Thanks you to all our members of the program committee for their invaluable collaboration and devotion in the creation of an enriching program for all participants.
Tatiana Aleman Selva, Ivor Ambrose, Francesc Aragall, François Bédard, Daniel Blais, Regina Cohen, Matthew Daus, Isabelle Ducharme, Bill Forrester, Ann Frye, Veronica Gomez, Penny Hartin, Jesus Hernández Galán, Sminu Jindal, Sylvana Lakkis, Laura McGowan, Abha Negi, Katerina Papamichail, Scott Rains, Pablo Ramón, Sandra Rhodda, Lalita Sen, Georges A. Tanguay, Michel Trudel, Chris Veitch, Marcus Weisen
Technical Director, Spanish Representative Platform for People with Physical Disabilities (PREDIF)
Technical Director of the Spanish Representative Platform for People with Physical Disabilities (PREDIF). Architect. MBA, with post-graduate studies in Universal Accessibility and Design for All, and a Master’s degree in Enabling Technologies, Accessibility and Design for All.
Member of the CERMI (Spanish Committee of Representatives for People with Disabilities) Accessibility Commission and of the Normalisation Technical Committee AEN/CTN 170: Universal Accessibility and Design for All at AENOR (Spanish Standards and Certification Association). She is also involved in the Technical Standardisation Committees AEN/CTN 178/SC 5 “Tourism Destination Intelligence” and those that develop the UNE norms for the Spanish Tourism Quality brand.
She has been working in the fields of accessibility and disability since 2004. She coordinates and develops projects that deal with universal accessibility in a number of areas: construction, town-planning, tourism, public transport and new technologies. She has been involved in the editing of different publications about transport and accessible tourism, and has also spoken at numerous seminars, conferences and training courses.
Managing Director, European Network for Accessible Tourism
Mr. Ivor Ambrose is a co-founder of ENAT. He holds a Masters degree in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey, UK and has worked as a researcher, project manager, lecturer and policy advisor in the fields of building evaluation, accessibility and assistive technologies for disabled and elderly people, housing, information systems and tourism management. He has previously held positions at the European Commission, Belgium, the Danish Building Research Institute, Denmark and the University of Surrey, UK. He lives in Athens, Greece where he provides international research and consultancy on accessible tourism development for public authorities, regions, destinations and enterprises.
President, Design for All Foundation
Has developed his professional activity in the fields of ergonomics, biomechanics, accessibility and Design for All concept he is being disseminating through the Design for All Foundation, of which he is founder and president. He is also general manager of ProAsolutions, SL, Consultancy Company located in Barcelona and Porto. He is as well patron of the Barcelona Centre de Disseny (BCD).
A lecturer on several postgraduate courses as well as a frequent speaker at international conferences, he is author of several publications in the field of Design for All, for instance the European Concept for Accessibility Technical Assistance Manual (2003 edition), and Universal Design: The HUMBLES Method for User-Centred Business (January 2012)
World Centre of Excellence for Destinations
François Bédard is Professor and the Director of the Department of urban studies and tourism at the School of Management, Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG UQAM). Since 2007, he is the Director of the Montreal-based World Centre of Excellence for Destinations. He is specialized in information technology applied to the tourism industry, tourist destination management, and e-learning in higher education institutions. He was a guest speaker at many international conferences and seminars, and has published numerous articles about adaptation to new technology in the travel & tourism sector.
Project Officer, Accessibility and Human Factors, Transport Canada, Transportation Development Centre
Daniel has been doing research and development related to accessible transportation since 2002. His research interest include transportation, accessibility, well-being, mental health, accessible design, human factors and technology. He has a Master’s of Urban Planning from McGill University and has been managing research projects for Transport Canada since 2007.
Research Center on Accessibility and Universal Design (Núcleo Pró-acesso) – Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Post-doctor on Architecture (scholarship FAPERJ – PROARQ/FAU/UFRJ): “Accessibility of Persons with Disability to Museums”.Coordinator of the Research, Teaching and Planning Group on Accessibility and Universal Design (Pro-Access Group at UFRJ).Architect and Urbanist by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1981), master on Urbanism by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (1999) and PhD on Psicossociology of Communities and Social Ecology by Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (2006) and is specialist on Art History and Brazilian Architecture by PUC RJ (1992). Experiences on the areas of Architecture and Urbanism, working mainly on these themes: accessibility, inclusion, museums, urban spaces, schools, superior education, universities and disability. Many articles and books published with the theme of “Accessibility of Persons with disabilities” and many awards.
President, International Association of Transportation Regulators
Matthew W. Daus, Esq. heads the Transportation Practice Group at the law firm of Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf, LLP. Prior to joining Windels Marx, Mr. Daus served as Commissioner and Chairman of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission for 8 1/2 years, and prior thereto as its General Counsel. Over his 16 year career in government, Mr. Daus also served as General Counsel to the NYC Community Development Agency, Special Counsel to the NYC Trade Waste Commission, and as a Prosecutor with the NYC Human Rights Commission. Professor Daus is also a Distinguished Lecturer at City College, of the City University of NY, where he lectures on Transportation Policy and Sustainable Transportation. He is also a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation's regional University Transportation Research Center and President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators, representing Taxi Commissioners all around the world.
Chairwoman, Board of Directors, Kéroul
Ms. Ducharme has been working on social integration of people with disabilities for more than 20 years. She has presented at various conferences and facilitated multiple workshops on creating awareness for integrating people with disabilities. She has a bachelor's degree in communications at Université de Montréal and a Master's degree in business and tourism planning at Université du Québec à Montréal. Ms. Ducharme is Chair of the Board at Kéroul, a Quebec based organisation whose mission is to make tourism and culture more accessible for persons with limited physical abilities.
Bill Forrester is a creative and energetic individual who has over 35 years experience in both the private and public sectors in senior management roles. During that career he specialised in strategic leadership, financial management, cost reduction and improved efficiency. Was a pioneer of the “Shared Services” concept in Australia.
Bill is an acknowledged thought leader in the growing economics of Accessible Tourism, Universal Design and Social Inclusion, especially impact the retiring Baby Boomers will have on the tourism sector.
TravAbility and PhotoAbility have as their missions the desire to change the way the world views people with a disability.
Bill has been an avid Photographer for over 50 years having got his first camera at age 5. He has been fortunate to photograph some of the worlds most stunning vistas and has now turned his skill behind the lens to changing the perceptions of people with a disability to active, involved and vibrant members of society.
Expert in accessible transportation
Ann Frye is an international specialist in the mobility needs of older people and people with disabilities.
She is a Vice President of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies & Environments (GAATES) and chairs their Transport Committee.
She also co-chairs the US Transportation Research Board sub-committee on International Activities in Accessible Transportation.
She has led Europe-wide projects for the European Commission to develop access standards for transport.
Ann has worked with the International Transport Forum and with the United Nations on the mobility implications of a global ageing population.
She is a visiting Professor at University College London.
Director, Americas Division, International Social Tourism Organisation
Chief Executive Officer, World Blind Union
Director of Universal Accessibility, Fondacion ONCE
Jesús Hernández Galán is Doctor of Forest engineering. He also has a master in business administration and a master in environmental management from the “Open University”. In between other courses, he has obtained a Program of General Management from the “Thunderbird Global Management School”.
Also, he has held the Post of Director General and CEO of “Fundosa Accessibilidad S.A.” from 2000 until 2003. Then, he entered his current role of Director of Universal Accessibility for “Foundation ONCE”.
He is currently the president of the “Technological Platform eVIA” and Vice-President of the “European network for accessible Tourism ENAT”.
Due to his academic experience, he is the Senior Professor of masters in accessibility and design for all at the “University of Jaen”, Executive masters in social economics at EOI and director of Universal Accessibility Courses at the “Official College of Architecture and Polytechnic Universities of Madrid”.
He is also Chief Editor of the “Scientific Journal of Accessibility Magazine” for the “Polytechnic University of Cataluña” and a member of Scientific Committees of several national and international Congresses.
He has managed many different projects of financial investigation for Spanish Public administrations and the “European Commission”.
Ms. Sminu Jindal is the first lady entrant in the country to do her gender proud by breaking the glass ceiling in the Steel, Oil and Gas sector in India. She is the young and dynamic Managing Director of Jindal SAW Ltd., a total pipes solutions company and a key player in global energy and water infrastructure. She is also the founder of ‘Svayam’ and devotes extensive time, resources and energy to realize the initiative’s mandate of making public infrastructure accessible to all and is working closely with various government bodies like NDMC, ASI, DTC, MUD, and Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India for the same. She also serves as the Chairperson of Arunim – a path-breaking initiative of National Trust that aims at empowering people with disability. She is a member of the Core Committee on Accessible Tourism constituted by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. She is also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee constituted to research on present status of Inclusive Tourism in India. She has been nominated by The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to be on the Executive Committee of IPH (Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for the Physically Handicapped).Some of the monuments made accessible by her initiative have received the National Award for the most accessible world heritage sites.
General Director, Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union
Director, International Center for Responsible Tourism Canada
Laura McGowan has been with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation for the past 5 years. She has been involved in provincial-wide initiatives such as sustainable tourism and regional initiatives such as the Crown of the Continent. Currently, she is responsible for both the culinary tourism and the education and workforce development portfolios.
Laura is also founder and director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism Canada and an active advocate for the responsible development of tourism including making tourism inclusive for all.
Laura holds a BA Leisure, Tourism and Society specializing in ecotourism and cultural/heritage studies from the University of Calgary and an MSc Responsible Tourism Management from the University of Greenwich, UK.
Abha Negi is a communications person and comes with a rich background of heading several crucial communication assignments. She currently heads Group Corporate Communications at Jindal SAW Ltd. Besides communications, she also heads Svayam, a CSR initiative of Jindal SAW and devotes extensive time, resources and energy to realize the initiative’s mandate of making public infrastructure accessible/barrier free to all including the elderly and disabled and is working closely with various government bodies like NDMC, ASI, DTC, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India for the same. She is trained in "Non-Handicapping Environment" at Asia Pacific Development Centre on Disability (APCD) Bangkok, Thailand. She is also one of the Directors at ARUNIM - (Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative of Marketing that aims at empowering people with disability.
She is also an avid writer and has written many interesting articles on various areas which have been published in leading national dailies.
Architect & Consultant, Accessibility Expert, Consulting, ENAT
Greek architect specialising in Universal Design and accessibility of the built environment. Associate Member of ENAT and an independent consultant-trainer on European and International assignments. Head of the Architectural Studies Department at the Greek Social Housing Organisation, until February 2012. Co-author of the Greek Accessibility Guidelines. Member of the Accessibility Committee of the Technical Chamber of Greece. Section Manager for the Olympic and Paralympic Villages, responsible for the accessibility of the combined facility, for the Athens Organising Committee for the Athens Olympic Games 2004. CEN expert on European standards for ‘Accessibility Requirements for Public Procurement in the Built Environment’ (2011).
Independent Travel and Disability Consultant
Dr. Scott Rains writes daily on travel and tourism industry issues of interest to people with disabilities. His work appears online at www.RollingRains.com and in: New Mobility, Emerging Horizons, Venture, Brave New Traveler, Accessible Portugal, Audacity, Travel and Transitions, eTur Brazil, Success & Ability and Disaboom among others.
In 2009 he was selected as Person of the Years in the US by New Mobility magazine. For his research on the topic of Universal Design and the travel and hospitality industry he was appointed as Resident Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies of the University of California Santa Cruz (2004-05).
Founder and Responsible of Communication, NATIVE Charming Hotels and Accessible Tourism
Journalist, Sociologist and editor of travel magazines like Paraísos American Express, VISA Iberia and others, in Spain and Morocco, he has been working for 6 years for a quality label of hotels. Until the day when he heard a radio interview of a blind girl. Wondering how to convey to her their informations on hotels in Internet, he learned from a webmaster that blind people can navigate the Internet, and he provided ONCE Corporation with an accessible and multilanguage web platform of beautiful and accessible hotels, www.nativehotels.eu equipped by NATIVE with new accessible elements and tools. Since then, 2010, Pablo decided not to communicate anymore through not universal ways.
Director, Access Tourism New Zealand
Sandra Rhodda is Director of Access Tourism New Zealand (ATNZ), which advocates for Accessible Tourism (AT). She carries out research in AT privately and for other organizations such as Auckland University of Technology (for which Rhodda is Research Programme Leader, NZTRI), National Foundation of the Deaf, and Tai Poutini Polytechnic. She has published refereed papers in Accessible Tourism, developed an accessibility toolkit for Auckland City Council, and was part of the committee which produced the UN Takayama Declaration on the Development of Communities-for-All in Asia and the Pacific. Her blog has articles about national and international AT issues.
Ph.D., Professor, Department of Urban Planning & Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas, USA
Dr. Lalita Sen is Professor at Department of Urban Planning & Environmental Policy, Barbara Jordan -Mickey Leland School of Public Affair, Texas Southern University, USA.
After her B. Sc. from University College of Swansea, University of Wales, UK, she pursued MS and Ph.D. in Transportation Geography from Northwestern University.
Her area of research and publications has been on evaluation of accessibility and mobility needs of seniors and persons with disabilities. She has recently focused on accessible tourism in the developing countries and its impact on community development and generation of economic opportunities.
Involved with senior and accessible transportation from the 70's in rural and urban areas, in the US and other countries in Asia and Europe, has had numerous US DOT (FTA) funded projects, has presented/published numerous papers through TRANSEDS starting from 1978 onwards; currently a member of the Houston-Galveston Area Council's transportation coordinating board, and is also serving as the co-chair of the TRB Standing Committee ABE (60), on Accessible transportation & Mobility.
Georges A. Tanguay is Professor and the Director of the Graduate Program of urban studies in the Department of urban and tourism studies at the Business School of the University of Quebec in Montreal. He is specialized in public economics, urban economics, sustainable development and sustainability assessment tools. He is an internationally known researcher for his recent work on sustainable development indicators, tourism sustainability indicators, factors causing urban and municipal mergers determinants. His research has been published in several top-rank journals such as the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Journal of Urban Affairs, Public Choice, Ecological Indicators and Environment and Planning A.
Michel Trudel is a geographer and urban planner. He worked 21 years for the Department of Transport of the Province of Quebec where he developed an expertise in transport regulation. He introduced vocational training, including a course on taxi transportation for people with disabilities. From 1992 to 2000 he was member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Transportation Regulators. He was president of the IATR from 1992 to 1994. He is the author of numerous publications, translated into several languages, on the topic of transportation by taxi (TRB News, Transportation Quarterly, Eno Foundation, etc.).
In 2001, he raised a new challenge to the Quebec Department of Tourism in regional development and then as director of the Tourism Promotion of Quebec. It is in the course of his duties to the Government of Quebec, in the records of transportation and travel, he met André Leclerc, the founder and CEO of Keroul .
Since 2010, he acted as a consultant in tourism and transportation, among others for Keroul.
Tourism Consultant, Access New Business
Chris Veitch is an independent consultant with wide experience in the field of accessible tourism. After gaining a First Class degree in Tourism Management at London South Bank University, he was a policy executive in the English Tourism Council (ETC) managing projects to improve the accessibility of tourism in England. In 2003 he set up his own practice and has been involved in significant European projects such as OSSATE and ENAT, helping to improve accessible information for consumers. In addition he has also contributed to online toolkits with a number of regions in England, encouraging tourism businesses to improve their accessibility.
Expert Urbaccess and European Centre for Cultural Accessibility
Marcus Weisen is internationally respected for 25 years commitment to the cultural right of people with disabilities. As a consultant, his clients include the Louvre Museum, English Heritage, Cultural Heritage Norway and the European Blind Union.
Marcus was Director, Jodi Mattes Trust for accessible digital culture (2007-2012); Health and Disability Adviser for the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, England (2002-2007) and Arts Officer for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (1987-2002), where he led e.g. the "European Cities within Reach" project (1992-94).
He was a founder member of EUCREA (European Committee for the Creativity by and with Disabled Persons) (1988).