Marketing to the Disability Sector with Authentic Inclusive Imagery


The disability sector represents more than 20% of the population and is growing in strength. Like all of us, when people with a disability shop, travel or engage in leisure pursuits, they rarely do it on their own. The multiplier is almost a factor of 3 once family, friends or business associates are all taken into account.

There is significant economic value to be gained by companies who realize that there are one billion people with disabilities across the globe. This unique market, together with associated family and friends, spends billions of dollars globally in the travel and lifestyle sectors. Despite now being the largest worldwide minority group, this influential and emerging segment is still rarely seen or acknowledged in advertising or editorial images.

US research by McKinsey & Company predicts that, by 2015, the baby boomer generation will control almost 60% of U.S. net wealth and 40% of spending. In many categories, such as travel, boomers will represent more than 50% of consumption. The impact on the Inclusive Travel, Recreation and Leisure sectors is very significant as at least 40% will be retiring with some form of disability. This will increase the value of direct expenditure in the Inclusive Tourism sector to more than 25% of the market by 2020. We are no longer dealing with a niche market.

People with disabilities are a discerning loyal market who want to feel that they belong and are valued as customers or clients. When an able-bodied model is put into a wheelchair that is obviously not their own and the image is then used in a website, publication, or advertisement, it is seen as fake and disingenuous and gives a poor impression to the audience.

Using models with an actual disability in your imagery conveys a clear message that you care about genuine representation and creates real employment opportunities for these models.

PhotoAbility is an exciting niche stock image library which embraces people with disabilities and showcases them as active and involved members of the community. PhotoAbility only uses models with genuine disabilities in real life situations. This gives advertisers, agencies and the media access to an inspiring range of images which were previously unavailable. It also gives the assurance that all of the imagery is authentic.

PhotoAbility features a wide range of stock images covering lifestyle, leisure, business, children and families, sports, travel, creative and editorial categories. These include a variety of stock photos of people in wheelchairs, amputees, the hearing and visually impaired, and more. The collection features both Rights Managed and Royalty Free images which are priced at commercial rates to ensure a return for the photographers and models involved in building this collection.

View the Photoability Gallery

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About TravAbility

TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.

Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.

We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:

  • Development of Access Statements
  • Product, service and program development
  • Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
  • Staff and Management Training
  • Marketing Services and Toolkits
  • Access information kits
  • Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
  • Property Audits and Universal Design planning
  • Self Audit Tools
  • National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
  • Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
  • Disability Action Plans
  • New Project planning and Development
  • Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
  • Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
Contact

For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.

 

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Airbnb is Making Travel More Accessible


Image: Airbnb

Airbnb introduces new features and partnerships to support travelers with disabilities.

Following from the announcement of the acquisition of Accomable, Airbnb are introducing new search criteria to aid in finding accessible accommodation. In addition they are introducing new guides and criteria to help hosts present information that will allow potential guests to determine if any particular accommodation is suitable to their needs. It is the first mainstream rollout of "Accessibility Guides" and recognises that the accessible tourism market is made up of a vast array of varying needs. This is an example of treating accessible tourism as a product and not just an access requirement.

The new features allow hosts to designate whether their listings have step-free entry to rooms, entryways that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and more. The features help hosts be descriptive about their home’s accessibility, and give guests the clear information they need to find the right home for them. We’ve already begun to roll out this new feature to allow guests to search based on accessibility criteria that is important to them on the web, and Apple iOS and Android will follow over the next few months.

Read Airbnb's full press release:

Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, and that includes travelers with disabilities. While we have rules that prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and an Open Doors policy that helps ensure everyone can find a place to stay, it’s clear that we can do more to effectively serve people with disabilities. We’ve had insightful and humbling conversations with travelers and disability advocacy groups like the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) and the California Council of the Blind (CCB) where we heard stories, gained perspective, and learned what we can do better. Today, we’re announcing some new features that will make our community more accessible and the acquisition of a new company that will help us accelerate our work. 

First, we are happy to announce that we have acquired Accomable and will be welcoming them into the Airbnb family. Accomable was founded in 2015, by Srin Madipalli and Martyn Sibley – two friends with Spinal Muscular Atrophy who have travelled all over the world. Frustrated by the difficulty of finding accessible places to stay and reliable information, Accomable was launched to make it easier for everyone to travel, regardless of disability.

The Accomable site will be wound down over the coming months and we will work to include Accomable’s listings in more than 60 countries on Airbnb. All of these listings have step-free access, high quality photos and detailed information on a whole range of accessibility adaptations. Perhaps more importantly, Srin and his team will be bringing their tremendous expertise and passion for inclusive travel to Airbnb. As part of the Airbnb team, Srin will lead our efforts to make travel accessible for everyone.

Srin and his team will be building on work that is underway to make the Airbnb experience better for everyone. Previously, travelers with disabilities could only search for homes that were labeled as “wheelchair accessible” when they were searching for an accessible place to stay. Guests weren’t getting the information they needed to find the right homes, nor the confidence that the home they selected would actually be accessible for them.

To help address this problem, we have been working on new “accessibility needs” checklists for hosts. While Srin and his team haven’t been involved in the development of these new tools, we’re confident that they will make our community more accessible for everyone and we’re going to work to make them even stronger in the future.

The new features allow hosts to designate whether their listings have step-free entry to rooms, entryways that are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and more. The features help hosts be descriptive about their home’s accessibility, and give guests the clear information they need to find the right home for them. We’ve already begun to roll out this new feature to allow guests to search based on accessibility criteria that is important to them on the web, and Apple iOS and Android will follow over the next few months.

We want everyone to know a little more about how we created these filters and some of the other work we’ve already done to make Airbnb more accessible. You can read more about the work to craft these new tools here.

We’ve also worked diligently to make our website and app easy to use for everyone. We started by asking Level Access (formerly SSB Bart) to perform audits across our digital platforms (iOS, Android, Web). Those audits made clear that we have work to do, and while we’re nowhere near done, we have made progress. In the last year, we have:

Created a dedicated team of engineers and designers whose sole focus is to help ensure our community is accessible for everyone.

Improved the color contrast and added labels to icons on our site and app to make them easier to read.

Redesigned text. Some parts of our site included text on top of images. This text can be difficult to read, so we’ve taken steps to redesign those elements.

Established training seminars and regular educational initiatives to ensure all engineers and designers understand how to build products that everyone can use. 

Partnered with Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired to run research studies that will inform our future work on these topics.

All of these improvements are important, but they alone aren’t the solution: they are the start of an ongoing conversation and we’re committed to doing more. We’re looking forward to implementing quicker and easier ways for hosts to update their homes’ accessibility information, and hope to increase guests’ confidence that these homes will fit their needs. And we’ll continue to do all we can to ensure our platform and our community are open and accessible to everyone.

 

About TravAbility

TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.

Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.

We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:

  • Development of Access Statements
  • Product, service and program development
  • Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
  • Staff and Management Training
  • Marketing Services and Toolkits
  • Access information kits
  • Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
  • Property Audits and Universal Design planning
  • Self Audit Tools
  • National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
  • Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
  • Disability Action Plans
  • New Project planning and Development
  • Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
  • Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
Contact

For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.

 

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Mt Martha Beach Matting Trial


On Saturday the 26th of November the new accessible beach matting was laid out at the Mt Martha lifesaving club and the beach officially opened.  Mt Martha is situated on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula, which is the summer aquatic playground for the city. This is the first beach on the Mornington Peninsula and only the third in the City, to offer accessible beach facilities for people with a disability including full accessible change facilities and now beach matting to the waters edge.

In addition to the matting and change room there are three types of beach wheelchair available from the lifesaving club, including a self propelled chair and a a fully floating one.

Mt Martha is a relatively sheltered beach and safe for people with a disability to get back into the water including young children. In front of the club house is a large concrete hard stand with shade.

The matting will be rolled out from now until April 26 next year.

Hours: Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm.

The matting has been made possible by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Mt Martha Lifesaving Club and the Mornington Peninsula Disabled Surfers Association.

Mt Martha is an hour from the CBD of Melbourne so get down there and take advantage of this new facility. Th more support it gets, the more likely it will be that other beaches on the Peninsula will be made available.

The other two accessible beaches in Melbourne are located at Williamstown and Altona.

 

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Cutting the ribbon

 

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Matting to the water's edge

 

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Beach matting

 

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A cake fit for the occasion 

 

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Change room

 

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Testing the matting

 

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At the water's edge

 

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Enjoying the day

 

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Councilor Antonella Celi cutting the cake

 

Images for use in editorials or blogs are availably from Photoability's news feed.

 

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Visitors with a disability should not be seen as “risk management” but as valued customers,


Image: Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Disabled visitors to Scotland should not be seen as “risk management” but as valued customers, according to the national tourism organisation.

Chris McCoy, Equality and Diversity Manager at VisitScotland, addressed delegates at the Rehabilitation International (RI) World Congress in Edinburgh on October 27, to highlight the importance of Scotland’s £1.3 billion accessible tourism market.

VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Programme aims to harness the growing, high-value accessible tourism market, and for Scotland to become internationally recognised as a leading destination for people with access needs.

Chris McCoy said: 

“Legislation in the UK has empowered disabled people, making it illegal for service providers to discriminate on the grounds of disability, but it has not enabled them. VisitScotland believes access is enshrined only as a compliance issue, not a market issue. Disabled people still have difficulty finding businesses to cater for their access requirements, and provide adequate information to help make informed choices.

“Disabled people are seen as “risk management”, requiring expensive adjustments, but not as valued customers, requiring new and innovative customer service.” 

Chris says that disabled people still have difficulty finding tourism businesses to cater for their access requirements, and to provide adequate information to help them to make informed choices.

She added: 

“Disabled people don’t want special products, they want to be part of the mainstream. They are seen by some as ‘risk management’, requiring expensive adjustments, but not as valued customers, requiring new and innovative customer service. 

“Changes have to be transformational and our aim is to move the mindset of the industry and the driver for accessible tourism from compliance into the competitive marketplace.”

Hosted by disability employment charity Shaw Trust Scotland, the RI Congress at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre is seeking to influence disability and inclusion policy at a global level and is being attended by more 1,000 people from over 60 countries.

For more information about VisitScotland’s Accessible Tourism Programme, go to www.visitscotland.org

 

About TravAbility

TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.

Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.

We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:

  • Development of Access Statements
  • Product, service and program development
  • Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
  • Staff and Management Training
  • Marketing Services and Toolkits
  • Access information kits
  • Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
  • Property Audits and Universal Design planning
  • Self Audit Tools
  • National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
  • Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
  • Disability Action Plans
  • New Project planning and Development
  • Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
  • Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
Contact

For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.

 

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World Tourism Day 2016: Tourism leaders commit to advance Universal Accessibility


UNWTO - 28 Sep 2016

About 500 delegates from 60 countries have convened in Bangkok, Thailand, to take part in the Official Celebrations of the World Tourism Day this year dedicated to the theme ‘Tourism for all: Promoting Universal Accessibility.’ Policy frameworks, capacity building, business strategies and awareness raising have been some of the areas tackled during the week of events that commenced on the 26th September with a ‘Tourism and the Media’ Session.

During two days participants from 60 countries exchanged best practices and experiences on accessible tourism and have committed to advance universal accessibility in all components of the tourism value chain to ensure all citizens enjoy the benefits of travel, whatever their abilities may be.

“As one billion people across the globe have some kind of disability, accessibility becomes and will continue to be a major concern for us all” said Gen. Prayut Chan-o-Cha, Prime Minister of Thailand who presided over the Official Celebrations on 27 September. “We need to create more accessibility, for all including the ageing groups. We need to provide better services for all. This is also part of our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals” he added.

 “We should not leave anyone behind. We believe we have to do more, understand better the needs of these groups. The World Tourism Day celebrations in Thailand have acted as a platform to sensitize us all about the importance of adapting the sector to the needs of all citizens and we should work in closer cooperation now to meet the demands of travelers worldwide” said Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand.

“People with disabilities, aged citizens, families with children and many more find obstacles when they travel. As tourism is a human right, the sector should advance to ensure that all citizens enjoy seamless travel in an equal manner,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in his message.

“Products and services aiming to increase the accessibility of travel add value to destinations and constitute an immense opportunity for the business sector” emphasized David Scowsill, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

“All of us have somebody who finds difficulties when travelling: family members, friends and colleagues, so we all are affected and can benefit from accessible travel measures” emphasized Mario Hardy, CEO at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).  

A human right and a business opportunity

The first event of the week, the ‘Tourism and the Media’ workshop, held in cooperation with the  Chulalongkorn University, served as a platform to discuss the role of the media in supporting Accessible Tourism.

“Journalists, editors, photographers, documentary producers…can do a lot in sensitizing the general public about Accessibility and by pushing their respective governments towards the necessary regulatory frameworks towards Universal Design in the tourism sector,” explained Xu Jing, Regional Director of Asia and the Pacific at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Together with the commitment of governments and the need to develop regulatory frameworks linked to accessibility-related measures, the World Tourism Day celebrations have served to emphasize the immense business opportunities that Universal Design can bring to the tourism sector.: “Sooner or later all of us will suffer circumstances that impede us moving freely and independently, so adapting Universal Accessibility principles will benefit us all” underlined Ivor Ambrose, Director of ENAT, the European Network of Accessible Tourism. He added that by 2050, as much as 22% of the world population will be over 60 years old and thus have specific access needs.

The first round table included the participation of the Secretary General of Thai Disabled Development Foundation, and former Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, Weerasak Kowsurat, Monthien Boontan, Member of the Thai Senate and of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Dissabilites, Benito C. Bengzon, Undersecretary of the Department of Tourism in the Philippines, Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of the Cambodia, Mr. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr. Guy Didier Hypollite, Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries of Haiti and Mr. Dato Sri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia. Moderated by Andrew Steven, CNN anchor, the Session discussed the application of policy and regulatory frameworks aimed at achieving ‘Tourism for All.’

The second debate, moderated by Anita Mendiratta, CNN Task Group, Lead Consultant, addressed the relevance of innovative strategies to foster accessible tourism infrastructure, products and services to enhance destination competitiveness. A number of best practices were featured by speakers such as Martin Heng, Accessible Travel Manager at Lonely Planet, Natthadej Suyadej, from Wheelchair Holidays Thailand, Hideto Kijima, President at the Japan Accessible Tourism Center, Svend Leirvaag, VP Industry Affairs at Amadeus IT Group and Sergio Guerreiro, Knowledge Management and Corporate Affairs at Turismo de Portugal. 

Bangkok Declaration on Tourism for All 

On the occasion of World Tourism Day 2016 participants adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Tourism For All, a document resulting from a consultation process involving governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and accessibility experts.

The Declaration calls upon all stakeholders to advance policies and business actions that promote universal accessibility, including training, awareness raising as well as considering Universal Design in all new tourism infrastructure and services and while adapting existing ones.

The celebrations of World Tourism Day 2016 were held in collaboration with CNN, UNWTO media partner.

World Tourism Day 2017 will be held in Qatar as decides by the 21st UNWTO General Assembly held in 2015 and will address the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development’, in line with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Declaration

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, authorities of the Member States of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), representatives of the tourism sector, disabled people’s organizations and related civil society bodies, international organizations, and media outlets met in Bangkok, Thailand, on 26/27 September 2016 on the occasion of the World Tourism Day to celebrate the theme “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility”;

Recalling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in which disability is referenced in Goals 4, 8, 10, 11 and 17 and in which tourism is included specifically in Goals 8, 12 and 14;

Considering the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2006 as the global action framework in the sphere of universal accessibility, whose Article 30 recognizes the legitimate right of access to sports, cultural, leisure and tourism activities by persons with disabilities;

Whereas the mandate of the UNWTO is “the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism”;

Inspired by the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999, and acknowledged by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, whose Article 7 underlines that “...a direct and personal access to the discovery and enjoyment of the planet’s resources constitutes a right equally open to all the world’s inhabitants” and explicitly recommends that “tourism for persons with disabilities should be encouraged and facilitated”;

Referring to the Recommendations on Accessible Tourism for All and the Recommendations on Accessible Information in Tourism, adopted by the UNWTO General Assembly at its 20th and 21st sessions as reference documents for tourism stakeholders for making their infrastructure, products and services accessible to all people;

Considering the UNWTO Manuals on Accessible Tourism for All co-produced with civil society and private sector organizations – the ONCE Foundation, the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) and the ACS Foundation, as a source of technical knowhow for destinations;

Recognizing the wide scope of the multi-stakeholder recommendations emanating from the Declaration from the World Summit Destinations for All, held in Montreal, Canada, in October 2014;

Taking into account the Bangkok Recommendations on Accessible Tourism of 2007 and Takayama Declaration on the Development of Communities-for-All in Asia and the Pacific, adopted in 2009;

Commending the efforts of the Government of Thailand, the tourism sector and civil society stakeholders in making tourism destinations across the country ever more accessible;

THOSE PRESENT

Being:

1. Convinced that measures implemented to bring about Tourism for All benefit not only persons with disabilities and specific access requirements but all people, while entailing major socio- economic opportunities for tourism destinations and businesses;

2. Conscious of the gradual improvements regarding universal accessibility in tourism, but also of many serious and enduring challenges that people with disabilities across the globe are still facing;

3. Mindful of the importance of solid policy frameworks and strategic actions in making full access to and enjoyment of tourism destinations and activities by all truly possible;

4. Aware of the challenges in providing adequate information on the accessibility of tourism facilities, services and products, and the opportunities for promoting those that actually meet the needs of a greater diversity of customers;

5. Committed to multi-stakeholder partnerships between the policy makers, local authorities, the private sector, disabled people’s organizations and local communities in making tourism destinations accessible for all;

UNANIMOUSLY CALL UPON ALL STAKEHOLDERS:
1. To ensure that the right to enjoy tourism by all becomes a reality and that the commitment of

governments and companies to improve access for all is sustained by concrete actions;

2. To engage in awareness-raising and training so as to reduce both physical and attitudinal barriers within the sector and to be able to embrace the undoubted competitive advantages of investing in Tourism for All;

3. To implement the principles of Universal Design/Design for All when developing new tourism infrastructure, products and services and improving the existing ones;

4. To promote the provision of objective and accurate information on the accessibility of all products and services, and in accessible formats, with the aim to enable travelers to accurately assess whether their own needs will be met during the whole travel process;

5. To mainstream accessibility in tourism policy and throughout the tourism supply chain with the aim to ensure that there are no broken links and that everyone can fully enjoy a seamless tourism experience; and

6. To encourage multi-stakeholder cooperation at all levels that enables development of consistent and up-to-date policies and business practices in the sphere of accessible tourism. 

About TravAbility

TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.

Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.

We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:

  • Development of Access Statements
  • Product, service and program development
  • Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
  • Staff and Management Training
  • Marketing Services and Toolkits
  • Access information kits
  • Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
  • Property Audits and Universal Design planning
  • Self Audit Tools
  • National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
  • Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
  • Disability Action Plans
  • New Project planning and Development
  • Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
  • Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
Contact

For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.

 

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Brussels to host the 2nd Destinations for All World Summit for accessible tourism in 2018


Montréal/Namur, September 27, 2016

Quebec-based organization Kéroul and Belgium’s Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie-Bruxelles (CAWaB) are pleased to announce that the second edition of the Destinations for All World Summit will be taking place in Brussels in fall 2018. The aim of the event is to give concrete expression to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Recommendations on Accessible Tourism.

For more information:
http://www.accessibletourism.org/resources/accesibilityen_2013_unwto.pdf

These two organizations are making this announcement now in the spirit of World Tourism Day, September 27, 2016, the theme of which is “Tourism for All: Promoting Universal Accessibility.”

The first edition of the Summit was held in Montréal in October 2014, under the auspices of Kéroul and with the involvement of the UNWTO, UN, European Network for Accessible Tourism and ICAO, among others. With more than 360 participants from 31 countries having come out to share their knowledge and experience, the event wrapped up with the adoption of the A World for Everyone declaration.

Available in 10 languages, this declaration features 40 specific measures for implementing the UNWTO Recommendations on Accessible Tourism globally and locally. It is a veritable plan for action on the local, national and international scales to promote the accessibility of infrastructure, buildings, tourist services as well as transportation services.

With the Western population aging and the benefits of including disabled people in all facets of society, the tourism, culture and transportation sectors have no choice but to fully welcome and adequately serve all citizens, and to be particularly attentive to the needs of elderly and physically disabled people. Moreover, in September 2015, the UN adopted new Sustainable Development Goals recognizing accessibility and the inclusion of persons with disabilities as principles of sustainable development.

The second edition of the Destinations for All World Summit will provide the opportunity to assess progress made since 2014 and move closer to an international standard of accessibility, information sharing, practices and services for persons with disabilities. In conjunction with this event for trade professionals, there will also be an accessible vacations show for the general public, wherein visitors will learn more about the world’s accessible tourist destinations.

As the respective chairs of Kéroul and CAWaB, Isabelle Ducharme and Vincent Snoeck will co-chair the 2nd Destinations for All World Summit on behalf of their organizations.

 

About Keroul

Kéroul is a non-profit organization dedicated to making tourism and culture accessible to persons with limited physical abilities. Founded in Montréal in 1979, Kéroul acts as the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec’s key consultant in matters of accessibility.

 

About CAWaB

Since 2006, the Collectif Accessibilité Wallonie-Bruxelles has served as the umbrella organization for associations representing persons with limited physical abilities as well as for accessibility consulting firms. It advocates for universal accessibility in the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

 

About TravAbility

TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.

Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.

We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:

  • Development of Access Statements
  • Product, service and program development
  • Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
  • Staff and Management Training
  • Marketing Services and Toolkits
  • Access information kits
  • Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
  • Property Audits and Universal Design planning
  • Self Audit Tools
  • National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
  • Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
  • Disability Action Plans
  • New Project planning and Development
  • Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
  • Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
Contact

For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.

 

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Changing the Conversation about Disability


Accessible Tourism is about creating experiences that everyone can enjoy together. Those experiences have to be inclusive so that they can be shared equally. Tourism is about the journey not just the destination and that journey starts with the planning and ends with the shared memories that often last a lifetime.

This great video from the Rick Hansen Foundation in Canada showcases that the key to inclusion is changing the mindset towards people with a disability and creating a set of equal experiences.

The Rick Hansen Foundation works to break down these barriers by changing attitudes, creating accessible spaces and inspiring an inclusive society.

We need to change how we think and talk about accessibility and inclusion in order to break down barriers for the one billion people in the world who have a disability.

Why?

Accessibility isn't just for people who use wheelchairs -- it's also for those with mobility challenges, temporary injuries and parents using strollers. Accessibility is for everyone.

Inclusion isn't just about tolerating differences -- it's about making sure our attitudes don't limit the potential of other people. Everyone deserves an equal chance to be included.
 

How TravAbility Can Help

About TravAbility

TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.

Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.

We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:

  • Development of Access Statements
  • Product, service and program development
  • Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
  • Staff and Management Training
  • Marketing Services and Toolkits
  • Access information kits
  • Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
  • Property Audits and Universal Design planning
  • Self Audit Tools
  • National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
  • Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
  • Disability Action Plans
  • New Project planning and Development
  • Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
  • Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
Contact

For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.

 

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The Opening of the First Accessible Wharf for Gondolas


Venice, March 2016 the opening of the first accessible wharf for gondolas in Venice, in front of Piazzale Roma, Fondamenta Cossetti. 

This project created by the non- profit organization Gondolas4ALL, represents the first landing place able to allow people with different kinds of disabilities to get on and off a gondola. 

Enrico Greifenberg and Alessandro Dalla Pietà, the two founders of this association, have been dreaming of this project for more than 20 years. In 2012, they decided to apply themselves to the realization of a permanent structure, in order to allow anybody to enjoy an exciting gondola tour. 

The Tourism Department of Veneto Region decided to support their project into the Project of Excellence in Tourism “ Development of Social and Accessible Tourism”. 

After being guest at the stand of Veneto Region at the event Gitando.all in 2014 and at MOVE in 2015, Gondolas4ALL, as the only and exclusive subject of this initiative, has received funding aimed to cover in part the realization costs. 

Fabio and Nicola Domeneghini of Fadiel Italiana & SMDM, Roberto DeCarli of Rein, Lucart Group, Pierluigi Moro and Silvia Dabrilli of Studio Moro Architetti, supporters of this project since the beginning, have completed the work.

 Marco Maggia, owner of Ermitage Bel Air Medical Hotel and the city of Abano Terme supported the project with a contribution.

In 2015, Honorable Domenico Rossi Secretary of State to the Defense, invited Gondolas4all to Rome giving them the support of the Ministry of Defense. 

In September 2015 in Madrid, invited by Fundacion Once, they presented Gondolas4ALL at the 5th International Congress “Technology and Tourism For All”. 

In the same period, Gondolas4ALL filmed in Venice “Smart Aarhus in Documentary on Sustainable Cities”, a documentary about the best practices in 24 European Cities, selected by Kryzistof Baczynski Europe commission Architecture,Urban Plannig Engineering. 

The new service will begin in about a month after the training of new professionals and final tests .

The project is seeking public support to raise about 80,000 ( eighty thousand ) Euros . 

You can support Gondolas4all through the following link http://www.gondolas4all.com/sostienici/

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New wheelchair helping people enjoy the sun, sand and water


 

Parks Victoria’s Chief Executive, Bradley Fauteux today launched a new Lasher beach wheelchair now available at Tidal River.  The Lasher beach wheelchair is the first of its kind available for public use in Victoria and was funded by the People and Parks Foundation. 

Parks Victoria was awarded the 2015 National Disability Award which recognises the valuable contribution organisations and people make to improve the lives of people with disability in Australia.  Parks Victoria has a total of 11 all-terrain Trailrider wheelchairs and ten child and adult beach wheelchairs available to explore Victoria’s parks as well as the new Lasher beach wheelchair. The wheelchairs are located at key parks across the state including Dandenong Ranges. Grampians, Cape Conran, Point Nepean and Wilsons Promontory. 

Mr Fauteux said the Lasher beach wheelchair is different to our other park beach wheelchairs in that it can be operated independently by people with paraplegia and leg amputations without the need of a carer. 

“For the first time in Victoria, more people who visit this beautiful part of the world at Norman Beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park, can enjoy the sand and water which so many visitors without disabilities often take for granted,” said Mr Fauteux.

“Spending time in the natural environment, in places like our magnificent parks, is good for our mind, body and soul, and Parks Victoria is committed to making our parks accessible to everyone.”

Mr Fauteux said Tidal River is one of our most popular destinations and Norman Beach is one of the most accessible beaches for visitors with disabilities in Victoria, so it makes sense to have a Lasher beach wheelchair available at Tidal River.

“Tidal River also has accessible park accommodation allowing visitors with disabilities can extend their stay in the park. The Lasher beach wheelchair and the other all-terrain wheelchairs available at Tidal River can be booked through the Visitor Centre here at Tidal River.”

Global advocate for inclusive tourism and Co-founder of Travability, Bill Forrester said that the world, and the ability to experience it fully, should be accessible to everyone and congratulated the People and Parks Foundation and Parks Victoria for making the Lasher wheelchair available at Tidal River.

“We see National Parks as a key pillar in the developing market of Accessible Tourism and as a critical element of the health and wellbeing of the world's population regardless of an individual's ability,” Mr Forrester said.

“Parks Victoria are an acknowledged world leader in outdoor accessibility. The Lasher beach Wheelchair adds another level of mobility independence to an already great set of accessible facilities at Wilsons Promontory.”

Connect with nature through your favourite park.  Healthy Parks Healthy People.  For more information about Parks Victoria’s commitment to making parks accessible visit http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/visit/improving-park-access-for-all

 

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Launch of the new self propelled beach wheelchair at Tidal River

Additional Links:

ABC News: Beach wheelchair at Wilson's Promontory gives better experience for people with disabilities

PhotoAbility: Image Gallery

 

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Indoor Service Animal/Pet Relief Room Opens at O'Hare International Airport


CHICAGO, October 20, 2015 - The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announces the opening of an indoor service animal/pet relief room at O'Hare International Airport.

Located past security checkpoints in the Rotunda area of Terminal 3, the room is specially designed to accommodate passengers traveling with service animals or pets. It is particularly convenient for those with layovers/connecting flights at O'Hare. It will enhance the traveling experience for individuals with disabilities because they no longer need to pass back through security to relieve their service animal.

The recently-opened indoor service animal/pet relief room at O'Hare is located just north of the Rotunda in Terminal 3.

The room has two, 2-foot by 4-foot pet relief areas complete with artificial grass covering, miniature fire hydrants and pop-up sprinkler systems to wash away liquid waste into a drain. In addition, a mounted hose bib and reel is available for manual spraying and plastic bags are provided for clean-up. The room is enclosed, has a door with a glass pane that opens and closes automatically, and is designed for wheelchair access. The room also includes two sinks for passenger use.

"We are pleased to offer this new amenity for passengers, especially those who depend on the assistance of service animals when they travel through our airport," said CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans. "This is another way we are making O'Hare International Airport more accessible to the traveling public and creating a more welcoming environment for visitors to Chicago."

The room features two pet relief areas with hydrants, and plastic bags, sinks and a hose for clean up.

The CDA coordinated with the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) to ensure the room is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

The room features two pet relief areas with hydrants, and plastic bags, sinks and a hose for clean up.

"The new indoor animal relief area located in the secured terminal of O'Hare International Airport will enhance the traveling experience for individuals with service animals, particularly those with connecting flights," said MOPD Commissioner Karen Tamley. "This feature is another step towards our goal of making Chicago a world class accessible city for people with disabilities."

In addition to the new airside animal relief room, there are three outdoor service animal/ pet relief areas located near the lower level curb front of Terminals 1, 2 and 5. The Terminal 1 and 5 outdoor locations were opened in 2009 and the Terminal 2 location was added in 2014. Midway International Airport also has an outdoor service animal and pet relief area located near the lower level curb front at the north end of the terminal that opened in 2009.

Real grass, gravel or wood chips are used inside the fenced-in areas and plastic bags and garbage cans are provided. CDA and custodial staff monitor the areas throughout the day to ensure cleanliness.

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