ODO Partners with Dominican Republic, New PANYNJ CX Manual, SATS Meets ATPDR Standards... and More!

Nov. 2021 News

Another year is about to end but there's still time to give, and what better time than Giving Tuesday? Whether you are a corporate partner of ODO or an individual donor, we appreciate everything you do for us and promise to keep making a real difference in the lives of millions of travelers with disabilities. You can go to our website to donate or call 773-388-8839. We are on Amazon Smile, and you may also donate via our FB page. It's been a challenging year, but we hope that yours is ending on a safe, positive note.

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

ODO Partnering with DR
On Nov. 2nd, Open Doors Organization signed an initial agreement of cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism for the Dominican Republic. The goal: to make DR the most accessible island in the Caribbean. Minister Collado, shown above during the recent promotional tour to the U.S., will welcome Eric Lipp and other ODO staff to Santo Domingo this December to discuss first steps in the new initiative. We look forward to sharing more details in next month's newsletter.

NEC/AAAE Webinar Dec. 3

In honor of the U.N. International Day of Persons with Disabilities, held annually on Dec. 3, the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives is presenting a free webinar entitled, "Taking Disability Inclusion to the Next Level." Presenters, shown above, include Jonathan Klein, FAA; Saron McKee, City of Philadelphia, Division of Aviation; and Laurel Van Horn and Pat Pound (with new dog guide Cayenne), ODO. The event will take place from 11:30am - 1:00pm Eastern Time. Free Registration.

SATS Meets Canadian ATPDR Requirements
Airlines that provide service to Canada should be aware that all exemptions to the CTA’s Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations will expire by the end of 2021. Because the Service Animal Travel Solutions (SATS) system allows a traveler to electronically submit a DOT Service Animal Air Transportation form that is then stored in the SATS database for future travel, SATS meets the requirements of the ATPDR Provision 59 – Retention of electronic copies.  In addition, because SATS generates email responses to the traveler when their travel with a service animal is approved, SATS meets the requirements of ATPDR Provision 58 – Written confirmation of services. Subscribing to SATS provides other significant benefits to airlines as well:

  • Ensuring an accessible form is available to passengers
  • Reducing workload because there is no need to review or store the DOT form
  • Removing the pressure on frontline team members because decision making is moved away from the airport and ahead of travel, and
  • Providing data about tasks performed by service animals, training organizations, and travel by passengers with service animals.

For more information or to discuss how we can help you respond to the CTA’s compliance verification forms, see the SATS website or email Gina Emrich.

Upcoming CRO Classes

ODO Initial Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) Trainings via Zoom limit the number of attendees so that everyone can join in the discussions and class exercises. Next Zoom Classes: Jan. 25-26  and March 08-09, 2022, 8:00 am - 12:30 pm CSTFor details, email Katy O'Reilly or call 773-388-8839. 
  ODO's 2021 Annual Refresh Training is posted online. Recorded annually  with all the latest regulatory changes, the ODO webinar is an affordable, convenient way to maintain your certification. Register now!

New PANYNJ Manual

A new, groundbreaking publication from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is now available online. Airport Customer Experience Performance and Standards Man-ual addresses 8 Key Service Elements. Number 2 after Human Interaction is Accessibility. The guide spells out how to ensure that customers requiring assistance also enjoy a world class experience. In developing its new standards, the Port conducted a journey mapping exercise that included travelers with a variety of disabilities, both assisted and self-assisted. This detailed 168-page manual is a "must read" for all aviation executives and managers.

New ODO Client: Unifi

ODO conducted several days of Train-the-Trainer sessions in Houston this November for a new aviation services client, Unifi. Participating were Eric Lipp, Craig Kennedy, Gina Emrich and Pat Pound, shown above being guided by a Unifi employee. The comprehensive staff training program covers communication and assistance for travelers with all types of disabilities.

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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