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Below is the European report "Mapping of Skills and Training needs to improve accessible tourism services". 


The report includes all findings of the research and data collection, the full analysis of results and a set of conclusions and recommendations. To facilitate dissemination, all country level data and the 20 case study reports my be downloaded here:http://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.reports.1620 

 Authored for the European Commission by Pierre Hausemer, Ivor Ambrose, Kei Ito and Monika Auzinger. 

The study is downloadable as PDF here: http://www.t-guide.eu/resources/study-c-final-report_skills_ec_mastercopy_for-printing_final.pdf?i=t-guide

A major part of the Research Study commissioned in 2013 by the European Commission and awarded to VVAENAT and3s Research, involved the preparation of 20 Case Studies, examining accessible tourism training programmes and projects in Europe and abroad.

The selected Case Studies can be regarded as examples of good practice in vocational education and training, although certain weaknesses are also identified, where appropriate.

On the ENAT website the following case studies may be downloaded:

List of Skills and Training Case Studies

  1. ABTA, United Kingdom

  2. ETCAATS, EU Training Project, Sweden
  3. Perfil - Psicologia e Trabalho, Portugal
  4. SCANDIC Hotels, Sweden
  5. Kéroul
 Welcoming Ways, Canada
  6. ATHENA EU Training Project, Czech Republic
  7. Via Libre, Spain
  8. VisitEngland, United Kingdom
  9. People 1st, Welcome All. United Kingdom 

  10. PEOPLECERT, Greece
  11. COIN, Italy
  12. HERMES Airports, Cyprus
  13. Cluster for Accessible Tourism, Bulgaria
  14. Lousã, Accessible Tourism Destination, Portugal
  15. TACTALL EU Training Project, Spain
  16. Ministry of Tourism, Ontario, Canada

  17. Disney Corporation, France
  18. VisitFlanders' Accessibility Training, Belgium
  19. Barrier-Free Destinations, Germany
  20. EU Funded Training Projects
Source:

By Michele Simões :


A little over a year I rediscovered what it was like to feel like myself, traveling the streets, meeting people and making the world my own on wheels. It changed my outlook on disability. 

Each new happiness was shared on Wheelchair Travelers' Guide (Guia do Viajante Cadeirante), where through messages and "likes" I could gain strength and move ahead

How could it not be so? Through the site where I've met so many cool people a new invitation came.

October 4 my travel destination will be Montreal in Canada where I will study more and explore a place totally unknown to me.

The butterflies in my stomach and anxiety are part of the baggage I'll carry but the desire for unforgettable stories makes this all even more exciting. 

So, follow me to Canada?

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I have just one thing to say about Alice Wong's gift to the US disability community known as the Disability Visibility ProjectJust do it!"

Register online to record your story then walk, roll or hitch a ride over to the nearest StoryCorps recording booth. 

If you have a disability, tell your story. If you are family, friend, coworker or ally of someone with a disability think about participating too. The StoryCorps model is based on the simple observation that telling a story in conversation can be a very moving experience for those who hear it. In this case it will become part of the archive of a generation's experience of the past 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act - the ADA.

In the US we are in the midst of a ridiculously politicized struggle to ratify the United Nations charter based on the ADA - the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). Beyond being part of the oral history of the early ADA Era your recording offers real life stories to educate Senators, their staff, and the general public.

What is involved? I'll let Alice answer:

  Some people asked whether they have to talk about the ADA or not and my answer is it's completely optional. The Disability Visibility Project is using the ADA as a springboard to have people with disabilities reflect about their past, present and future. Everyone has an interesting story to tell. It can be about your passions and hobbies, your personal life as a sibling, parent or spouse or something about the work you do. Much of it might depend on your interview partner and what you two share together when it comes to the disability experience. People don't have to talk about activism, disability rights or legislation like the ADA or section 504 of the Rehab Act but they could if those topics are important to them.

To read more: http://criptiques.com/2014/07/03/disability-visibility-project-interview-with-alice-wong/

 

End Discrimination

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ADVERTISEMENT: Image shows a dog's face, in what looks like a merging of a black lab and a golden retriever, looking directly at the viewer. There is a perfect line directly down the middle of the dog's face, in perfect symmetry separating both sides of the dog's face. One side is covered with black fur, the fur on the other side is white. The caption positioned just beneath the dog's eyes above 
the nose reads "BLACK OR WHITE: It's Time To End Discrimination." Further down there is additional text, in smaller print, white text on black fur. It reads: "Guide dogs are allowed into cafes and restaurants. Deny them access and you're breaking the law." Opposite the text, where the dog has white fur, is a logo of a dog wearing a harness with the word "Guide Dogs" and the website http://www.guidedogs.com.au/

From Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:


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What are your personal experiences with traveling overseas? 
Where did you go? Was it accessible? What kind of challenges did you encounter? 

Sharing your personal travel experiences with Senators will help them understand the issues citizens with disabilities encounter when traveling and living overseas. Let's give them REAL STORIES to share with fellow Senators and others who may not support the CRPD. If you haven't traveled overseas and would like to, what are some of your concerns?

Email your story to us at WCDT_Disabilities@comcast.net. I'd also like an open discussion here on Facebook.. So, let's talk about it! 

We heard Rep. Tammy Duckworth talk about how veterans and others have been told to store their artificial limbs in overhead bins during flights from overseas. She mentioned in her testimony issues concerning military families with special needs. And, we've heard about common issues such as no ramps, elevators, etc. 

What are your personal experiences and what are your concerns?

Vice President Joe Biden meets with disability advocates in his ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Vice President Joe Biden meets with disability advocates in his ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Nov. 1, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Today, Vice President Biden met with the leaders of 20 disabilities and veterans advocacy groups at the White House to discuss the Disabilities Treaty. In the coming weeks, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin considering the Treaty, and the Vice President's meeting served as an opportunity to explain the Administration's strong support for ratification of this important Treaty and to discuss next steps in the ratification process. The Vice President was joined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, and Judith Heumann, the State Department's Special Advisor for International Disability Rights.

The group met in the Vice President's Ceremonial Office, where Vice President Biden discussed his longtime personal commitment to ensuring that Americans with disabilities enjoy the same opportunities as their fellow citizens to live, work, and travel overseas. He made the case that ratifying the Disabilities Treaty is important because many countries around the world don't have the same high standards as the United States. In many countries, wheelchair ramps, sign language interpreters, service animals, and other accommodations are the exception, not the rule. That makes it more difficult, or even impossible, for people with disabilities - including our veterans and wounded warriors to work, study, and travel abroad.

By ratifying the Disabilities Treaty and encouraging other countries to change that, the United States can carry forward its strong legacy of leadership on these issues, breaking down barriers, and making a real difference for those who have too often faced discrimination, inequality, abuse, or neglect.

In addition to discussing the Administration's strong support for ratification of the Disabilities Treaty, the Vice President expressed his appreciation for the groups' work as champions for the rights of people with disabilities. The Administration is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that all Americans - including those with disabilities - have the chance to live up to their fullest potential at home and abroad.

To learn more about the Disabilities Treaty, visit http://www.state.gov/disabilitiestreaty.

Wheelchair Travel - The Video


On September 26th the U.S. Access Board issued new accessibility guidelines for outdoor areas developed by the federal government. The guidelines provide detailed specifications for accessible trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, beach access routes and other components of outdoor developed areas when newly built or altered. They also provide exceptions for situations where terrain and other factors make compliance impracticable.


"The Board is eager to release these guidelines, which were long in the making, to explain how access to the great outdoors can be achieved," states Access Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA. "The greatest challenge in developing these guidelines was balancing what's needed for accessibility against what's possible in natural environments with limited development."


Requirements for trails, outdoor recreation access routes, and beach access routes address surface characteristics, width, and running and cross slopes. Exceptions are included for these and other provisions under certain conditions stipulated in the guidelines. Departures are allowed where compliance is not practicable because of terrain or prevailing construction practices. Exceptions are also recognized where compliance would conflict with mandates such as the Endangered Species Act and other laws or where it would fundamentally alter a site's function or purpose.


The guidelines originate from recommendations prepared by an advisory panel chartered by the Board, the Outdoor Developed Areas Regulatory Negotiation Committee. They were made available for public comment twice and finalized according to the feedback received. The rule applies only to national parks and other federal sites, but the Board plans to follow-up with rulemaking to address non-federal sites under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at a later date.

"The Board is moving ahead to issue the guidelines first for federal sites out of expediency," explains Braitmayer. "In developing its guidelines, the Board must assess and aggregate their impacts. The Board was able to complete the necessary assessment on sites in the federal sector, but will require more time to analyze the impacts on the broader range of sites controlled by state and local governments covered by the ADA."


The rule applies to federal agencies that develop outdoor areas for recreational purposes, including the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. The new requirements will become mandatory on November 25, 2013 as part of the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards, which apply to facilities that are built, altered, or leased with federal funds.


The Board will conduct a public webinar on the new rule on October 17 from 2:30 to 4:00 (ET). To register for this free webinar, visit www.accessibilityonline.org.

For further information on the rule, visit the Board's website or contact Bill Botten at outdoor@access-board.gov(202) 272-0014 (v), or (202) 272-0073 (TTY).

 

Livable Housing Australia (LHA) was formed in 2011 as a partnership between community and consumer groups as well as government and industry. The partnership arose from the Kirribili Dialogue on Universal Design for housing which was undertaken to assist with the formulation of a set of guidelines for the creation of more livable homes.


The Livable Housing Design Guidelines were consequently developed and promoted. These guidelines aim to produce homes which are easier and safer to use for all occupants including people with disabilities, older people, people with temporary disabilities and families with children. They state that a livable home must:


  • Be easy to enter and exit
  • Be easy to move around in
  • Be capable of easy and cost effective adaption

  • Three performance levels are identified under the guidelines: Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. Silver is the least onerous and focuses on key spatial elements allowing for future adaptability of the home at far lower cost to the occupant. Gold allows larger circulation to key areas within the home and extends to other areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Platinum circulation requirements include further features such living room and flooring guidelines.

Earlier this year, LHA established a system of accreditation of homes under its published guidelines. LHA is responsible for the accreditation of dwellings under this system and grades buildings according to the performance level achieved. The LHA quality mark can then be used by the developer to assist with the marketing of their project.


See more at: 


http://sourceable.net/livable-housing-australia-accreditation-assessment/


  Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA
 Karen L. Braitmayer Access Board Chair
  Board Executive Director David M. Capozzi
 David M. Capozzi Access Board Executive Director

 

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires access to programs and activities that are funded by federal agencies and to federal employment. The law also created the U.S. Access Board to ensure access to the built environment.


Specifically, the Board was established to enforce a law passed a few years earlier, the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968. One of the first laws on the books to address accessibility, the ABA aimed to make the federal government a model of accessibility by requiring access to all facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds. 


In passing the Rehabilitation Act, Congress determined that the ABA needed better enforcement. As originally written, the ABA effectively left compliance up to each agency with little oversight. Further, comprehensive standards for accessibility were not available at that time. It was clear that a central agency was needed to both establish and enforce accessibility requirements for facilities covered by the law.

According to Access Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, "In creating the Access Board, Congress recognized that you can't guarantee accessibility until you clearly spell out how it is to be achieved and have a process in place to make sure that those requirements are met." In fact, the lessons learned from the ABA and the Rehabilitation Act would not be lost on later laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


"With accessibility, it's fair to say that the Federal government essentially started in its own backyard," states David M. Capozzi, the Access Board's Executive Director. "The Rehabilitation Act and the Architectural Barriers Act helped lay the groundwork for the landmark ADA and coverage of accessibility beyond the federal realm."


To this day, the Board continues to do what it was created to do. It develops and keeps up-to-date the accessibility requirements of the ABA and enforces compliance with them through the investigation of complaints. If a member of the public is concerned about access to a facility that may have received federal funding, it can file a complaint with the Board. The Board then opens an investigation to determine whether the facility is covered by the ABA and, if so, whether it meets the applicable 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 Board typically opens about 50 to 100 cases each year, and has ensured access to all types of facilities covered by the ABA, including post offices, national parks, and social security offices, among others. Since the ABA also applies to non-Federal buildings that are federally funded, the Board's casework has encompassed many other types of facilities as well, such as schools, transit stations, local courthouses and jails, and public housing.

The Board's mission has grown tremendously over the years under later laws. Its work developing and maintaining accessibility requirements is no longer limited to buildings covered by the ABA. Now, the Board is responsible for design requirements for facilities and transportation systems covered by the ADA, electronic and information technology in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, telecommunications equipment subject to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and, most recently, medical diagnostic equipment under Section 510 of the Rehabilitation Act. Through this work, the Board has become a leading resource on accessible design.


"The Board has eagerly accepted the responsibility to address access in new and unchartered areas," says Capozzi. "The Board maintains a very active and varied rulemaking agenda. In fact, just today, the Board is releasing new guidelines that address access to federal outdoor recreation sites." The Board is also developing new guidelines or standards for public rights-of-ways, shared use paths, passenger vessels, emergency housing, classroom acoustics, and medical diagnostic equipment. Having previously developed and updated its guidelines for facilities under the ABA and ADA, the Board is currently refreshing its ADA guidelines for transportation vehicles and its standards and guidelines for information and communication technologies covered by section 508 and the Telecommunications Act. In addition to rulemaking, the Board provides technical assistance and training to the public on its guidelines and standards on a regular basis and funds research on accessible design.


"Often people ask which department the Board is part of, but in fact it is an independent federal agency with authority to report directly to the President and Congress," says Braitmayer. Its governing Board includes 13 members from the public appointed by the President to four-year terms. Over the years, almost 100 people have served on the Board as public members. Since the Board also coordinates policy government-wide relating to accessible design, 12 federal departments are represented on the Board as well.


Source:

US Access Board


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Under the Specific Programme: Preparatory Action "Tourism and accessibility for all", the European Commission has issued an Open Call for projects that will foster accessibility in local tourism development agendas, strategies and practices.

Call Deadline: 22/10/2013
Call Number: 102/G/ENT/PPA/13/511

Objectives

The specific objectives of this call are:

  • To foster adaptation of tourism products and services to the needs of people with special access needs
  • To promote equal opportunity and social inclusion of people with special access needs
  • To improve skills and training with relation to accessibility in the tourism supply chain
  • To help mainstreaming accessibility in all segments of the  tourism supply chain, while at the same time creating a seamless chain of accessibility in tourism
  • To promote, market and disseminate best practices in accessible tourism
  • To provide adequate support and guidance to SMEs
  • To enhance  the quality and diversify the offer  of accessible tourism experiences in Europe
For more detail:

 The UNWTO recommendations on "Accessible Tourism for All" (2013) have been approved and endorsed by the General Assembly. Updated from the 2005 version, the recommendations outline a form of tourism that involves a collaborative process among stakeholders to enable people with access requirements to function independently through universally designed tourism products, services and environments. These recommendations were developed within the framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2007.  


Accessible Tourism for All defines the appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment, transportation, information and communications and facilities open to the public or for public use. 

 "Accessibility is a central element of any responsible and sustainable tourism policy. It is both a human rights imperative and an exceptional business opportunity," said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. "Above all, we must come to appreciate that accessible tourism does not only benefit persons with disabilities or special needs, it benefits us all," he added.  

Along this line, a manual on "Accessible Tourism for All" is set to be published in late 2013, designed to guide tourism stakeholders to improve the accessibility for tourism destinations, facilities and services worldwide. 

The development of the Manual is a joint effort between UNWTO, the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and two Spanish institutions, the ACS Foundation and the ONCE Foundation.  According to the World Health Organization (2011), there are approximately 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world, or 15% of the world population having a physical, mental or sensory disability. UNWTO´s "Declaration on the Facilitation of Tourist Travel (2009) underlines travel and tourism facilitation for persons with disabilities as an essential element of any policy for the development of responsible tourism.     

Useful links:                                                           

 
UNWTO General Assembly 

Contacts:  UNWTO Senior Media Officer: Marcelo Risi 
<mailto:mrisi@UNWTO.org>   Tel: (+34) 91 567 81 60 <tel:%28%2B34%29%2091%20567%2081%2060>      
UNWTO Communications & Publications Programme <mailto:comm@UNWTO.org>   
Tel: +34 91-567-8100 <tel:%2B34%2091-567-8100>   Fax: +34 91-567-8218 <tel:%2B34%2091-567-8218>        

From the blog by Bill Peace, "Bad Cripple":


"The comment left today prompted me to write. These two diatribes accusing me of being: "self righteous", full of "bull shit", and a "piece of shit author".  I should also be "ashamed" of myself as I am a "self loathing cry baby". 

While the language leaves much to be desired I do not think the views expressed are far from the norm. Disability is grossly misunderstood. Much of what has been taught in secondary schools is badly antiquated. The fact is the vast majority of the population firmly believes disability is a medical problem.  A few may be aware that people with a disability have been discriminated against but that problem was solved a long time ago with a law that insures all new buildings are accessible. At no point does civil rights enter the equation. People with a disability it is thought are "suffering"...

 My anger and frustration does not stem from paralysis but rather a society that is knowingly reluctant to make the most basic so called reasonable accommodations. This is the leap in logic the majority of Americans have failed to make: disability is not about a given physical deficit. disability is about social, economic, and political exclusion."

For the full story:

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