ODO In The News

News Archive

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Bus & Motorcoach News – News Analysis/Opinion: Service Animal Fraud

February 15, 2014
The subtitle of this op ed piece by Laurel Van Horn is “Don’t let unethical behavior interfere with your responsibility.” It describes the varied types of assistance that service animals provide and how important they are to the safety and independence of their handlers with disabilities. While there are members of the traveling public who are passing off pets as service animals, we need to be careful not to infringe on the rights of bona fide handlers. Read the article. pdf MSWord
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Bus & Motorcoach News – Growing travel problem: Service animal fraudsters

January 15, 2014
This article in the United Motorcoach Association’s monthly newspaper is a reprise of a piece by Laurel Van Horn that appeared in the ODO Newsletter. Passengers trying to pass off their pets as service animals is a relatively new phenomenon for the motorcoach industry. Read the article. pdf MSWord
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NY Times – Welcoming Art Lovers With Disabilities

October 25, 2013
This fascinating article by Tanya Mohn, which also appeared in the October 27 print edition of the NY Times, explores the many innovative programs now taking place at museums around the country aimed at meeting the needs of art lovers of all ages and abilities. Inclusion now means reaching out to patrons with autism and Alzheimers as well as those with physical and sensory disabilities. Open Doors Organization is cited both in regard to statistics on the growing disability market and for its “Inclusive Arts and Culture Program” which helped to improve accessibility at numerous venues in ODO’s home city of Chicago. Read the article .
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NY Times – In Trinidad and Tobago, Wheelchairs for the Water

October 11, 2013
Disability awareness is clearly on the rise in the Caribbean, as indicated by this report from Tanya Mohn on aquatic wheelchairs in Trinidad and Tobago. The new Amphibious Wheelchair Service, sponsored by the Tourism Development Company, Ministry of Tourism and National Center for Persons with Disabilities, is already underway at Maracas Beach, with other locations to come. Read the article .
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Curator The Museum Journal – Play For All at Chicago Children’s Museum: A History and Overview

July 2013
This issue of Curator The Museum Journal, which focuses on accessibility, features an article by Tamara Golden and Lynn Walsh on their inclusive Play For All program at the Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM). The authors mention Open Doors Organization as one of CCM’s first partners and describe the disability awareness training that ODO still offers guest-facing staff at the museum. Read the article .
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Cruising Magazine – Travelers with Disabilities: A Fast Growing Market

1st Quarter, 2013
The 2012 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference in Curacao included a workshop on disability travel. In this article (pp. 40-41), Laurel Van Horn, director of programs at Open Doors Organization, summarizes her presentation on the market as well as the contributions of other panelists from Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Special Needs Group and Suburban Transportation. Read the article .
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Airline Passenger Experience – The Wheels of Change

April 2013
This lengthy article (pp. 46-52) by Glenn Kaufmann reports on changes in air travel, including design of aircraft themselves, that are improving accessibility for people with reduced mobility. He quotes both Eric Lipp and Laurel Van Horn of ODO as well as Vicki Curtis of Boeing. Read the article . Back to Top

National Public Radio – With Adaptive Skiing, Disabled People No Longer Left Out In The Cold

March 6, 2013
ODO Executive Director Eric Lipp was featured on National Public Radio on a segment about adaptive skiing from NPR affiliate KUMN in New Mexico. He talked about the size and importance of the disability market and how people with disabilities also enjoy adventure travel. The feature by Carrie Jung focused on the Logan family from NYC. Despite a severe form of cerebral palsy, their young son was able to enjoy sit skiing at Taos Ski Valley. Read the article and transcript.
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NY Times – Improving Security Checks To Help The Disabled

March 4, 2013
This article by Joe Sharkey in the Business Day section focuses on a new program from TSA that uses specially trained officers called “passenger support specialists” to resolve any problems that arise during security screening of travelers with disabilities. Open Doors Organization, which helped train these 3000 TSA employees, is one of two disability organizations recognized in the article for its work on the initiative. Read the article.
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Airport Improvement Magazine – Beyond ADA: Increasing Airport Accessibility For All

January-February 2013
In this “Industry Insider” column, Eric Lipp, ODO Executive Director, provides detailed suggestions on how airports can improve accessibility for people with disabilities and older travelers. Technology such as hearing loops, visual paging and WiFi definitely plays an important role but so do planning, training and having a dedicated access coordinator. Read the article.
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PN Magazine – Exploring Our World

January 2013
PN’s “Exploring Our World” column devotes almost a full page to the new ODO “Access Aviation Certification Program” and includes mention as well of Gateway Group One, the first US airline service company to sign on for training. The column also covers the 2012 ODO Airline Symposium, hosted by Boeing. Read the article.
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USA Today – Alaska Air apologizes for treatment of disabled flier

August 8, 2012
This piece by Ben Mutzabaugh in the USA Today Travel section carries the text of Alaska Airlines’ apology to a passenger with Parkinson’s disease. In it the airline notes that “We’re also working with Open Doors Organization, a disability advocacy group that focuses on travel issues, to learn from this customer’s experience and to help us with our ongoing care for passengers with disabilities.” Eric Lipp, ODO’s executive director, is also quoted. Read the article.
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nbcnews.com – Witness blasts Alaska Airlines for treatment of fellow passenger

August 6, 2012
In this article, Harriet Baskas reports on a Facebook post that went viral concerning Alaska Airlines failure to assist a passenger who had not self-identified as having a disability. ODO Director Eric Lipp, who was in Seattle that week providing training for the airline, comments on the incident and how confusion can arise when travelers do not alert air carriers to their needs. Read the article.
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msnbc.com – DOT wants more accessible airline websites, kiosks

October 11, 2011
This article by Harriet Baskas includes perspectives from both the airline industry and disability community on a recent proposal by the Department of Transportation to require full accessibility of airline websites and airport automated kiosks. Among the commentators is Eric Lipp, Executive Director of ODO. Harriet also cites findings from the 2005 ODO Study of Travelers with Disabilities. Read the article.
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Chicago Tribune – How well do Chicago venues accommodate disabled visitors?

October 6, 2011
This front-page feature in the Chicago Tribune’s Entertainment section highlights ODO’s Easy Access Chicago guide and provides details on the accessibility of a number of key Chicago attractions such as the Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry. Author Michael Tercha includes comments from people with a variety of disabilities including ODO Executive Director Eric Lipp and former ODO Program Director Theresa Pacione. While noting that access is still not perfect, the piece does an excellent job of showing how far Chicago’s cultural institutions have come in accommodating all their guests. Read the article.
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Forbes.com – Good News For Travelers With Disabilities

September 19, 2011
This article by Tanya Mohn includes comments by Eric Lipp, Executive Director of Open Doors Organization, on recent regulatory actions of the Department of Transportation (DOT) that aim to improve accessibility for air and rail passengers. On September 19, the DOT issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if adopted, would require both airline Web sites and airport automated kiosks to become accessible, including to those with vision loss. In a separate action, the DOT amended the Americans with Disabilities Act to require new and altered rail platforms to provide level boarding, thus ensuring better access to intercity, commuter and high speed train travel nationwide. Read the Article.
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Making A Difference – Leaving On A Jet Plane: Ninth Annual Discovery Day Focuses on Travel, Tourism

Winter 2010
ODO Executive Director Eric Lipp is featured on the cover of Making A Difference, the quarterly magazine of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). He was the keynote speaker at GCDD’s Discovery Day 2009 which brought together national, state and local industry experts to discuss how to make accessible travel and tourism a reality in Georgia. The article highlights the mission of Open Doors Organization and its Easy Access Chicago guide. Also included in the issue is an article by Eric Lipp, “Planning An Accessible Vacation.” Read the Article.
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USA Today – Travelers with disabilities face obstacles at airports

September 15, 2010
Harriet Baskas describes not only the barriers still facing air travelers with disabilities but also the progress being made by specific airports and airlines. The article features Open Doors Organization Market Study statistics and promotes the upcoming Universal Access in Airports 2010, sponsored by ODO and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Read the Article.
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NY Times – Smoothing The Way

April 27, 2010 This article in the Business Day section highlights the airline training offered by Open Doors Organization. It includes quotes and a photo of Eric Lipp taken during a training session held in Miami, Florida. The piece also includes statistics from ODO Market Studies among American travelers with disabilities. Read the Article.
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Centerlines – Enabling the Disabled

December 2009
Centerlines, The Voice of Airports is the official publication of Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA). This story by Carroll McCormick features an interview with Eric Lipp and describes advances in accessible facilities and services at airports in the US and Canada. Read the Article.
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Bloomberg Businessweek – For The Disabled, More Power for Play

December 23, 2008
In this piece on Consumer Electronics, Susan Robitaille discusses the types of assistive devices now enhancing travel and leisure for people with disabilities. A section on video payphones in airports, available at O’Hare and Midway Airports, includes a quote from Eric Lipp. Read the Article.
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USA Today – Airlines Tackle Wheelchair Need

March 13, 2008
This in-depth article on the problems facing air travelers with disabilities includes quotes from Eric Lipp as well ODO Market Study statistics. Also quoted are Ray Prentice of Alaska Airlines and Kate Hunter-Zaworski of the National Center for Accessible Transportation at Oregon State University. Read the Article.
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VHL Family Forum – Opening Doors for People with Disabilities

August/September 2006
This article describes the first Airline Symposium hosted by Open Doors Organization in May 2006 and includes quotes from Eric Lipp, who is a board member of the Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) Family Alliance. Read the Article.
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