Open Doors Organization

September 2012 News

September is usually a month of change here in Chicago. While the cooler temperatures may not come until October, one thing is for certain, the winds of change will blow. As we prepare for Seattle in October,
I ask all of the airlines, airports, wheelchair vendors and government officials who will attend our meeting to ask themselves, "What change can I make this year with ODO?"  This in essence is the mission of the organization, "How can we help make change?" If you had picked one thing to work on every year with ODO, then by now you would have accomplished between 10-12 projects. So this year, start thinking now about how ODO can help you, whether you are a hotel, restaurant, airport or airline. Let’s accomplish something together!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organization

Countdown to UAIA 2012

Universal Access in Airports 2012 is now just weeks away. If you want to join us on Oct. 16-18 in Seattle, registration is still open. This biennial event, like the first three in Baltimore, Chicago and Houston, will provide a unique opportunity to learn from and network with the leading experts on accessibility in air travel. See the final agenda with speaker list below.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, registration is only $159 and includes breakfasts, lunches, snack breaks and a cocktail party. Although the cutoff date for our special rate has passed, DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport still has space. Book online or call 206.246.8600 or 800.222.8733.

UAIA Mailer
Final Agenda

ODO Belt Loader Device

Open Doors Org. has designed a device to hold wheelchairs securely on the belt loader and thus reduce injuries to ramp crew and damage to mobility devices and even planes. Email ODO or call 773.388.8839 for details and pricing.

TSA Coalition Conference

On Sept. 18, the 10th Annual TSA Coalition Conference brought together disability and multicultural groups including Open Doors Organization to discuss how to improve traveler experience while maintaining security. New TSA initiatives coming soon include a Civil Rights Complaint Form on a Mobile App and a Passenger Engagement Program aimed at solving problems real-time. Attendees complained that "pat downs" for wheelchair users have become more invasive and security guards still lack training with regard to service animals. There was also a call for greater participation by the community in TSA training.

Cross-Pollinating at UAIA 2012

All segments of the travel industry face similar challenges with regard to customers with disabilities. So why not learn from each other? At UAIA 2012 two accessibility experts from the cruise industry--Ron Pettit from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Cathy Vazquez from Norwegian Cruise Line--will discuss their disability-related staff training programs, both of which use videos created by ODO. In addition, Jay Cardinali, Worldwide Accessibility Manager for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will take part in the "Challenges" round table.

ADA Motorcoach Training

Demand for ODO's unique, day-long training program continues to grow.  If you're interested in scheduling a class, whether for a single company, group of carriers or state bus association, please email Laurel Van Horn.
Training Flyer

Next Group Class
Millbury, MA - 10/9
Sponsor: Massachusetts Bus Association
For details, contact Steve Anzuoni, 617.227.1854.

New ADA Settlements

The Department of Justice this September published four new ADA settlements with motorcoach and tour companies. Three resulted from FMCSA Compliance Reviews in Florida. Violations included failure to file annual reports, conduct ADA training and maintain lifts.

The fourth settlement with Grand Circle Travel (GCT), a major tour operator, involved a complaint by a traveler who uses an electric scooter. GCT cancelled his reservation but not the trip. Although the disability community has long experienced discrimination by tour operators, this is the first such enforcement action under Title III by the DOJ.
twitter button

Twitter Feed

18 Sep Laurel is reping ODO this week at TSA in DC and Emma and Brittany r with Federal employees i Southern Illinois, come say HI and get ODO gum!

12 Sep Hi all! come all federal employees in San Fran Emma is there for CFC events! Welcome Indiana Univ 2 ODO family!
31 Aug Big hats off to London Heathrow and all 92 airlines for getting all Paralympic athletes to the games with little to NO device damage!!
30 Aug August News: UAIA 2012, Equal Access Ticketing, Paralympics, Census, and more! -

Accessible Travel & Tourism News

The Global Economy of Disability, a new paper by Rich Donovan, urges businesses to reach out to the emerging disability market which at 1.1 billion, not counting friends and family, matches the population of China.

VisitEngland, the national tourist board, created an online Accessible England guide in the lead up to the Olympics and Paralympics.  They also produced some excellent videos entitled "Profiting through Accessible Tourism" available on YouTube.

The Sept./Oct. issue of Public Roads, the Federal Highway Administration magazine, features an article by Mohammed Yousuf and Mark Fitzgerald entitled "The New Frontier in Accessible Transportation."  It gives an overview of technological advances designed to improve mobility and independence for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

New England ADA Center has published an ADA Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal based on 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. The forms are in various formats including one that can be filled out online.  Recreation Checklists are available on the same web page.
Open Doors Organization (ODO), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois was founded in 2000 for the purpose of creating a society in which all persons with disabilities have the same consumer opportunities as everyone else. We aspire to teach businesses how to succeed in the disability market, while simultaneously empowering the disability community.  more...

Remaining 2012 CRO Trainings:

New York: 10/24-25
Chicago: 11/07-08
Los Angeles: 12/05-06

Copyright © 2012 Open Doors Organization, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp