Open Doors Organization

December 2011 News

Happy Holidays to the Open Doors Organization family! On behalf of the ODO staff and Board Members, we would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday season!

In these difficult economic times, we understand that when you make your charitable contributions you are very concerned that your money will reach the most people for your dollar. ODO makes it very easy to justify your contributions. ODO affected the lives of over 2 million travelers with disabilities in 2011, and for every dollar contributed ODO reaches over 5 people.  Because we are a global organization, you know your donation will change lives around the world. In this year of uncertainty, you can be certain of one thing: that your contribution will help the lives of many.  Donate now to ODO.

Over the years I have been very fortunate to work with many wonderful people. As this year comes to a close, I feel it’s very important that I recognize the talented people all around the U.S. who helped make ODO’s Amtrak training a huge success. I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to more progress in 2012!

Eric Lipp
Executive Director
kiosk dimension with wheelchair

Comment Period Extended for US DOT Proposed Rule

On November 21, the US Department of Transportation issued a 45-day extension of the comment period for their proposed rules on air carrier websites and airport automated kiosks. The new deadline is January 9, 2012. The document in the Federal Register also clarifies a number of points in the original Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. In addition it lists alternate ways for people with disabilities to send their comments. For a text of the DOT Notice, click here.

More Modules Coming to Airports Council International

ODO will soon be adding three more disability-related modules to Airports Council International's online training: U.S. Disability Rights Laws at Airports, Providing Equal Access to Information and Emergency Preparedness and Security. These cover a range of valuable information from web accessibility to the multiple roles of an Airport Access Manager to how to include the needs of travelers with disabilities in emergency planning. To register for the Disability Awareness Module, already available, go to the ACI Online Learning Center.

New Safety Videos for RCCL

Open Doors Organization has been busy this fall creating two new training videos for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. The first focuses on safe assistance for guests with disabilities during the boarding and disembarking process. It teaches proper techniques for handling manual wheelchairs and how to guide guests who are blind, as well as tips for effective, respectful communication. The second video focuses on how to safely assist guests with physical disabilities when elevators are not in service. Filming locations have included Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Southampton, England, aboard ships of both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

Accessibility and Government

We are a society of change and change is hard but good. Each month I will provide you information that will guide you through the challenges you may face as a consumer with a disability or a business working to better serve this market. This will include information on the US Congress and federal agencies.
If you have not yet seen the ODO website, you should visit it now. It covers accessibility of Ground Transportation, Hotels and Restaurants, Airports and Airlines, Sports Venues, Adapted Recreation, the Arts, Cruise Lines and much more.
In our next newsletter I will share information on upcoming Congressional votes and provide useful links for House and Senate members.
Dr. Grover Evans
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Last month on Twitter

Big news for captioning on Continental Airlines' TVs!
30 Nov

TSA's new notification card to use for travel
From TSA - Notification card available for passengers to use to provide information about your medical condition...
From our "Steamboat office"... Opening doors for hunting with a disability
ODO's in London Heathrow doing airline trainings! If you want to stop in with us, just email us at!
Welcome to the Open Doors Org Newsletter -
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...


New York: 1/17-18
Chicago: 1/25-26
London: 2/08-09
Los Angeles: 3/14-15
Singapore: 4/10-11
London: 5/08-09
Chicago: 6/12-13
Los Angeles: 7/11-12
New York: 8/14-15
Los Angeles: 9/11-12
New York: 10/24-25
Chicago: 11/07-08
Los Angeles: 12/05-06

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