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Accessibility by Continents

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Megane Notar Wuotto

on 24 June 2013

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Transcript of Accessibility by Continents

Accessibility in the world.
Importance of Accessibility in North America.
Importance of Accessibility in Europe.
Importance of Accessibility in South America.
Importance of Accessibility in Africa.
Importance of Accessibility in Asia.
Importance of Accessibility in Australia.
Best practice example for companies.
Best practice example for tourism companies.
"Accessibility has taken a major role within the continent due to the large target group of people with accessibility needs, every state has different laws and regulations on what should be accessible, but throughout the entire country it is very uncommon to not have accessibility facilities available." (Macho, J. 2013)
Laws and regulations in general regarding Accessibility in North America.

LAW: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed in 1990.

It covers:
Employment, public accommodations, transportation, service animals, air travel, housing, civil rights. (ADA, 2013)
Laws and regulations in tourism companies in particular regarding Accessibility in North America.
Statistics say that at least 10% of the population has some type of disability. (Wiereszen, N. 2013)
"I think Accessibility starts playing a bigger role in the countries of South America. Also society should be more educated about disabilities and be more realistic about the capabilities of individuals who suffer of the consequences of an accident. I hope the attitude will become more positive and they will offer more support" (Notar, M. 2013)
Laws and regulations in general regarding Accessibility in South America.
Laws and regulations in tourism companies in particular regarding Accessibility in South America.
LAW: At the end of last year, 28 countries in South-America signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
The purpose is to promote, protect and ensure equality of all human rights by persons with disabilities. It covers a number of key areas such as accessibility, freedom of movement, health, education, employment, and rehabilitation, and non-discrimination. (CRPD)
Laws and regulations in general regarding Accessibility in Africa.
LAW: Inclusion Africa is a legislation for people with disabilities, it was established by 13 member countries in a conference held in Windhoek, Namibia on October, 25, 2008. (Inclusion International, 2013)

Overall there are almost 300 million people with disabilities in Africa (40%) including 10-15% of school age children. (Inclusion International)
Laws and regulations in tourism companies in particular regarding Accessibility in Africa.
Laws and regulations in general regarding Accessibility in Europe.
Laws and regulations in tourism companies in particular regarding Accessibility in Europe.
Laws and regulations in general regarding Accessibility in Asia.
Laws and regulations in tourism companies in particular regarding Accessibility in Asia.
Laws and regulations in general regarding Accessibility in Australia.
Laws and regulations in tourism companies in particular regarding Accessibility in Australia.
“Asia has many people but few are well educated regarding Accessibility. But it is important especially for China to improve Accessibility in cities, towns and also rural regions. To get more attractive in terms of tourism it is important to have more and better accessible hotels, restaurants and sights.” (Zhou, Y. 2013)
Almost 60 per cent of the world's 650 million persons with disabilities live in Asia and the Pacific according to the United Nations (UN) estimates.
LAW: Disability in China was till the 1980s a non-speaking topic
In 1990 the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Disabled Person was created.

Improvement of accessible public transportation such as buses, subways and airports during the last years enact by law.
Companies have to be accessible regarding offices, entrances, elevators and equipment.

In rural regions there is still a poor infrastructure for Accessibility (Weiss, T. 2010)
“Australia is really improving its Accessibility for disabled people. Public premises try to be as accessible as possible. Furthermore traveling is nowadays much easier for them, because many travel agencies are offering adequate journeys for them. (Smith, I. 2013)
Four million people in Australia (18.5%) reported having a disability in 2009, according to the results of the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC).
LAW: Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA)

It covers:
Employment, education, access to premises used by the public, provision of goods, services and facilities, accommodation, buying land, activities of clubs and associations, sport, administration of Commonwealth Government laws and programs. (DDA)

Employers must offer equal employment opportunities to everyone.
If a person with a disability is the best person for the job, then the employer must make workplace changes or "reasonable adjustments" if they need them to perform the essential activities of the job.

Accessibility in the European Union
No laws or regulations found regarding accessible Asian tourism companies.

Great range of online tourism access guides, for example:

Hong Kong Access Guide for Disabled Visitors
Accessible Japan Travel Guide for Wheelchair Users
Accessible Kiwi Tours New Zealand Ltd.

Thailand, Singapore, China and partially Malaysia have tourism services
which can be compared with similar services in Western Countries. (UN, 2003)

Other parts in Asia are not as up to date in Accessibility.

Accessible equipment in hotels and restaurants might not be from high quality. (Easy Asia, 2013)

No laws or regulations found regarding Accessibility in Australian tourism companies

Great offer of Australian tourism websites for handicapped people, for example:
www. Southaustralia.com (The South Australian Tourism Commission, 2003)

Several travel agencies specialized on disabled people, for example:
www.DisabledTravelers.com (Disabled travelers, 2008)

There is obviously a demand for disabled people who would like to travel to Australia
and there is some supply for it.


Disability Awareness Kit (1992) Disability Awareness Act [Internet] Available at:<http://www.openroad.net.au/access/dakit/disaware/handout7.htm> [Accessed 21 June 2013]

Smith, I. (2013) Importance of Accessibility in Australia. [E-mail] (Personal communication, 21 June 2013)

Southaustralia (2003)Southaustralia [Internet] Available at: <http://www.southaustralia.com/about/travel-information-disabled-access.aspx> [Accessed 21 June 2013]

-Disabled Travelers (2008) Travel Agencies [Internet] Available at: < http://www.disabledtravelers.com/travel_agents.htm> [Accessed 21 June 2013]

-Zhou, Y. (2013) Importance of Accessibility in Australia. [E-mail] (Personal communication, 21 June 2013)

Weiss, T. (2010) Overview of Disability in China. [Internet] Available at: http://www.disabled-world.com/news/asia/china/disability-china.php [Accessed 19 June 2013]

United Nations (2003) Barrier-free tourism for people with disabilities in the Asian and pacific region. [Internet] New York, United Nations. Available at: < http://www.unescap.org/ttdw/Publications/TPTS_pubs/pub_2316/pub_2316_tor.pdf> [Accessed: 19 June 2013]

Easy Asia (2006) EasyAsia: Accessible Asia- Accessible Tourism in Asia – 2013. [Internet] Availabe at: < http://www.easyasia.info/accessibleasia.htm> [Accessed 19 June 2013]

"In general the behaviour of people in Africa towards disabled is still far from improvement. The main problem is discrimination. Either disabled child at school is bullied and nothing is done to stop it or an adult cannot get a good job meeting his qualification because they are disabled." (Kazembe, T. 2013)
In Africa there are no special organizations that take care of accessible working places for disabled people.

However, in Africa exist the organizations that both protect human rights and bring education and help to citizens of African countries.

The best example could be Inclusion Africa.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (all the EU countries have committed themselves to create a barrier-free Europe)

The objectives were put into eight priority areas:

1. Accessibility: make goods and services accessible to people with disabilities.
2. Participation: make sure thet people with disabilities can fully enjoy benefits of EU citizenship.
3. Equality: promote equal opportunities.
4. Employment: raise the number of persons with disabilities working on the market.
5. Education and training: promote education and learning for students and with disabilities.
6. Social protection: promote decent living conditions.
7. Health: equal access to health services.
8. External action: promote the rights of people with disabilities in the EU.

There are around 50 million persons with disabilities in the EU today, and to this number may also be added elderly people.
The are 42% of people with disabilities who are employed (compared to 65% of non-disabled people)
Honda Motors

A number of employees with disabilities in Honda's Kibounasato, Japan plant have received recognition or their outstanding work from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare throughout the years. (International Labor Office, 2013)


Microsoft’s US based awards include being ranked 15th in the annual Top 50 Companies by CAREERS & the disabled magazine (2009 2010). In 2007, the company won the Corporate Star award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for its technology innovations that benefit those with Multiple Sclerosis. In Australia, Microsoft won the 2009 Best Workplace Diversity Strategy 2009 award from the Australian HR Industry, which recognizes excellence in the human resource profession. (International Labor Office, 2013)


Recognized for its Marks & Start programe, M&S was the first UK based business to receive the Community Mark award by Business in the Community (BITC), an independent charity that works to develop talent for existing and future workforce, in 2004. It received the award again in 2006. Furthermore, in 2006, BITC nominated M&S asthe Company of the Year, and in 2010, the company was the finalist for the BITC's Example of Excellence award. (International Labor Office, 2013)


In 2009, the Indian based National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) presented MphasiS with the Shell Helen Keller Award, given yearly to 12 individual or industry role models who have been enhancing the position of disabled persons in the workplace. The company received the award for extending equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities through its policies and practices. (International Labor Office, 2013)

Megane Notar Wuotto
Laura Krauss
Sophie Haeberl
Martyna Krauss
International Labour Office.(2013) Disability in the Workplace: Company Practices [Internet].Geneva, International Labour Office. Available from: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_emp/---ifp_skills/documents/publication/wcms_150658.pdf [Accessed 22nd of June 2013]

Evans, G. (2013) Importance of Accessibility in Europe. (E-mail) (Personal communication, 22 June 2013)

Kazembe, T. (2013) Importance of Accessibility in Africa.
(E-mail) [Personal communication, 22 June 2013]

Inclusion International (2013) Linking local voices to global change. [Internet]. Switzerland, Inclusion International. Available from:http://www.inclusion-international.org/about-us/regions/inclusion-africa/ [Accessed: 20th of June 2013]

"From my experience i find Europe to be relatively accessible place, even in its extreme pursuits such as skiing, the disabled are catered too, furthermore there is no animosity towards the handicapped and little stigma around being so." (Evans, G. 2013)

Hotel Example:

Beach hotel in Costa Adeje, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain.

Accommodation: Accessible Spa, Hotel
Star Rating: 4stars

Board Basis: Bed and Breakfast, Full Board, Half Board.
Holiday Type: Accessible Spa, Beach, Coastal.

Short Description:
Open in January 2005, this hotel includes a total of 284 rooms spread over 5 floors. Good access into and around hotel. Wheelchair adapted rooms have roll in showers and can accommodate a maximum of three adults.

Cruise trips:

Holland America's Zuiderdam, Westerdam, Noordam,Oosterdam (28 accessible cabins on each ship, elevated toilet seats, hand-held showers and TTY/TDD equipment)

Available for:
No laws or regulations found regarding Accessibility in North American tourism companies


Great offer of tourism websites for handicapped people, for example:

USA Handicapped Access tips.
Mobility International USA.
Disabled world towards tomorrow.

Tour operators for handicapped:

Access Aloha specializing in travel for disabled

Travel the american west with access tours.

No laws or regulations found regarding Accessibility in South American tourism companies.


Some offer of tourism websites for handicapped people, for example:

Vaya con silla de ruedas S.A.
Derecho a una ciudad sin barreras.
Fundacio turismo para todos.
No laws or regulations found regarding Accessibility in Australian tourism companies.

There are some organizations specialized only in Accessible Tourism examples:

ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism)
EDF (European Disability Forum)
EUCAN (European Concept for Accessibility Network)
EIDD (European Institute for Design and Disability, now called Design for All Europe)
EDeAN (European e-Accessibility and Design for All Network)

In Austria:

ÖHTB (Österreichischen Hilfswerks für Taubblinde und hochgradig Hör)
Atempo (Organization that fights for the Equality of People)
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