News & Events

Upcoming Initial CRO Classes

Open Doors Organization has already held a number of Initial CRO classes in 2015 for British Airways. To enable other carriers to conveniently train their Complaints Resolution Officials, ODO is now offering classes in the next few months at airports around the US including JFK, ORD, LAS, DFW and SFO. Other dates/locations are available on demand. To register for the 1-1/2 day classes, email Eric Lipp or call him at 773-388-8839. Space is limited!
2015 Initial CRO Training Schedule

In Memoriam — Henry B. Betts, MD, 1928-2015

Open Doors Organization joins with the wider disability community in celebrating the life of Dr. Henry B. Betts, champion of the rights of people with disability and guiding force for over three decades at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. This article by Dr. Betts about the Chagall tapestry at RIC speaks volumes about his deep understanding of and compassion for all those who came under his care.

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.

2014 CRO Refresh Webinar

Open Doors Organization is pleased to introduce our updated 2014 CRO Refresh Training course with guest presenters Wendy Ross, M.D., Autism Inclusion Resources, and Janette Freeman, aviation consultant, ODO. This 90-minute webinar is designed to help airlines meet the annual training requirements for Complaints Resolution Officials. The webinar focuses on those areas which tend to generate the most complaints and also includes the latest rulemaking and guidance from the DOT as well as details on recent DOT enforcements.

For details or registration, go to

New ODO Market Study

Open Doors Organization has selected Mandala Research to carry out its 2015 nationwide survey of adult travelers with disabilities. The study is a follow-up to the pioneering studies carried out by Harris Interactive for ODO in 2002 and 2005. To ensure comparability to earlier surveys, Harris Interactive/Nielsen will be conducting the actual fieldwork. The 2015 study will again explore the travel patterns and expenditures of this important segment of the U.S. market, as well as the barriers these travelers still face. Initial results will be released in March 2015 at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Paris, France.

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 Awareness 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 “Passengers with Disabilities and Reduced Mobility Awareness Training,” the course will provide participants with an 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