The Latest News and Resources from ODO

July 2014 News

July marks the month of the Chicago Disability Pride Parade. I was on the original planning committee for the first Disability Pride Parade and have attended many times over the past decade. This year, as I did two years ago, I took my now 8-year-old daughter. Somewhere midway through the march I got overcome by emotion. I mean I went from being cheery, as I casually scooted in the middle of the normally busy downtown streets, to suddenly overcome with emotion as I looked at her: she's 8 and chanting "MORE HOUSING! MORE JOBS!" This year I think she finally gets it; she really understands what being an activist is all about. She now sees disability as being like all the other minorities in the world, and sometimes that means being loud to show you're proud, but I was too choked up to speak.

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization


Celebrating the ADA

This July ODO and Open Taxis participated in Chicago’s two annual ADA celebrations: Access Chicago, an expo hosted by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, and the Disability Pride Parade, now in its 11th year. Access Chicago featured over 300 vendors of disability-related services and products. Risa, who manned the Open Taxis booth, was excited to meet some of our regular riders. The Disability Pride Parade was also well attended with over 40 groups participating. We had two Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) in the parade as well as a tent in Daley Plaza, shared with The Z Foundation, handing out fruit and water. Shown above
(l. to r.) are Claude Henderson, Eric and Summer Lipp, Risa Rifkind and Bayo Aladesuru.

ACRP Wayfinding Project

Open Doors Organization is delighted to announce that we are now officially part of the Gresham Smith & Partners (GS&P) team that will over the next 18 months develop a
Guidebook for Enhancing Airport Wayfinding for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities - See more at:
Guidebook for Enhancing Wayfinding for the Elderly and People with Disabilities. GS&P created the previous wayfinding and signage guidebook for the Airport Cooperative Research Program (shown above). Other team members on this project include
Open Doors Organization, IBM Research, Arora Engineers, Inc., Southwest Airlines, John Duval, and academic researchers from Georgia Tech CATEA and University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research. - See more at:
IBM Research, Arora Engineers, Inc., Southwest Airlines, John Duval and academic researchers from Georgia Tech CATEA and University of South Florida's Center for Urban Transportation Research. GS&P Press Release.

ODO At World Summit

Open Doors Organization will present international findings from its 2014 Travelers with Disabilities Study at World Summit: Destinations for All in Montreal, Canada, on October 21st. Colleagues Scott Rains and Jay Cardinali will also speak at the event. A preliminary agenda is now available. Keroul/ODO Press Release.

Record Fine for Turkish Airlines

On July 25, the USDOT levied a civil penalty of $300,000, the largest ever for a foreign carrier, against Turkish Airlines for not responding in a timely manner to complaints filed by consumers, including passengers with disabilities, and for not adequately responding to the passengers’ complaints in its responses. DOT Press Release.

Upcoming ODO/AIR Programs

United Airlines will soon host two more Autism Airport Programs at Chicago's ORD (August 22/23) and San Francisco's SFO (September 16/17). The programs include staff training from ODO and Autism Inclusion Resources and an airport orientation/practice session for children with autism and their families, accompanied by clinicians. To learn more, contact Risa Rifkind, ODO program coordinator.

Now in the US

Long available in Europe, these protective bags for foldable, rigid and XL rigid wheelchairs and walkers (rollators) can now be rented for flights in the US.  Airshells has initially partnered with United Airlines. Customers simply pick them up on departure and return on arrival. Rental is $25 the first week, $12 for following weeks.

2014 CRO Classes

ODO's Initial Complaints Resolution Official Training is available on demand in the U.S. and overseas. Next Group Training: ORD, Sept. 22/23. Call 773.388.
8839 or email Risa Rifkind for details and registration.
Learn, share and network!

5th Universal Access In Airports (UAIA)

Mon., October 6 – Wed., October 8, 2014
Chicago Marriott O’Hare

Best practices for air travelers with disabilities and seniors
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