Eric Lipp at WACRA, ODO to Speak at FAA Event, UAIA 2016 Preliminary Agenda, New ODO Program Manager, UNWTO Tourism for All Case Studies...and more!

August 2016 News

I had the privilege of speaking at WACRA-Worldwide Airline Customer Relations Association in Helsinki this month. The event drew around 60 attendees, but the carriers they represent handle millions of air travelers every year. So while these events seem small, they can nonetheless have huge effect. The coolest thing to me is all of these carriers working together to make air travel more enjoyable. These are the people who understand we feel totally cramped and that we want great accessible in-flight entertainment. The only downside was that from the US only Delta, Virgin America and Southwest were in attendance. Candace Cable and I also had the most amazing time this year speaking at the Southwest Airlines Hospitality Summits. This airline "gets it." I just hope that as they continue to grow the employees remember why they have been the best for so long, because I am not sure the traveling public benefits from "bigger is better."

Happy Labor Day!

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

Eric Lipp at WACRA
The 2016 Conference of WACRA-Worldwide Airline Customer Relations Association took place this year in Helsinki, Finland, hosted by Finnair. On August 30, Eric Lipp took the podium to talk about the right and wrong way to handle people with disabilities and to screen a new staff training video created in partnership with Virgin America. Shot in San Francisco and Chicago, it shows the typical mistakes made by staff, but taken to an outrageous level. In one scene a ticket agent winds up rolling around on the floor with a service dog. This lighthearted way to get across a serious message was a big hit with the WACRA audience. Join us at UAIA-Universal Access in Airports this November to see it for yourself.

UAIA 2016 Preliminary Agenda
We are still recruiting speakers for our 2016 Universal Access in Airports event but would like to share the Preliminary Agenda. The timing of the event will stay the same as in past years, kicking off on Monday night, Nov. 14, with a cocktail party and concluding on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 16, at 4 pm.  We will again have panels on "Government Updates" and "New Technologies" as well as the popular "Consumer Feedback Roundtable."  New sessions include an "Assistance in Airports Roundtable," since most disability-related complaints stem from service in the terminal, and "Emergency Preparedness."  In order to cover more hot topics, there will be two panels on "Challenges/Best Practices." We will also devote a session to focus groups for our new ACRP 01-31 project on "Innovative Solutions in Airports," a very broad research topic that will benefit from everyone's input. Don't forget--CEUs are available for the first time to Accredited Airport Executives!
Preliminary Agenda
Online Registration 
Sponsorship Packages

ODO To Speak at FAA Event

Open Doors Organization has once again been invited to speak at the FAA's National Civil Rights Training Conference for Airports, set for September 7-9 at the Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol. Laurel Van Horn, Director of Programs, will discuss ACAA and Section 504 regulatory requirements, draft FAA standards and best practices for service animal relief areas (SARAs). The session entitled "Hot Issues at Airports and Areas of Frequent Compliance Challenges" will take place on Wed., Sept. 7 and again on Fri., Sept 9. Laurel and Jackie Kelley, our new Program Manager, hope to see you there. (Shown above: SARA at Pittsburgh International Airport.)

New Program Manager

Jackie Kelley, who has worked with Open Doors Organization as a trainer and program coordinator intermittently since 2009, recently came on full time as Program Manager. Jackie is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and has a Masters of Tourism Administration from George Washington University.

Tourism for All Brochure

To commemorate World Tourism Day on 27 September 2016, the UN World Tourism Organisation has published a 24-page PDF brochure entitled "Tourism for All - Promoting Universal Accessibility. Good Practices in the Accessible Tourism Supply Chain". Produced in collaboration with ENAT and ONCE, Spain, the publication highlights six best practices from Australia, Canada, France, India, Japan and Spain. 

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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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