SEA Accessibility Evaluation

To help fulfill their goal of becoming the “most accessible airport” in the US, the Port of Seattle in 2017 hired Open Doors Organization (ODO) to conduct an initial evaluation of accessibility at Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA). The project included a full airport assessment, six public meetings to gather feedback from Seattle’s disability community, and thirteen fact-finding sessions with Port and airport employees, vendors and stakeholders. The resulting report, which made detailed recommendations for short, medium and long-term improvements, then became the basis for the airport’s accessibility transition plan. By 2022, the Port estimated that 70 per cent of the changes had been made, including creation of a fully accessible, informative website. See Accessibility at SEA Airport for some of the programs and amenities now on offer. ODO continues to consult as needed and is an active member of the SEA Accessibility Advisory Committee.

MEM Terminal Modernization and Seismic Program (TMSP)

This multi-year contract with a budget topping $500 million, led by Alliiance and UrbanARCH Associates, represents an important first for Open Doors Organization. Right from the preliminary design process, ODO has a seat at the table to share its expertise on the ADA, Universal Design and Equitable Access. Kicking off in 2022, this program continues the modernization process that has already transformed the concourse at Memphis International Airport.

ODO Webinars 2020-21

With in-person events suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, Open Doors Organization worked to keep disability access and equity top-of-mind for the aviation industry by offering free webinars. “Fostering Independence for Travelers with Disabilities through Innovative Design and Technologies,” led by Laurel Van Horn, drew on recent ACRP research and featured a panel of travelers with disabilities sharing their experiences pre- and post-COVID. “Best Practices for Stowage and Handling of Assistive Devices,” led by Eric Lipp and Craig Kennedy, covered federal regulations, safe handling and lifting of various types of assistive devices, identification of battery types, and assessing pre-existing damage. During 2020-21, ODO staff also presented at webinars hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Research Board (TRB), American Association of Aviation Executives (AAAE), NEC/AAAE (Northeast Chapter) and Ozion Airport Software as part of their PRM Leadership Conferences.

… and more coming soon!