News & Events

Universal Access in Airports 2018–Save The Date!

Open Doors Organization is delighted to announce that the 7th Universal Access in Airports will take place at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) on August 27-29, 2018. We moved the event forward in the calendar year to take advantage of the lovely, late summer weather in Minnesota. And we’ve got a great conference hotel–the brand new Intercontinental Minneapolis Airport. As in past years, the ODO Airline Symposium will take place the first day of the event, August 27. Details on registration, sponsorships and the program for both events will be forthcoming in the next few months. We’d love your input as we plan UAIA 2018. Help us make this unique, biennial gathering the best ever! Contact Katy Rosseland, 773.388.8839.

UAIA 2018 Flyer

ODO Leads ACRP 01-31 Project

Open Doors Organization is lead investigator on a new Airports Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) project entitled Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities. It’s a broad topic and an exciting one. Partnering on the research, which kicked off July 2016, are Alliiance, Arora Engineers, Trillion Aviation and Indiana University. In addition to a literature review, ODO will be conducting surveys of aviation executives and travelers with disabilities, carrying out interviews and site visits at a number of airports in the US, Canada and Europe and holding focus groups on user needs. So if you work in aviation or have a disability, don’t be surprised if you receive an invitation from us to respond to a short questionnaire on Google Docs. For us to produce a really useful, comprehensive guidebook, your input is vital!

Open Taxis Wins New Bid

Open Doors Organization has again won the competitive bidding process to provide centralized wheelchair-accessible taxicab dispatch service to passengers across Chicago. The evaluation committee gave Open Taxis the highest score for its ability to connect passengers with wheelchair-accessible taxicabs with a smartphone app that includes key features such as estimated wait time and an estimated fare quote. The Open Taxis app is available from both the Apple App Store for IOS users and Google Play App Store for Android users. Riders can also call 855-WAV-1010 to request a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). Mayor Emanuel’s taxi reforms will add 100 more WAVs by the end of 2016, with 400 in total mandated by January 1, 2018.

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 Academy website.
Press release: pdf doc
Key Findings: pdf msword

Featured Training

ACI-ODO Workshop Set for Houston-IAH, August 7-9, 2017

Registration is now open for the second “Accommodating Passengers with Disabilities” workshop from ACI-Airports Council International and Open Doors Organization. Set for August 7-9 at George Bush International Airport (IAH) in Houston, Texas, this dynamic training is designed to meet the needs of both seasoned access professionals and managers new to the field.

The 3-day training will be taught by ODOs lead trainers Eric Lipp and Laurel Van Horn with participation once again from staff from the FAA’s Airport Disability Compliance Program. The course, which includes a disability awareness module and an overview of both accessible and universal design, also covers the latest regulatory changes, identifies new technologies and resources, and highlights best practices from airports worldwide. As in 2016, the interactive workshop will conclude with an airport tour that focuses on accessible design and technology and how travelers with disabilities function and navigate in this complex environment.

ACI-ODO 2017 Workshop Flyer

To register, visit ACI Global Training.

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. A 2-hour Refresh Training is also available. For details and pricing, email
Laurel Van Horn, Director of Programs.

ADA Motorcoach Training Flyer