing, education and medical care, which impact the daily life of people with disabilities. More recently, the aim of Agenda 22 has been to assist authorities on all different levels in society to draw up strong disability policy plans based on the Standard Rules.
According to Maryanne Ronnersten of the Swedish Disability Federation (HSO) Agenda 22 is "built on the conviction that systemic planning is the most effective way to eliminate all the obstacles that persons with disabilities meet."
Three parts of Agenda 22
Founded on certain principles, including: the equal worth and rights of people with disabilities; the idea that people are different and therefore have different needs of support from society and that those supports are not a privilege but a right; and, finally, that organizations of people with disabilities must be accepted as experts in matters that affect their life, Agenda 22 consists of three parts.
The first part of Agenda 22 states that a comprehensive disability plan:
- Is produced in close cooperation with local organizations of people with disabilities with future cooperation described in the plan;
- Weaves disability aspects into all planning and activities from the very beginning of any product whether it is a disability-focused project or not;
- Pays special attention to women and children, since they tend to be especially vulnerable groups;
- Uses the local authority to act as a good example;
- Determines specific long-term objectives and measures for implementation; and
- Includes a method of evaluation and review.
The third part focuses on methods of working (i.e., ways to move from an idea to an actual plan). In order to accomplish this, two different inventories must be taken. First, certain questions need to be answered, including: What is the current situation for people with disabilities? What resources are available from governmental authorities? And, how do authorities live up to the UN Standard Rules at present? Second, an inventory must be made of the kinds of public services people with disabilities need. These surveys are best carried out by directly communicating with the local community.
The in end, proponents of Agenda 22 hope that by creating a framework, where the community and the local authority work together to assess the current situation, available resources and needed services, comprehensive and effective disability policy plans based on the Standard Rules will be developed.
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
129 ratifications and 155 signatories to the CRPD
76 ratifications and 91 signatories to its Optional Protocol (OP)
- Barbados ratified the Convention on 27 February 2013
- Albania ratified the Convention on 11 February 2013
Produced in 1978 by the Berkeley, California Center for Independent Living to illustrate the cross-disability civil rights philosophy for the federally funded Section 504 consumer trainings being conducted by the legal program of CIL, the Disability Law Resource Center (DLRC).
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:email@example.com
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
About Empower Partnerships
The Empower Partnerships project is a prestigious, two-way international exchange program for organizations working on or interested in working on disability-related issues and inclusion as articulated in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This project aims to create sustainable organizational partnerships between U.S. and international organizations, expanding the capacity of each organization to promote disability inclusive communities, and to advance disability rights. MIUSA will select and match organizations from the U.S. and 20 other countries, and will provide ongoing technical assistance, opportunities for international exchange, small grant support to implement collaborative projects, and foster long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.
The objectives of the Empower Partnerships project are to:
- Remove barriers to community opportunities and resources;
- Support the ability of individuals and organizations to serve as leading disability advocates and promote policies and programs benefiting people with disabilities;
- Promote civil society by enabling individuals and organizations working with people with disabilities to share best practices and facilitate cross-sector cooperation through two-way professional exchanges;
- Ensure that people with diverse disabilities and their families and communities benefit from the transformational power of international exchanges; and,
- Build or expand sustainable networks of individuals and organizations serving people with disabilities.
Professional Reciprocal Exchanges
Twenty partner teams will be selected by MIUSA and each will include three organizations: one U.S. organization and two organizations from another country. Non-U.S. organizations will include one focused on disability inclusion such as a Disabled People's Organization (DPO) and one non-disability-specific institution for which disability inclusion is a priority. The 20 international partner teams will share knowledge and expertise through reciprocal exchange programs to maximize outcomes of collaborative projects and ongoing partnerships.