News & Events

Countdown to UAIA 2016

It’s not too late! Register now for the 6th Biennial Universal Access in Airports, hosted by Open Doors Organization and lead sponsors United Airlines (Presenting Sponsor) and Virgin America. UAIA 2016 will take place Monday, November 14 to Wednesday, November 16 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport South. Standard registration is $249. A one-day pass to the event is $129. Register and pay online at ODO Academy. For questions or to pay by check, email Katy Rosseland or call her at 773-388-8839. Final Agenda.

2016 CRO Refresh Webinar Now Online

The 2016 Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) Refresh Webinar from Open Doors Organization is now open for registration at ODO Academy. This year’s CRO Refresher includes 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 older adults. The guest speaker for 2016 is ODO Trainer and Paralympian Candace Cable, sharing her perspective as a frequent flyer who uses a wheelchair. The training includes an online assessment. Register now!.

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.

New ODO White Paper

The Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) has once again invited Open Doors Organization to contribute a white paper for their Marketing Outlook Forum, held Oct. 26-28, 2015, in Philadelphia, PA. The ODO Forecast, which appears in TTRA’s 2015 Outlook Proceedings, summarizes the key findings from the ODO 2015 Market Study. The white paper is also available for download here: pdf msword

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

Featured Training

First ACI-ODO Workshop A Hit

ODO’s first classroom training for ACI-Airports Council International, “Accommodating Passengers with Disabilities,” took place on July 22-24 at San Francisco International Airport. Speakers included Laurel Van Horn and Craig Kennedy from ODO, Jonathan Klein and Elisha Lujeho from Federal Aviation Administration and Jorge Garcia from SFO. The 11 attendees represented six airports: Atlanta-ATL, Baltimore-BMI, Minneapolis-St. Paul-MSP, Reno-Tahoe-RNO, Sacramento-SMF and SFO. Although billed as introductory, the workshop drew mainly experts, making group discussions on service animal relief areas, common use kiosks and other hot topics especially informative. Another highlight was the walking tour of SFO’s Terminal 2.

In 2016 ACI and ODO plan to offer two such workshops at other airports nationwide. Special thanks to all participants for making this first event a success! For details and to register for future workshops, 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