A Better Way to Build an Aisle Chair

Although access to the friendly skies has greatly improved over the past 25 years, it still has a way to go. Take the lowly aisle chair, for example. Some travelers call it a torture device, while others describe the on board transfer process as “beyond humiliating”. Either way, the whole system could use a facelift. Continue reading

A Man, A Woman and an Accessible Wilderness Lodge

Dan and Judy Bauer with Candy Harrington at the future site of the Accessible Wilderness Society lodge and campground.

Dan Bauer has a dream – an inclusive wilderness facility with barrier-free campsites, yurts and even a rustic lodge. And until he met his wife Judy that’s all it was – a dream. Says Judy, “I’m a action kind of person, so I told Dan that he either had to start working to make his dream happen, or stop talking about it and move on.” Says Dan, “And since there’s no way I could stop talking about it, I had to get moving and take some action.” And so The Accessible Wilderness Society was born. Continue reading

US Senate Votes Against Disability Rights

In a disappointing vote today, the US Senate failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Seen as a basic human rights treaty by the 126 nations that have already ratified it – including Iran, Syria and China – this international treaty works to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. Continue reading

Top Five Access Oversights

I see a lot of accessible rooms and do a lot of site inspections in my travels; and granted, some properties fare much better than others access-wise. I’m an optimist at heart though, and believe that everyone who makes the effort to add access features to their property has good intentions. But you know what they say about the road to Hell and good intentions.

Still, I’m genuinely glad folks make the effort , especially when many are not required to add access features. Continue reading

Breaking News — DOJ Extends Deadline for Pool Compliance

Well, the Department of Justice (DOJ) once again surprised me when they announced their decision to extend the compliance date for access to pools and hot tubs in places of public accommodation. While I had hoped that pools would be open for business this summer, that’s the case at all. In fact the DOJ extended the compliance date to January 31, 2013.

Yep, you read that one right. Continue reading

New Zealand on Location — Access Intelligently Planned

Roll-n Shower in Room 511 of the Amora Hotel in Wellington, New Zealand.

I was very impressed with the access I found on my first trip to New Zealand; so it comes as no great surprise that I’m even more wowed on my second visit. It’s just my first day here, but after a very long shower to wash away the jet lag, I’m once again bowled over by the sensibility in Kiwi accessible design. Continue reading

Are We Really the Leader?

Last week a journalist friend was bouncing some ideas off me for a column he was doing on accessible travel. He tends to ask thought provoking questions, but this time he really gave me pause for thought with one of his queries. His premise was that we (the US) are “the leader” in accessibility, and he wanted to know what we as a nation have done to influence access improvements in other countries.

Quite frankly, I think I caught him off guard with my answer. “Do you really think we’re the leader? Because I don’t,” I replied. Continue reading