New Airport Projects at SEA-TAC & PIT, ODO in Hemispheres, ACRP Project Updates, Video on Signage...and more!

Feb. 2017 News

I recently had the luxury of sailing on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas during its inaugural run. If this is where cruising is now heading, the world is in for some serious FUN!  Something about the cruise industry and accessibility just seems to go better than in other industries. Cruising says it's for everyone so they make it that way. They do not just say it, they prove it. Harmony had so many accessible rooms and suites that I could not even see them all. They had staff helping me every step of the way without being too intrusive or "separate but equal." It was just good customer service. Crew asked and took "no" for an answer or helped as requested. I know the ships are not perfect and that most ports of call are in foreign countries with no American with Disabilities Act, but I do think that every conversation about design on these ships, at the very least, touches on access. That does not guarantee they will do it, but at least they think about it.
Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

New Airport Projects
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has contracted Open Doors Organization to assist them in becoming the "most accessible airport" in the country. ODO will explore Sea-Tac's current operations, focusing on the airport journey for a traveler with a disability from parking and ground transportation to boarding their plane. This project, beginning February 28, will continue throughout the year finishing with a report and presentation to the Port of Seattle commission with recommendations for 2, 5 and 10+ year goals to enhance the accessibility of the airport.
  ODO will also be assisting Pittsburgh International Airport to enhance wayfinding for older travelers and those with disabilities. Through a full assessment of current practices and facilities, ODO will provide a report highlighting key areas for improvement with suggestions focusing on signage, communications, design, and technologies.

CRO Training at JFK
March 29-30

Our next classroom training for airline Complaints Resolution Officials will take place March 29-30 at the Hilton New York JFK Hotel. This in-depth Initial CRO Training features ODO disability awareness and stowage training modules and the latest regulatory changes and guidance. In addition to covering Part 382 in detail, the class offers exercises on coding complaints and determining when violations have occurred. ODO's training is unique in that it is developed and taught by people with disabilities. For full details, email Katy Rosseland or call her at 773.388.8839.
  The all new 2017 CRO Refresher Training will be available shortly at ODO Academy, featuring Ray Prentice of Alaska Airlines as guest speaker. See the next ODO Newsletter for full details.

ACRP Research Project Updates
We're happy to report that ACRP 07-13 Enhancing Airport Wayfinding for Aging Travelers and Persons with Disabilities, a project begun in 2014, is now complete. The final report was submitted in late February and should be published by this summer. Laurel Van Horn, ODO's director of programs, will present the report's findings at the Passenger Terminal Expo (PTE) in Amsterdam on March 16.
   Eric Lipp and Katy Rosseland will also be attending PTE to conduct research for ACRP 01-31 Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities including a site visit and interviews at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Other recent case studies include Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, Rochester, MN, Airport and the Mayo Clinic, with many more to come this spring.
   Laurel Van Horn has also been asked to join the panel for a new ACRP Synthesis Project: S04-19 Incorporating ADA and Functional Needs in Emergency Exercises. ODO is excited to have the opportunity to help guide this important research which kicks off in April.
  Kudos to the Airports Council Research Program, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, for sponsoring research directly aimed at improving the quality of air travel for individuals with disabilities. They are truly unique, not just in the U.S. but worldwide!

ODO in Hemispheres

The February 2017 edition of Hemispheres, the United Airlines inflight magazine, helped raise awareness with an article on United's Accessible Travel Advisory Board. Shown in the group photo are ODO's Eric Lipp, Constantine Zografopoulos and Pat Pound. In addition to mentioning ODO and its mission, the article featured several quotes from Rosalie Crabbe, manager of accessible programs and industry affairs at United.  pdf

New Signage Video

The U.S. Access Board has posted a new animation on accessible signage as part of its online guide to ADA and ABA standards. The 15-minute animated video illustrates requirements for visual and tactile signs, access symbols and other pictograms. This is the seventh in the series which covers topics such as wheelchair maneuvering, protruding objects and accessible toilet rooms.

Give to ODO

We are a registered charity on Amazon Smile.  So the next time you shop, please choose Open Doors Organization and help support our many valuable programs.

CRO Training

ODO offers Initial 
Complaints Resolution Official Training
 at airports nationwide as well as overseas. Email Katy Rosseland or call 773.388.8839 to schedule a class.
For CRO Refresh, visit ODO Academy or email Eddie Ragauskas.
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