UAIA 2016, New ODO White Paper, Staff & Training Updates, FCC Direct Video Communications Initiative and More!

Oct. 2015 News

It has been a while since I last visited our friends at Southwest Airlines, so when I arrived at their new training headquarters recently, I was a bit apprehensive. I walked into the lobby and immediately felt that Southwest spirit. I am unsure how they do it or how to describe it, but they have this positive aura. Southwest was ODO's first airline partner, so I have known some of the crew since they were 30-somethings. I look back at an airline that always wanted to "do it right" but was too afraid to "do it wrong." Now I see an airline that “did it their way.” This is one carrier that doesn’t need a map to access. Since 2002 I have seen Southwest grow its Advocacy Dept. from 4 to over 12, and the ground ops and contract crew are also thinking access. We often read reports about the trouble airlines cause passengers with disabilities, but everyone should know that Southwest, Alaska, United, Virgin America, American, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue and others all have teams of people working on access. Overall, while it seems the industry doesn’t care, the people in the industry do.

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

UAIA 2015—Save The Date

The Sixth Universal Access in Airports will take place Mon., Nov. 14 to Wed., Nov. 16, 2016 in San Francisco. The conference hotel is Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco International Airport. The event will kick off with a cocktail party on Monday evening, followed by two full days of panel presentations and discussions as well as a small trade show. Early bird registration (before July 2) is $219; standard registration is $249. A one-day pass is $129. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For details, email Katy Rosseland or call her at 773.388.8839.

New ODO White Paper

The Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) once again invited Open Doors Organization to contribute a white paper for their Marketing Outlook Forum, held Oct. 26-28 in Philadelphia, PA. The ODO Forecast, which will appear in TTRA's 2015 Outlook Proceedings, summarizes the key findings from the 2015 ODO Market Study. The white paper is also available for download on the ODO website.  pdf  msword

ODO at ACI-NA Event

Special thanks to Airports Council International - North America for again giving Open Doors Organization a seat at the table. Candace Cable represented ODO on a panel entitled "How to Create An Accessible Airport," held Oct. 5 in Los Angeles at the ACI-NA Annual Conference. Candace shared findings from the 2015 ODO Market Study as well as information on the organization's aviation initiatives.

CAP Training for GGO

Gateway Group One (GGO) managers and trainers gathered in Las Vegas this October to immerse themselves in ODO's Certified Access Provider (CAP) training. This 1-1/2 day Train-The-Trainer program, the most comprehensive in the industry, covers not just Part 382 regulations, disability awareness and customer service but also conflict resolution. The training, led in Vegas by Laurel Van Horn and Candace Cable, features video clips from a variety of people with disabilities. On hand to rally his troops was also Gateway CEO Kurus Elavia (shown rear right).

New Program Coordinator

We are happy to welcome Katy Rosseland to ODO.  A Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Katy has worked for several non-profits in the Chicago area. Since joining ODO this summer, she conducted UberAssist trainings in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco and is helping to plan UAIA 2016.

Meeting & Webcast Nov. 10

The US Access Board will hold its next public meeting and live captioned webcast Nov. 10 from 1:30 - 3:00 pm (ET). In addition to Board updates, there will be a presentation from the FCC on their plan to offer an open source video access platform that will enable Americans to communicate directly with federal agencies and businesses in American Sign Language.

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 in major cities nationwide as well as overseas. Call 773.388.8839 or email Eric Lipp to schedule a class. For CRO Refresh Training, visit the ODO Academy or email Eddie Ragauskas.
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