New Alaska Airlines Video, IATA Mobility Aids Action Group, New CRO Client--Flair, Onboard Wheelchairs...and More!

Oct. 2021 News

Just as the leaves are changing, I see aviation changing. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has taken the next step in global change by creating a Mobility Aids Working Group. Set to meet for the first time on November 2nd, it has the potential to improve people’s lives all over the world and save millions of dollars. Win-win. As many of you know, we and our partner, Global Repair Group, have been working on wheelchair stowage for nearly two decades. Finally the time has come when IATA is getting seriously involved, so we've reached new heights. Now the entire world’s airlines will have the opportunity to quit breaking our chairs!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

New Alaska Airlines Video
With the help of ODO, other Advisory Board members and ACCESS, its Employee Resource Group, Alaska Airlines this October posted a new blog and video that announces loud and proud its commitment to Accessibility and Inclusion. In addition to a brief cameo from Eric Lipp, the video features Laura Gramer, a long-time ODO consultant, and her two sons who are also deaf. As part of its commitment, the airline's blog states that, "We recognize that our diversity and inclusion efforts MUST include people with disabilities to positively impact the lives of ALL our employees and guests." 
  This is a message that Laurel Van Horn, ODO Director of Programs, took this week to the OSU Global Conference on Diversity in Aviation, Aerospace and Stem where she screened the Alaska Airlines video. Adding disability into DEI may be a disruptor, but it's absolutely essential: as the largest minority in the US and one that cuts across all other demographics, we are the elephant in the room! So thanks, Alaska Airlines, for making such a clear commitment and at such a perfect time, National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the 35th Anniversary of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).

JetBlue Training Review
Orlando is not only home to Disney World but also JetBlue University. The training centre was thronged with new hires as Kaly O'Reilly and Laurel Van Horn joined Stephanie Lanza-Efthimiou, Supervisor Customer Accessibility; Corey Gagnon, Curriculum Developer; and other team members to finetune the JetBlue Disability Awareness Training for the coming year. It was an intensive but enjoyable two days, working with like-minded airline staff who truly get  it.

Flair--New CRO Client

The new Canadian low-cost carrier which launched in June 2021 will begin service to the US on October 31st. Initially it will fly to six U.S. leisure destinations: Las Vegas; Fort Lauderdale and Orlando-Sanford in Florida; Phoenix-Mesa in Arizona; and Hollywood-Burbank and Palm Springs in California. To help Flair prepare for their new ACAA responsibilities, Katy O'Reilly, ODO Program Manager, flew to their headquarters in Edmonton to conduct Initial CRO Training for their first seven Complaints Resolution Officials. ODO will also serve as Acting CRO to provide additional support.


Dec. Meeting on OBWs

On Dec. 16th, the DOT and Access Board will hold a virtual public meeting to discuss and get new input on their proposed guidelines on Onboard Wheelchairs (OBWs): DOT NPRM on Accessible Lavatories on Single-Aisle Aircraft and Access Board Advisory Guidelines on OBWs. The Zoom Video Webinar is scheduled for 9:30-11:30am EST and 1:00-3:00pm EST. Registration and Requests to Submit Documents close Dec. 9.

Online CRO Training

ODO Initial Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) Trainings via Zoom limit the number of attendees so that everyone can join in the discussions and class exercises. Next Zoom Classes: Jan. 25-26  and March 08-09, 2022, 8:00 am - 12:30 pm CSTFor details, email Katy O'Reilly or call 773-388-8839. 
  ODO's 2021 Annual Refresh Training is posted online. Newly recorded with all the latest regulatory changes, the ODO webinar is an affordable, convenient way to maintain your certification. Register now!

CRO Training

ODO offers Initial Complaints Resolution Official training in the U.S. and abroad, now available via Zoom.  To register, email Katy O'Reilly or call 773.388.8839. Our affordable Online CRO Refresh Training is new each year.
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