Results matching “visitability”

Visitability Makes Continued Progress

Eleanor Smith of Concrete Change has added a link to a new resource for promoting Visitability. It is the article Visitability: The Way Of The Future In Home Building by Roger C Claar and James S Boan. The two men are the mayor and the attorney of Bollingbrook, Illinos respectively.

As Visitability and home modifications involving Universal Design continue to define the new American home, so too will it come to shape the new American standard of resort and vacation lodging comfort.

Will Ireland be Accessible?

Ireland has done much recently to enhance the tourist experience. Yet trends are toward rising overhead for the industry and shorter stays for tourists. There is a danger that short-term cost cutting could result in long-term undesireable results.

So it is encouraging to read that Tourism Minister John O’Donoghue considers it a priority for Irish hotels to develop a classification scheme. Will Ireland step into the leadership position and implement a world-class system that serves disabled travelers?

  • Category distinctions that are meaningful to people with disabilities.

  • Levels of detail, such as measurements and actual floorplans, that allow for informed consumer choice.

  • Information that is readily accessible in various formats
  • In short, will Ireland adopt the worldwide trend toward Universal Design, Visitability, and Guestability?

    Your Level Best: Pub-Rolling in the UK

    The February 2005 issue of the Global Access Disabled Travel Network E-Zine popped into my mailbox as I sat writing an article for the 2005 Summit of the Spinal Cord Injury Association. I had just finished a paragaph lamenting the lack of sites that evaluate restaurant access similar to Wired on Wheels.

    As if on queue, editor Marti Gacioch included an article by Mary Dixon about her site Your Level Best. It is good to see the crossover of Eleanor Smith's Concrete Change standards for visitability being applied to places of business - another indication the Universal Design won't long be confined to the home construction industry but pass over to the commercial sector at an increasing rate.

    The Chilean National Tourism Service (SERNATUR) has produced a resource for their tourism industry and municipal leadership on creating inclusive travel options. According to the Director of SERNATUR, Oscar Santelices, the work is designed to facilitate the development in Chile of tourism accessible to all.

    The book, Manual de Turismo Accesible para Personas con Movilidad Reducida y Discapacitados, is directed toward those responsible for implementing inclusive travel and not individual travelers themselves.

    But some of do work in the travel industry of the tsunami-affected region or have responsibility for planning and development in the region. Here are a few stimulants to the imagination that might prove vauable in the coming weeks:

    NIDRR Strikes Blow to Disability and Aging Communities

    September 15, 2004

    The US Government Has Just Made a Tactical Decision to Stop Funding Work on Universal Design and the Built Environment!

    Funding for the field of Universal Design and the Built Environment was not
    awarded in a recent decision by the US Department of Education, National
    Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
    As a result,
    the two prominent national and internationally recognized research centers
    that develop innovative designs, conduct research, and provide education /
    training and information services about universal design are threatened with
    curtailment or closure. (The Center for Universal Design, Raleigh, NC and
    the IDEA Center, Buffalo, NY, as well as grassroots organizations like
    Concrete Change, the key organization that leads the "Visitability" Movement
    and the Inclusive Home Design Act is also threatened with closure.

    And 24 hours after learning of the inclusive travel boom in the State of Wisconsin what should appear but a press release about this new integration of universal design thought in Tasmania!

    Early reports are that some very basic customer preferences were overlooked - such as no in-suite bathrooms but rather a shared restroom down a hallway in their hub facility.

    As with all projects like this, a reliable evaluation needs floorplans, photos, and a firsthand visit by someone with a disability.

    With that caveat in mind, readers of the Rolling Rains Report will recognize from the press release below that these developers have done their homework on inclusive travel.

  • They anticipated the Tasmanian travel boom.
  • They showed fiscal - and environmental - savvy by redesigning an existing structure.
  • They considered statistics originally collected by Simon Darcy in Anxiety to Access.
  • They adopted and modified Dave Player's Algarve strategy of integrated destination development. Let's hope they show his flair for Web design!
  • They have exceeded simple visitabilty modifications to the homes they have refurbished as lodging and applied transgenerational design principles.
  • They consider the needs of both local and non-resident tourism as do many national tourism plans such as Brazil's Programa de Regionalização do Turismo - Roteiros do Brasil nos Estados.

  • And they seem to be aware of the various economic strata within the disabled traveling population.
  • Candy Harrington wrote on the economics of the US market following the release of the Open Doors Organization's study on the purchasing power of travelers with disabilities. To quote:

    This is the first mainstream article I have read on an increasingly common trend -- the convergence of universal design in home construction and the design of recreational lodging and vacation properties.

    Here is documentation that movements in transgenerational home design, aging-in-place, home vistability, and inclusive travel have proven their economic sustainability.

    The Declaration of Quito

    The Declaration of Quito offers a rich starting point for a human rights-based argument supporting Inclusive Destination Development.

    I spent today touring Holland America Line's 1 year-old luxury liner, Oosterdam, in port in San Francisco. Corporate staff gave a presentation on their $225 million "Signature of Excellence" fleet makeover that will focus on five areas identified by passengers as priority features: Dining, Accommodation, Service, Activities, and Destinations.

    Apparently, people with disabilities are not among those the company identified as "passengers" when they did their research on what would constitute excellence.

    Being in a wheelchair I was frequently told how many disabled passengers cruise with them. That is, their passenger lists demonstrate the continuous demand and their bottom line makes the economic argument in passenger fares . Yet no one from VPs presenting to the ship's crew seemed to have a grasp of UD - and the concept of visitability was completely foreign to them.

    For example, the two high-end suite classes were barrier-rich and unliveable from a wheelchair while the few accessible lower-end suites and cabins incorporated crude retrofits.


    Concrete Change is an organization that promote the standard known as visitability.

    Resources on Visitability

    Selected Resources Online:

    Visitability: A New Direction for Changing Demographics

    Accessibility in Our Built Environment: Visitability

    The Center for an Accessible Society

    Visitability Initiative

    Concrete Change

    Visitability: Becoming a Trend?

    Visitability: Making Your Home a Welcoming Place for Visitors with Disabilities

    Search is Underway for Accord on Visitability

    In Brief: Accessibility and Visitability Features in Single-family Homes: A Review of State and Local Activity

    A Call for Vistiability

    The Definition of Visitability

    Visitability is the conecpt championed by Eleanor Smith and Concrete Change:

    While the concept of Visitability is very simple, the definition has several interactive layers: spirit, features, scope, and moment in history.

    The spirit of Visitability is as important as the list of features.

    That spirit says, it's not just unwise, but unacceptable that new homes continue to be built with basic barriers--- unacceptable, given how easy it is to build basic access in the great majority of new homes, coupled with the harshness lack of access inflicts on so many people's lives. . These barriers cause daily, draining drudgery; physically unsafe conditions; social isolation; and undesired institutionalization. The appropriate means of furthering basic access in virtually all new homes is, any means short of violence-- handing out information; legislation; incentives (so long as they are moderate and don’t undermine a tax base, impede general affordable housing, or damage other Visitability efforts); voluntary efforts (so long as they are not programs that produce few houses and exist mainly to forestall legislation); street theater; advertising campaigns; civil disobedience; …and others.

    Second, the features list must be partly rigid and partly flexible. The inflexible Visitability features are:

  • Wide passage doors
  • At least a half bath/powder room on the main floor
  • At least one zero-step entrance

  • Source:

    Visitability Defined 2003

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