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Recommendations from Chapter 7 of "Mapping skills and training needs to improve accessibility in tourism services"


One of the key recommendations above relates to the development of an EU-wide standard for a VET (vocational educational training) curriculum and qualification(s) in accessible tourism (EU Certification). Development of such a standard would help address both supply side barriers (by  providing a structure to the market for accessible training provision) and some of the demand side challenges (by defining accessible tourism skills as a transferrable and recognised skill). 

The standard would not require the design of specialised accessible tourism training modules. Rather, the required skills (as defined in section 3 of his report) could be integrated into existing tourism qualification. This would certainly be the case for the basic skills per occupational group defined in section 3 with more in-depth training being provided in separate modules focused exclusively on accessible tourism.

While the full development of an accessible tourism curriculum is outside the scope of this study, our research shows that such a curriculum should identify:

1. The range of different disabilities that tourism businesses should be aware of. As a minimum these should include:

  • Mobility and dexterity
  • Hearing
  • Visual
  • Learning difficulties
  • Allergies
  • Food intolerances
  • Long term-illness


2. The target audience for whom the training is intended e.g.:

  • Frontline Staff
  • Managers
  • Others

The curriculum would, we believe, be best developed as a Standard. The benefits of developing a training standard for Accessible Tourism are:

1. It enables detailed training content to be identified and developed addressing different disabilities (as above) related to different job roles reflecting their responsibilities, thus creating a complete reference framework or matrix which can support the requirement of in-depth training.

2. Such a framework would assist any person or organisation who is looking to develop access training, by informing them of content and assisting development for courses that are either accredited and achieve a recognised qualification or for shorter bite-size course which might be preferred by smaller businesses but mapped against a standard.

3. The framework would also be a useful reference point for existing courses that may be reviewed and refreshed in the future.

4. Developing a curriculum in the way that a standard is created offers an opportunity for access training to be recognised formally through accreditation; it can be a reference point for both employer and employee, (which most access training currently does not offer), indicating that a recognised standard of competence has been reached.


Further benefits of developing a curriculum around a Standards approach are many:

1. National Occupational Standards reflect what people can do, not just what they have earned, they define individual competence in performance terms.

2. They have a value within industry and can, for example be used for recruitment and selection, job design and evaluation, training needs analysis, learning programmes and performance appraisals.

3. Good employers invest in training their staff, to remain competitive and improve staff retention though skills and career development.

4. The Standards provide a benchmark for all of this activity.

Having a standard allows for an assessment of whether someone can consistently perform the required standard of performance and has the required standard of knowledge and understanding. Assessments should not be designed to create an excessive workload for either the assessor or candidate (member of staff being assessed), but it must be rigorous and reliable.

There are four main sources of evidence and methods of assessing evidence, against set specifications, of competence and an appropriate combination should be selected for each candidate:

1. Observation of performance at work, inspection of work products, witness testimonies.

2. Questioning oral and / or written.

3. Historical evidence or Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

4. Performance on a specially set task and simulation.

Find the complete study here:

Making it Work is  project dedicated to seeing the CRPD implemented. Below is the series of questions they propose to States who are adopting the Convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities

Article 30 - Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport

Access to culture, recreation, leisure and sport are also important areas to be taken into 
account for the full participation in society of persons with disabilities. 

Questions to address: 

• Are intellectual property laws a barrier to persons with disabilities seeking to 
access cultural materials?  
• Does public funding provided to cultural, leisure/touristic and sporting facilities 
and organizations require compliance with accessibility standards?  
• Do general accessibility plans include the elimination of barriers in culture, 
recreation, leisure and sport?  
• Is the State providing support to disability-specific initiatives in the area of sports 
and culture? 
• Is the State promoting and supporting deaf culture

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Boxed Out: Visually Impaired Audiences, Audio Description and the Cultural Value of the Television Image

Elizabeth Jane Evans and Roberta Pearson,
University of Nottingham, UK



Television is vital to the interpersonal relationships of visually impaired audiences, despite their being unable to see the images clearly. However, their ability to fully engage with television's social role hinges on their ability to gather meaning from the text, something that becomes increasingly difficult when only the aural signifiers of television are accessible. This article explores the role of audio description services, which provide an additional soundtrack detailing visual information, and the way in which they facilitate interpretation and subsequently discussion of television texts for the visually impaired. In doing so it will interrogate arguments that present a singular model of television aesthetics. Instead it will present the need for a more nuanced approach, one that understands the specificity of individual genres or programmes and the fact that the relationship between sound and image may not be the same for all television content. Key words: Television, audiences, image, sound, disability, audio description.


What happens when you mix the fields of development with the concept Inclusive Tourism?

The Maputo Seminar on Development and Inclusive Tourism was first attempt to answer that question.

Part of what it illustrated was the need for rigorous study and data-collection. To achieve that a Community of Practice on Inclusive Tourism and Development is needed. Key concepts require clarification:

Inclusive Tourism
Development and Disability

The 2010 European Union report on implementation of EU regulations mandating Inclusive Tourism.


Disabled people worldwide

Disability affects 15-20% of every country's population: There are at least 650 million people with disabilities worldwide. [i] Conflict and poverty continue to cause high rates of disability in the less developed world. The incidence of disability is increasing in the industrialised world as populations age.

Every country calculates the number of disabled people in their country differently. Cultural differences, different disability definitions and different methods of data collection mean that in many cases estimates are significantly lower than ILO estimates. Many more people will benefit from workplace adjustments and adaptations to services than official figures suggest. Companies which take a disability confident approach will improve access for all their stakeholders.

Disability in Europe

  • The total number of the population with a long-standing health problem or a disability (LSHPD) in 25 European countries is estimated to account for more than 45 million citizens. [ii]
  • These European Union statistics only refer to the population that is 16 to 64 years old. [iii]
  • This means that one in six persons (15.7%) of the working age population (aged 16 to 64) has either a long-standing health problem or a disability. [iv]
  • One European in four declares having a member of their family affected by a disability. [v]
  • At 32.2% Finland has the highest percentage prevalence of long standing disability in the European Union.[vi]
  • The Netherlands has the third highest prevalence of disability in the European Union with 25.4% of their population. [vii]
  • 6.6% of the Italian population are disabled, one of the lowest figures in the European Union. [viii]
  • 5.8% of the Romanian population have a long term disability. [ix]
  • There are over 10 million disabled people in Russia. Approximately 700,000 of these are children and young adults up to the age of 18. [x]
  • The United Kingdom has the second highest prevalence of disability with 27.2% of the population having a long-standing health problem or disability. [xi]

Disability in Africa

  • It is estimated that in 2005 there were 1.6 million disabled people in Cameroon [xii]
  • The disabled population of Ethiopia accounts for 7.6% of the overall population. [xiii]
  • The 1989 Kenya Population Census estimated that 0.7% of the 21.4 million population were disabled. This is regarded as an underestimation. [xiv]
  • In Malawi, the 1983 Disability Survey revealed 190,000 people as disabled, which was 2.9% of the population. According to World Health Organisation estimates the figure in 2005 was closer to 1 million people with disability. [xv]
  • 10% of the population are estimated to be disabled in Mali. [xvi]
  • In 2005 there were approximately 190,000 disabled people, or 9.9% of the population, in Mozambique.[xvii]
  • 269,680 people of a total 7.8 million are estimated to be disabled in Rwanda. This amounts to 3.5% of the population. [xviii]
  • It is estimated that Tanzania has a disabled population of more than 3 million. [xix]
  • In Uganda, the disabled population in 1991 was 190,345. [xx]
  • A total number of about 2%, or 218,421, of the Zimbabwean population were estimated to be disabled in 1997. [xxi]

Disability in Asia

  • The disabled population of Afghanistan varies between 4 and 10% of the total. [xxii]
  • 2.4% of the Cambodian population are said to be disabled. [xxiii]
  • In India is estimated that 60 million people are disabled. [xxiv]
  • Indonesia is said to have a disabled population of 1% of the total. [xxv]
  • Of the 22 milion disabled people in Indonesia, less than 1% are employed [xxvi]
  • Indonesian law states that companies must allocate at least 1% of their workforce to disabled people. Failure to do so results in significant monetary fines. [xxvii]
  • In Lao 8% of the population are estimated to be disabled. [xxviii]
  • Approximately 7% of the total Pakistani population are disabled. [xxix]
  • In the Philippines the disabled population figure accounts for an estimated 1.23% of the population. [xxx]
  • In Nepal 7-10% of the population are disabled. [xxxi]

Disability in Australasia

  • Almost four million Australians or 20% of the population reported a disability in 2003. [xxxii]
  • In 1997 statistics showed that about 20% of the New Zealand population experiences a long-term condition or health problem. [xxxiii]
  • 44% of disabled adults in NewZealand are in employment in comparison to 74% of people without disabilities [xxxiv]

Disability in North America

  • In 2002 roughly 51.2 million or 18% of Americans stated they had some form of disability; for 32.5 million of them the disability was severe. [xxxv]
  • Canadian population estimates from 2001 stated that 3.9 million people were disabled. This represents approximately one in eight Canadians as having a disability.[xxxvi]

Disability in South America

  • In 1994 it was estimated that the disabled population in Guatemala was 59,841, or 0.72% of the total population. [xxxvii]

Worldwide Aging Populations

A graph that represents how populations are aging now and how they will age in 2010
  • 16.7% of the American population were aged 60 and over in 2005. This is projected to be 26.4% by 2050.[xxxviii]
  • In 2005, the percentage of Chinese people aged 60 and over was 10.9%. By 2050, this figure is expected to rise to 31.0% [xxxix]
  • 21.1% of the French population were aged 60 and over in 2005. This is thought to rise to 33.0% by 2050.[xl]
  • German people aged 60 and over accounted for 25.1% of the population in 2005. This is expected to rise to 35% by 2050. [xli]
  • Indian people aged 60 and over accounted for 7.9% of the population in 2005. This is expected to rise to 20.75 by 2050. [xlii]
  • In 2005, the percentage of Japanese people aged 60 and over was 26.3%. By 2050, this figure is expected to rise to 41.7%. [xliii]
  • Russian people aged 60 and over accounted for 17.1% of the population in 2005. This is expected to rise to 31.1% by 2005. [xliv]
  • In the UK, 21.2% of the population were aged 60 and over in 2005. This figure is predicted to be 29.4% in 2050. [xlv]


  1. [i] UN Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2007
  2. [ii] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis 2005
  3. [iii] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  4. [iv] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  5. [v] The European Research Group's, Eurobarometer 54.2/2001, Brussels May 2001
  6. [vi] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  7. [vii] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  8. [viii] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  9. [ix] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  10. [x] 'Inclusive Education in Russia: a status report', Denise Roza, Disability World, issue 26 December 2004/February 2005
  11. [xi] Eurostat research results (2003), cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  12. [xii] World Health Organisation estimate
  13. [xiii] Ethiopian Disability Survey estimate
  14. [xiv] Kenya Population Census 1989
  15. [xv] Malawi Disability Survey 1983 and World Health Organisation estimate
  16. [xvi] Malian federation of Disabled People (FEMAPH) estimation
  17. [xvii] Application of World Health Organisation estimate
  18. [xviii] World Health organisation estimate
  19. [xix] Estimate figure from World Health Organisation and International Labour Organisation 2005
  20. [xx] Ugandan National Housing and Population Census 1991
  21. [xxi] Zimbabwean Inter-Censal Demographic Survey (ICDS) 1997
  22. [xxii] In the of reliable data the 4% is from local surveys with the higher 10% being the World Health Organisation figure
  23. [xxiii] National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning
  24. [xxiv] Quoted from 'This minority is invisible' by Javed Abidi, June 2002.
  25. [xxv] Statistic Central Board
  26. [xxvi] Data from the Indonesian Disabled People's Association (PPCI), September 2006
  27. [xvii] Data from the Indonesian Disabled People's Association (PPCI), September 2006
  28. [xxviii] World Health Organisation
  29. [xxix] Statistics Division, Blue Area, Islamabad. Cited on the Biwako Millenium Framework website
  30. [xxx] National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP)
  31. [xxxi] 'The Disability Situation in Nepal', Meen Raj Panthi, Disability World issue 24, June/August 2004
  32. [xxxii] Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003
  33. [xxxiii] Shelton, E.J. & Tucker, H. (2005) Tourism and Disability: Issues Beyond Access. Tourism Review International, Vol. 8 (3), pp. 211-219, cited in OSSATE Accessibility Market and Stakeholder Analysis2005
  34. [xxxiv] Statistics NZ data, quoted by EEO Trust
  35. [xxxv] US Census Bureau figures 2002 as part of US Census Press Release, 12/05/06.
  36. [xxxvi] Canadian Government population estimates released in 2001 quoted in 'Advancing the Inclusion of people with Disabilities', 2005.
  37. [xxxvii] National Population Census 1994 ,
  38. [xxxviii] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006
  39. [xxxix] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006
  40. [xl] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006
  41. [xli] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006
  42. [xlii] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006
  43. [xliii] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006
  44. [xliv] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006
  45. [xlv] United Nations population projection figures, Wall Street Journal, June 2006

US Campground Accessibility:

The purpose of this study was partly to identify existing policies and procedures common to accommodating people with disabilities in campgrounds and campsites throughout the country; and partly to determine the current level of accessibility in campground facilities throughout the nation. The intent of the data collection was to identify common policies, exemplary practices, and issues where clear policies were not available. The ultimate objective was to provide campground owners and operators with examples of principles and policies that might guide them in future efforts to make their facility both programmatically and physically accessible...

the U. S. Access Board began developing guidelines for recreation areas, including campgrounds in the mid 1990's. The final report of the Committee recommending campground accessibility guidelines were published in the fall of 1999. Currently, the guidelines are awaiting final approvals and enforcement authority from the U.S. Department of Justice. In the meantime most experts advise campground operators, whether federal, state or private, to use the proposed guidelines in designing accessible campsites, since even though final guidelines are not in place, entities are still required to insure the inclusion of people with disabilities in their campgrounds. While making physical area and facilities accessible to and usable by people with disabilities is fairly straightforward, the development and implementation of policies and administrative practices that ensure 'program' access are sometimes less understood, but no less important. This study attempted to focus mostly on the policy and administrative practices that often affect the quality of the experience for people with disabilities, and in fact may well discriminate against them.
US Campground Accessibility 2006
View more documents from Scott Rains.

BC Canada Park Accessibility Study

While it is already impressive that many of the parks in BC already have some degree of accessible features, how do we ensure that this is not only maintained but expands?

This report and the attached toolkit attempts to:

• Uncover accessibility initiatives already under way in B.C., Canada and beyond (highlighting best practices)
• Establish universal principles and objectives to guide a shared vision for accessibility of trails throughout BC
• Offer a simple and consistent to assessing accessibility of parks and trails in BC
• Provide guidelines for parks organizations to programs and services (including make strategic decisions concerning information and communications) that accessibility in their parks 
• Provide guidance to ensure that accessibility and inclusiveness are embedded into sustainable business practices
Canada: Accessible Parks Final Report
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The Social Model of Disability


The following article appeared in the June-July 2009 issue of Contours magazine.

Disability and Human Rights: Questions for Geotourism Projects can be downloaded here.

Scott Rains on Geotourism _ Disability -