Open Doors Organization

February 2013 News

Since our founding in 2000, ODO has always forged ahead, taken risks and looked for opportunities to make a real difference in accessible travel and tourism.  In 2013 we’re still taking on new challenges while continually improving the quality of our existing programs. Demand for our ADA Motorcoach Training remains high and we're offering another CRO class at JFK in March. Our Aviation Access Certification Program is now ready to launch, just in time judging by the current media attention to wheelchair assistance in airports and whether it’s being abused. We’ve also got a lot going on behind the scenes that I can’t yet reveal. All I can say is stay tuned in the coming months for some exciting and surprising news from ODO. 

Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organization

GRG Scores New Contract

Virgin America has signed an exclusive contract with Global Repair Group to handle all assistive device repairs for all their stations in the Continental US. The new service was rolled out this month. ODO partner GRG has similar contracts with American, American Eagle and Iberia and also works with other major US and foreign carriers. Congrats to Michael Bliwas and his team!

ADA Bus Training

February has been a busy month for ODO trainers Godfrey LeBron and Laurel Van Horn.  Our classes in Virginia, Arkansas and Alabama drew over 150 attendees.  ODO works with individual companies and groups of operators as well as state bus associations. With ADA Compliance Reviews now part of every FMCSA audit, you can't afford to neglect your training requirements.  If you'd like to schedule a class in your area, email Laurel Van Horn, Director of Programs.

ADA Motorcoach Training Flyer

Next Training:
Grantville, PA
April 24, 9am – 5pm
Holiday Inn Harrisburg Exit 80 Off I-81
Sponsored by Pennsylvania Bus Assn.
For details, email
Elaine Farrell

Planning Accessible Meetings

The Feb. 2013 HelmsBriscoe News is devoted to accessible meetings and travel. Included is an article entitled "Designing An Accessible Meeting" by Emma Schwartz, Program Coordinator, ODO. Her overview covers everything from what to ask on the registration form to how to set up the meeting room and make presentations accessible. Visit the ODO website for a full list of resources on planning Accessible Meetings.

CRO Training at JFK

Sign up now for our next CRO Training at JFK! The two-day initial training for Complaint Resolution Officials takes place March 14-15, 9am-5pm, at the Hilton Airport Hotel JFK.  The hotel has an airport shuttle for convenient access. We welcome both airlines and airline service companies. Attendees receive a CD with all course materials and a certificate of training. Call 773-388-8839 or email Brittany Stern for additional details.

CRO Training Flyer pdf

CRO Registration Form pdf word

FAA Approved POCs

Did you know that there are now 19 portable oxygen concentrators approved for use by the Federal Aviation Administration as of Oct. 31, 2012?  For a full list, visit Advanced Aeromedical, Inc. where you can also request free reference cards showing the approved POCs and their battery duration.

Endeavour Safaris

Endeavour Safaris, a specialist in accessible safaris in Southern Africa, has teamed up with Desert & Delta Safaris, which owns and operates seven luxury safari lodges in Botswana and Namibia.  Both companies have adapted their activities, rooms, vehicles and equipment to meet everyone's needs. Endeavour vehicles have hydraulic lifts, making transfers easy for seniors with hip or leg problems as well as those in wheelchairs.  They also offer special programs for people with hearing and vision loss.  On South African tours, even those requiring dialysis treatments and medical oxygen can be accommodated.
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Feb 26  Eric is off to Seattle for the week to meet with the great Alaska Airlines!

Feb 25  A great ADA Motorcoach Training in Hot Springs, AR with 60 motorcoach operators, owners & drivers from LA, AR, TX & MS for the SCMA!

Feb 19  Laurel & Godfrey's ADA Motorcoach training had 50 people from 20 companies, sponsored by VA Motorcoach Assn. Thx to everyone who attended!

Feb 18  Geraldine Lundy, Virgin's Passenger Accessibility Manager, recognized for her dedication to promoting accessible... 

Feb 15  Endeavour Safaris and Desert & Delta Safaris have teamed up to offer amazing accessible safaris in Botswana!

Feb 14  Endeavour Safaris -  & Desert & Delta Safaris -  visited ODO in Chi & NYC! 

Feb 13  ODO presented 2 city of Chicago this week thanks 2 Snag Cab 4 everything we did amazing!!!

Feb 8  Latest e-newsletter from our friends at @OpenDoorsOrg is now available online.  #travelindustry

Feb 5  Another athletic stunner! Tommy is a skateboarder who is blind with some great tricks. 

Feb 4  Check out CRO Trainer Craig K using adaptive ski equipment to fly down a CO mountain. This should wake us out of... 

Feb 1  After extending the deadline 2x, the DOJ has officially required most pools to have a lift and/or sloped entry.
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:

New York: March 14/15 Hilton Airport Hotel JFK. Call 773-388-8839 for details.

Stay tuned for additional CRO trainings in our next newsletter

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