April 2009 Archives

On Virtual Tour


On the schedule I should be in Greece today visiting Siren's Resort, Argonautical Park, at the Poros Yacht Show, or one of the several current Greek entries to the GeoTourism Challenge "The Power of Place."

Instead I am taking consolation in the fact that the Internet changes geography and am "traveling" today via Denise Vogel's Outside Sales Network (OSSN) Blog.

OSSN is the professional association for hosted travel agents and Denise has been exploring the benefits of social networking apps (Web 2.0). If you are a travel agent  - or just interested in developments in the field - OSSN is a good resource and Denise's blog is shaping up be informative.

(I still wish I was in Poros however ;-)

Poros Yacht Show 2009.jpg

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Another positive outcome of this foreshortened European jaunt was to have been contacted by Pete Kercher, Ambassador for EIDD - Design for All Europe. In his latest news note he reminds readers of the EDD Stockholm Declaration 2004.

It was adopted on 9 May 2004, at the Annual General Meeting of the European Institute for Design and Disability in Stockholm. The document follows in English but is available in numerous other languages here.

"Good design enables, bad design disables"


Soon after its establishment in 1993, the European Institute for Design and Disability (EIDD) developed the mission statement: "Enhancing the quality of life through Design for All".

After ten years as the European platform on Design for All, involving the development of external relations and an internal structure - national member organisations, corporate members and individual members now in sixteen European countries - EIDD believes that the time has come to issue a Design for All Declaration.

Design for All has roots both in Scandinavian functionalism in the 1950s and in ergonomic design from the 1960s. There is also a socio-political background in Scandinavian welfare policies, which in Sweden in the late 1960s gave birth to the concept of "A society for all" referring primarily to accessibility. This ideological thinking was streamlined into the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1993. The focus of the UN Standard Rules on accessibility in a clear equality context has inspired the development of the Design for All philosophy, which became a generally accepted concept in EIDD at its Annual General Meeting in Barcelona in 1995.

Comparable concepts have developed in parallel in other parts of the world. The Americans with Disabilities Act contributed to the evolution of Universal Design, while Inclusive Design has gained ground in the UK.

Today, Planning and Design for All are being recognised increasingly as necessary elements in pro-active strategies for sustainable development.

The European Institute for Design and Disability, on the occasion of its Annual General Meeting in Stockholm on 9 May 2004, therefore adopts the following Declaration:

Across Europe, human diversity in age, culture and ability is greater than ever. We now survive illness and injury and live with disability as never before. Although today's world is a complex place, it is one of our own making, one in which we therefore have the possibility - and the responsibility - to base our designs on the principle of inclusion.

Design for All is design for human diversity, social inclusion and equality. This holistic and innovative approach constitutes a creative and ethical challenge for all planners, designers, entrepreneurs, administrators and political leaders.

Design for All aims to enable all people to have equal opportunities to participate in every aspect of society. To achieve this, the built environment, everyday objects, services, culture and information - in short, everything that is designed and made by people to be used by people - must be accessible, convenient for everyone in society to use and responsive to evolving human diversity.

The practice of Design for All makes conscious use of the analysis of human needs and aspirations and requires the involvement of end users at every stage in the design process.

The European Institute for Design and Disability therefore calls on the European institutions, national, regional and local governments and professionals, businesses and social actors to take all appropriate measures to implement Design for All in their policies and actions.

Published: 12 February 2008
Updated: 31 March 2008

Missing the Party in Milan


One of the surprise bonuses of our recent trip to Milan for the Carlo Besta Institute congress on tourism and disability was an invitation by Sebastian,  the CEO of TripWolf, to attend the launch of their Italian site. Unfortunately I was unable to attend but here he posts some impressions of the event.

Dining Tuscan Style at I Girasoli


Our retreat to recuperate at I Girasoli (click to see location on Google Maps), the Tuscan vacation spot developed by the Italian MS Society, includes a restaurant with an excellent selection of wines.

Even if you think you are coming for the arcitecture, the people, or their history it would be wise to practice up on your Italian-for-dining vovcabulary: 

Below are just a few examples of the meals we have enjoyed here. They are, in the fine Italian tradition of Mangia! Mangia! (Eat! Eat!), full course adventures: antipasto - pasta - main course - salad - dessert. Regional cuisine is always much in evidence:

      • Farfalle verde oro
      • Minestra di faro
      • Ravioli allla salvia bruchiata
      • Rigatoni cacio e pepe
      • Costine di agnello alla graglia
      • Carciofi con aglio e prezzemolo
      • Caprese
      • Bielole

Of course there is dessert and wine.

Being not far from the source of so many good wines we enjoyed a Brunello and shared a Proseco given as a gift by Paolo Cosulich the night we stayed at his Hotel Sansebastiani Garden in Venice. The wine was from his family vineyard. A local tradition that we were introduced to was adding a bit of strawberry liquer to Proseco. Quite sweet and not to my taste but all part of the cultural immersion experience.


Accessing Assisi




Assisi-vista.jpgAssisi is not the sort of topography for leisurely strolls if you use a wheelchair. For those of us  with a special interest in St Francis the physical exertion of visiting the hillside town outweighs the difficulty of doing so. Then there is the added pleasure of the commanding vistas over the Tuscan landscape.

To Assisi


This travelogue picks up long into the journey due to an unexpected injury preventiong me from posting. A small abrasion on my hand became so severely infected that it requires daily injections of anti-biotic and anti-inflamatory.

Touring again is appealing after two days post-conference for recuperation in Venice and now north of Florence near Lucignano at the resort complex for the Italian MS Society.

La Casa Vacanza I Girasoli , the Sunflowers Vacation Resort, is a barrier-free venue. It has a restaurant that serves local foods as well as special diets. They have six electric scooters to lend, several tiny adapted cars to borrow, and a lift-equipped bus with a driver to rent for private tours. The grounds and countryside and vistas are beautiful - if you can get yourself our of the house restaurant and its excellent wine collection with enough time to enjoy them.


For more information:






The Congress began with a press conference. The regional administration of Lombardy showed its strong support. Previews of some of the conference themes included tourism as a quality-of-life issue, as rehabilitation, and cooperation between regions in Italy to develop the market in a coordinated fashion

Even on the road great projects and resources find me and deserve publicity.

I pass along two announcements. One is a study unerway by Gary Scott Danford. The other is a call for input from the US FAA to the industry on aircraft boarding equipment.


User Evaluations of Built Environments' Inclusiveness


Thank you for your past participation in the Built Environment Research Project's recently completed Problematic Activities Surveys. In these online surveys, over 600 of you representing a wide range of functional and sensory abilities identified the activities that pose the greatest problems in three built environments: public buildings, public streets and residential environments.


You are now being invited to participate in the research project's follow-up Design Effectiveness Surveys in which you will be given the opportunity to evaluate how effective certain designs are in resolving several of those problems. These brief online surveys can be found on the research project's website at http://udeworld.com/surveys/built-environment.html. 


As an expression of our appreciation for your participation in this research project, all participants will again be eligible for random drawings of ten cash prizes ranging from $100 to $500. If you belong to other forums or listservs, or know of anyone else who might be interested in participating, please feel free to give them the research project's website address listed above.


* This study is being conducted by the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA) through its Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Design and the Built Environment (RERC-UD) with funding provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).


Gary Scott Danford, Ph.D.
Director, Built Environment Research Project

Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDEA Center)

Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning
University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
3435 Main Street, 379 Hayes Hall
Buffalo, NY 14214-3087

email: danford@buffalo.edu
phone: 716.829.3485 x328
fax: 716.829.3256
url: http://www.ap.buffalo.edu/idea/Staff/danford.asp
Aircraft Boarding Equipment

_____________ FAA Advisory Circular - Aircraft Boarding Equipment

2009 GeoTourism Challenge



While the Carlo Besta Institute conference "Neurology in the Third Millennium" is not about Health Tourism per se there is room for some interesting convergence with Health Tourism and studies and projects we develop to follow the conference.

Reading Constantine Constantinides' reports on the World Health Tourism Congress in Manila and the second European Congress on Health Tourism in Budapest was enlightening.

His reflections on language also:

And for those of you who want to pass the time (passa tempo), some etymology.

The word Tourism is derived from Tour - from Anglo-French tur, tourn turning, circuit - a there and back journey.

Travel may not include a "back".

The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.

In 1976 the Tourism Society of England defined Tourism as "the temporary, short-term movement of people to destinations outside the places where they normally live and work - and includes movements for all purposes."

In 1981 the International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism defined Tourism in terms of particular activities selected by choice and undertaken outside the home environment.

Even the UN had a say on the issue in 1994:

Domestic Tourism (now also known as "intra-bound"), which involves residents of the given country traveling only within this country

Inbound Tourism, involving non-residents traveling in the given country

Outbound Tourism, involving residents traveling to another country

For more on Constantine's work see:


Constantine Constantinides M.D., Ph.D.

10 Amerikis Street - Syntagma Square

GR - 106 71 ATHENS


Tel.: (+30) 69 45 85 76 42





{{lang|it|Comune di Milano}}

Image via Wikipedia

With discussion of the Airline Passenger's Bill of Rights fresh in my mind and the situation of Rajeev Rajan recently in my writing I fly early tomorrow from San Jose, California to Milan, Italy to address the Carlo Besta Neurological Institute's conference on travel and disability "Neurology in the Third Millennium."

Below is the final schedule of the conference Neurology in the Third Millennium:

Scientific Program

Friday 17 April 2009

08.45    Opening
    Ferdinando Cornelio, Scientific Committee coordinator

9.00    Roberto Formigoni, President of the Region Lombardia
    Alessandro  Moneta, President of the Neurological Institute Carlo Besta
    Fernando Antonio Compostella, Director of the Health Services Agency,  Region Veneto
    Giuseppe Deleo, General Director, Neurological Institute Carlo Besta, Milan
    Carlo Sangalli, President of Confcommercio

9.30 - 1° Session

Chairperson: Carlo Vergani, Professor of Geriatrics and gerontology, University of Milan

Neurology in the third millennium: epidemiological and anthropological analysis
Ferdinando Cornelio, Scientific Director Istitute Carlo Besta, Milan

Weakness of the world becoming older and function of the rehabilitation
Massimo Fini, Scientific Director Institute S. Raffaele Pisana, Rome

Disability and participation related to ICF classification
Matilde Leonardi, SOSD Public Health and Disability, Neurological Institute Carlo Besta, Milan

10.30 - Coffee-break

10.50 - 2° Session

Worldwide problems on disabilities
Deng Pufang, Chairman China Disabled People's Federation*

Inclusive Tourism - Participant/Observer notes on the global paradigm shift towards solutions
Scott Paul Rains, D. Min, Publisher of RollingRains.com, Founder of Tour Watch Inclusive Tourism Network

Accessible tourism - for life quality and a sustainability
L. Müller, President of the European Network for Accessible Tourism, ENAT

12.00 - Institutions

Maurizio Sacconi, Italian Ministry of Health and Welfare
Giulio Boscagli, Head of Family and Social Solidarity Department, Region Lombardia
Sandro Sandri, Head of Healthcare Department, Region Lombardia

13.00 - Lunch

* officially invited

14.30 - 3° Session

Chiarperson: M. Imbriani, Scientific Director Maugeri Foundation, Pavia

Disability and disease: the physiatrist for needs and opportunities definition
Giuseppe Filippi, Director of the Regional Rehabilitation Department, Region Veneto

Persons' measurement and functional evauation: the ground rules
Luigi Tesio, Professor of Medical Rehabilitation, University of Milano

Chaos of measurements: overview on rehabilitation
Donatella Bonaiuti, Director of Rehabilitation Department, S. Gerardo Hospital, Monza

Patient/citizen and accessible tourism: what is important to know?
Graziella Filippini, SOSD Neuroepidemiology, Neurological Institute Carlo Besta, Milan

15.50 - Conclusions
Luciano Bresciani, Head of Healthcare Department, Region Lombardia

16.00 Coffee-break

16.15 - 4° Session

Chairperson: Mario Carletti, Director I.N.A.I.L. (Italian National Workers Compensation Authority)

Leisure time and rehabilitation in disability
Paolo Cornelio, Scientific Direction Neurological Institute Carlo Besta, Milan

Accessible tourism as a tool for neurorehabilitation
Carlo Puppo, ANGLAT President - Luigi Passetto - ANGLAT Delegate

Optimism comes from accessibile tourism
Roberto Vitali, President of Village for All

Quality of life in illness causing severe disability: utopia or reality?
Mario Melazzini, President of AISLA (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Italian Association)

17.45 - Discussion


Saturday 18th April 2009


1° Session: Experiences comparison in rehabilitation, leisure time and quality of life

Coordinator: Paolo Del Debbio

Fernando Antonio Compostella, Director of the Health Services Agency,  Region Veneto

Alliance for clinical and rehabilitation neurosciences
Giampiero Merati, Professor of Physiology, University of Milano and Sports Medicine Department, Don Gnocchi Foundation
Leontino Battistin, Scientific Director Institute S. Camillo, Venice
Giacomo Bazzini, Head of Occupational therapy, Maugeri Foundation, Pavia

2° Session: Accessible tourism: well-being in disability

Coordinator: Armando Peres, Tourism Department - Italian Govern Cabinet

Alberto Lalli, Thermal Research Centre, Abano terme
Pier Gianni Prosperini, Head of Youth, Sport and Tourism department, Region Lombardia
Elisabetta Favaro, AISM  (Multiple sclerosis Italian association)
Alberto Corti, Directot of Federviaggio
Scott Paul Rains, D. Min, Publisher of RollingRains.com, Founder of Tour Watch Inclusive Tourism Network

13.00 Closing remarks - M. Brambilla, Secretary of the Italian Govern Cabinet, Tourism Department

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Following a 2007 visit to South Korea the magazine Co-Walking asked me to write this review for the Korean disability community.