The Rolling Rains site is a service to the travel & hospitality industry. It provides resources on Inclusive Tourism - a concept arising from the vigor of a global disability community that both enjoys and asserts the right to full social inclusion.

Inclusive Tourism is the systematic application of Universal Design by the travel and hospitality industry at every stage of a product, service, or policy life cycle.

Universal Design is a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Most simply, Universal Design is human-centered design of everything with everyone in mind.

Universal Design is also called Inclusive Design, Design-for-All and Lifespan Design. It is not a design style but an orientation to any design process that starts with a responsibility to the experience of the user.

The Seven Principles of Universal Design are:

  1. Equitable Use: The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users.

  2. Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

  3. Simple, Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.

  4. Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user's sensory abilities.

  5. Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

  6. Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.

  7. Size and Space for Approach & Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user's body size, posture, or mobility.

 The Seven Goals of Universal Design have been articulated by Professor Edward Steinfeld of the IDEA Center as:

  1. Body fit - accommodating a wide a range of body sizes and abilities
  2. Comfort - keeping demands within desirable limits of body function and perception
  3. Awareness - insuring that critical information for use is easily perceived
  4. Understanding - making methods of operation and use intuitive, clear and unambiguous
  5. Social integration - treating all groups with dignity and respect
  6. Personalization - incorporating opportunities for choice and the expression of individual preferences
  7. Appropriateness - respecting and reinforcing cultural values and the social and environmental context of any design project.

He adds:

The practice of universal design is evolutionary in character. There are no absolute levels of performance since each project context determines what can be achieved. It is a continuous improvement process and can be implemented regardless of constraints or the level of technology available.

Designer Rosanne Ramos of Inclusion by Design speaks of Inclusive Design. She emphasizes the individual and customized design. This serves as grounding for abstract principles on the one hand and counterbalance to a mentality of minimal compliance to accessibility standards on the other:

While we are aware that one size does not fit all, we are equally aware that without designing for the individual we will miss opportunities and innovations that bring us closer to a universal design solution. Inclusive Design is design for all by designing for every individual...

As long as we fail to design the inclusion of even one individual into a product or space, our design fails to be universal. The practice of universal design means understanding the experience and needs of every individual within a community and then designing to meet not the largest number of those needs, but the full spectrum of need. Inclusive design is design for all by designing for every individual.

The concept and principles of Universal Design provide the foundation for profit-oriented approaches to full social participation by all such as Inclusive Tourism. They are also the intellectual groundwork for a rights-based approach to travel, lodging, leisure, and transport encapsulated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as explicitly highlighted in Article 30.

A global community of practice is gathered around this site. Sharing a vision of solidarity around the justice of social inclusion and with a goal of ensuring the sustainability of Inclusive Tourism in commerce this network provides research, writing, speaking, consulting, and travel products.

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