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New ACRP Project Underway, ODO at ACI-NA/World Conference, CVG Wayfinding Videos, Hands-Free Wheelchair Luggage...and more!

Sept. 2016 News

Las Vegas would seem like the smartest place on earth to have accessible taxis available on demand as we do here in Chicago. I was in Vegas this month to speak at Future Travel Experience and could not, for the life of me, get an accessible taxi in less than 30 minutes. I quit waiting both times and loaded my scooter into a sedan. While I was roaming the long shopping corridors between Mandalay Bay and Bellagio, I noticed dozens of people using scooters, dozens of people using their own personal wheelchairs and even a handful of people with service animals. This is a classic case of an unfilled opportunity and the failure to recognize how important transportation is to people with disabilities. I was told there are 40 wheelchair taxis in Vegas, but I didn't see any and couldn't find any information. Heck, give me their names and we could dispatch them from Chicago!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization


ODO at ACI-NA/World Annual Conference 
Katy Rosseland and Jackie Kelley represented Open Doors Organization in Montreal on Sept. 25-28. Although disability access was not on the agenda this year, the mega-event nonetheless provided an excellent opportunity to network and learn about new technologies. ODO partners with ACI on both classroom and web-based training and will soon be assisting with a new edition of their Airports and Persons with Disabilities Handbook, first published in 2003.


ACRP 01-31 Research Underway
Open Doors Organization is lead investigator on a new Airports Cooperative Research Program project entitled Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities. It's a broad topic and an exciting one. Partnering on the research, which kicked off this July, are Alliiance, Arora Engineers, Trillion Aviation and Indiana University. In addition to a literature review, ODO will be conducting surveys of aviation executives and travelers with disabilities, carrying out interviews and site visits at a number of airports in the US, Canada and Europe and holding focus groups on user needs. So if you work in aviation or have a disability, don't be surprised if you receive an invitation from us over the next few weeks to respond to a short questionnaire on Google Docs. For us to produce a really useful, comprehensive guidebook, your input is vital!

2016 Theme: Tourism for All

World Tourism Day--Sept. 27--was officially celebrated in Bangkok, Thailand, with a 2-day event that drew 500 delegates from 60 countries. This year's theme was Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility. Speakers included executives from the UNWTO and major tourism organizations such as World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). UNWTO Press Release. (Shown above: accessible gondola in Venice).

CVG Terminal Videos

CVG's website now features 10 captioned wayfinding videos that provide directions through various parts of the airport including ticketing, security, transport-ation hall, concourses and bag claim. Step by step directions are also available for each area. A link on the homepage takes visitors with disabilities directly to accessibility information. Kudos, CVG!

New & Cool

Finally a solution for travelers in wheelchairs who want to handle their own luggage.  Phoenix Instinct has designed a 2-piece travel set that clicks to the rear handle of the chair and has omni-directional wheels for hands-free carrying. Versions for manual chairs without rear bars and power chairs are in the works.

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.
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