Open Doors Organization

April 2013 News

This month Open Doors Organization launched the first-ever certification program for wheelchair attendants at airports. We did this to aid the industry in making sure that solid training is available at a small price. The ODO Certified Access Provider (CAP) program gives the disability and aging community the chance to speak for themselves. As we also work closely with dozens of carriers, we have included their input as well as that of TSA and DOT.  While Gateway Group One, who partnered with ODO on the program, is the first to receive the new training, many other service providers have already signed on as well. Our goal is for CAP training to become the standard nationwide for consistent passenger safety and service.

At ODO, all of our training programs include a module on appropriate etiquette and language. I recently heard a colleague use the word “impairment” continually in a presentation about airline CRO training. I raise this issue because I want to be sure we all understand why “impairment” is not a term we should be using. It suggests that there is something “wrong” with a person and many of us, myself included, do not like being called “impaired.” I know the community of DEAF and HoH are against it, but I think it’s time the rest of us stand up, too! 

Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organization

CAP Launch

On April 22-23, Eric Lipp and Laurel Van Horn conducted the first Train-The-Trainer class at Gateway Group One in Newark, thus launching the new ODO Certification Access Provider program. On hand was Earlyne Alexander from the Port Authority of NY/NJ. A second training is scheduled at GGO in Los Angeles on May 9-10. Trainers receive a day and a half of training while employees spend a full day in the classroom. The curriculum includes PowerPoints, an activity guide, videos of older travelers and people with disabilities, group exercises and hands-on training. To remain certified, trainers must receive a refresh training annually and access providers every three years.

ODO in Rio

Constantine Zografopoulos, shown above left, recently represented ODO at the Rio-Chicago Dialogue on Persons with Disabilities at the State House in Rio de Janeiro. Over 300 people were on hand to discuss disability issues, universal design, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and Rio's plans for legacy. The Chicago delegation also visited the Rio 2016 offices to see the multi-sensory emblem of the Paralympics.

Inclusive Family Travel

The Family Travel with Colleen Kelly Show will feature inclusive travel in upcoming episodes.  ODO's Constantine Zografopoulos, shown above with film crew and Host & Travel Guide Colleen Kelly, took part in filming on the 103rd-floor Ledge at the Willis Tower.

CRO Training at LAX

ODO’s next Initial Training for Complaint Resolution Officials will take place at Los Angeles International Airport on May 13-14. The class will be held at Gateway Group One, 5757 Century Blvd., Suite 810. Training hours are Mon., May 13, 9am-5pm; and Tues., May 14, 9am-1pm. To reserve a space, call 773-388-8839 or email Brittany Stern.

CRO Training Flyer pdf

CRO Registration Form pdf word

New CRO Refresh Webinar

The 2013 ODO CRO Refresh Webinar is now available. It features an informative interview with Anne Hammond, Team Leader-Disability Issues, Aviation Consumer Protection Division, Dept. of Transportation.  Other topics include CRO Responsibilities and Availability, Common Complaints and Challenges (Service Animals, Intellectual Disabilities, Service Failures, Assistive Devices, Seating Issues) and TSA Updates. ODO's Refresh Webinar is an easy, affordable way for airline Complaint Resolution Officials to meet their annual training requirement.

Bodies of Work Festival

Have fun in Chicago from May 15-25 at the 2013 Bodies of Work Festival, a dynamic, international, 11-day celebration that explores the contributions of artists with disabilities, the contemporary contexts of living with disability and works that illuminate disability experiences. The Z Life Program of Open Doors Organization is supporting this event.
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30 Apr   I posted 5 photos on Facebook in the album "Gus's Adventures" 
24 Apr   Another great motorcoach training today: 20 companies from PA with 40 managers! Laurel & Godfrey love you all! Thanks PA Bus Assoc!!
23 Apr  Eric with Earlyne Alexander from the Port Authority of NY/NJ: 
19 Apr  Eric spoke at the WATS Conference in Orlando on a panel with Medaire. Appropriate language is so important to... 
17 Apr  Eric speaking @ WATS aviation conf come in & join his session! In Orlando
15 Apr  Eric is going 2 Orlando 2mrrow meeting with staxi & WATS aviation mtg!!
10 Apr  Please sign and RT Petition to Provide toilets for all disabled people at service stations …
10 Apr  Initial Complaint Resolution Official (CRO) Training in LA on May 13th & 14th. Sign-up today!
5 Apr  Gus Z. @OpenDoorsOrg detailing benefits of  at Rio-Chicago dialogue @SportsDiplomacy
4 Apr Gr8 day @ VirginAmerica ODO newest partner!!
4 Apr  Eric n SanFran @ VirginAmerica congrats 2 Virgin 4 working on Accessibility

Inclusive Travel & Tourism

Bucharest Museum Now Accessible--The National Museum of Natural History in Bucharest has reopened with much improved accessibility for people with mobility and sensory disabilities.

Bodies of Work Accessibility Manual--Newly revised for the 2013  Festival, this guide from Bodies of Work and Great Lakes ADA Center assists cultural facilities to improve physical and programmatic accessibility.
Open Doors Organization (ODO), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Chicago, Illinois, was founded in 2000 for the purpose of creating a society in which all persons with disabilities have the same consumer opportunities as everyone else. We aspire to teach businesses how to succeed in the disability market, while simultaneously empowering the disability community.  more...

2013 CRO Trainings:

ODO Initial Training for  Complaint Resolution Officials is available on demand at major US airports and internationally. Call 773.388.8839 for details or visit us online:

Copyright © 2013 Open Doors Organization, All rights reserved.
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