2015 Market Study, New CRO Refresh Training, DOT Final Rule for Airports, Z Life Beach Party and More!

July 2015 News

The month of July marks two great moments for ODO and people with disabilities everywhere. First, it’s the 25th Anniversary of the ADA, and while I am sometimes proud of the ADA, I also know that we have still not achieved equality. ODO asks two things of everyone as they celebrate this Civil Rights Law. First, think access, not disability or handicap: let’s start parking in the "accessible” parking space, not the “handicapped” one. Second, think good design: it’s not just people with disabilities who choose a ramp over stairs when both are available. The second great moment for ODO this July is the release of our 2015 ODO Market Study on Travelers with Disabilities. This is our third groundbreaking study and long overdue. I trust that we will receive lots of media so keep your eye on our Twitter and website! Wait until you see how much we spend and what we spend it on when we travel! I am sure this study will have the same impact as our other work, and I know that we will continue to “Break Down The WALL.”

Eric Lipp, Executive Director
Open Doors Organization

Disability Travel Spending at Record High $17.3 Billion

In conjunction with the ADA 25 Celebration, Open Doors Organization has released its much anticipated 2015 Market Study. It confirms once again that this is a strong market that's still growing. American adults with disabilities now spend $17.3 billion annually on just their own travel. Conducted by Mandala Research, the 2015 Market Study is a follow-up to ODO's groundbreaking 2002 and 2005 surveys. New this year are an expanded section on cruise travel and data on the use of mobile technology and ride share services. The 53-page report is available for sale on the ODO website.
Press release: pdf  doc

2015 CRO Refresh Training Now Available Online

The 2015 Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) Webinar is now open for registration. This year’s topics include the latest findings from ODO’s 2015 Travel Market Study, important updates from the DOT and FAA, a discussion of common complaints, a review of key sections of Part 382 and a section on accommodating customers with food allergies. The guest speaker for 2015 is ODO Trainer Chriss Buckley, sharing her perspective as a traveler with vision loss and a guide dog handler. For the first time, the training also includes an integrated online assessment. Register now.

United Airlines Offers Awareness Training in UK

On July 13 and 14, United Airlines offered its popular Disability Awareness Training at London's Heathrow Airport. Joining United's Rosalie Crabbe, Manager of Accessibility Programs/Industry Affairs, were ODO's Eric Lipp and other members of the Customers with Disabilities Advisory Board including Dee Heeperly and Pat Pound (shown above with Eric). Attending the sessions were United personnel from Heathrow and other European stations as well as local ramp crew. 

ODO/Z Life Beach Party in Chicago Draws 600+

The 7th Annual Beyond the Waters Beach Party, held July 19 at Chicago's Osterman Beach, drew a record turnout of people with disabilities, friends and family. Originated by Gus Zografopoulos who runs ODO's Z Life Program, the free beach party features not just water activities but also cycling, music, games and BBQ. Sponsoring with ODO and Z Life this year were Adaptive Adventures, Chicago Park District, Midwest Wheelchair Sport & Social Club and United Airlines. Thanks to all our other partners as well!

Final Rule for Airports

This Final Rule, released by the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) on the day of its own ADA 25 Celebration in Washington, DC, includes new provisions for service animal relief areas (SARAs) and other requirements already mandated for airlines under Part 382.
  US airports with 10,000 or more enplanements per year must provide a SARA in each terminal, to be located in the secure zone with some exceptions. Airports must consult with animal service training organizations on the design and maintenance of SARAs, which must be wheelchair accessible. Airports have one year to comply.

New FAQs on Service Animals

The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) issued new guidance this July on Service Animals and the ADA.  Their responses to 37 Frequently Asked Questions are aimed at State and local government agencies, businesses and non-profits. The FAQs cover Definition, General Rules, Certification and Registration, Breeds and Grounds for Exclusion with specific guidance for hotels, restaurants, stores, pools and even hospitals and ambulances. Commercial airlines, covered instead under the Air Carrier Access Act, are  excluded from compliance.

Give to ODO

We are a registered charity on Amazon Smile.  So the next time you shop, please choose Open Doors Organization and help support our many valuable programs.

2015 CRO Classes

ODO offers Initial Complaints Resolution Official Training in major cities nationwide as well as overseas. Call 773.388.8839 or email Eric Lipp for details.
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