Open Doors Organization

June 2012 News

I had the opportunity to go to London recently to train the ground handlers at Heathrow Airport in preparation for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. All ground handlers globally should go through this type of training. No matter where I do training on how to handle wheelchairs, scooters and other assistive devices, the ground handlers always come up to say, "I have worked on the ramp 35 years and this is the best training yet" or " I have been on the ground for 20+ years and nobody has ever taken the time to train us on this stuff." Their words give me renewed excitement on the change that we can make. I hope the airline industry listens to their ground handlers and puts the value on this type of training that it deserves. Through our partner Global Repair Group we know that this training leads to decreased damage to assistive devices, and that is almost priceless.

Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organization

Universal Access in Airports 2012

Oct. 16 - 18, 2012  DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport

This year's program promises to be the most interesting and educational yet. Learn about emerging technologies, interact with travelers with disabilities, network with peers from other airports and airlines and discover best practices that are truly inclusive. Early Bird Registration has been extended to July 31. Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are still available.

Preliminary Agenda
Mailer/Registration Form
Sponsorship Flyer

ODO Cited in RCI Blog

A blog entitled "Making Royal Caribbean Accessible to Everyone" mentions ODO's safety videos among other recent accessibility initiatives at the popular cruise line. Written by Ron Pettit, Senior Specialist in Access, the blog appeared June 14 on the RCI website.  Read in full.

Inclusive Tourism News

A  new book by Candy Harrington, 22 Accessible Road Trips, maps out driving routes throughout the Continental US with detailed access information on lodging, restaurants, sights, trails and attractions.

In May 2012 the Canada Transportation Agency issued a new resource tool, Carriage of Mobility Aids On Board Planes, Trains and Ferries., an online booking agency for B&Bs and guest houses in the UK, now features an Accessible B&B Collection.

Virgin America Fined

Virgin America is the latest to be fined for violations of the Air Carrier Access Act. On May 24, 2012, the US DOT assessed a civil penalty of $100,000 against the airline for failing to provide dispositive responses to written disability-related complaints and failing to properly categorize and accurately report complaints. Read Consent Order.

ADA Motorcoach Trainings

On May 23, ODO trained bus operators from IL, IN and WI at its Chicago headquarters.

Upcoming Classes
Concord, NC - 6/26
Sponsors: Motorcoach Assns. of SC and NC
For details, email Linda Morris.

Baltimore, MD - 7/26 & 7/27
Sponsor: Maryland Motorcoach Association
Free to members, $60/day to others.
MMA ADA Training Invitation

ODO's New Interns

ODO is excited to welcome Adam Cain and Ben Auerbach as our summer interns.  Adam, who returns for his third summer,  just graduated Whitney M. Young High School and will attend Michigan Technological University, majoring in electrical engineering.  Ben graduated Ida Crown Jewish Academy and will attend New York University. Ben has a disability, Tourette’s Syndrome, and wants to make an impact on the disability community.

Easy Access Springfield

For a great accessible and affordable family vacation, Springfield, IL, cannot be beat. Plan your trip online at Easy Access Springfield, researched and created by ODO.  For upcoming events, visit Springfield CVB.
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Twitter Feed

6 Jun Apple apps are 100% accessible! Cool!
5 Jun ODO's Laurel is in Madrid today! Visited the ONCE touch museum for pw vision loss! So cool Sculptures, monuments & art:
5 Jun ODO is attending this great event hosted by tomorrow!
31 May Amazing attndees at Natl ADA Symp in Indy.Floored by how many wanted to talk general travel! Need 2 make ODO more avail to disblty cmmunty..
29 May ODO Has a busy week! Eric speaking in indianapolis thurs ODO starts Wounded Warrior program Saturday!!
29 May ChiTown TuesTip: FrankLloyd Wright house in Rockford is only accessibly-focused house in FLW's history. Soon to reopen, stay tuned!
22 May ChiTown Tues Tip: Botanical gardens and Rockford Botanical Gardens are beautifully accessible for PWD!
16 May RT : On 5/22 will launch Hotel Training program with the ADA National Network HT
15 May Our boys head to London today to train 90+ airlines over the next week in preparation for the Paralympics!
10 May Wow CEO Jeff Smisek honored the Accessible Travel Board with a surprise visit today, how awesome.
10 May Super excited that has finally incorporated closed captioning into their onboard entertainment! Makes our advisory board happy!
9 May Day 1 of the 2nd annual Accessible Travel Advisory Board for United Airlines in Chicago, excited to hear and report on their progress!
8 May Are you getting your share of the PWD market? Come see us booth #7478
8 May ChiTown Tues Tip: Celebrating 32 years in the city, provides advocacy and independent living services for pwd
3 May  Student's case study for their MBA on ODO!
1 May Eric and Craig are in Phoenix for the 84th annual AAAE conference talking to airports about access! Go Team!
1 May US Airways at AAAE show keynote Scott says AA- US Air merger would benefit consumers! he seems very optimistic on merger happening.
Open Doors Organization (ODO), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois was founded in 2000 for the purpose of creating a society in which all persons with disabilities have the same consumer opportunities as everyone else. We aspire to teach businesses how to succeed in the disability market, while simultaneously empowering the disability community.  more...


Los Angeles: 7/11-12
New York: 8/14-15
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New York: 10/24-25
Chicago: 11/07-08
Los Angeles: 12/05-06

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