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Law Services Discounts for Disabled People in Fort Worth Texas

lawn

Fall/ Winter Up-keep & Leaf Removal

leafWe generally use mulching mowers for many property foliage up keep and can often tote the clippings nonetheless, big compact foliage build up might require manual removal. We’ll haul off and get rid of most clippings at no excess charge. Larger lot sizes will change in exclusion.

We provide lawn care in fort worth tx that will require a complete mowing service just once a month for upkeep or suppress appeal. Our yearly accounts will automatically have these solutions scheduled in packed or person form.

Mowing Service (20% off)

lawn mowerMow front and rear portions of land (Clock wise routines when done per week )String line trimming Around perimeters of fence and home line and about all fence posts.

We trimming with definition in most surface utility vents and rock operate as needed.Edge all paths and driveway locations. We’ve got state of the art, specialist blowers that ensures clean horizontal surfaces, free of left over debris.

While bi-weekly is the most economical, per week is encouraged to find the very best outcomes. Water and fertilizing often is an important exercise for your turfs wellbeing; each week mowing is equally as essential.

We all our blades every day to make sure the standard of grass blade, appearance and health. Dull blades tares the suggestion of the turf’s bud blade instead of precision piece. This causes irregular development patterns and challenges that the nutrient value of your possessions.

Our slow launch, granular, fertilizer and Pre-Emergent goods, continually nourish your possessions the appropriate nourishment 8 times annually. We utilize Pre-Emergents to help combat those annoying poa and grassy weeds which arrive together with the spring. Selective herbicides are utilized to kill present crab bud, poa weeds, DALLIS GRASS, along with other grassy or broad leaf weeds which could be hoarding your yard without damaging the surrounding turf.

We provide a crisp comprehensive trim with the most professional of gear and sharpest blade to the best cut. Grassy to repeated hedges are preserved to guarantee the health and look through all seasons.

All weeds (shrub weeds) and blossoms which were entwined, are taken out of the root rather than trimmed across the surface together with the bush.

Grass Upkeep Service (30% off)

Pulling, series line trimming, and compost are all utilized for removing the weeds out of the flower beds.
Flower installment
we’ll plant many seasonal blossoms in its esteemed period of year. Our flower arrangement count will normally come 18-24 into a level. We totally cleared the flowerbed regions of the unwanted weeds and grass in which the flowers will be implanted. We until and correctly amend the floor with a top planting dirt and then use the very first round of a superior starter, colour fertilizer at no additional charge.

Mulch  (call for a dicount)

We provide hardwood mulch to put in on your flower beds. Mulch frequently aids in the general upkeep and up-keep of your flower beds also helps maintain moisture to your own shrubs and other ornamental foliage. (We provide bulk prices for the larger regions ).

A whole removal (Scalping) of your increased turf will be crucial for this particular service. We tote all of the heavy clippings to supply greatest catching and germination of this over seed that is broadcasted. Our technicians have been trained to correctly broadcast the over seed throughout the whole lot for non-patchy growth.

An expert, slow discharge, starter fertilizer will be implemented along with over seed to guarantee complete, healthful growth.
Generally, over seeding will require 4-6 weeks for expansion to be viewed. (Ask how to conserve 100.00 bucks on your own finished seeding installation).

General Landscape Maintenance

Our solutions will also be available for general upkeep in your possessions landscape.

Call (800) 856-9727

Native Hotels a finalist for access at WTTC

NATIVE Hotels is a finalist in this years World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) “Tourism for Tomorrow” Innovation Award for its work in Accessible Tourism.

Set up by two journalists to promote accessible tourism, Native Hotels pays particular attention to ensuring accessible communication.

Guests have access to vibrating watches with alerts and messages for deaf customers, while signage packs and door signs in Braille help the visually impaired navigate through the hotel, its rooms and bathrooms.
They have recently launched a new online platform for the travel industry, which Native says is the only one to offer total accessibility, and allows users with any kind of disability to use a computer to make their holiday choices.

It can be used by anyone, even if they are unable to see the screen, touch the keyboard or speak to the computer – so long as a person can blow onto a microphone, they can use the platform. For tourism to ensure it delivers its benefits to as many people as possible, everyone needs to be able to discover what is within their reach. Native’s new platform brings that world closer for many more.

What is Access Tourism

tourism

Access Tourism is tourism, travel, hospitality, and leisure for people with disabilities, seniors, ageing Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1965) who may not be as agile as they once were, families with pushchairs, people with temporary injuries, pregnant women, travellers with heavy bags, or anyone else that might need better access to tourism products and services.

Access Tourism is also known as Accessible Tourism, Inclusive Tourism, or Universal Tourism. Tourism that is accessible enables people with access requirements to “function independently and with equity and dignity through the delivery of universally designed tourism products, services, and environments” (Darcy, Cameron, & Pegg, 2010).

Access Tourism is better understood – especially for those with physical disabilities – and developed overseas, and is beginning to be appreciated for economic and sustainability reasons. In New Zealand, the economic benefits that would accrue from developing Access Tourism have not been researched. Absolutely nothing is known about the number of visitors with disabilities in and to New Zealand; and little is known about their wants and needs. This is in spite of the fact that the Access Tourism market is already potentially a large one, and is set to grow. It will grow because the large Baby Boomer generation is ageing and disability increases with age (World Health Organization, 2011, p. 35). Population ageing will lead to changes in the profile of domestic and international tourism demand and tourism operators must adapt or face the real danger of losing market share (Glover and Prideaux, 2010). In order for individual businesses and destinations to be successful, they need to address the specific requirements of different markets. However, while there is an abundance of marketing segmentation studies on ethnic, age, and socio-economic sub-groups, the potential of the accessibility market is largely ignored, and research in this area is still in its infancy (Buhalis & Michopoulou, 2011). Few operators have made substantial connections between a high standard of access provision and other corporate performance indicators and the accessible tourism market is seen as low yield (Darcy, Cameron, & Pegg, 2010).

Other important factors that will shape the profile of visitors are changes in family structure, with ageing Baby Boomers travelling more and also playing an increasingly important role in family travel (Schänzel & Yeoman,2015), the generational distribution of wealth, and time available to travel. Surprisingly, the potential impact of factors and demographic changes on tourism demand has received little attention from tourism researchers (Glover and Prideaux, 2010). Certainly, in New Zealand at least, demographic change has only recently been mentioned as a factor in future tourism demand. As yet, there is no move apparent by government or the upper levels of the tourism industry in New Zealand to act on that fact.

The accessibility market is not homogenous as it has diverse sub-markets, with dissimilar needs and requirements. As do other sub-markets, this one has demographic, socioeconomic, psychographic, and behavioural variable. From a tourism point of view, the market sector comprising people with disabilities can be divided into six segments, namely, people with

  • Mobility
  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Speech
  • intellectual
  • Cognitive/learning, and
  • Hidden disabilities such as sensitivities, diabetes or allergies

Some people may have more than one disability, and the degree of disability experienced varies from person to person.

It is difficult to give accurate figures about the number of people worldwide who have disabilities because of the challenges of measuring disability and because of the different ways disability is measured between and even within countries. The World Health Organization (2011) estimates that there are more than one billion people worldwide with a disability. A few examples of estimates of the number of people with disabilities in some of the countries or areas of traditional or growing importance to the New Zealand tourism industry include:

  • Australia: 4.4 million (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010).
  • United Kingdom: 10 million(Office for Disability Issues HM Government, n.d.).
  • China: 83 million (China Disabled Persons Federation, n.d.)
  • Japan: 5.5 million (Cabinet Office Japan, 2010)
  • United States of America: 49.7 million (United States Department of Labour, n.d.).
  • European Union: 47 million (Buhalis & Michopoulou, 2011)
  • India: 24.9 million (World Health Organization, 2011)
  • Canada: 4.4 million (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, n.d.).

In New Zealand, the most recent data available on disability statistics is from the national post-census Disability Survey, usually conducted every five years and released two years later. The latest census, conducted in 2013, showed that 24% of the New Zealand population were identified as disabled, a total of 1.1 million people. This is an increase from the 2001 rate (20 %), and is partly explained by our ageing population. People aged 65 or over were much more likely to be disabled (59%) than adults under 65 years (21%) or children under 15 years (11%). For adults, physical limitations were the most common type of impairment. Eighteen percent of people aged 15 or over, 64% of disabled adults, were physically impaired. For children, learning difficulty was the most common impairment type. Six percent of children, 52% of disabled children, had difficulty learning. Just over half of all disabled people (53%) had more than one type of impairment.

World tourism is a major industry which, despite recent challenge, continues to grow. In the first four months of 2011, international tourist arrivals increased by 4.5% (UNWTO, 2011). This growth is expected to continue over the next several decades. In New Zealand, tourism is a major industry and our top export earner. To the year ended March 2011, international tourist expenditure accounted for NZ$9.5 billion (18.2%) of New Zealand’s total export earnings), directly contributed NZ$6.5 billion (3.8%) to the total GDP, and a further NZ$8.6 billion (5%) in indirect contributions in industries supporting tourism. Domestic tourism accounted for $12.9 billion. Furthermore the tourism industry directly supports more than 92,000 full time equivalent jobs (4.9% of the total workforce; MED, 2011d). Domestic tourism has remained comparatively strong in spite of the recent economic downturn. International arrival numbers to New Zealand have stagnated in the last few years, but have increased in 2011 (Tourism New Zealand, 2011).

Also increasing is population ageing. In fact, population ageing is unprecedented. A population ages when increases in the proportion of older persons (those 60 or older) are accompanied by a reduction in the proportion of children (those under age 15; United Nations, 2010). The number of older persons is expected to exceed the number of children for the first time in 2045, and population ageing is occurring in nearly every country in the world. By 2050, two billion people worldwide (22% or 1:5) will be aged 60 or older. An ageing population will lead to an increase in prevalence of all the disabilities (United Nations, 2001).

A result of population ageing is that older people will comprise a larger and larger share of the tourism market and spend (UNWTO, 2010). Older people and in particularly Baby Boomers are an emerging market embracing tourism in increasing numbers (Patterson & Pegg, 2009). Many intend to become “SKINs”, that is, people who “Spend Kid’s Inheritance Now” (SMH, 2008). Unlike their parent’s generation, many Boomers are not willing to save their financial assets for their children and this has also led to the trend in longer holidays. This is a wealthy generation, and one that should not be ignored. A recent study by Deloitte notes that there will be a rise in affluent, time-rich, and travel-hungry Baby Boomers. For example, the Boomers account for 60% of USA wealth, and 40% of spending (Deloitte, 2010). They will drive growth in hospitality in the leisure sector, and be a source market for the global tourism industry for several decades. Australians over the age of 50 years already by the turn of the century accounted for nearly half the spending in consumer segments (Office of the United Nations High Commission for Human rights, 2000, cited by Tourism Queensland, 2008).

By 2050, more than 2 billion trips will be made by people over the age of 60 (UNWTO, 2010). An increase in the age of visitors in or to New Zealand is already evident in arrivals data. New Zealand visitors 45 or older have increased from 38% in the year ended March 2007 to 44% in the year ended March 2011, while international visitors 45 or older have increased from 29% to 32% (RVM, 2011). Certainly, visitors aged 40 or older already comprise about 50% of international arrivals from our main market, Australia (MED, 2009b), and around 60% of visitors from the United Kingdom (MED, 2009c). In fact, visitors aged 60 to 69 showed the strongest growth rate (up 43%) for arrivals from the United Kingdom in 2009 (MED, 2009c). In Australia, the average annual growth rate of domestic visitors over 55 years of age has been 3% and of international visitors 4% since 2000 (Tourism Australia, 2009). In Britain, international visitors over 55 years of age increased by 92% between 1995 and 2008 (Deloitte, 2010) while overseas visitors to the United States and Canada aged 55 or older are 24% and 35% of all visitors (Daines & Veitch, 2010).

As well as the effect of an ageing population on tourism, demographic pressures are elongating the shape of many families so that families comprise more generations with fewer members in each generation. This means that family groups are likely to have a wider age range – and by implication, differing abilities – and require holidays that cater for more diverse tastes (Flatters, Foa, and Gill, 2010). In addition, as grandparents now have more leisure time and parents lead increasingly complicated lives, a new trend is emerging: “grandtravel” or travel by grandparents with their grandchildren (Yeoman, et al, 2010). This is a reflection of the vertical nature of modern families. Thirty percent of American grandparent leisure travellers have taken at least one vacation with their grandchildren, and 56% of children aged 6 to 17 would “really like to” vacation with their grandparents (Yeoman, 2010).

A further factor is that the growing number of older visitors has led to an increase in longer holidays as older people have more time to travel (Glover and Prideaux, 2010). By 2021 Baby Boomers will be aged between 56 and 75 years old. In addition, retirees are not confined to taking holidays during traditional high-season periods or at weekends, but can travel mid-week and out-of-season.

All these factors point to the fact that tourism businesses must improve access to people with disabilities and seniors if they are to maintain and increase market share. Certainly, our society is built in a way that assumes that we can all move quickly from one side of the road to the other; that we can all see signs, read directions, hear announcements, reach buttons, have the strength to open heavy doors and have stable moods and perceptions (New Zealand Disability Strategy, 2001). Although New Zealand has standards for accessibility, places like movie theatres, sports grounds, transport stations, pubs, restaurants, and hotels, are, in the main, designed and built by non-disabled people for non-disabled users. In the realm of tourism in New Zealand, a study has shown that over 60% of the built tourism environment examined is difficult or impossible for people who are wheelchair users to access, and it is probably true that people with other types of disability would also find difficulty accessing these businesses. Sadly, about 86% of the operators of these
businesses state that they are indeed accessible (Rhodda, 2007).

Estimates of the Access Tourism market elsewhere show that it is already a vital segment of many economies. The Australian accessible tourism market is thought to be currently worth about A$4.8 billion a year (Dwyer & Darcy, 2008). In England the market is estimated at £2 billion per annum (domestic trips only; DCMS, 2010). In the European Union, there are currently 81million seniors and 47 million people with disabilities. Buhalis and & Michopoulou (2011) estimate that this represents a direct accessibility market of €128 million per annum. This does not include people under 16 years of age with disabilities, nor the family and friends of people in the accessibility market. It is estimated that if access were improved, Europeans with disabilities could generate 630 million overnight stays in Europe (Ferrer, 2010). In Canada, the market is worth C$16 billion (Kemper, Stolarick, Milway, and Treviranus, 2010), and in the United States US$13 billion (Van Horn, 2007).

Nothing is known about the size of the accessible tourism market in New Zealand. In fact, it is only very recently that the importance of the older market and disabilities has received passing acknowledgement by upper levels in the tourism industry in New Zealand. To our knowledge, the first mention of the fact that “travellers in the older age groups will become even more significant in the future” occurred in the Ministry of Tourism report, Tourism sector profile: International visitors (MED, 2009d). In 2010, the Ministry recognized not only that Baby Boomers are New Zealand’s largest domestic market segment, but also recognized the role that disability may play in travel by this group. The Domestic Tourism Market Segmentation report notes that for New Zealand’s largest market segment (made up of 98% Baby Boomers and called the “Being There” segment) the

major barriers to travel are health or disability (their own or that of a travelling companion) as well as a lack of travelling companions” (MED, 2010, page 30).

In this way, the report reinforces the idea that it is a person’s disability that is a barrier, rather than environments such as inaccessible transport and accommodation that are disabling, and which therefore reduce tourism and travel opportunities for people with disabilities (Rhodda, 2010a).

Darcy (2001) reports that people with disabilities travel on a level comparable with the rest of the population, or would like to do so. Seventy percent of peoplewith disabilities in the United States and Europe are able to travel (Corominas, 2010). There have been some suggestions that people with disabilities face more income restrictions on travel. While they do face income restraints, 10% of the world’s population of people with disabilities earn equal to or above the average weekly wage of their country (Curtin University of Technology, 2004).

In recent years, tourism information for people with disabilities has increased dramatically internationally. Compared to a scarcity of such information just five years ago, there are now dozens of website and blogs offering general information about travelling with a disability (including some with user-generated content), information about Access Tourism in towns, cities, regions, and/or countries on government or non-government, and information about commercial Access
Tourism products and specialist travel agencies. There is also plenty of advice for businesses wishing to improve their access, including improving access for people with hearing loss (Rhodda, 2011). Over 30 national and international conferences about accessible tourism have been held worldwide over the last decade. In spite of this, people with disabilities still find information difficult to find, especially reliable information that they can trust (Darcy, 2010).

There are many tourism umbrella websites in New Zealand that carry misinformation or inadequate information about, for example, accessible accommodation. The government’s newly minted Tourism New Zealand website newzealand.com (which has many access issues; Lona, 2011) is just one example. It has a section entitled “Disabled access” which provides very little information (http://www.newzealand.com/int/article/disabled-facilities/). It links to a website called Accomobility (http://www.accomobility.co.nz/Home.html) Currently (October, 2011), the later website lists about 150 accommodations throughout the country that have assessed themselves as accessible to a greater or lesser degree. This website is a major step forward for Access Tourism in New Zealand, but Rhodda (2007) has shown that self-assessment by tourism operators is not always accurate or reliable. Nevertheless, the website provides a service that has been lacking to date (Rhodda, 2010). Hopefully funding will in future become available so that commendable organisations such as Accomobility can list independently assessed and rated tourism products, perhaps through an organization such as the National Foundation for the Deaf. Neither the Accomobility website, nor the Tourism New Zealand website reveal any information when a search is made for “Deaf” or “hard-of-hearing”. This is perhaps understandable in the case of the former as it is a privately run organization. The Tourism New Zealand website, by carrying information (albeit sparse) only about wheelchair access ignores people with other disabilities, such as those with hearing loss.

We certainly have nothing in New Zealand to compare to the kind of information about Access Tourism available, for example, on the UK Tourism for All website (https://www.tourismforall.org.uk/), which lists tourist board graded properties that have been inspected and given an access rating useful to people with disabilities, Accessible Barcelonahttp://www.vienaeditorial.com/barcelonaaccesible/angles/index.htm)
which has assessed listings in conjunction with Barcelona Turisme, Accessible
Tourism Naples (http://www.turismoaccessibile.org/?lang=it), which assesses
properties in conjunction with Turismo Comune di Napoli and Turisom Provincia
di Napoli, or Australia for All (http://www.australiaforall.com/). A list of government and non-government websites involved in Access Tourism around the world is available on the European Network for Accessible Tourism website (http://www.accessibletourism.org/?i=enat.en.links).

In conclusion, it can be seen that New Zealand is missing out on a large and growing market and will lose market share if it does not begin to meet the requirements of people who need better access to tourism products and services: seniors and those with temporary or long-term disabilities. There is little understanding of the size and potential of this market in the industry. Certainly there is little understanding of the Access Tourism market in general. With the increase in social media expanding the reach of “word-of-mouth”, New Zealand cannot afford to be complacent about the lack of provision and information for this market. Certainly, an examination of aspects of provision would go some way to quantifying how hearing-loss friendly the
supply-side of the New Zealand tourism industry is and what is needed to fix any shortfalls. It would also go a long way to narrowing knowledge gaps in the industry.

Update January 2012. Sandra Rhodda of Access Tourism New Zealand under contract to the NZ Tourism Research Institute, Auckland University of Technology conducted a survey looking at the tourism, travel, and hospitality needs of people with hearing loss for the New Zealand National Foundation for the Deaf. The survey covered some aspects of tourism provision for people with hearing loss in New Zealand.

UN General Assembly holds first-ever high-level meeting on disability

UN-Enable logo

United Nations General Assembly High-Level meeting adopts document seeking to promote disability-inclusive development, redress absence of disability Rights from the Millennium Development Goals

The UN General Assembly has adopted a landmark outcome document ( A/68/L.1) aimed at promoting disability-inclusive development during its first-ever high-level meeting on that topic (23/9/2013).

Assembly President John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda) underlined the text’s significance as the instrument to guide efforts towards the creation of a fully inclusive society through 2015 and beyond. “Given the size of such a marginalized group, the onus is on us all to ensure that any future sustainable development goals include the disabled,” said Ashe. He pointed out the absence of any reference to people with disabilities in all eight Millennium Development Goals. The international community had now realized that it would be impossible to meet development targets, including the Millennium Goals, without incorporating the rights, well-being and perspective of persons with disabilities. Visit accesstourismnz.org.nz foir more information.

By the text adopted, Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their resolve to work together for disability-inclusive development and for the international community’s commitment to advancing the rights of all persons with disabilities, which was deeply rooted in the goals of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. World leaders also underlined the need for urgent action by all relevant stakeholders towards the adoption and implementation of more ambitious disability-inclusive national development strategies, while expressing their resolve to undertake various commitments to address barriers, including those relating to education, health care, employment, legislation, societal attitudes, as well as the physical environment and information and communications technology.

The text urged the United Nations system as well as Member States to stay engaged in efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development targets for persons with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond. It encouraged the international community to seize every opportunity to include disability as a cross-cutting issue on the global development agenda, including the emerging post-2015 United Nations development framework.

Ashe noted that people with physical, sensory, mental and intellectual disabilities were “the world’s largest minority”, numbering more than 1 billion. “They are a diverse and varied group, each with unique gifts and abilities, and each with unique challenges,” he said. “They teach us not only lessons about love and respect, but also about persevering against the odds.” He went on to say that 134 countries had ratified or acceded to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the Assembly in 2006.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon quoted International Labour Organization (ILO) statistics showing that excluding disabled persons could cost economies as much as 7% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Following the opening segment, the Assembly held two round-table discussions, the first on “International and regional cooperation and partnerships for disability inclusive development”, and the second on “The post-2015 development agenda and inclusive development for persons with disabilities”. The General Assembly reconvened on 24 September, to begin its general debate.

Any tourism business, organization, or strategy that ignores the world’s ageing population is ignoring a golden business opportunity

tourism business

The Global Agenda Council on Ageing Society report, “Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise” points out that

  • The global share of those 60+was 8% in 1950, 11% in 2011, and will be 22% (2 billion) in 2050
  • The global population is projected to increase 3.7 times from 1950 to 2050, but the 60+ will increase by a factor of nearly 10, and the 80+ by a factor of 26
  • Women account for about 55% of the 60+ group, rising to 64% of the 80+ group and 82% of the 100+ group. On average, women outlive men by nearly 4.5 years.

Baby boomers in Asia-Pacific will account for 63% of the world’s total seniors population by 2050.

They will have US$1.9 trillion in spending power.

According to the latest Ageing Asia Alliance Journal (AAAJ), their spending power will significantly drive economic growth in industries such as tourism and transportation, wellness, education, finance, and healthcare.

AAAJ goes on to say that “there is a need for businesses to change their mindsets in how they view grey power, and also start paying more attention towards innovation and product design with the older consumers in mind.

Ageing is both a social and economic opportunity.

It would be advantageous for businesses to monitor Asia Pacific’s demographic trends and also keep the ageing consumer needs in mind for their future development of products and services.” AAAJ ponts out that Asia’s ageing baby boomers are looking to age healthily, well, and independently.

Businesses that understand the significance of the benefits of healthy ageing can take advantage of commercial opportunities to deliver such services as tourism and active lifestyles, and thus enable older people to stay healthier, longer and encourage social inclusion (source: Ageing Asia Alliance).

Japan has one of the fastest-growing seniors populations in the world. Spending power of the over 60s in Japan is estimated at 100 trillion yen, or 44% of the nation’s entire personal spending. From cosmetics to travel, affluent retirees are spawning a host of new business opportunities.

In the USA, there is no doubt about the importance of the Baby Boomer generation to business. There are 76 million American Boomers, and they control over 80% of personal financial assets, and more than 50% of discretionary spending in the USA.

A Met Life study estimates that American Boomers will inherit $8.4 trillion in the next few years (with a total transfer of assets to them estimated at $11.6 trillion – Met Life). More Access ourismnz news here.

In New Zealand, the Boomers are the biggest cohort, with 1.25 million members. Boomers are the biggest group of Australian and New Zealand visitors in the Asia Pacific region, and the percentage of visitors to New Zealand who are over the age of 45 slowly and steadily increases every year.

Any businesses – including tourism businesses – that do not plan to cater for the ageing population (and the concomitant increase in the number of people with various types of disability) – are ignoring a golden business opportunity.

Access at tourism businesses

dissabled

An assessment of 34 tourism-related businesses in Osoyoos, British Columbia Canada found that over half are not accessible for the disabled ( Paul Everest, Osoyoos Times, September 2009). A similar study in New Zealand (Rhodda, 2006 ) found that one third of such businesses were not accessible. However, the New Zealand study looked only at wheelchair access to businesses. It is probable that if access for people with sight, hearing, and other impairments had been studies, as they were in the Osoyoos project, more would have been inaccessible.

The Osoyoos study involved a member of the Accessible Tourism Strategy audited 34 businesses in towns that are involved with the tourism industry. Each business was rated on a three-point scale based on accessibility for people with mobility challenges, people who are visually impaired and people who have hearing impairments. The strategy was spearheaded by 2010 Legacies Now, a provincial non-profit organization established in 2007 with a mandate to promote tourism in B.C. in the time leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Richard Molyneux, a co-director for 2010 Legacies Now’s disabilities initiative, said 65 businesses in Osoyoos were approached for the audit and agreeing to participate was on a voluntary basis. He said 17 of the 34 businesses assessed were accommodation properties such as hotels and six of them received a rating of one or more.

One of 2010 Legacies Now’s goals is to promote B.C. as a premier travel destination for people with disabilities, Molyneux said, and 3,000 accessibility audits have taken place across the province since the project began. Roughly 650 million people across the globe could benefit from accessible businesses, he said. In North America alone, 58 million people could benefit from accessible businesses.

Martin Heng of Lonely Planet and accessible tourism

Guest article reprinted with permission from Lonely Planet. Martin Heng is Accessible Travel Manager at Lonely Planet. Here he writes about how he became involved in accessible tourism

 Lonely Planet's Accessible Travel Manager Martin Heng in Hays Paddock, Melbourne, Australia. Image by Sabine Heng / Lonely Planet.

Travelling has always been in my blood. Perhaps I inherited it from my father, who was born in Singapore, travelled the world in the British Merchant Navy and finally settled in the UK, where I was born. I’ve lived and worked in half a dozen countries and travelled to more than 40. In the 80s and 90s I spent the best part of 10 years on the road, pausing only long enough to make enough money for the next trip. Imagine my euphoria in 1999 when I landed a job with Lonely Planet, whose books had been a constant companion across three continents over the previous decade! I’ve been with the company ever since in several different roles, including Trade Publishing Manager and Editorial Manager, overseeing the production of the entire range of printed books.

I had always been very keen bike rider. At 16 I cycled from Birmingham to northern France to meet my parents there. In the 90s, I cycled with my partner round the South Island of New Zealand, around Hokkaido, in northern Japan, and made several trips in the Tokyo area when living there.

I was also lucky enough to be selected to join the Lonely Planet relay team on the Tour d’Afrique, riding from Nairobi in Kenya through northern Tanzania and along Lake Malawi – a trip of some 2500 kilometres over 18 riding days.

And of course I rode to work every day, a round trip of 40 km, year-round, rain or shine. And then every cyclist’s nightmare came to pass: I was hit by a car. Unfortunately, I didn’t just break a few bones; instead, I damaged my spinal cord and was left a quadriplegic.

In some ways I have been lucky in that I do have some movement below the level of my injury. In fact, all my muscles do work – imperfectly and in an uncoordinated fashion – and over the last three years I have learned to walk again, albeit only with the aid of a walking frame, very slowly and over short distances.

The only major trip I have undertaken was to a boot camp for paraplegics and quadriplegics in the USA, where, using the latest machinery and techniques, patients undergo 3 to 4 hours physio every day.

As I started back to work, part-time at first, I started to look into what resources there were for people travelling with a disability. Surely, I thought, it should be easy in this digital age to find information on accessible accommodation and on travelling in different countries with a disability.

Wrong! There is quite a lot of information out there but it isn’t easy to find – it’s all siloed in special-interest websites or hidden away on local government websites, often only in the local language.

As I started to connect more with disabled communities I kept hearing the same story from other people and, when they learned I worked for Lonely Planet, they asked why we were not producing books on accessible travel.

More News on http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz

Now that I have been appointed Accessible Travel Manager at Lonely Planet, it has become my mission to make travel easier for those who are hampered by issues of accessibility, whether it be through illness, age or disability.

We may never produce printed books specifically for disabled travellers, but there are many other things we can do, particularly through building a community which is happy to share ideas, information and experiences through words, pictures and even video.

I believe this is the true potential that the digital age offers us. I’m truly excited – for myself, for Lonely Planet, but most of all for those 1 billion people around the world whose physical limitations are preventing them from the joy that is travel.

Lonely Planet: New Accessible Melbourne Ebook

Lonely Planet’s new Accessible Melbourne free guide provides travellers with disabilities relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see in that city.

It covers Melbourne’s best wheelchair-friendly restaurants and shops, accessible sports, and scenery, food and wine along the Great Ocean Road. As usual with Lonely Planet, the authors visited every establishment reviewed so that reviews are based on personal experience.

However, for this pilot project, LP augmented their authors reviews with feedback from users who are people with disabilities, and insider tips from a wide range of travellers to ensure those with mobility, hearing or vision impairment get the most out of a Melbourne holiday.

This is Lonely Planet’s first ebook on accessible tourism travel, and it acknowledges that what is accessible to one may be difficult for another.

The Guide suggests users use the information as a starting point to make their own enquiries for their particular situation.

As usual with Lonely Planet, the authors visited every establishment reviewed so that reviews are based on personal experience.

Lonely Planet Named the World’s Top Ten Most Accessible Travel Destinations For 2016

Lonely Planet is one of the world’s most successful travel publishers, printing over 120 million guidebooks and eBooks to almost every destination on the planet in eleven different languages.

This includes a number of accessible tourism guides. It also produces a range of gift and reference titles, an award-winning website and magazine and a range of digital travel products and apps.

Lonely Planet has offices in the Australia, UK, USA, India and China with over 400 employees, including Martin Heng, Accessible Travel Manager.

Recently, Lonely Planet named the world’s top ten most accessible travel destinations for 2016.

The company recognizes that the number of people in the world who have a need for better access is already large, and that with the rapid ageing of the world’s population, there will be an impact on global business and tourism.

Companies are slowly starting to realize that accessibility is not just an issue that must be addressed for those with a disability. It’s a real issue that many grey nomads are putting some extra thought into before booking their next vacation.

Lonely Planet agrees that with an aging baby boomer population that isn’t willing to slow down when it comes to travel, accessibility is becoming paramount. It is with this in mind that they put together their list of the most accessible vacation destinations for 2016.

The list includes: Playa del Carmen, Mexico; Barcelona, Spain; Galápagos and Amazonia, Ecuador; Sicily, Italy; Manchester, UK; Melbourne, Australia; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Singapore; San Diego, USA; and Vienna, Austria.