ODO in Egypt, New Course from ODO Academy, ACI/ODO Workshop at SFO, DOT Access Committee, Z Life Beach Party ,...and more

May 2016 News

Underlying all our work at ODO is our desire to change society's negative and limiting attitudes toward people with disabilities. It's often these, perhaps even more than barriers in the built environment, that hold us back from equality of opportunity in education, employment and society generally. I recently played a video from New Hope Indiana for my daughter and six of her fellow Girl Scouts that's part of a YouTube campaign to stamp out use of the word "retarded." They all turned to me and said, "What does retarded mean?" I broke into a smile, then a smirk and a few short giggles of joy before, of course, a single tear ran down my left cheek. Bravo to the teachers in my school district, their parents and religious institutions. And way to go, girls! Maybe we are moving forward toward a more inclusive world. Check out these videos for yourself.

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

ODO in Cairo, Egypt

Open Doors Organization had the honor this May to participate in a dynamic conference entitled Cairo 2016: A City for All. Organized by Helm, which in Arabic means "Dream", this first "Biennial Conference on Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities" featured leading experts on disability and showcased how much this new non-profit has achieved in less than two years. In addition to ODO's Laurel Van Horn, international speakers included John Kemp, The Viscardi Center; Ilene Zeitzer, Disability Policy Solutions; Jay Cardinali, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; Mukhtar Al Shaibani, GAATES; and Marco Pizzo, Europe Without Barriers. See a full report in Because magazine.

Awareness Course at ODO Academy...Now Online!
A new introductory level course, Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Training, designed for frontline airline and service company staff, is now available at the ODO Academy. Topics include definitions of disability, population and market statistics, types of disabilities, appropriate language and how to assist people with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities as well as older travelers. Volume discounts are available. To learn more, email Eddie Ragauskas.

ACI-ODO Class Set for July
Don't miss out on the first workshop from Airports Council International and ODO, Accommodating Passengers with Disabilities, set for July 20-22 at San Francisco International Airport. The introductory, 3-day training for aviation managers, planners and access coordinators, taught by Eric Lipp and Laurel Van Horn, will include an airport tour focusing on accessible design and technology. Details and registration.

ODO Z Life Beach Party--Join the Fun on July 24

The 8th Annual Beyond the Waters Beach Party will be held July 24 at Chicago's Osterman Beach. Originated by Gus Zografopoulos who runs ODO's Z Life Program, the free beach party features not just water activities but also cycling, music, games and BBQ. United Airlines and the Chicago Parks Dept. will once again sponsor the event which last year drew over 600 people with disabilities, friends and family. To sponsor or volunteer, call ODO at 773.388.8839.

ODO in NY Times

Open Doors Organization is back in the NY Times again in a piece on "The Other Bathroom Wars," i.e., those affecting people with disabilities rather than the LGBT community. Not only do we need more gender-neutral family restrooms but also, as Eric Lipp points out, adult changing rooms like those now becoming common in the UK thanks to Changing Places.. 

New Reg-Neg Committee

Although not a member, Open Doors Organization, represented by Katy Rosseland, attended the first meeting of the new DOT ACCESS Advisory Committee. Numerous meetings, all open to the public, are planned over the next 5 months. Details on the Part 382 regulatory issues to be considered, committee membership and future meeting dates are available online.

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

June 16-17: JFK
June 22-23: LAX
July 14-15: ORD
Aug. 10-11: JFK

For details/registration, call 773.388.8839 or email Katy Rosseland.
For CRO Refresh Training, visit ODO Academy or email Eddie Ragauskas.
Support Our Work in Inclusive Travel and Tourism

Donate to Open Doors Organization

ODO is a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax-deductible.

Making a real difference since 2000
Copyright © 2016 Open Doors Organization, All rights reserved.