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Open Doors Organization

August 2013 News

This month I dedicate this space to the 10 people who helped get Open Taxis up and running! Just as any amazing basketball team or a fire fighting crew, against all odds this group created Open Taxis from the ground up. As our technology began to falter and the clock was winding down, many of the Open Taxis staff stayed around the clock the first few days. Almost like caring for a baby pup, we met on every aspect of how to work under crisis and stood up on our 20 feet in just a few days. I feel very proud of these people and so should you. I recently heard this saying: "Some people watch things happen, some people make things happen and some wonder what the hell happened."  I know which ones we are!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organization

Open Taxis Now Open For Business!

Open Taxis, the new centralized dispatch for all Chicago wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs), was launched by ODO on August 1st. By August 21st, Open Taxis had already dispatched over 1,000 WAVs. The 24/7 service is run from ODO's new office near O'Hare, a convenient location for taxi drivers heading to or from the airport. Riders can request a WAV for immediate pickup or prearrange a trip by calling 855.928.1010 or by email.

ODO Credited in Museum Journal

The July issue of Curator The Museum Journal, which focuses on accessibility, features an article by Tamara Golden and Lynn Walsh on the inclusive Play For All program at the Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM). The authors credit Open Doors Organization as one of CCM’s first partners and describe the disability awareness training that ODO still offers frontline staff at the museum.

ADA Bus Training

This August ODO trainers Godfrey LeBron and Laurel Van Horn conducted two successful classes for the California Bus Association, attended by over 100 motorcoach owners, managers and drivers. This fall they head to Oregon for the Northwest Motorcoach Association's Annual Convention & Roadeo. Email Laurel for details and pricing on this popular, full-day training program.

ADA Motorcoach Training Flyer

Next Group Training:
Grand Ronde, OR
Oct. 1, 9am-5pm

Lodge at Spirit Mountain Casino
Sponsored by Northwest Motorcoach Association
For details, email Melanie Rice

Captioning on Airport TVs

ODO staff and advisory board members report that captioning on airport TVs in gate areas is becoming hit or miss. One staff member was told by a gate agent that enabling the captioning was the airport’s responsibility, not the airline’s. In fact, under §382.51(a)(6), it is the air carrier’s responsibility in terminal facilities it owns, leases or controls. Section 504, which applies to airports receiving federal funds, has not yet been amended to include the sections of Part 382 regarding airport accessibility although an NPRM was issued in September 2011.

ODO To Speak At FAA Conference

The 4th Annual FAA National Civil Rights Training Conference for Airports will take place Sept. 16-18 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, VA. Speaking this year on behalf of ODO will be Laurel Van Horn and Risa Rifkind. The event is organized by the Office of Civil Rights of the FAA.

New Guidance for Air Carriers

In June the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) issued a final notice on preboarding. While general preboarding announcements for passengers with disabilities are not required under Part 382, the DOT feels that if carriers make announcements for other classes of passengers—first class, elite, military, etc.—then they should do the same for those with disabilities. They also must be allowed to board before all others and have time to safely reach their seats. Carriers have until August 29 to comply. The DOT this May also issued useful guidance on carriage of portable dialysis machines in cabin and as cargo.

Extension for Passenger Vessel NPRM

In response to industry concerns, the Access Board has extended the comment period for Proposed Passenger Vessel Guidelines to January 24, 2014. We hope the disability community will also speak up on this important regulation which affects cruise ships, ferries and smaller vessels such as excursion boats.

Emma Stern Departs ODO

Our colleague Emma Stern has headed off to Case Western Reserve University to pursue a Masters of Social Work as a Mandel Leadership Fellow. Her experiences at ODO have inspired her to continue working with people with disabilities, so she will be interning at a center for adults with developmental disabilities. We miss her but we know she’ll do great things!!

Thank You, Adam!

Special thanks to intern Adam Cain for his hard work this summer. He not only moved us to the new office but also helped launch Open Taxis. By comparison his sophomore year at Michigan Technological University should be a breeze.
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6 Aug  Ok we r up & running Open Taxi so amazing, little sleep lotta fun! 855 WAV 1010
 
5 Aug  Constantine "Gus" Zografopoulos is featured in a video reviewing the highlights of "Travel Exchange 2013." The... http://fb.me/2clxW5kWd 
 
31 Jul  ODO opens Open Taxis. Chicago wheelchair accessible taxis central dispatch!
 
31 Jul  First CA Bus Assn. ADA training packed and lively. On to San Jose next!
 
31 Jul Big Changes at ODO http://fb.me/1l6swoPKd 
 

Chicagoland Team in World Series

On August 24 in South Williamsport, PA, the Little League Challenger Division played its thirteenth consecutive exhibition game. This year’s matchup was between Illinois District 13 from the Chicago area and California District 57 from the San Francisco area. Every batter recorded a hit, reached base safely and scored a run. Established in 1989, the Challenger Division provides opportunities for boys and girls with physical and developmental disabilities to participate in Little League like everyone else.

Boy Scouts Improve Access At National Park

This year’s National Boy Scout Jamboree at Bechtel Summit in West Virginia featured a day of service project to improve accessibility at the nearby New River Gorge National River. On July 19th, 300 boy scouts from 8 troops teamed up with National Park Service personnel to make a trail, picnic and camping areas, parking and a fishing bridge accessible for people with disabilities. On hand to check out the results was Bill Botten of the US Access Board, shown above.
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...

2013 CRO Trainings:

Chicago, Aug. 28-29, ODO Office
NYC, Sept. 23-24, T1, JFK

Call 773.388.8839 or email Risa Rifkind for details and registration.

Copyright © 2013 Open Doors Organization, All rights reserved.
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