News & Events

Countdown to UAIA!

Universal Access in Airports 2018 is set for Aug. 27-29 at the Intercontinental Minneapolis Airport. Don’t miss out on this “must attend” event for anyone concerned with improving air travel for customers with disabilities. UAIA is a great place to check out the latest disability-related technologies and learn about innovations at leading airports, airlines and service companies. New this year: a panel of top experts from the UK and Europe, a session featuring small group discussions, and an optional tour of the airport. We’re also devoting a session to hidden disabilities. Special thanks go to United Airlines, presenting sponsor, and co-hosts Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Global Repair Group. UAIA Preliminary Agenda:  docx  pdf   Register online today!

ODO Wins TSA Coalition Award

TSA Award Ceremony
Open Doors Organization is the recipient for 2018 of the TSA Disability & Multicultural Coalition Partnership Award. This is the second time that ODO has been recognized for its work with the TSA in improving the screening process for travelers with disabilities. The award ceremony took place at the 16th Annual TSA Coalition Conference, held August 7, 2018 at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City, VA. Presenting the award to Adrea Lipp, ODO Director of Operations, was David P. Pekoske, TSA Administrator (shown above).

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. The guidebook will be published in 2018.

ODO Wins Amtrak Contract

We’re delighted to announce that Open Doors Organization has won a competitive bid to develop and deliver ADA training to Amtrak frontline employees and supervisors nationwide. Under the 3-year contract, we will once again hold classes in numerous cities across the country, drawing on our network of skilled trainers from each region, many of whom have a disability. To make the curriculum as useful and practical as possible, one of our first steps will be to get input both from Amtrak supervisors and members of the disability community. We also plan to create videos modeling best practices in communication and assistance for customers with a range of disabilities. Our end goal: to create an exciting, interactive training that helps Amtrak employees, whatever their job, provide the best possible customer service to everyone.

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

2018 ACI-ODO Workshops–Next Up Denver International

Dates will be announced soon for the next “Accommodating Passengers with Disabilities” workshop from ACI-Airports Council International and Open Doors Organization, tentatively scheduled for Denver International Airport in October 2018. This dynamic training is designed to meet the needs of both seasoned access professionals and managers new to the field and has been attracting foreign airports as well as domestic. The previous workshop held May 14-16 at San Francisco International Airport drew attendees from Indonesia and South Korea. A class was also held this year in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

These 3-day workshops are taught by ODO trainers Laurel Van Horn and Craig Kennedy. 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 2017, the interactive workshops include an airport tour that focuses on accessible design and technology and how travelers with disabilities function and navigate in this complex environment.

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