New Air Travel Statistics, 2015 DOTReport to Congress,  FAA Civil Rights Conference, ADA Motorcoach Training and more!

August 2015 News

The end of August marks the beginning of the non-profit fundraising season. ODO is proud to have been in business for nearly 15 years, but it’s so important to consider our future. For those who read this and work for a business, we are asking that you think of ways your company can help support ODO's mission of making goods and services accessible to people with disabilities in travel, tourism and transportation. Please ask your company to sponsor ODO and help secure our future. I also want to ask our readers to consider a personal donation. For every dollar you donate to ODO, you help 7 people with disabilities and older adults have an easier time travelling. That's an amazing impact!  This year we hope to get everyone involved. If it’s time you would like to donate, we welcome volunteers, too.

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

ODO Study Finds Positive Trend in Air Travel

More American adults with disabilities than ever are now flying, but far fewer encounter barriers at airports and with airlines. According to the ODO 2015 Study, 31% of American adults with disabilities flew over the past two years, taking 23 million trips by air. Since the previous study in 2005, reports of major obstacles have dropped by 21% for airports and 14% for airlines. These are a few of the new statistics on air travel that Eric Lipp, ODO executive director, will be sharing at the 2015 ACI Latin America-Caribbean/World Annual General Assembly, set for August 31-September 2 in Panama City, Panama. The full 2015 ODO Study is available for sale on the ODO website.

FAA National Civil Rights Conference

The 6th Annual FAA National Civil Rights Training Conference, held August 11-12 in Washington, DC, featured dynamic presentations by several airport ADA coordinators including Jorge Garcia, SFO (shown above). Among the topics covered were ADA/504 regulations, accessibility best practices, emerging technologies and accessible communications. Laurel Van Horn, ODO director of programs, provided an overview of airport accessibility achievements in the 25 years since the ADA. Congratulations to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, winner of the 2015 Airport Disability Compliance Program Access Award.

ODO Motorcoach Training at Georgia's Lake Lanier

A Sunday in mid-August may not seem the most promising time to hold a class on ADA regulations, but an enthusiastic crowd of more than 40 owners and managers nonetheless showed up for ODO's Motorcoach Refresh Training on August 9th. The two 2-hour classes, taught by Laurel Van Horn, covered the newest DOT regulations as well as the basics of customer service and accessibility, vehicle purchase and reporting requirements. Special thanks to the Motorcoach Associations of Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina for hosting ODO at their Regional Meeting. To learn more about ODO's Initial and Refresh Motorcoach Training, contact Laurel Van Horn.

2015 Report to Congress

The 2015 Annual Report on Disability-Related Air Travel Complaints is now available online. This DOT report summarizes the written complaints received by air carriers the previous year.  From 2013 to 2014 the overall number of complaints increased 9% to 27,556. Complaints to US carriers jumped by 9.5%; those to foreign carriers by 7%. Roughly half the complaints stem from failure to provide assistance to other wheelchair user or other disability.

CDC Report on Disability

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its first report on the prevalence of disability in the US. Beginning in 2013, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) included five disability-related questions. Overall, 22.2% of U.S. adults (53,316,677 persons) reported any disability. Disability in mobility was the most frequently reported (13.0%), followed by disability in cognition (10.6%), independent living (6.5%), vision (4.6%) and self-care (3.6%). Even though the CDC study does not include hearing loss, the overall incidence of disability appears to be higher than that found by US Census Bureau surveys.

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.

2015 CRO Classes

Next Training: LAX, Sept. 16-17.
ODO offers Initial Complaints Resolution Official Training in major cities nationwide as well as overseas. Call 773.388.8839 or email Eric Lipp for details.
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ODO is a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax-deductible.

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