Training Updates, News and Resources from Open Doors Organization.

April 2014 News

I recently came back from Miami where I was training wheelchair service providers for Eulan America. During my presentation I explained that sometimes, especially around my children, I do not use my scooter at all. I broke down and explained to them why I feel a bit embarrassed every time I use my scooter. I don’t want to be remembered sitting in my scooter, so I walk until it's unhealthy and that proves nothing. But I owed the class an explanation and it's simple. When I have my scooter I feel dependent and I don't want that to be a feeling I have often. I know one day we all start to lose our independence and that just might be the single most difficult thing in life to deal with, losing ones independence. The class looked into my eyes and saw what I meant, and we all shared a special moment of understanding.

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization


Eulen America Begins Certification Training

On April 9-10 in Miami, Open Doors Organization held an initial Train-The-Trainer class for Eulen America. The fast-growing service provider will initially be training its frontline staff at MIA and JFK, with additional cities to follow. Eulen America is the second company to sign on to ODO's Aviation Access Certification Program, designed to raise the quality of service to travelers with disabilities and older adults at airports nationwide. Gateway Group One, the first to enroll, is currently training access providers at 10 major American airports.

ODO at Passenger Terminal Expo in Barcelona

Thanks to the sponsorship of World Health Networks (WHN) and United Airlines, Eric Lipp, Laurel Van Horn and Risa Rifkind all attended the Passenger Terminal Expo in Barcelona.  On March 25, Eric gave a lively presentation on the Customer Service and Passenger Experience panel which also featured Steve Wareham, VP, Trillion Aviation, discussing the impact on airports of aging travelers. The ODO team was excited to try out WHN's now accessible health station and also to discover several companies dedicated to improving wayfinding for people with disabilities. Another highlight: meeting the family who founded Changing Places, a UK consortium campaigning for adult changing stations in airport restrooms.

FAA Holds Conference on Service Animal Relief Areas

On April 10 the Federal Aviation Administration held a conference on Service Animal Relief Areas (SARAs) at its headquarters in Washington, DC. The attendees, including numerous service animal organizations and handlers from around the U.S., heard reports from government officials as well as two airports that have created SARAs inside the secure zone. Read a report on the event from MyFAA:  pdf   doc

FAA Approves 2 More POCs

On February 3, 2014, the FAA approved 2 additional Portable Oxygen Concentrators for use in flight, bringing the total to 22.  The new additions are SeQual Technologies dQuinox (Model 4000)--also marketed as Oxywell (Model 4000)--and the VBox Inc. Trooper.  For free cards with details on all approved POCs, contact Advanced Aeromedical.

Online Guides to ADA/ABA

The U.S. Access Board has launched new online guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. Included are illustrated technical guides that explain requirements, answer common questions, and offer best practice recommendations. The initial installment covers Chapters 1-3 with animations on wheelchair maneuvering, doors and entrances, and accessible toilet and bathing facilities.

Sponsorships Available for ODO Study

Curious to know more about your customers with disabilities? Sponsorship packages for the 2014 ODO Study of American Adult Travelers with Disabilities include the right to add one or more questions to the survey.  The study, to be conducted this summer by Mandala Research, will explore the travel patterns and expenditures of this important segment of the U.S. market, as well as the barriers these travelers still face.  To learn more...

2014 CRO Classes

ODO's Initial Complaints Resolution Official Training is available on demand in the U.S. and overseas. The 1-1/2 day, in-depth course includes the latest rule makings, guidance and enforcements. Call 773.388.8839 or email Risa Rifkind for details and registration.
Register Now!

5th Universal Access In Airports (UAIA)

Mon., October 6 – Wed., October 8, 2014
Chicago Marriott O’Hare

Best practices for air travelers with disabilities and seniors
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