Updates and Resources from ODO

June 2014 News

Last Sunday my son and I had a couple of hours to visit the Abilities Expo here in Chicago. I hadn't been in years so my expectations weren't so high. In fact I was a little worried my son would be either bored or put off. I have either spoken at or attended many Abilities Expos over the past dozen or so years, and I have always enjoyed attending but this year was different. For starters there were dozens more vendors and a lot more attendees. There was a section totally devoted to artists with disabilities--a brilliant addition--and a cadre of new wheelchair vendors.  I spoke to the show owners and to my surprise they were from the trade show business, not the disability rights movement.  Maybe that's just what the Abilities Expo needed. They've done a great job, and I know that for sure because my 10-year old son said two things:  "Can we stay longer?" and "I wanna come back next year."

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization


Dr. Wendy Ross, CNN Hero

CNN has named Dr. Wendy Ross, founder/director of Autism Inclusion Resources, a 2014 CNN Hero for her innovative programs to help families affected by autism. The CNN article and YouTube video, which highlight AIR's partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies, also mention her Airport Travel Program, now run by Open Doors Organization and sponsored by United Airlines. Congratulations, Wendy!

M-Enabling Summit 2014

This remarkable event, held in Arlington, VA, on June 1-2, is entirely dedicated to solutions promoting and implementing accessible mobile communications and services for older adults and persons of all abilities. ODO was on hand this year to seek out applications and devices relevant to travel and transportation. A session dedicated to accessible tourism featured Jay Cardinali, Disney, and Bill Curtis-Davidson, IBM. Their presentations, along with many others, are now posted online at G3ict.

Accessibility in Europe

Accessibility is a hot topic in Europe now, with many conferences taking place across the Continent. Presentations from an EU Stakeholder conference entitled Mind the Accessibility Gap, held in Brussels on June 6, are now available on the ENAT website, along with three specially commissioned studies on Tourism Accessibility in Europe.

Future Abilities Expos

Houston -July 25-27, 2014
Boston - Sept. 5-7, 2014
Bay Area - Nov. 21-23, 2014
Los Angeles - March 6-8, 2015
New York Metro - May 1-3, 2015

Easier Booking at BA

British Airways has improved online booking for passengers with disabilities. Rather than calling to request special accommodations, they can now select online  from mobility and wheelchair assistance;  visually impaired; hearing impaired; traveling with assistance dogs; and  learning disabilities. A full breakdown of the services available is provided.  For added convenience, customers have the option of saving their special assistance preferences for future bookings. Updates to saved preferences may be made at any time.



2014 CRO Classes

ODO's Initial Complaints Resolution Official Training is available on demand in the U.S. and overseas. Next Group Trainings: LAX, July 9/10; ORD, Sept. 17/18. Call 773.388.8839 or email Risa Rifkind for details and registration.
Learn, share and network!

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
Copyright © 2014 Open Doors Organization, All rights reserved.