Leaving a Legacy for People with Disabilities: The 2014 World Cup, 2016 Olympic Games and Inclusive Tourism.
Leaving a Legacy for People with Disabilities: The 2014 World Cup, 2016
Olympic Games and Inclusive Tourism.
Desastre. Derrota. Reprovação.
Algumas palavras da minha agenda no dia que devolvi minha bolsa de estudos para
USP por ter encontrado barreiras arquitetônicas e atitudinais que não consegui superar.
Fracasso. Decepção. Vergonha.
Algumas palavras que circulam na comunidade das pessoas com deficiência sobre as
falhas logísticas dos Jogos Pan-americanos sediados no Rio.
Expectativa. Esperança. Inspiração.
Algumas palavras que ouvimos como pessoas com deficiência no dia a dia. Por quê?
Porque somos resilientes e nunca vamos parar. Somos “Imparáveis.”
Emocionante. Pensem bem no que vimos. Sim, o atleta Canadense é impressionante. A
história trágica inspira, pois o produtor do vídeo escondeu o herói no coro.
Não, melhor. O produtor nos enganou. O herói é o coro. O policial, os bombeiros, os
médicos, o cara na esquina com celular que os chamou para vir.
Gente! Somos todos seres humanos. E como humanos compartilhando este planeta
pequeno com o pouco tempo que temos aqui o que queremos deixar de legado? O que
pretendemos arrumar para nossas crianças e as gerações do futuro? Poxa, o que vamos
deixar para nós próprios na “melhor idade” quando ganhamos uma deficiência, se já não
temos ganhado uma?
Para refletir sobre isso precisamos entrar no mundo através da “atmosfera” percebida
pelo deficiente. Como é cansativo ser herói nas coisas cotidianas. Intuir como é
frustrante encarar a covardia dos mesmos heróis arquitetos e os demais que tem
esquecidos o papel deles, criar um legado inclusivo a todos.
[Play] 30 Seconds
Agora, infelizmente, estou no fim das minhas capacidades de apresentar em Português.
Vou introduzir o Rodrigo que mora aí nos headphones. Sim, ele é pequenininho. Anão
virtualizado. Vou continuar em Inglês que o Rodrigo, com mão na roda, me empurra em
frente de vocês em português. Se quiserem, por favor, coloquem os fones de ouvido.
From that perspective and in this atmosphere one is compelled to ask of all construction
and all policies not “How much will it take to make this accessible?” but rather, “Is
there any reasonable justification for not making this fully inclusive?” That inversion
of the socially-expected acceptance of exclusion as “normal” is at the foundation of a
design philosophy known as Universal Design. As I talk today it is from this powerful
perspective of Universal Design that says:
Universal Design is a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication
and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations
without special or separate design. Most simply, Universal Design is human-centered design
of everything with everyone in mind…It is not a design style but an orientation to any design
process that starts with a responsibility to the experience of the user.
Brazil has world-class heroes in Universal Design: Veronica Camisao in Rio de Janeiro,
Marcelo Guimaraes in Belo Horizonte, Silvana Cambiaghi and Renata Mello in Sao
Paulo. Their years of professional leadership gives me the confidence to tell you that
Brazil can – and should – use the privilege of hosting Copa 2014 and Rio 2016 to
implant Inclusive Tourism nationally and make itself the destination of choice for
travelers with disabilities.
I have been asked to talk today about my experiences traveling in 21 countries as a
wheelchair. We think there are some lessons in this specifically for Ceará.
What I have learned in working with governments, disability groups, and the tourism
industry around the world is that it is not enough to know about the laws or building
codes (standards techniques), about disability, or about tourism management. It is
necessary to know all of that and also have expertise in the travel behavior of people
with disabilities. It changes with age. It is different between countries. Studies show
that we travel with an average of one or two people and stay an average of one more
night thus spending more. We more often return to a place we like thus we are loyal
customers. We make our decisions through personal recommendations from other
people with disabilities so we multiply your customers. We are good business!
As people with disabilities we say, with a sly smile, “All travel is adventure travel for
us.” And one of the reasons we travel is to experience the adventure and challenge of
new places and new attitudes. But we also know that some challenges are simply a
waste of our time.
In Brazil the program Viver Sem Limites is a remarkably comprehensive national
program to remove these injustices that steal from us the limited time each of us is
given on this earth. Even so, I am going to criticize this program for one major error.
DECRETO Nº 7.612, DE 17 DE NOVEMBRO DE 2011 is the document creating O
Plano Viver sem Limite. The decree explicitly says that its purpose is to implement
the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In the
document neither the Comitê Gestor nor the Grupo Interministerial de Articulação e
Monitoramento includes the Ministério do Turismo. This is a failure to interpret the
intent of Article 30 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities. Notice the title of that article, “Artigo 30.º (trigésimo) Participação na
vida cultural, recreação, lazer e desporto.” It says, in subsection c, that people with
disabilities have the right to:
c) ...acesso a locais destinados a atividades ou serviços culturais, tais como
teatros, museus, cinemas, bibliotecas e serviços de turismo e, tanto quanto
possível, a monumentos e locais de importância cultural nacional.
It is clear that those who wrote the decree were not entirely ignorant this article.
Yet they seem to have been unable to overcome the handicap of “assistencialismo”
that betrays the “autonomia” they promote for our community of people with
disabilities. The Minister of Sport sits on the Grupo Interministerial de Articulação e
Monitoramento. Failure to include the Ministério do Turismo means that PlanoViver
sem Limite has ignored the chance to make its accomplishments sustainable. Their
failure is that they are unable to strategize and deploy resources at the highest levels
and to use Turismo Inclusivo as the economic engine to pay for maintenance of the
accessible infrastructure the Plano mandates.
I am not Brazilian. I am not a consultant in Brazil. But I nominate the Secretario de
Turismo do Ceara, Bismark Maia to serve in this group and, if my campaign fails.., Pois
é. Somos imparáveis. Voto para ele implantar o PlanoViver sem Limite de uma forma
integrada com a gestão de turismo inclusivo aqui no Ceara. Façamos o seguinte:
Follow the example of Socorro in Sao Paulo:
● Select an already successful tourism category, develop a plan to make it
inclusive, and petition to become a Destinação Turística Referencial.
Follow the example of Australia:
● Collect baseline data on accessibility of the built environment and the travel
behavior of residents and visitors with disabilities.
Follow the example of Mexico City:
● Create a pool of Cearenses with disabilities to serve as goodwill ambassadors
at tourism conferences, greeters at airports, and advisors to government and
Follow the example of Mozambique:
● Host an international conference on Inclusive Tourism as a tool for economic
development benefiting persons with disabilities.
Follow the example of South Africa in preparation for World Cup 2010:
● Run a series of familiarization tours of Ceará for journalists with disabilities
and travel agents who specialize in serving seniors and those with disabilities.
Include athletes with disabilities also.
Dominate the advantages given to you by World Cup 2014 and Olympic Games in Rio
● Implement trainings on inclusive tourism for the receptive tourism and
destination marketing experts of Ceará.
● Develop a strategic plan and solid partnerships to attract Paralympian fans to
Ceará in 2016 before and after the Games.
● Develop a strategic plan to attract disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) to
hold their international meetings in Fortaleza during the post-World Cup tourist
[Play in background]: Fortaleza: Our Destination of Choice
Look to the future but plan for it meticulously now.
“The extent to which [travel that intentionally accommodates persons with
disabilities] has become big business has been documented in nationwide surveys by
the Open Doors Organization (2002, 2005) in the United States and Kéroul (2001)
The Open Doors surveys determined that US citizens alone were spending $13.6 billion
each year on travel.
“This does not, however, mean this market is now viewed uniformly through
the lens of “economic opportunity.” The medical or charity model of disability
[– assitencialismo -] still holds sway in whole regions of the globe and among
many entities and even sectors of the tourism industry.”
The unique opportunity for Ceará is to assume the national leadership role and define
itself as torch-bearer for inclusive destination on a state-wide level. There are customers
There are three steps to creating that legacy:
1. Make World Cup 2014 accessible and inclusive;
2. Make Olympic Games 2016 accessible and inclusive;
3. Reassemble the accessible and inclusive legacies of 2014 and 2016 into an
engine of inclusive tourism that shows an accessible and inclusive Brazil as a
destination of choice for the whole world.
What can we learn from World Cup 2010? How did South Africa build a legacy for
People with Disabilies? Two years after World Cup 2010 tourism to South Africa is
surging while the rest of the world suffers from the bad economy.
For one thing, South Africa started early with planning. Transportation, lodging,
stadium accessibility, appropriate information in accessible formats, and proper training
of volunteers were considered essential to World Cup success.
Disabled people’s organizations from across South Africa moved as rapidly as possible
to finalize hotel accessibility norms for the country’s Star Rating system. However,
before World Cup 2010, the Star Rating group failed to train enough inspectors to
do accessibility assessments at hotels. The system design itself caused problems for
travelers. It failed to require accessibility at hotels from all price levels. South Africa
also failed to create a national online repository of accessibility information that was
available to visitors or travel industry professionals.
At the same time disabled people from cities all across South Africa reported to me
that transportation for World Cup 2010 was done well and continues to improve for
PwD. Buses and vans were fitted with wheelchair lifts. This advice came to me from the
accessibility expert who oversaw construction of Cape town’s soccer stadium:
When you host the World Cup or any major event, you must host it successfully
and according to the requirements of the tournament. But if you’re investing
public money, make sure it benefits your city, what are the long terms goals
for the city, what are the things you would really like to improve as far as the
running of your city and the quality of life for the residents. So the World Cup
gave us the opportunity for a new stadium, but it improved our road … It is
now giving us a public bus transport system, which we need because our carbon
footprint is too high and the congestion on the roads is not productive. It’s
giving us added capacity at the airport and at the [train] station, which is exactly
right for handling more tourists. What happened with the World Cup is that the
national government, the provincial government and the local city government
were all in a team to deliver a successful World Cup. There was alignment,
energy and unity of purpose.
This work of promoting Inclusive Tourism at the professional level is not completely
new but it is young and we are looking for leaders. The Society for Accessible
Tourism (SATH) has been gathering travel agents for more than 20 years. We began
the International Conference on Inclusive Tourism (ICAT) in 2005 in Taiwan; The
2007 conference was hosted by the United Nations. The region also includes several
independent conferences NICAN in Australia, TRANSED in India, i-CREATE,
REATECH-Asia and national conferences specifically on Inclusive Tourism like
Malaysia will hold their first conference in October.
There are other ideas available for Ceará to adopt.
In 2004 the Convention & Tourism Bureau of Perth, Australia began promoting a
project they had perfected. They became convincing advocates for hotel accessibility.
First, they refused to promote and contract with hotels that did not aggressively remove
architectural barriers. Second, they offered incentives to those who did. If a hotel would
agree to reinvest 15% of their profits into accessibility projects the Convention Bureau
would waive that hotel’s membership fees and represent them for free.
In 2009, just before World Cup 2010 in South Africa, a new program was conceived by
the Marketing Director for the Province of KwaZulu Natal where Durban is the capital.
In 2010 he became Director of the Durban Convention & Tourism Bureau. At that point
he implemented this project. It involved convincing major disability organizations to
take advantage of the country’s investments in new accessible infrastructure by holding
their international conferences in Durban. They were successful. The 16th World
Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf was held in Durban in July 2011.
[Show]: Accessible Copa 2014 Logo
What should Brazil do?
● Assure that Brazilian law related to people with disability is known by citizens
and obeyed in construction and public behavior.
● Implement World Cup 2014 and Rio 2016 as preliminary steps to a society
where social inclusion of people with disabilities is common.
● Include implementation of Article 30 of the UN Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities by adding the Minister of Tourism to leadership of the
Viver Sem Limites project.
● Continue to recruit and train Brazilians with disabilities into the travel and
● Train and certify Brazilians with disabilities, and others, to professionally audit
the accessibility of the built environment in accordance with Brazilian norms.
● Develop and maintain an online database of accessible hotel rooms and
conference facilities throughout the country.
● Systematically insert material on Inclusive Tourism into trainings and
documents on destination development into a series of Ministry of Tourism
documents. Review policies affecting destination development for alignment to
the best practices promoted in these documents.
● Revisit Brazil’s implementation of Roteirização from the perspective of
accessibility for people with disabilities.
● Adopt the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT) Code of Good
Conduct. The Code is the first and only international labeling scheme for the
promotion of ethical business standards in making tourism inclusive of all. The
Code consists of 8 guiding principles which businesses and organizations
follow and does not conflict with national building code or accessibility grading
Come on, Ceara! Let’s go, Brazil. Accessibility is the result of design. Inclusion is an
act of choice. Let’s work together to leave a legacy. Let’s be unstoppable!