Thursday, July 16, 2015

Access is 'welcome' in any language!

A little behind the times, but better late than never.

United States to Sign Disability treaty
“It’s the right thing to do. We need to get it done,” Obama said.

Supporters say the treaty would not require any change to U.S. law, but would allow the nation to take a leadership role internationally on disability rights while also helping to ensure that Americans with disabilities are protected when they travel abroad in much the same way that they are under domestic law. More than 300 disability organizations united last year to back the measure.

However, the U.N. Convention has faced strong opposition — led by former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, the Heritage Foundation and the Home School Legal Defense Association — over concerns that it would compromise U.S. sovereignty and threaten the ability of parents to determine what’s best for their kids, claims that those in favor of the treaty insist are baseless.

Ultimately, for the vote last December, eight Republicans and all of the Senate’s Democrats favored ratification in the 61 to 38 vote that came up shy of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Reaching Out Persons with Disabilities - Ten Lessons

Parents, grandparents, and children arrive at a hotel for vacation.
Some great information from the ADA for small business. Getting people in the door is just one aspect of expanding markets and providing goods and services to persons living with disability.

"Did you know?

  • More than 50 million Americans with disabilities - 18% of our population - are potential customers for businesses of all types across the United States.
  • This group has $175 billion in discretionary spending power, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That figure is more than twice the spending power of American teenagers and almost 18 times the spending power of the American "tweens" market.
  • Accessibility attracts not only people with disabilities but also their families and friends. Like others, these customers often visit stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses accompanied by family or friends. This expands the potential market exponentially!
  • This market is growing fast. By the year 2030, 71.5 million Baby Boomers will be over the age of 65 and demanding products, services, and environments that address their age-related physical changes."

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cycling infrastructure means new pathways for all

Check out this video of cycling infrastructure, or 'infra,' in the Netherlands. A leader in bike- and pedestrian-friendly communities, Dutch culture is equally friendly in terms of universal access. As Idaho's statewide Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) explores options to expand transportation choices, keep this video in mind. To learn more, call Erik at 208.331.4706.

Who else benefits from Dutch cycling infrastructure?

(Photo: Chuck Humel)
Some ingenious ways to combine bike and wheelchair commuting with friends and family:
See also:

Friday, November 22, 2013

When Vancouver Leads, Access Follows

Ideas that are long overdue. A similar single-family residential ordinance was adopted officially in Pima County, AZ years ago and has withstood court challenges. Lever hardware is rapidly becoming the norm (no knobs in my house!), and we can expect hardware makers to get more creative and artful as lever use expands.

As I've often said, we are all seniors in training (if we're lucky), and aging-in-place is good for us, our families and for the public treasury. Habitat for Humanity has said it will build all homes to 'visitability standards' (at least one zero-step entry and accessible route to a sleeping area and main floor bathroom). Whether through age, illness or injury, we will all face mobility restrictions at point in our lives. And there's no place like home.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Idaho Loses Long-Time Advocate

Idaho lost a tremendous disability rights advocate and expert, and many of us lost a friend and mentor this weekend. Bobby Ball had a long history working to preserve and expand opportunities for persons living with disabilities through technical assistance and the legislative process. As the Director of the ADA Task Force, Bobby brought together partners from many background. Her wonderful smile and persuasive ability made it tough to say no, whether she was asking for volunteer time or resources to make Idaho more accessible and welcoming.

Thank you, Bobby, for all your hard work, dedication, great sense of humor, and the inspiration you have been to so many of us. We will miss you.

To learn more about Bobby, see this brief feature story when she was recognized as one of Idaho's 'Women Making History.'

This brief 10-second clip was captured during the ADA celebration at the Idaho Statehouse in 2010

Friday, November 15, 2013

Brochures, Information Sheets Available for Download!

Although it's been a while since the last post, things are moving forward. Here's a brief update on Ramp Up Idaho (RUI) activities:
  • RUI partners presented at this year's American Planning Association Conference in Idaho Falls
  • Cards and brochures printed and distributed via trade shows, NW ADA conference, Community Review visits and regional housing roundtable meetings
  • Presentation to Boise Fair Housing Task Force.
We've been getting requests for promotional materials from communities and organizations around the state. Small quantities of brochures or business cards are available on request, or you are free to download and distribute information as need using the links below:

Data sheets/brochures
Call 208 331 4706 for more information.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Brochures, New Outreach

Ramp Up Idaho brochures are now available on request, along with RUI cards featuring contact information. If you or your organization would like to help spread the word to regional business groups (i.e., local and regional Chambers of Commerce, Business Districts, etc.), please let us know. Quantities are limited, but we will do our best to get you what you need.

RUI team members will be presenting information on community and retail access to the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association conference this week in Idaho Falls. Stay tuned for more updates!