2015 Off to a Great Start!

Jan. 2015 News

2015 is off to a quick start here at ODO with many of our 2015 projects running full speed ahead including our grants with ATTRI and TRB. ODO is now working as well with Philadelphia International Airport to deliver training to EVERYONE at the airport, a project we hope sets a precedent for all airports! We will also be working on innovative technology for aisle chairs and handling of wheelchairs and scooters on aircraft. Let’s not forget our work with Uber to help them become another great option for accessible transport. 2015 also marks the second year of Open Taxis, and we are now handling 4,000 rides per month. We've made Chicago the only city aside from London where you can get off your airplane or train and be in an accessible taxi without waiting longer than 10 minutes. A giant leap in the right direction! I hope this is only a few of the things to come at ODO in 2015, so hang on and enjoy the ride!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

ODO at ACI-NA Seminar

On January 27, Eric Lipp spoke at  Airports Council International - North America Customer Service Seminar in Reno, NV.  The panel also included representatives from Travelers Aid International and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This 3-day annual event seeks to raise customer service standards in airports through sharing of best practices, including assistance to travelers with disabilities. A hot topic this year was airport apps. Shown above: Joanne Paternoster, Butterfly Consulting, with Eric Lipp.

ODO on Agenda in Paris

Open Doors Organization will once again be on the program at the Passenger Terminal Conference, set for March 10-12 in Paris.  Be sure to attend our session March 11 on "Ageing Passengers and PRMs."  In addition to Laurel Van Horn, ODO, speakers will include Geraldine Lundy, Virgin Atlantic; Kavaragu Mtanbuzi, Virgin America; and Roberto Castiglioni. ODO will be releasing results for the first time from its 2015 Study on American Travelers with Disabilities, now being conducted by Mandala Research and Harris Interactive/Nielsen. 

Flying with Nut Allergies - A Call to Action

Amy Wicker, President, Allergy Safe Travel, this January issued a white paper on the growing problem of anaphylaxis and asthma onboard planes due to airborne and contact exposure to peanuts and tree nuts. The paper provides anecdotal and scientific evidence on why this issue deserves more attention and lists common sense precautionary measures that air carriers can take to prevent anaphylactic reactions. Open Doors Organization now includes the topic of nut allergies in its CRO training.

Service Animal State Laws

While there is no currently no federal penalty for passing off a pet as a service animal, many states do levy fines. Here are two websites that detail state regulations:  MSU Animal Legal & Historical Center and Service Dog Central.

DC Trails ADA Settlement

After a long hiatus in enforcement actions against motorcoach operators under the ADA, the DOT last December signed an ADA Settlement with DC Trails, a large, fixed route operator based in Lorton, VA.  DC Trails violated CFR 49 Part 37 by operating inaccessible coaches, failing to carry out required staff training and asking passengers to provide 48-hour advance notice for lift-equipped service on regularly scheduled trips.  No fine was levied.

2015 CRO Classes

ODO's Initial Complaints Resolution Official Training is available on demand in the U.S. and overseas. Call 773.388.
8839 or email Eric Lipp for full details.
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