July 2011 Archives

"Sailing for everyone regardless of ability"

There is no more straightforward way to present the "Sailing for Everyone" philosophy emanating from Victoria's Dockland Yacht Club than to give it to you verbatim below.

It has taken root in China Ai Hung Hai (I Love Sailing) on one side of the globe and France's La Voile Ensemble (Sailing for Everyone) on the other. 

"Sailability Victoria - Sailing for Everyone" grew out of the need to the re-think entry level sailing, to simplify everything, to return to the basics. In today's world of seemingly unlimited choice, we have to encourage people into a new activity, not threaten them with confusing rules and jargon and reward them with a dunking.

The philosophy of "Sailing for Everyone" has found expression in an organisation known as "Sailability" which itself began as sailing for the disabled, then grew into facilitating sailing for people with disabilities, and finally blossomed into sailing for everyone, regardless of ability.

We have now amalgamated with Sailability for a cohesive front to promote sailing for everyone, including the disabled, worldwide.

Access Sailing Incorporated

Access Sailing Club Inc is a member of the Victorian Disabled Sports Advisory Committee and the charity of the Victorian Boating Industry Association's melbourne Boat Show. As an incorporated entity it facilitates its branches to own their own property, primarily sailing dinghies and safety craft purchased through sponsorships from local businesses and service clubs, and maintains the organisation's insurance policies. Currently we have branches at Docklands, Bennala, Ballarat, Warnambool and Portland with more evolving all the time.

Club established at Docklands, Melbourne merging with the Docklands Yacht Club.

For any feedback or requests, please e-mail Web Manager, Colin Johanson.



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Walk a mile or two in the shoes of Jeff and you will be opened to world of touch and sound that is rich and literally "overlooked" by those who are profoundly sighted. 

This video by Accessible Media sneaks in a powerful message of inclusion in this video "Jeff's Day."

What would it be like if a cruise line created a set of videos with this quality of environmental description for each of its ports-of-call? How about if someone started by doing a proof of concept video in Barbados?

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The ENAT Code of Good Conduct

ENAT Code of Good Conduct labelThe international commitment label for accessible tourism providers

Read the ENAT Code of Good Conduct

Go to Sign-up page ( - for ENAT Members only)

Go to ENAT Code of Good Conduct Background Information

What is the ENAT Code of Good Conduct?

  • Launched in October 2009, the ENAT Code of Good Conduct is a commitment label and certification scheme for tourism businesses and organisations, recognising their efforts to promote accessible travel and tourism.
  • It is the first and only international labelling scheme for the promotion of ethical business standards in Accessible Tourism for All.   
  • The Code consists of 8 guiding principles which businesses and organisations follow, so as to make travel and tourism accessible for all visitors who experience access difficulties. These customers may need better access and services due to disability, long-standing health problems, age-related conditions or other temporary or permanent personal conditions which restrict their access.
  • The guiding principles of the Code are based on the objectives of ENAT, (as contained in the Association's statutes), and also on sound and ethical business practices which enhance accessibility, sustainability and the quality of customer service.
  • The first 24 businesses received their certificates in 2009. 
  • Over 40 ENAT members had signed the Code of Good Conduct by the end of 2010.   

Why is the Code needed?

  • Signing the ENAT Code of Good Conduct is an expression of the commitment a business or organisation makes to its customers and partners to promote and strive for better access to its premises, its services and information. 
  • The Code is primarily intended for public or private enterprises that directly serve tourists, in Europe and countries around the world. It can also be used by organisations involved in, for example: tourism policy-making; planning, design and management of tourist venues; production or management of tourism facilities and equipment; tourism marketing, education and training and travel and tour services.
  • ENAT has launched the Code as a way of enabling customers and businesses to find reliable, trustworthy suppliers in the Accessible Tourism field. These must be people who share ENAT's values and who strive to improve the quality of their services, making tourism more accessible, comfortable and safer for everyone .

Who follows the ENAT Code, and why?

  • The Code of Good Conduct is offered only to paid-up ENAT Members, as a supplementary service.There is no extra charge. Signing up to the commitments in the Code is optional. Some members may feel that not all the principles are relevant to their work, for example if they are an educational or professional training institution. Others may feel that they are not ready to commit to all the demands of the Code until they have put certain policies or practices in place.
  • ENAT Members who sign the Code undertake a pledge to serve all their customers responsibly and with due care to their access needs. They also agree, as far as possible, to use only those suppliers who adhere to principles of the Code. 
  • After they have signed the Code and provided the details of an accessibility resource person in their organisation, ENAT issues the member with a Code of Good Conduct Certificate and a window sticker, which can be displayed on their premises, as evidence of their commitment. The window sticker bears the year in which it is valid and a new sticker is issued annually to members who re-subscribe to ENAT.
    The ENAT Code of Good Conduct logo may also be used on their website or in printed marketing and advertising material. 
  • The ENAT Members' Directory, which can be viewed freely on-line by the general public, allows potential visitors and businesses to verify ENAT Members' contact details and type of business activity. The Directory will provide public verification of those members who have signed the Code of Good Conduct and those who have not. (New feature, to be implemented soon).      
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From San Francisco Bay comes a story of interdependence and sailing.


Floor marker for people with disabilities in N...

Image via Wikipedia


"Findability precedes usability in the alphabet and on the web. You can't use what you can't find." Peter Morville - Ambient Findability

But what happens when you can't "find" the alphabet?

Well, that might be because you are print-disabled person and the information that you seek exists but is in a format that is not findable with the assistive technology (AST) that you use.

The Reading Rights Coalition points out that:

George Kerscher coined the term "print disabled" (circa 1988-1989) to describe persons who could not access print.

The definition is as follows:

print disabled, noun; print-disabled, adjective.

A person who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability.

When used as an adjective, the word should be hyphenated, e.g. print-disabled person.

(outdated) The Higher Education Opportunity Act defines "print disabled" as "a student with a disability who experiences barriers to accessing instructional material in non-specialized formats, including an individual described in Title 17 of the Copyright Act."

The Google Library Project Settlement defines "print disabled" as "User is unable to read standard printed material due to blindness, visual disability, physical limitations, organic dysfunction or dyslexia."

Source:  http://www.readingrights.org/definition-print-disabled

Data Conversion Laboratory dives deeper with George Kerscher into solutions based on XML and the DAISY format in this interview. An excerpt:


 What does all this mean for people with disabilities?

George Kerscher:

 RFB&D launched its digital service on September 3, 2002. This marks the transition from more than 50 years of analog (with the last 25 years being on 4-track cassette). The powerful navigation of the DAISY format makes the cassette obsolete. And I predict a rapid adoption of this technology. Once we start to use text encoded in XML, we can begin to deliver full text synchronized with full audio multimedia product. This dual reinforcement ... see it and hear it at the same time ... is what we believe will make a real difference in the education of all persons with print disabilities. I believe it will revolutionize education for this disability group. No kidding, we are on the verge of a breakthrough that will change the lives of people with print disabilities.

Read the full interview: http://www.dclab.com/kerscher.asp

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