Reports on Universal Access in Airports and Airline Symposium, 2016 DAPA Award, Interactive Luggage Cart...and More!

Nov. 2016 News

There comes a time every year where we have to make choices on where to donate our hard earned dollars? Where is my heart this year? How much do I give? What kind of tax breaks will the new government bring, and can we afford to give in these uncertain times? The answer is, of course, "YES," because we do it every year. It's really just part of who we are as individuals, not necessarily whom our employer supports. We give because we have a loved one with cancer or because our place of worship is expanding or rebuilding, and we try to give to those less fortunate. This year as usual I am asking you as an individual to donate to Open Doors Organization. Every one of us has or knows someone who has a disability, so this year help make the quality of life for those with disabilities better by supporting our unique and valuable work. 

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

UAIA 2016--Best Ever!

The 6th Universal Access in Airports (UAIA), held Nov. 14-16 in San Francisco, far exceeded our expectations in attendance, especially by the airports themselves, and in the quality of the presentations and discussions. We were truly impressed by how far the aviation industry has come since our first UAIA in Baltimore in 2006. No longer is it necessary to emphasize the importance of the disability travel market. Instead all the stakeholders are now fully engaged in how best to meet the needs of these valued customers, where to find the necessary resources and which technologies are likely to be most inclusive. A common theme running throughout the event was the need for greater cooperation among airports, airlines and service companies. Thanks to all who attended, especially for your valuable contributions to our ACRP focus group research, and to the many presenters for sharing their expertise. We also thank United Airlines, presenting sponsor; cohosts Airports Council International, Virgin America and Global Repair Group; and the many donors who helped make this unique event possible. (Shown above: Regulatory Updates panel with Katy Rosseland, ODO; Blane A. Workie, Esq., DOT; Jonathan Klein, FAA; and Dr. Supriya Raman, TSA).

Vicki Strobel Honored
Among the many highlights at Universal Access in Airports 2014 was the presentation of ODO's Disability Access Professionals Award to Vicki Strobel, President and CEO of Prospect Airport Services, for her dedication to improving the quality, efficiency and availability of wheelchair service for all who need it. Congratulations also to Prospect, now celebrating its 50th anniversary. (Shown above: Vicki Strobel (center) with Eric Lipp and Laurel Van Horn, ODO).  

2016 Airline Symposium
Held  biennially in conjunction biennially with UAIA, the ODO Airline Symposium brings together national, regional and international airlines for a closed-door discussion of issues affecting customers with disabilities. This year's event at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) drew 50 attendees from 14 carriers. Topics included wheelchair assistance, stowage of assistive devices and innovative services and facilities. There were also presentations by Doug Mullen, Airlines for America, on regulatory issues and by Pat Pound, ODO, on the accessibility of airline websites and apps. Special thanks to United Airlines, presenting sponsor, and to SFO for use of their new conference room.

New and Cool

More than just a luggage cart, the "i3Q cTrolley" by Chigoo is a platform that provides news, flight information and boarding guidance as well as information on shopping, food and entertainment, all in multiple languages. Already deployed at several Chinese airports, it also can be used as an indoor navigator. Chigoo met with executivesat Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) this November so perhaps we will see it soon in the US.  One possible barrier: the ban on trolleys airside at American airports.

Motorcoach ADA Reports Suspended

According to  Bus & Motorcoach News (Nov. 15, 2016), the DOT has suspended reporting requirements for over-the-road bus operators.  Annual reports due Oct. 31 will no longer have to be submitted. However, Ken Presley, United Motorcoach Association, stresses that "operators should continue to keep records of information that had been required in the reports" including requests for accessible service and use of wheelchair lifts. 

Give to ODO

We are a registered charity on Amazon Smile.  So the next time you shop, please choose Open Doors Organization and help support our many valuable programs.

CRO Training

ODO offers Initial 
Complaints Resolution Official Training
 at airports nationwide as well as overseas. Email Katy Rosseland or call 773.388.8839 to schedule a class.
For CRO Refresh, visit ODO Academy or email Eddie Ragauskas.
Support Our Work in Inclusive Travel and Tourism

Donate to Open Doors Organization

ODO is a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax-deductible.

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