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Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) Regional Seminar on Accessibility of the Environment, Universal Design, Tourism and Development in support of the implementation of the Convention

  • Maputo, Mozambique
  • March 1-3, 2010 

The Global Partnership for Disability and Development (GPDD) is organizing a Regional Seminar on Accessibility of the Environment, Universal Design, Tourism and Development in support of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The meeting will be held in Maputo as part of the Learning and Capacity Building and Dissemination Events of the GPDD Demonstration Project in Mozambique, “Including People with Disabilities in Poverty Reduction and Social and Economic Growth and Development Strategies” The Seminar will take place in late February 2010. The report of the meeting will be widely distributed and will serve as a significant contribution to the implementation process of the CRPD.

Seminar Themes

The three-day seminar will include expert presentations and discussions on different thematic areas as listed below.

A. Disability Inclusive Tourism as a tool to promote development: This section will focus on the benefits of inclusive tourism in boosting poverty reduction and development efforts. Presentations and discussions will focus on the barriers and facilitators to inclusive tourism in the region, and practical strategies to mainstream disability in all tourism efforts.

B. Accessibility of the built-environment: The seminar will explore the key concepts of providing barrier-free physical environments. It will include discussions on their costs and benefits to people with disabilities, governments, businesses and society in general, social and cultural dimensions of accessibility, training personnel involved in construction, and the key elements needed to ensure accessibility in tourism.

C. Universal design: The principles of Universal Design (UD) will be presented, along with the benefits of using universal design to ensure tourism access for all individuals. Experts will also discuss whether UD environments will be inherently accessible or how construction efforts can combine UD principles with current best practices in accessible designs.

D. Legislation, policies, and standards: This section will discuss both national and international mandates for environmental accessibility (including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)), national policies to ensure accessibility of the built environment, and strategies for implementation. The seminar will also look at the existence or lack of international, regional, and national standards for environmental accessibility, especially as it pertains to the different areas involved in tourism.

E. Monitoring and evaluation: Experts will discuss strategies and methods to strengthen evaluation and monitoring of environmental accessibility legislation, policies, and standards by governments as well as Disabled People’s Organizations and Civil Society Organizations.

F. Experiences from different countries and case study: Experts from countries in Africa (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe), Asia, South America (Brazil), and the United States will be invited to share their professional experiences. Mozambique will be taken as case study to highlight opportunities and challenges for environmental accessibility and inclusive tourism and engage in a discussion to identify the most promising practices and strategies to ensure accessibility and inclusive tourism within the African region.

In preparation for the seminar, the GPDD will conduct a brief survey with participants to gather information on good practices, field experiences, and relevant case studies that may be used to generate seminar dissemination materials.
For additional information, read Scott Rains's blog at http://www.disabilityresourceexchange.com/profiles/blogs/conference-on-tourism-and