News & Events

Disability Travel Spending at Record High $17.3 Billion

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

2015 CRO Refresh Webinar Now Online

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

Boeing’s Vicki Curtis Honored at UAIA 2014

Among the many highlights at Universal Access in Airports 2014, held in Chicago on Oct. 6-8, was the presentation of ODO’s Disability Access Professionals Award to Vicki A. Curtis, a true pioneer in universal design. Much of her long career as a Boeing engineer has been devoted to redesigning their aircraft cabins to meet the needs of all users, regardless of age or ability. Learn more about Vicki’s work.

UAIA 2014 was a huge success with over 100 industry leaders in attendance. This unique event, held biennially, has become the “go to” place for airlines, airports and vendors to come together and share ideas with the potential to affect tens of thousands of travelers with disabilities every day. A representative sample of these travelers took part in the always popular consumer roundtable which this year covered not only hearing, vision and mobility, but also nut allergies and the need for adult changing places.

Special thanks to United Airlines, presenting sponsor of UAIA 2014, who also hosted the 2014 ODO Airline Symposium on Oct. 6 at their headquarters in Chicago’s Willis Tower. Kudos as well to our many sponsors–check them out in the UAIA 2014 Program–and to IBM who brought their new fully accessible check-in kiosk for delegates to try out.

Open Taxis Enters Second Year!

Open Taxis, the centralized dispatch for all Chicago wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), is now in its second year at Open Doors Organization. We now handle approximately 4,000 rides per month. Call 24/7 to request a WAV cab for immediate pickup or to prearrange a trip at 1-855-WAV-1010 (1-855-928-1010). Or email us:

Featured Training

ODO Disability Sensitivity Course Offered by Airports Council International

ODO’s first training module developed for Airports Council International (ACI) is now open for registration at the ACI Online Learning Center. Entitled “Disability Sensitivity Training,” the course teaches awareness of, and appropriate responses to, customers with physical, sensory, mental, and  hidden disabilities, as well as those using service animals.

Disability and Reduced Mobility Awareness Training is mandated for airline and airport frontline staff not only in the US under the Air Carrier Access Act but also in Canada under the Canada Transportation Act and in Europe under EC 1107.

The self-paced eLearning module takes approximately 2 hours to complete and costs $95 per enrollment.

Featured Project

ADA Motorcoach Training

In January 2012 Open Doors Organization (ODO), in cooperation with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA), launched a new training program for intercity and charter/tour bus operators. The program is designed to help companies meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and also provide the best possible service to their clients with disabilities including older travelers.

The lively, full-day training is conducted by two trainers, one a disability expert from ODO, the other a UMA board member and motorcoach operator. The morning session, which covers ADA basics, disability awareness and service on the coach, is for all personnel including drivers. The afternoon session, which addresses company policies and procedures, is for management
and sales staff.

The training is being marketed to state bus associations as well as to individual companies and groups of companies. For details and pricing, email
Laurel Van Horn, Director of Programs.

ADA Motorcoach Training Flyer