Access Engineer David Dropkin of Buro Happold and Rosa D’Alessandro of AEG give an insight into the process behind ensuring that this exciting visitor attraction is accessible to as many people as possible.
The disAbilities Resource Centre in Queenstown, Australia has created a color-coded map detailing the accessibility of the streets and footpaths in the area. The map can act as a guide for new residents and visitors who have walking difficulties or use a wheelchair, mobility scooter or pram. Gently sloped streets are labeled in green, steeper streets are blue, while very steep streets are brown. The map also identifies scenic viewpoints, picnic and rest areas, useful services, accessible parking lots and public toilets, as well as the locations of the 37 businesses that sponsored the map. This project is a great idea that could easily be replicated in other locations to provide useful accessibility information to tourists and residents alike.
The Instituto de Biomecanica de Valencia has been presented with the Ulysses Award for Innovation in Research and Technology. Presented by the World Tourism Organization, the institute was given this honor for its online application tool, TurAcces/IBV. With this tool, tourism managers can assess their facilities for accessibility based on current ADA laws and standards. This tool is useful for both tourist facilities and disabled or elderly patrons, in which establishments such as hotels, restaurants, campings, etc., can provide a more quality experience for a specific growing population. The application is available at www.turacces.ibv.org.
The Ulysses Prize and Awards are given annually, and serve to showcase knowledge and innovative application of accessibility within tourism.
Transport for London has launched the “spectator journey planner” online in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games. The spectator journey planner helps visitors use the public transportation system to get to Olympic venues.
The spectator journey planner includes various accessibility options, and can plan a route around a traveler’s needs. Uses can request a journey with staff assistance at stations, stops and piers, or plan a trip that only stops at stations that are wheelchair accessible. Users can also plan to avoid the London Underground altogether, or plan a trip that has the fewest interchanges. Transport for London also has a map of the London Underground that only displays step-less stations. They have also completed audits of key interchange stations, in order to map out accessible routes through the station.