New IATA Accessibility Manual, TravelAbility Summit, More Zoom CRO Classes, New Travel Survey...and more!

March 2021 News

Happy spring to everyone! As the snow melts and the vaccinations continue to increase, the travel season is starting to look promising! I would like to take a moment to thank Dawn Huddleston for her dedicated service to travelers with disabilities at Portland International Airport (PDX). Dawn, who retires as ADA Coordinator this month, oversaw many important access projects including newly designed service animal relief areas post-security. Most recently she helped to create a disability advisory committee that includes ODO. We’re excited to now work with her successor, Eric van der Burght, to make PDX accessible to all. Thanks again, Dawn!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

Zoom CRO Trainings
Do you have employees who need Initial CRO Training? Our Zoom classes, divided into two 4-hour sessions with a half-hour break, limit the number of attendees so that everyone can ask questions and join in group exercises. To meet strong demand and accommodate carriers worldwide, ODO is now offering classes in April and May as follows:
April 14-15, 6pm - 10:30 pm EDT 
April 21-22, 10am - 2:30 pm EDT 
May 19-20, 9am - 1:30 pm EDT

   For discounted pricing and registration, email Katy O'Reilly or call 773-388-8839. For CROs who need to maintain certification, the newly recorded ODO 2021 Annual CRO Refresh will soon be posted online. Look for an eBlast soon!

2021 Summit Begins April 1
The TravelAbility Summit will be held quarterly in 2021 as four half-day virtual events, and circumstances permitting, the final event on November 30th will be hybrid.
April 1, 2021: LaunchPad. The World’s Only Assistive Technology Pitch Fest
June 24, 2021: The State of Accessible Travel
September 30, 2021: The Future of Accessible Travel
November 30, 2021: Accessibility In Action.
The LaunchPad that kicks off the series will feature 14 competitors including Gina Emrich, ODO Aviation Consultant, who will pitch our newest initiative, Service Animal Travel Solutions (SATS)
Attendees who register for all 4 sessions receive a free copy of the 2020 ODO/Harris Poll Market Study on Disability Travel as a bonus, among other benefits. For full details including registration, visit TravelAbility.

New IATA Manual Released

The International Air Transport Association has published a new manual designed to improve service for passengers with disabilities, including those with reduced mobility and hidden disabilities, with the ultimate goal of delivering a seamless and dignified air travel experience. The IPAOM also provides a broader understanding of agreed industry standard procedures as well as existing national regulations that affect carriers. According to Gina Emrich, who represents ODO on the IATA Passenger Accessibility Process Task Force that created the manual, the Task Force is now updating IATA Resolutions and Recommended Practices that refer to accessibility. To see a full Table of Contents and order the IPAOM, visit the IATA online store.

New Air Travel Survey

ableMove and Flying Disabled conducted a survey of 336 respondents who use wheelchairs (powered and manual) in the  US, UK, Europe, Asia and Africa. The resulting report reveals the significant concerns these customers have when travelling by air. Josh Wintersgill, Founder/CEO of ableMove, has already presented the results to the IATA Task Force. It's great that the carriers are listening! Full Report.

Sunflower Lanyards on Rise in US

Nineteen US airports already offer or are in the process of adopting the sunflower lanyard that enables travelers with hidden disabilities to self-identify to airport, airline and TSA staff. For a full list of airports in North America, the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, visit Hidden Disabilities, the UK website marketing the lanyard, buttons and other sunflower merchandise.

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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