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2013 12 13 Vancouver Canada bans doorknobs.  Vancouver city, Canada, has banned doorknobs as a move toward accessibility. New building code legislation requires all new construction from March 2014 will use levers for both doors and taps. Existing structures are grandfathered into the new code. The move is aimed at helping older people, people with injuries, or people with disabilities (for example, arthritic hands). It is also aimed at making the city more accessible to all.

2013 11 12 Access rights in New Zealand being eroded.  New Zealand was once known as an international leader in disabilities rights but now access for people with disabilities is are being eroded in this country.  Two recent events point to this erosion of human rights: 1) Firstly, the government is considering changes to the building code which could reduce access to buildings for people with disabilities and the elderly – a move criticized and called “appalling” by the government’s own Minister for Disabilities Issues Tariana Tureia (http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/concern-disabled-over-building-code-changes-video-5765854)
and 2, a disabilities lobby group is to sue the Ministry of Education over
alleged breaches of the Human Rights Act for discriminating against childre
with special needs (http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/230211/disability-lobby-group-to-sue-education-ministry

2013 11 11 Half of visitors visitors to Gold Coast Queensland are Boomers or seniors. New Research by Tourism Research Australia shows that 49% of visitors to the Gold Coast are aged 45 or older; 28% are 55 or older http://tra.gov.au/documents/vps/Gold_Coast_Visitor_Profile_and_Satisfaction_Report_Nov2013_FINAL2.pdf

2013 10 11 Academic research in Jordan shows motivation of visitors with disabilities.  A new study of motivation of visitors to Jordan who have disabilities has been conducted by Dr. Mamoon Allan, University of Jordan.  The study – Disability tourism: Why do disabled people engage in tourism activities? – has been published in the European Journal of Social Sciences (2013/39: 3, pp. 480-486).  Results of a questionnaire given to 200 disabled visitors in 2013 showed that the motivation for them to engage in tourism activities in Jordan was ‘Interest/Enjoyment’ and the activities respondents desire to engage in were historical and cultural activities, followed by Eco and Nature activities.

2013 10 4 Wheelchair friendly cities in the USA: In this month’s New Mobility magazine cover story on “Disability Friendly Cities: 7 Places Worth Visiting”, author Douglas Lathrop writes about US cities that are accessible to wheelchair–using visitors.  The cities are Seattle Washington, Minneapolis Minnesota, San Francisco California, Salt Lake City Utah, Chicago Illinois, Topeka Kansas, and Boston Massachusetts.  The article also gives links to helpful services and accessible attractions in each city.  @NewMobilityMag

2013 9 27 “Handicapped” symbol gets a facelift:  An updated version of the seemingly ubiquitous blue and white “handicapped” symbol will soon be plastered across New York.  Rather than depict a static person in a wheelchair, the new icon from The Accessible Icon Project displays an active, in-motion version of life with a physical disability.  Backers of the new icon, which was spearheaded by a philosophy professor at Gordon College in Massachusetts, say they hope that adoption by the nation’s largest city will lead to more widespread acceptance of the design.  The design was created by Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney.

2013 9 16  International Civil Aviation Organization: new “Manual on Access to Air Transport by persons with Disabilities”  First edition 2013.  This manual provides general guidance on services and features needed to meet the needs of persons with disabilities in air transportation. The guidance material was created by the Facilitation Panel’s Working Group on Persons with Disabilities for the purpose of elaborating on the relevant Standards and Recommended Practices in Annex 9 — Facilitation and assisting the civil aviation community in their implementation.  The manual should be read in conjunction with other key documents in this field, which provide more detailed guidance, and the legal frameworks which apply to various jurisdictions.  http://www.passepartouttraining.com/uploads/2013/03/ICAO-Manual-Doc-9984-1st-Edition-alltext-en_published_March-2013.pdf

2013 8 8 Seminar on the economic imperative for catering for the access market in New Zealand: Waitematā Local Board and AECOM present a seminar on the economic benefits of engaging with and understanding the needs of the world’s fastest-growing consumer group – access customers.  This includes the one-in-five New Zealanders who have disability, the elderly, families with young children, visitors from overseas, and people with a temporary injury or illness.  Find out how your business can grow as much as 20% by better serving this market.  Keynote speaker: Minnie Baragwanath, CEO of Be. Accessible.  : Wednesday 21 August 2013, 2pm-4pm AECOM House, 8 Mahuhu Crescent, Quay Park.  Seminar is free but registration is essential as numbers are limited.  Email alana.thurston@auckland.govt.nz to register or call 09 353 9654.

2013 7 29 New interactive website about access in Britain.  A new website, Accessible Britain, has been set up so that people can share information beyond the wheelchair symbol about the accessibility of public places, venues, locations and transport interchanges.  The website aims to help people find the best places to go based on actual user experience. It is looking for reviews of any place in Britain open to the public, be it a park or a hotel.  The site includes an interactive map. Accessible Britain is on Twitter at @AccessibleB

2013 7 22 World Economic Forum travel report cites aging as important trend in travel.  The World Economic Forum Insight Report: Connected World: Transforming travel, transportation, and supply chains (May, 2013) list three worldwide trends that will be of major importance in shaping how people will travel in the coming decades. These are 1, changes in global socio-economic makeup, 2, increasing urbanization, and 3, global ageing. Individuals aged 55 or older will account for 20% of world population (or 1.6 billion out of 8 billion) in 2025. This “silver segment” is even expected to reach 35% in G7 countries by 2025, a situation that will “call for age-appropriate mobility solutions”, says the report.

2013 6 15 New NZ guidelines for accessibility in the built environment: Barrier Free Built Environments are guidelines and checklists for accessibility developed by Barrier Free New Zealand Trust for the Christchurch Earthquake Disability Leadership Group. They are for architects, builders, planners and others seeking to create barrier free environments and universal design. These guidelines are intended to show how to understand and apply the accessibility requirements of New Zealand Standard 4121 and the New Zealand Building Code.  Barrier free environments and checklists Barrier Free NZ

2013 6 11 Carleton U, Ontario holds international summit on accessibility.  Carleton University (Ontario, Canada), with support from the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa, is holding a three-day International Summit on Accessibility July 12-15, 2014 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. The conference will promote access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. With the major theme of Making it Happen – From Intention to Action, the summit will feature experts from around the world, providing a key opportunity for service organizations, governments, the post-secondary sector, hospitals, and others who want to review best practices and create action. In particular, the conference will highlight accessible communities, innovative approaches to accessibility, the role of technology in contributing to accessibility for persons with disabilities, and the concepts and collaborations needed to create accessible communities.

2013 5 20 NZ hoteliers told to aim for mature travellers.  Tourism Australia GM Destination Development Craig Davidson told the recent New Zealand Hotel Industry conference to aim for high-yielding, more mature travellers.   “We target people who have been overseas in the past 12 months so they had a propensity to go and have the desire to travel. So it is the mature age group and that is where we are starting to see growth.” These people want experiences more than gambling or luxury shopping, which are considered more as a bonus than anything. Rather, safety, the environment, and the friendliness of the people are what they seek. “Value for money still ranks very highly”, continued Davidson. Source: travellers (Inside Tourism Issue 934, June 20, 2013. www. Insidetourism.com).

2013 4 13 Access Tourism in Zanzibar. The Minister responsible for Zanzibar tourism has stated that Zanzibar is encouraging the formation of tourism committees in all districts in a quest to popularize the ‘tourism for all’ policy in the islands. Tourism contributes about 27% to the GDP and 80% of foreign currency to the government.  The state has announced several plans that are geared to boosting the industry.

2013 3 26 New magazine devotes first issue to accessible tourism.  A new magazine, MarketAbility, has devoted its inaugural issue to travel and hospitality accessible to people with disabilities.  Articles include an interview with accessible tourism guru Scott Rains, a look at the annual spend by travellers with disabilities, an examination of the Bloomberg-listed stock index that measures companies on specific disability benchmarks (companies in the index include Boeing, Carnival Cruise Lines, Marriott International, Royal Caribbean International, Southwest Airlines, Walt Disney Co., and Wyndham Hotel Group), and inclusion of people with disabilities in advertising .

2013 2 25 Conference in Morocco discusses Accessible Tourism. The International Social Tourism Organisation (ISTO) is a non-profit organisation with members/collaborators  around the world, including the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), the World Leisure Organisation (WLO), the European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture and Tourism Sectors and Allied Branches (EFFAT), etc.  Its aim is to promote accessible tourism for all.  Recently, ISTO held a 4-day world conference in Essaouira, Morocco with the support of the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism which was attended by the UNWTO , the EC,  and organizations in Africa, Europe,  North and South America.   The theme of the conference was Social Tourism: a vision that benefits all citizens”, and included discussions of tourism for all.

2013 2 7  UNWTO organize “Accessibility in tourism”; Secretary General to attend. Village4All, Italy, will host a seminar on “Accessibility in tourism: ethical and economic opportunity” on February 14 in Milan.  The meeting is organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Italian Ministry of Tourism, and ETHICS – Permanent Secretariat of the World Committee, within the framework of the International Tourism Exchange in Milan (BIT).  The meeting will be attended by UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

 Village4All, Italy: si svolgerà giovedì 14 febbraio il Convegno Internazionale “L’accessibilità nel turismo: valore etico e opportunità economica”, organizzato dal Ministero del Turismo, UNWTO – United Nations World Tourism Organization ed ETHICS – Segretariato Permanente del Comitato Mondiale UNWTO di Etica del Turismo -, nel quadro della Borsa Internazionale del Turismo di Milano – BIT -.

2013 2 4 USA Air Carrier Access Act Web Accessibility Requirements.  Under the proposed Air Carrier Act, any air carrier that advertises to or sells airline tickets to the US pubic for trips that begin or end in the U.S. are required to ensure that the public-facing content of websites that they own or control conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and Level AA.   If enacted, the proposed will apply to both U.S. and foreign air carriers, who will also be held responsible for ensuring their agents websites comply.  Agents include travel sites such as Orbita, Expedia etc, and site that package air travel with vacation packages.  Source: SSBBart Group.

2013 2 1 Germans will have access tourism display at ITB Berlin.   A new exhibitor at ITB Supply this year is the Tourism Coordination Office of the German Federation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, together with the National Coordination Office for Tourism for All (NatKO) and ILIS-Leitsystem GmbH. They will be offering some practicable solutions for both indoor and outdoor areas in order to show how hotels can attract a new group of tourists, those with physical disabilities.

2013 1 31 World Bank disability safeguard campaign.   Development stakeholders who wish to access funding from the World Bank will have to prove that their programmes benefit or have no harm on the persons with disabilities, once the bank completes reviewing its policies.  The bank has apparently commenced a process of reviewing its environment and social safeguards policies to mitigate risks associated with its investments.  The process will ensure that developing countries adhere to international instruments it signed up and ratified to promote the rights of PWDs as enshrined in the UNCRPD.  Source; The Observer.

2013 1 17  New International Network for Youth with Disabilities: Two young disability advocates from the UK and New Zealand have created the International Network for Disabled Youth (INDY). With funding and support from the Oxfam International Youth Programme (OIYP), these advocates have launched a website (INDYSPACE) and are looking for fellow youth to join them in connecting the youth in the international disability community! On Twitter: @INDYorg

2012

2012 12 19:  29th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity (Honolulu, 29-30 April).  The theme for the 29th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity: “Being in Community”, embraces the ideals of all people living together harmoniously and happily in a barrier-free world without fear of exclusion from social, economic or political life. (http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu)

2012 11 1 World Travel Market running two session relevant to accessible tourism:  Thursday, 11:00 Philippe Rossiter, CEO Institute of Hospitality is chairing a panel on whether the industry is doing enough and asking how much progress has the industry made? The panellists include David Stratton (need for the industry to take responsibility and ensure access), and examples of best practice ( Magnus Berrglund, Scandic Accessibility Ambassador;  Lynne Kirby, Managing Director, Enable Holidays; Blanca Cros i Moll progress in Barcelona).   Tuesday at 14:00 Ian Reynolds, Family Holiday Association (FHA) is chairing a panel on: Is Tourism Inclusive Enough? Is an annual holiday something which everyone should expect? Panellists include Charles-E.Bélanger, Director, Organisation Internationale du Tourisme Social (OITS), Luc Gobin, Head of the Tourism for All Department, Toerisme Vlaanderen, Fiona Harris, Director of PR & Brand Development, Kuoni Travel Limited and Thea Joldersma, Programme & Policy Manager, Family Holiday Association (FHA).

2012 10 30 Holidays for people with disabilities in Saxony all vetted for access.  Saxony provides a large number of accessible holidays for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.  The Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen mbH website (TMGS) has a section on barrier-free tourism in which it describes the accessibility of individual facilities, all of which have been assessed and tested by TMGS. TMGS uses pictograms as a graphic representation of detailed access information.  A map of Saxony divided into regions is given, and accessible tourism facilities are listed when a section of the map is selected.

2012 10 01  Some interesting statistics on older Americans and IT use.  For Americans 50 and older: 84% use social networking sites 45% own a smartphone, 54% have posted a photo that they have taken online and 16% have posted a video that they have taken.   Those aged 50 to 64 comprise nearly one quarter of Facebook audiences and 9% of Twitter users, and Tablet ownership has increased from 8 to 15 percent since December of last year.  51% of 50-64 year olds are social media users. For the first time, half of American adults age 65 and older are online.   Boomer women are more likely to get medical info, make travel reservations and play casino games online, 23% of Pinterest users are 45 and older, and 33% of 65+ are social media users! Source:   http://www.scoop.it/t/boomers-online/

2012 03 28 Transport Canada, nouveau membre du comité directeur DESTINATIONS POUR TOUS, Octobre 2014 Le Sommet mondial de Montreal.   Keroul a le plaisir d’annoncer que Transport Canada s’ajoute a la liste prestigieuse des membres du comite directeur du Sommet mondial DESTINATIONS POUR TOUS sur l’accessibilite, qui se tiendra a Montreal en octobre 2014. Il se joint a plusieurs partenaires internationaux, soit l’Organisation mondiale du tourisme (OMT), basee a Madrid, l’European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), base a Athenes, Tourisme et Handicaps (France), la Fundacion ONCE (Espagne), Access Tourism New Zealand, la Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH, USA), le Centre mondial d’Excellence des Destinations (CED), base a Montreal, ainsi que le ministere du Tourisme du Quebec (MTO) et Keroul.  http://www.keroul.qc.ca/fr/archives/2012/sommet-2014/index.php

2012 03 22 USA: America’s largest group of indoor water park resorts get access technology for deaf, hard-of-hearing.  The US National Association for the Deaf and Great Wolf Lodge have entered into an historic agreement to make all eleven of the Great Wolf resorts fully accessible to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Over the next year, Great Wolf Lodge, the nation’s largest family of indoor water park resorts, will develop and roll-out a new interactive system that uses new technology to provide deaf and hard of hearing people full and equal access to its MagiQuest game, and all of its other entertainments. Planned improvements are listed here.

2012 02 20 Access Tourism NZ joins Destinations for All Directors Committee. Access Tourism New Zealand will join Keroul (Quebec), Tourism Quebec (Bonjourquebec), the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), Tourisme et Handicaps (France), Fundacion ONCE (Spain), Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH, USA), and the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED)on the Directors Committee of the 2014 Congress Destinations for All, to be held in Montreal Quebec.

2012 02 15 Auckland Disability Law says New Zealand must meet its obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). In a press release, Auckland Disability Law calls for NZ parliamentary debates to be made accessible to all. People across New Zealand have expressed outrage at reports that the Speaker of Parliament, Lockwood Smith, has told newly  elected MP Mojo Mathers – who is Deaf – and the Green Party, that Parliament  will not meet the costs of reasonable accommodations within the chamber from the general budget. This is clearly in breach of the Government’s obligations under the UNCRPD, ratified by New Zealand in 2008, which states:

Article 29 – Participation in political and public life

States Parties shall guarantee to persons with disabilities political rights and the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others, and shall undertake:

a) To ensure that persons with disabilities can effectively and fully participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, directly or through freely chosen representatives, including the right and opportunity for persons with disabilities to vote and be elected, inter alia, by: ii) Protecting the right of persons with disabilities… to stand for elections, to effectively hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate

Auckland Disability Law Development Manager Nicola Owen said: “Unfortunately this type of case is all too common in New Zealand. We often receive cases where Deaf or disabled individuals have been refused employment opportunities or access to services because of a perceived cost. Parliament should be taking a lead in showing New Zealand how to make reasonable accommodations. Instead of treating the proposed electronic notetaking as an individual cost, Parliament should recognize it as an opportunity to make parliamentary debates accessible to many thousands of Deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders.”

2012 02 09 EU to discuss accessible tourism. The Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament will today (9 February 2012) discuss accessibility of destinations, accommodation, and information within the new European Union Tourism Strategy. Members include people representing various European Commission groups, EU members of parliament, NGOs,  commercial attractions and accommodation providers, local government groups (source: pers comm., EPP Group, EU).

2012 01 28 Rick Hansen Foundation i2012 Vancouver conference includes main theme of accessible cites, including accessible tourism.   Interdependence 2012 (i2012) is a global conference and expo designed to accelerate progress towards a healthy, inclusive world, and identify solutions in creating accessible communities and spinal cord injury research and development. The “Making Communities Accessible to All” pillar will include sessions on Iinternational good practices, identifying industry-specific solutions and improving global collaboration.   Speakers include David Suzuki, and Ron McCallum.  Access Tourism New Zealand’s Sandra Rhodda has had the privilege of sitting on the advisory committee for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism stream.

2012 01 27 Designing cities for young and old.  Gil Penalosa, ED of Toronto-based 8-80 cities says we have to stop building cities as if everyone is 30 years old and athletic and start building them for both the young and old to move around in safely and enjoyably.

2012 01 26 Entries are now open for the International Design for All Foundation Awards 2012. The Design for All Foundation awards recognise the efforts of private companies, not-for-profit organisations and public bodies all over the world to ensure that environments, products and services respect and take into account all aspects of human diversity, so promoting the participation of all people in the construction of society under equal conditions. Entries close on the 29 February 2012, and the awards ceremony will take place on 19 April at the Design for All Foundation headquarters in Barcelona. The award winners will be selected by an international jury formed of individuals renowned in their field.

2012 01 13 Birmingham access guide for people with disabilities to visit 1000 venues. DisabledGo, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council, will produce an online access guide to the city to give disabled people, their friends, family and carers the freedom and confidence to make their own decisions on where to go. They recently held consultation meetings with people with disabilities and stakeholders to explain the scope and purpose of the guide. The guide will provide detailed access information to 1,000 venues across Birmingham and will be
launched in April. DisabledGo is offering paid job opportunities and is seeking venue nominations in relation to the project.

2012 01 12 New helpline for people with disabilities travelling in the USA.  USA Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the launch of TSA Cares, a new helpline number designed to assist travellers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to getting to the airport. Before embarking on a trip to or through the U.S., people can call toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies and procedures, or requests for accommodations. Travellers with disabilities can find out about what to expect at a particular airport.

2012 01 10 Rise in Boomers, seniors, female consummers. Nancy Shonka Padberg, CEO Navigate Boomer Media will talk at the upcoming (January 10) 2012 Consumer Electronic Show’s Silvers Summit meet.   She and others will concentrate on boomers, seniors, and – in particular –  female consumers who make or influences 80% of household decisions.   There are 78 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. born between 1946 and 1964. They are the healthiest, wealthiest, most educated, and prosperous generation. The U.S. changed from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy because of the boomer’s love of higher education.   Boomers became mobile due to the Interstate Highway System enabling them to live, work and play—away from their hometown. Boomers embraced technology as they watched the number of television sets grow from 4 to 50 million from 1950 to 1960. Boomers have already surpassed their parents economically. On a tourism note, US Boomers buy 80%on luxury vacations.

2012 01 08 Ontario businesses must now comply with Customer Service Accessibility Standard.   AODA Canada reports that Ontario’s Customer Service Accessibility Standard (CSAS) now applies to, and must be complied with by, Ontario’s private sector. Up until now, only public sector organizations had to comply with it.  The private sector has had over four years to gear up for the standard.   In addition to the CSAS, a number of requirements for accessible customer service are also set out in the Integrated Accessibility Regulation (IAR) that the Ontario government enacted on June 3, 2011. For example, the IAR requires organizations
to ensure that information they post on their websites is accessible.

2012 01 04 United Nations Development Programme publication
Review of International Best Practice in Accessible Public Transport for persons with
Disabilities
” covers (amongst other things) easy to long-term practices for improving access in transport.  It discusses the elements of accessibility, road and pedestrian environments, vehicle design and operation, stops and stations, signage and information, and training and policies.

2011

2011 12 22 Upper Hutt CC Training guide. Kudos to Upper Hutt City Council New Zealand on the launch of their guide on how to provide excellent customer service to people with disabilities. DIScover – launched in November – is supported by a training document piloted with Council staff. It aims to increase disability awareness, educate staff, and enable people with disabilities to participate more fully in their communities. Any organisation, council, or business can use the training programme. It comprises and introduction to the topic, and the training guide itself.

2011 12 16 Accessible CQ Hotel in Cuba Street Wellington hosts exhibition.   CQ Hotels Wellington in Cuba St is hosting Accessible Art Gallery, an exhibition of work by creative space artists from 16 December to 26 January. It will include a number of works from Arts Access Aotearoa’s Make/Believe exhibition earlier this year. CQ Hotels Wellington has been assessed by Be. Accessible and prides itself on its accessibility. It carries access information on its website.  Minnie Baragwanath, Chief Executive of Be. Accessible, is opening the exhibition.   “We’re delighted to be partnering with CQ Hotels and applaud this initiative,” says Richard Benge, Executive Director, Arts Access Aotearoa.

2011 12 12 Visiting academic says Dunedin can gain multimillion $ benefits by catering for accessible tourism.  Dunedin can gain multimillion-dollar benefits by doing more to cater for and promote accessible tourism, a visiting Australian tourism researcher says.   “Accessible tourism means more travellers and more business in Dunedin,” Associate Prof Simon Darcy told the 10th biennial Australia and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies Conference last week.  Darcy is a tourism researcher at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Business School.  He said the tourism industry was not doing enough to ensure travel destinations and services were accessible to people with disabilities, or senior travellers, and when a business is accessible, it often does not do enough to provide information about that.   Disabled travellers were sometimes thought to be few in number  but, globally, there were more than 650 million people with disabilities, and this figure will rise.  This is because our population is ageing and disability increases with age.  About 20% of people with disabilities had above-average incomes, and they often travel with a wider group of family members or other colleagues.   Businesses should take a “more proactive approach to ensure that infrastructure, services and information are more accessible” in order to take advantage of this growing market.

2011 12 6 Jetstar refusal to carry wheelie journos makes it to the Innes worst of the year list.  The refusal by Jetstar in April to carry two wheelchair-using journalists between Auckland and Wellington has made it into the Graeme Innes Worst of the Year Awards list.  Innes – Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner hands out brickbats and bouquets once a year to those who do great work (or otherwise) for, by, and on behalf of the disability sector in that country.  Innes calls the refusal of Jetstar – and also Virgin and Tiger airlines – to carry more than two people using wheelchairs on each aircraft “airline apartheid”. 

2011 11 18 Guernsey to produce access guide. DisabledGo has partnered with The States of Guernsey to produce a 500 venue access guide for people with disabilities. The guide – to be launched January 2012 – will be Island wide and will cover everything from restaurants and bars to government offices, parks, tourist attractions and hotels. The guide will be the first of its kind on the Island and will provide detailed access information for both residents and visitors alike.

2011 11 18 National, Maory Parties not answering questions pre-election. According to the latest newsletter from Auckland Disability Law, the National Party and the Maori Party did not respond to several requests to answer four questions about their policies on disabled people and the disability community.  Six others did (Labour, NZ First, Green Party, Mana Movement, Act party, and Alliance Party). The questions were:
1: What is your Party’s priority policy in relation to the disability community?

2: How would your Party improve funding for services and supports for disabled people?

3: What would your Party do to make Aotearoa New Zealand a more inclusive society?

4: What are the ways your Party would improve education and employment outcomes for disabled people?

The newsletter contains the answers given by each party.

2011 11 03 Free webinar on how the Asia Pacific market is dealing with the aging phenomenon. The Asia Pacific region includes countries with populations that are the oldest (Japan), the largest (China) and the fastest ageing (Hong Kong, Korea,  Singapore, Australia) in the world. China alone has a 50+ population larger than the entire population of USA.  Research shows that a brand’s age-friendliness is critical in determining purchase decisions and choices for 6 out of 10 older consumers, but many companies have not adapted to this new reality.  To register for the November 15 webinar, go here.

2011 9 08 Extremely successful low-tech travel aids: a dog and a piece of leather, a white cane…. Add a GPS and you place an audible map in the hands of the blind so they can go places without having to rely on sighted people for directions.  Users know what street they are on and which street they are headed towards, and routes can be planned ahead of time.

2011 9 02  Population changes and the impacts on tourism in AustraliaTourism Research Australia has just released a report from the School of Tourism, University of Queensland on population changes and their impacts on tourism in Australia.  The combined effects of a low level of fertility and increasing life expectancy are shifting the mean age of Australia’s population higher over time, implying an ageing population. This will put increasing pressure on labour supply in the State and Territory economies. As labour supply determines real wages and the competitiveness of State exports, an ageing population will have implications for State and Territory inbound and domestic tourism. The magnitude of the economic impacts depends on the changes in the sizes of the regional population.

2011 8 30 ESCAP meeting on a New Asian and Pacific Decade to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) recently announced it will hold a consultation conference in October in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss strategies to further promote disability rights agenda by extending the Asian and Pacific Decade. More information: http://www.unescap.org/sdd/meetings/meetings.asp.

2011 8 25 Access for All North East England tourism finalists announced.  This year’s North East England tourism award finalists have been announced. Those in the Access for All category include: Great North Museum Hancock, Tyne, and Wear; The Coach House, Northumberland, and The Old Farmhouse, Northumberland.  The finalist will be announced at a ceremony in October.

2011 8 24 Voting for people with disabilities in New Zealand. A DVD resource ‘Enrol and vote in 2011: Voting for Deaf New Zealanders’ has been developed. This is fully signed in New Zealand Sign Language, and subtitled in English.  The DVD ‘Referendum on the Voting System’ is subtitled in English and Maori. There is also a “get ready and vote: DVD and facilitation guide for the intellectually disabled”.  Hard copies of the DVDs can be ordered here  http://www.elections.org.nz/study/disability-resources/resources-for-the-hearing-impaired.html

2011 8 20 Older age groups increasingly connected.  Older age groups increasingly connected.  A new study by Baird Technology Research shows that American 40 to 60 year old are the biggest tablet owners in the USA.   More than half in that age group are considering buying another tablet.  Those aged 45 to 54 are also  spending the most time on line.   Over half of US internet users aged 55-64 are now on social networks, up from 35% in 2009.   With the rise in older travellers, these facts are important to the tourism industry.  The internet has revolutionised
the way in which consumers make their travel decisions. Web-based marketing campaigns have become an increasingly important means of promoting destinations and tourism services.  Social networking websites provide forums for tourists to discuss the places they have visited, and more and more people are booking online.

2011 8 18 Survey of people with disabilities and their tourism and travel needs.  University of Surrey student Qian Huang is conducting a survey of people  with disabilities and their tourism and travel needs. The study is supported by Tourism For All UK, which works in the field of accessible tourism supply, in encouraging the tourism industry to become accessible to everyone, and with policy makers to ensure that policies concerned with and affecting tourism for all take full account of relevant needs, and are coherent and co-ordinated. You can help by taking a short survey available here: https://www.tourismforall.org.uk/Tourism-Research-Survey-News.htm

2011 08 12 Yahoo! Says Accessibility is BIG Business Yahoo! Accessibility estimates that in the USA alone, 60 million people have disabilities that might affect how they interact with technology and online content.  It estimates this market to be worth up to a trillion dollars in the USA alone.  Yahoo! set up an Accessibility blog a year ago and is celebrating with a video showing how Yahoos can learn more about their work and the business benefits of making Yahoo technology more accessible.

2011 08 11 Brazilian Congress on Accessible Tourism.  The São Paulo State Secretariat for the Rights of the Person with Disability, supported by the Brazilian Tourism Ministry, the São Paulo State Secretariat of Tourism, and the City Hall of Socorro, will hold the Brazilian Congress on Accessible Tourism, at the Socorro Events Center, from September 28th to 30th, 2011.  The Congress will revolve around discussion of case presentations and success stories considered to be fundamental to support public policies which can assure the rights of persons with disability to fully access tourism. This Congress will be most significant to its audience, which will be composed by the tourism trade and State and City Secretariats on this subject.

Event URL (Portguese):

http://www.rollingrains.com/2011/07/congresso-brasileiro-de-turismo-acessivel-portuguese.html

2011 08 02 The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the
Pacific (UNESCAP) will hold a consultation conference in Bangkok, Thailand to
discuss strategies to further promote disability rights agenda by extending the
Asian and Pacific Decade. More information here.

2011 07 15 The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc (NFD) has been joined by the Hearing Therapists Association of New Zealand.   The NFD now has eight member organizations (Hearing Association of New Zealand, Deafness Research Foundation, the Pindrop Foundation, New Zealand Acoustical Society, New Zealand Audiological Society, New Zealand Federation for Deaf Children, New Zealand Society of Otolaryngology, and Hearing Therapists Association of New Zealand). Louise Carroll, CE of the NFD says that hearing loss is the
largest sensory disability sector in New Zealand. The NFD has recently funded a
research project into the tourism, travel, hospitality, and leisure wants and
needs of people with hearing loss.  The results are currently being analysed.

2011 07 05 NZ Disabilities NGOs Host Fun School Holiday MOTAT Five Senses Exhibition. The Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, National Foundation for the Deaf and 5+ A Day will host games and activities at Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) to help make learning about the body’s five senses both fun and educational. Kids will be able to “hear it, see it, smell it, taste it, touch it” while they learn about the science behind it these school holidays at Sense It, from July 16.  They can get their hands on Braille typewriters and card games, musical sports equipment and the ‘scents of memory wall’ where smells will spur memories galore.

2011 06 30 Edinburgh Festival Fringe improves access for disabled.  The 2011 Fringe has improved access facilities for Deaf and disabled audiences including a new accessible ticket collection point, a dedicated accessible ticket booking line and BSL proficient staff member. This follows steps the Fringe Society has been taking to make the Festival a more accessible event.  The Edinburgh Festival Fringe – started in 1947 – is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city.  Many of the performances have British Sign Language interpretation. Festival organizers do not vet acts so anything goes.   The Fringe is also looking for stories from people with disabilities about access at arts venues and festivals.

2011 06 22 USA Access Board to Issue Proposed Guidelines for Accessible Public Rights-of-Way for Consultation. The USA Access Board will release for public comment proposed guidelines for public rights-of-way in July or August.  These guidelines will address access to sidewalks, street crossings, and other components of pedestrian networks for people with disabilities, including those with vision impairments.  Through this rulemaking, the Board seeks to establish design criteria for pedestrian access routes, curb ramps and blended transitions, pedestrian signals, on-street parking, street furniture, and other elements that take into account constraints unique to public streets and sidewalks, including space limitations and terrain.  The guidelines will be available for comment for several months and will be posted to regulations.gov for review and comment.  Local jurisdictions, and other entities covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), must ensure that the facilities they build or alter are accessible to people with disabilities.

2011 06 18 UNWTO Considers Access Tourism for People with Disabilities. The 10th meeting of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics and a seminar  on ensuring social and economic benefits of tourism  (the first “UNWTO Seminar on Tourism Ethics for Asia and the Pacific: Responsible Tourism and its Socio-Economic Impact on Local Communities”) took place in parallel  on June 12-13, in Bali, Indonesia.  The committee analyzed a wide array of ethical issues, many for the first time, including accessible tourism for all, in particular for persons with disabilities, the impact of recent events in the Middle East and North Africa on tourism in these countries, as well as in neighboring destinations, the relationship between human rights and tourism, the voice of civil society in tourism planning and management processes, and the economic empowerment of women through tourism.

2011 06 16 NY Transit Museum Becoming Accessible To Disabled People Will Bring in More Visitors The New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn unveiled a new entrance that provides access for visitors who cannot use stairs.   “This addition will bring more visitors both from Brooklyn, New York, America and internationally, as well as be far wider in accessibility for those that have disabilities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.  “For anyone that has any interest in our subway system, any interest in the history of the subway system, it’s all here,” said Brooklyn Councilman Stephen Levin.  The museum is one of few in the country focused on the history of urban transit. It is housed in a decommissioned subway station.

2011 06 14 Screen Australia Funding Only  For Captioned, Audio Described Films. In a significant move to improve accessibility of Australian feature films for both the hearing and visually impaired, Screen Australia today announced that as a condition of funding it would require films to be delivered both captioned and audio described after 1 July 2011. It is already an existing requirement for films to be captioned.  The government is funding a national upgrade of cinemas to be caption and audio description compliant by 2013.

2011 06 13 Vodafone, AGE, and European Disability Forum launch initiative to make mobile applications accessible to all.  The Vodafone Foundation, AGE Platform Europe (AGE) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) will launch the joint initiative “Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards”.  They are asking researchers and developers to create mobile applications to improve the lives of ageing users and users with disabilities: they want the smartphone revolution to benefit everybody. The four categories of the competition will be: social participation, independent living, mobility and well-being. A launch event will be held at Sofitel Brussels Europe, Place Jourdan 1, Brussels on 14 June 2011 from 10  to 12 noon. During the launch event, how the smartphone platforms can enable low cost and rapid innovation and ensure the widespread distribution of new functionality to users who may otherwise be excluded from the benefice of today’s digital society will be discussed. If you would like to join the launch event please write to Cindy De Koninck (cindy.dekoninck[at]vodafone.com).

2011 06 10 Mainstream USA marketers are  working to target people over 45 – territory they previously left untended.  Why? There are more Americans aged 51 today than any other age, the average Baby Boomer is now 54, and the largest group of Boomers is aged 50-55.  Marketers at USA giants like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Clorox, Procter & Gamble, and General Mills are now investing resources in researching and targeting Baby Boomers (those aged 47-65). Mainstream retailers like CVS and Best Buy are building growth strategies around consumers over 50.

2011 06 08 New Zealand should concentrate on holiday arrivals only. For the good of the industry and a clear understanding of the work Tourism New Zealand is doing, we have to get away from visitor arrivals and just talk about holiday arrivals, believes ANZCRO MD Owen Eagles.  “All of our KPIs (key performance indicators) are based on holiday arrivals. That is where our marketing money goes. That’s where our investment goes. That’s what we do. We do not market to business travellers. We do not market to people visiting friends and relatives (VFRs) who give us no return, not even in students. A little goes to conventions but the guts of it is holiday arrivals,” he told Inside Tourism.  “If you want to understand the market you have to understand the business first and foremost.” (Inside Tourism 836).  Tourism New Zealand is the organisation responsible for marketing New Zealand to the world as a tourist destination.  ANZCRO is a seller of travel to New Zealand.

2011 06 07 Regional Workshop on the Preparation for the New Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities: the Decade of Action. Disabled Peoples’ International Asia-Pacific (DPIAP) and DPI India will co-organize the “Regional Workshop on the Preparation for the New Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities: the Decade of Action” on 18-21 August 2011 in New Delhi, India. This workshop is in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and funded by the Abilis Foundation of Finland.  Theme: Towards accelerating the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); Aims: 1.      To build partnerships between Disabled Persons Organizations and mainstream human rights organizations with the goal of advancing the CRPD; 2.      To mainstream disability perspectives in human rights mechanism especially in the New Decade of Persons with Disabilities.  Method: Participatory approach; human rights movement’s receptivity to new areas of standard-setting; challenges to the hegemony of civil and political rights of persons with disabilities that influence mainstream human rights practice. Project module will provides an important case study of a much neglected but increasingly visible human rights issue area, especially women with disability, intellectual disability, and psychosocial disabilities.  Workshop Venue: Taj Palace Hotel, Sardar Patel Marg , Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri New Delhi, Delhi 110 021, 011 26110202. Information: www.dpiap.org

2011 06 03 APEC Makes Population Ageing a Priority: Seniors as Assets. Hawaii will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings this November.  APEC, which recently established its Global Coalition on Aging, has made population aging a priority and has been aggressively pushing private innovation and public policy reforms to meet the economic challenges that come with aging.  Mae Mendelson, president of Travel & Learn, an intergenerational study tour company, and a visiting professor at Chaminade University,  says older adults are assets who can serve as economic boosts.   She says that everyone, not just in Hawaii, has a stake in the shifting demographics and what we have not done is gotten in front of it.  “We can build an industry around this. People will come here (Hawaii) for excellence in areas of healthy aging. It’s about being really deliberate about how do we work with this asset we have, which is the aging population.” Cullen Hayashida, long-term-care coordinator at Kapiolani Community College’s Kupuna Education Center, says there is money to be made in ageing.  “We’re talking to the business sector right now on the importance of looking at this whole issue of aging, not just as an economic drag, but as a way of improving their bottom line.”

WHO/World Bank report calls for better research and data on disabilities. The World Health Organisation-World Bank World report on disability will be launched on 9 June 2011. The World report summarizes the best available scientific evidence on disability and makes recommendations for action to support the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006). The World report on disability addresses the need for better research and data on disability. It will include the first update of WHO’s disability prevalence estimates for more than thirty years. The Report also explores evidence about discrimination and barriers, identifies needs and provides an analysis of what works to improve the lives of people with disabilities in the areas of health, rehabilitation, support services, information, infrastructure, transportation, education and employment. People with disabilities have been involved in every stage of the development of the report – as advisors, editors, authors and reviewers. Disabled people’s organizations have been consulted at the global level. People with disabilities have had the opportunity to submit their own stories, many of which are quoted in the Report and others of which will feature in associated promotional activities.

2011 06 01 16th World Congress of World Federation of the Deaf first time in Africa: “Global Deaf Renaissance” Durban 18-24 July.  The Deaf Federation of South Africa (Deafsa) will host two international events in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal in July 2011. The 16th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, as well as the fifth International World Federation of the Deaf Youth Camp, will take place on African soil for the first time.   The World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf takes place every four years at different locations around the world, and in 2011 it comes to Africa under the theme “Global Deaf Renaissance” (Durban, 18 to 24 July).   The congress’s opening will coincide with International Mandela Day (pdf.), and the seven-day programme includes plenary sessions, panel discussions, presentations, and a number of film and theatre productions.  Topics up for discussion include bilingual learning; achieving legal recognition of sign language; social and economic empowerment; mentoring of sign language interpreters; and many others.  Besides the general deaf community,  deaf groups such as the elderly, gays and lesbians, and deaf-blind people also have topics devoted to their interests.

2011 05 25 The European Commission invites people from industry, the research community and NGOs, as well as representatives from Member State governments, and the other EU institutions to assess progress in meeting the targets of the Digital Agenda. The Digital Agenda for Europe is the European Union’s road map for bringing the benefits of a digital society and economy to Europe’s citizens. This first Digital Agenda Assembly takes place in Brussels on 16th and 17th June 2011.    The Assembly will be a mixture of workshops, designed to identify solutions to specific challenges and plenary sessions designed to synthesize the discussions and identify the way forward.  Two sessions are of particular interest to Access Tourism.  Access and digital ability: Building a barrier-free digital society will focus on shaping and co-creating a barrier-free digital Europe by people with disabilities themselves, addressing the relevant policy, technology, innovation and cooperation perspectives, focus on web accessibility for public and private online services, accessibility for audio-visual content, ICT-based mobility assistance, cloud-based and dynamically personalised interfaces.  Addressing demographic change: a socio-economic challenge and opportunity for Europe will present progress in the pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.

The People in Motion Exhibition June 3-4 is Canada’s premier event for people with disabilities, seniors, and disabilities professionals.  This year’s exhibition in Toronto includes accessible tourism and travel exhibits and products, including from Barbados the Barbados Tourism Authority (which has been working with Fully Accessible Barbados and the tourism industry to grow Access Tourism in that country), the Toronto Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Department,

When Europeans travel, they want rest and peace of mind (not “discovery”) and are concerned about their own or a companion’s health. Martin VIAL, CEO of the Europ Assistance Group, has presented the findings of the 11th Ipsos – Europ Assistance barometer on Europeans’ plans and concerns in relation to holidays. This reference study published for the 11th consecutive year aims to estimate, each year, the holiday plans of subjects in France, Germany the UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Austria, along with their motivations, destinations and the types of holiday favoured.  Rest and peace of mind are still the absolute priorities for Europeans, a trend that has been confirmed since 2009. 61% of them now make rest their main goal for these summer holidays, whereas a desire for “discovery” affects only 38% of them (a figure that has been stable since 2008). In response to this quest for tranquillity, the seaside is preferred by the vast majority of Europeans (65%).   As was the case in previous years, health risks are the focal point of fears for Europeans: 69% of them are mainly or even very concerned about a health problem concerning them or someone travelling with them.

2011 05 24 Shops urged to cater for disabled. Shop owners should take advantage of any refit to make their shops more accessible to disabled people and others who need better access, says Victoria Park (Western Australia) councillor Claire Anderson. Business owner Dina Otley altered her shop to be more accessible. “I’m a mum and so I’ve done the pram thing and it is hard to get in and out of some shops,” she said. “We don’t want to sort of not allow prams and people in wheelchairs into the shop, which is also why I’ve got a fair bit of space. A dollar’s a dollar,” she said. “If I can’t get into a place I can’t spend money there.  Sometimes shop owners say they don’t have many people with disabilities go there, which makes me giggle because if they can’t get in of course they don’t go there.”

2011 05 19 In the USA, the Disability History Museum (DHM), whose mission is to foster a deeper understanding about how changing cultural values, notions of identity, laws and policies have shaped and influenced the experience of people with disabilities, their families and their communities over time, has just launched a new website. Originally established in 2000, this website’s second iteration better meets the needs of today’s researcher with new graphics, improved navigation and functionality.  The DHM hosts a searchable Library, Education curricula, and Museum exhibits. These programs are designed to foster research and study about the historical experiences of people with disabilities and their communities.

The USA D.C. Office of Human Rights and Equal Rights Centre have together created an online game that shows how barriers for disabled give the handicapped unneccessary difficulty.  These barriers inlcude such things as steps in front of a doorway (a barrier to a person with mobility disability), a rounded doorknob (difficult for people with arthritic hands or those seated in a wheelchair) and so on.  There is also helpful information about the importance of accessibility.

Canadian Transport Agency guide to travel for people with disabilities

2011 05 18 How Asian attitudes are changing towards disability and tourism. Paper presented at student virtual conference. ABSTRACT:
This paper has looked at the existing and changing attitudes of Asian countries in regards to the disabilities of their own citizens as well as to foreign visitors to the continent. There has also been discussion on the various factors that have played vital roles in determining these attitudes, based on socio-cultural and environmental backgrounds, and how these changing attitudes have made major changes within the Asian tourism industry in relation to disabled tourists.

2011 05 16 The New York Times report a shift by advertisers and media execs from youth to the older market of those 50 and older.   Why?  Because Boomers are the largest segment of the USA population, unemployment rates for younger age groups have been higher than for older age groups, and those over 45 have the highest median weekly earnings of any age segment.

2011 05 14 US Department of Transportation: Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access Part II of II: Best Practices Design Guide

Agency finds Marine Atlantic making progress in ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities

FOR MORE NEWS BITES, CONTINUE READING…………………………

Newspare seller

2011 05 13 New Zealand Minister for Disability Issues yesterday (12 May 2011) launched the Te Whakaaheitanga Marae Accessibility Toolkit.  Sandy Pokaia, the former Chairperson of Te Roopu Tiaki Hunga Hauā Māori Disability Support Network was instrumental in establishing the Marae Accessibility Project.  The toolkit shows what an accessible marae looks like from the moment we step out of the car into the car park, all the way to the whare nui, to the seating of the paepae; the whare kai, and importantly the whare paku.  “Given the profound importance of our marae, how is it that we have not given enough thought in the past, to ensuring all of our whanau feel welcome, feel included, feel they are contributing to the very heartbeat of the people?” asked Turia at the launching. She went on to say that the Te Whakaaheitanga Marae Accessibility Toolkit operates from the basis of the marae – providing useful guidance on what will it take to make such a facility accessible. “The questions at the back are simply brilliant”:

• Is there space for whanau in wheelchairs to support in the preparation of kai?

• Have you thought about using a sound amplification system for hearing impaired whanau?

• Are hazards such as steps clearly identifiable from their surroundings?

• Is there an area where a guide dog can be placed?

• Do you have access to bedding that can be raised and lowered?

“These are great starting points for every community to ensure that all people are treated inclusively………….Whatever the obstacle, together we can find a clear path forward.”

 

The number of New Zealanders aged 85 years and over (85+) has more than trebled in the last 30 years, Statistics New Zealand said today. “Around 1 out of every 60 New Zealanders was aged 85+ at 31 March 2011, up from almost 1 out of every 150 New Zealanders in 1981,” Population Statistics manager Andrea Blackburn said. “Longevity has increased over time, resulting in a greater number of people in the older ages than seen previously.”

Accessibility, an ongoing struggle in every domain of daily life” EU AEGIS was presented at the ATTRACT workshop in Madrid, Spain on 10 May 2011. It was part of a presentation on accessibility issues people with disabilities face, linking this also to accessible tourism

Fiji to get sign languauge interpreters for their news  http://ht.ly/4TuWT

2011 05 12 TravelinWheels is building a website about worldwide accessibility to travel and tourism products for the disabled

The perils of traveling with a disability: a description of the preparations needed in the Northwest Herald, USA

2011 05 11 Harmonised hospitality grading scheme planned for southern Africa includes more emphasis on accessibility for people with disabilities.  At the recent Indaba, the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (Retosa) Thembi Kunene, Chief Quality Assurance Officer at the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) said that SA makes a good case for regional harmonisation of grading practices, as consistent grading strengthened the integrity and competitiveness of the southern Africa’s tourism product.   Kunene commented on the new grading criteria and standards of entry which were implemented in SA last October.  “We need to introduce grading criteria which are globally recognised and consistent.” Kunene said that the new grading criteria in SA included more emphasis on accessibility for people with disabilities, which she suggested is a multi-million rand industry which required more concerted marketing efforts from hospitality providers.

Boomers will redefine notions of ageing.  Article on how Boomers willchange the face of ageing, statistics on ageing etc.

Aging Means Business: Design for a New Age Forum.  As the first of 77 million baby boomers reach their “encore” years, leading-edge companies are rethinking aging and redesigning products, services, and environments to meet their changing needs and desires. This event will explore how strong design can successfully launch products and services and set best practices. Combining expert presentations and audience brainstorming, this event will highlight the importance of aesthetics, consumer convenience, and company goals by presenting examples of innovative design in the area of products (commercial, medical, financial), services (healthcare, financial, travel) and environments (work, retail, living).

Boomers largest single group of consumers, make up 1/3 of all those online, using social media, and twitter

2011 05 10 The United Nations World Tourism Organization has chosen a company offering guided tours through Canada for people with disabilities as one of its top Ulysses prize awardeesKEROUL was awarded the prize for “La Route Accessible” (The Accessible Route): guided tours for people with disabilities.  UNWTO organisation also awarded a Ulysses prize to SENT (Slovenian Association for Mental Health) for PREMIK for the development of Accessible Tourism in Slovenia: accessible tourism for those with special needs.

Australia: New access standards now in force to make all new public buildings, or upgrades accessible to the disabled

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy in the United States has reached 77.9 years of age. Once people reach the age of 80, the chance of having a disability increases to almost 75%.

2011 05 09 Having just hosted the first IPC Athletics World Championships to be held outside of Europe Paralympic Sport is on the up in New Zealand.

2011 05 08 Boomer Travel Tips

Neilson study of family structure 2011

AARP study: Connected Living, Designing Technology for All.  Baby boomers and seniors age 50+ are increasingly likely to have a cell phone, a laptop, or a game console, representing the fastest growing age segment to adopt social networking technology. The opportunity? A connected lifestyle that blurs boundaries across home, work, leisure, and retirement, smoothly connecting our online and offline lives. However, this tech-enabled lifestyle is not yet widespread among older age ranges, hampered by technology choices that are complex and devices and software that are difficult to use, even as their use becomes a necessity. To enable a connected living and social aging experience, vendors need to step up and begin to design for all, enabling user experiences that can appeal to all age groups.

USA Industry Show: Ageing of Boomers Inspires Design of Attractive,  Accessible,  Easy to Use Bathroom and Kitchen Fittings

Dubai Ministry of Social Affairs has worked for more than 3 years to make hotels, parks, malls and entertainment venues more accessible

Businesses could face fines of up to $100,000 per day under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) if they don’t meet standards for accessible customer service by the new year.

2011 05 05 N.E. England Toolkit includes section on making businesses accessible 4 people with disabilities

USA Government Attorney: New Accessibility Rules For Vending Machines as they are “Public Entities

USA Regal to make 6657 movie theatres accessible for deaf, blind; to partner with Captionfish

36M Americans Have Hearing Loss or are Deaf; More Than Half are Under 65 Years Old

How the Travel Patterns of Older Adults Are Changing: Highlights from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey AARP Report

Australia’s National Sports Museum Uses Android to deliver Aus Sign Language and Caption descriptions 4 Deaf, Hearing Impaired

Aging Means Business: Design for a New Age

2011 05 04 IAHSA call for entries for 2011 International Design for the Ageing Programme (IAHSA).

IAHSA Global Ageing Conference/LeadingAge Annual Meeting: findings of 2011 Design for the Ageing Programme; designers, providers worldwide share innovations in senior living design and programming

Geotourism (tourism that sustains, enhances) should include focus on the ‘older generation/retired/empty nest’ markets. These people have more time and money to spend on geological trips. They also have more interest in geotourism so will be more enthusiastic about the potential travel opportunities http://tourismplanningprofessionals.com/?p=281

Destination development should include the five A’s (that is, Access, Accommodations, Activities, Attractions, Amenities), particularly for people with disabilities http://tourismplanningprofessionals.com/?p=281

Global Web Accessibility Analysis of National Government Portals and Ministry Web Sites

Hospitality Design expo (May 17-20, Las Vegas) will have sessions about universal design (designing for access for all people)

International Code Council updated of A117.1 Accessibility; includes new chapters on recreation facilities, restrooms etc

2011 05 03 Arizona tourism visitor survey: average age 52.4 yers; Boomers represented 54%, Gen-X second at 25%

11th Asia Pacific Congress on Deafness

2011 05 03 ALDA announce greater movie theater accessibility

2011 05 03 eFuture: Creating Solutions for the Individual, Organisations & Society (June 12 – 15; Bled, Slovenia)  “This year’s conference theme focuses on the impacts of e-initiatives & how they serve to shape the New eWorld.”

2011 05 03 1st Digital Agenda Assembly (June 16 – 17; Brussels, Belgium)
“The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) is the EU´s road map for bringing the benefits of a digital society & economy to Europe’s citizens. But it can only deliver if all stakeholders are involved in assessing problems & identifying solutions. The Assembly will be a mixture of workshops & plenary sessions.”

2011 04 29 International Road Transport Union and the European Disability Forum Develop Checklist for taxis to improve disabilities access

2011 04 29 Baby Boomers offering unprecedented growth prospects for states and cities that envision and embrace economic development potential; will provide tourism and travel golden age.  Boomers blog

2011 04 28 More than 25,000 people have travelled on the Spanish Confederation of People with Physical and Organic Disabilities (Cocemfe) and Cures programme since it was created 25 years ago. This Access Tourism holiday program is funded by the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (Imserso) and Fundación ONCE. Its aim is to provide people with little discretionary income and a substantial disability a standard holidays, while providing their usual carers a rest period.

2011 04 28 NZ could learn from new South African tourism strategy which includes needs of disabled, universal access, access rating as a criteria (Access Tourism).

2011 04 28 USA 3rd Largest Movie Chain Cinemark to Install Closed-Captioning for Deaf in Theatres SF Chronicle

2011 04 09 Ontario:  all businesses with 1+ employees must comply with Accessible Customer Service Standard by January 1, 2012

2011 04 06 European Network for Accessible Tourism to speak at Moscow InTourMarket Conference

2011 04 03 Surprise! Worldwide, More Want Relaxing Holiday than Anything Else: Ipsos-Reuters survey 18,778 consumers questioned in a survey in 24 countries

2011 04 03 Jetstar Airways continually Fails Passengers with disabilities

2011 03 02 Deep in disability denial: Delta Air flunks “charm school”

2011 04 02 Disability reform is everyones business and an investment in the future

2011 04 02 Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport introduces visual pageing services for deaf and hard-of-hearing

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