Awareness Training at PHL, Freedom Sailing International, RCI's Anthem of the Seas, Cognitive Accessible Technology and More!

Nov. 2015 News

I am happy to announce that Open Doors Organization is planning exciting things for 2016, among them an initiative to promote employment for people with disabilities in travel and tourism. We have recently decided to partner with another organization on this critical issue--full details to come shortly. I would like, however, to use this space to remind everyone that this is the time of year for charitable giving. For ODO to continue to tackle new issues like indoor wayfinding and employment, we need to appeal to your generosity during the holiday season. You can donate to ODO via our website, by mail or by calling us at 773-388-8839. We are also a registered charity on Amazon Smiles.
Happy Thanksgiving! 

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

PHL Awareness Training 

On November 9-10, Open Doors Organization kicked off a new disability awareness training at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Eric Lipp (shown above), Laurel Van Horn and Katy Rosseland were all on hand to inaugurate the program which includes a tour of the airport’s many accessibility features. Among the highlighted elements were video payphones, visual paging, accessible shuttles, companion restrooms, accessible charging stations and emergency evacuation chairs. During the tour the airport employees also practiced sighted guide techniques. This is the second consecutive year that ODO has trained at PHL. The 2-hour classes, which run through April, are open to everyone working at the airport.

RCI Access Meeting at Sea

Royal Caribbean International hosted a joint meeting of its three access advisory boards during a pre-inaugural cruise this October on Anthem of the Seas. During the 2-night sailing from Cape Liberty, NJ, board members had the opportunity not just to meet and network but also experience the ship's accessible cabins and public areas. One unique feature of RCI's Quantum class vessels is the North Star observation capsule, reached via a cylindrical elevator (shown above). Special thanks go to Ron Pettit for organizing this first-ever advisory board meeting at sea.  

FSI Building Tall Ship for All

Freedom Sailing International (FSI), formerly America's Freedom Sailor, kicked off its fundraising drive in NYC on October 30th. FSI's mission is to design, build and operate a tall ship that will provide an active sailing experience for all ages and abilities. Based on the principles of universal design, the ship will also feature the latest assistive technology. Speaking at the event were founders Jan Olivje and Ashley Salmen, board member Candace Cable (shown above onboard the Jubilee Sailing Trust's Tenacious) as well as ODO's Laurel Van Horn. (Photo:  

Accessible Tourism

The Journal of Tourism Futures, a new publication, has devoted an entire issue to The Future of Accessible Tourism.  Edited by Elina Michopoulou, Simon Darcy, Dimitrios Buhalis and Ivor Ambrose (ENAT), it features conceptual articles as well as reports from specific countries including Greece and New Zealand.

Improving Access to Technology

The President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) has released a very informative report entitled Leveling the Playing Field: Improving Technology Access and Design for People with Intellectual Disabilities. In addition to specific recommendations on how to make assistive technology more accessible to those with ID, it includes an extensive list of private and public resources.

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 in major cities nationwide as well as overseas. Call 773.388.8839 or email Eric Lipp to schedule a class. For CRO Refresh Training, visit the ODO Academy or email Eddie Ragauskas.
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