New IATA Mobility Aids Action Group, Buffalo NY ITS4US Webinar,  Long COVID Guidance, Upcoming Events...and More!

July 2021 News

July always marks the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Once again, I ask that you look within and do whatever you can to help support accessibility and inclusion. Whether that is sending your yearly donation to ODO, supporting a local charity or volunteering in your local community, there is no better time than the present. All the big companies are now focusing on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a space we have been serving for over 20 years, so make this summer your time to get involved. I also want to recognize two leaders in accessibility who recently retired: Kelly Buckland, Executive Director, National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and Mary Beth Thompson, ADA Coordinator, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Each have made a real difference, and we at ODO wish them all the best! You'll be missed!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

New IATA Mobility Aids Action Group

On July 8, the International Air Transport Association announced the formation of a Mobility Aids Action Group to improve the transport journey of mobility aids and reduce damage and delay of these vital assistive devices. The new task force will involve the full range of stakeholders impacted by this issue including organizations representing travelers with disabilities, airlines, ground service providers, airports and--for the first time ever--mobility aids manufacturers. ODO Executive Director Eric Lipp was quoted in the IATA Press Release and will, of course, be at the table. This is a topic on which ODO has long focused and that led us to help found our partner company, Global Repair Group. ODO conducts wheelchair stowage trainings in the US and internationally and is an active participant in the RESNA Standards Committee for Assistive Technology for Air Travel .
  Linda Ristagno, Assistant Director External Affairs also recognized the contributions of Open Doors Organization to their various accessibility-related initiatives during a presentation for IATA Global Media Days 2021 (introductory slide shown above). View the IATA  "Air Travel Accessibility" Video or PowerPoint pdf.

Buffalo NY ITS4US Webinar
Last month we described the US DOT "Complete Trip Deployment Pilot," headed by ICF International with support from ODO, the U. of Buffalo IDEA Center and the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. The project combines accessible trip planning services with indoor and outdoor wayfinding, community-based shuttle services that include a self-driving fleet, and intersection pedestrian safety technologies targeted at providing complete trip support to travelers with disabilities in the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and its neighboring communities. To learn more, please join us for a free webinar on Wed., Aug. 4 from 1:30-3:30pm EDT. Registration.

Upcoming Events for ODO

FAA National Civil Rights Training for Airports--Aug. 23-24, 10:00am-4:00pm EDT. Now in its 12th year, this free event will be again be virtual. On Aug. 24, Laurel Van Horn, ODO Dir. of Programs, will speak about communication best practices for travelers with disabilities. Information and Registration.

TravelAbility Tampa 2021--Aug. 30-31, Tampa Convention Center. 
This hybrid conference will provide face-to-face learning and networking while also accommodating those not yet ready to travel. Accessibility is becoming at hot topic at DMOs across North America, and this promises to be a dynamic, productive event that ODO is excited to be part of. Agenda. Registration.

Airport PRM Leadership Conference 2021--Oct. 14. This full-day event, hosted virtually by Ozion Airport Software, will feature two tracks this year. A "free form" morning session (10:30am-12:30pm Paris time) will be open only to managers of airports, airlines and service providers, while an afternoon session (2pm - 5pm Paris time) will welcome all PRM stakeholders and feature presentations and panel discussions. ODO will share findings from its latest research. Details and Registration.


Symptoms of COVID-19 can linger or reappear months after the initial infection, a condition known as "long COVID), and may constitute a disability when they substantially limit a major life activity. On the 31st Anniversary of the ADA, the Depts. of Justice and Health and Human Services issued "Guidance on “Long COVID” as a Disability Under the ADA, Section 504, and Section 1557" to alert businesses and state and local governments of the accommodations they may be required to make. 

CRO Training

Our Zoom classes, divided into two 4-hour sessions with a half-hour break, limit the number of attendees so that everyone can ask questions and join in group exercises. Upcoming Classes: Sept. 28-29, 10:00 am - 2:30 pm CDT, Nov. 3-4, 10:00 am - 2:30 pm CDTFor details, email Katy O'Reilly or call 773-388-8839. 
 ODO's 2021 Annual Refresh Training is now posted online. Newly recorded with all the latest regulatory changes, it's an affordable, convenient way to maintain your certification. Register for the 
2021 CRO Refresh Training now!

CRO Training

ODO offers Initial Complaints Resolution Official training in the U.S. and abroad, now available via Zoom.  To register, email Katy O'Reilly or call 773.388.8839. Our affordable Online CRO Refresh Training is new each year.
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