Press Releases

ACI and Open Doors Organization to offer new workshops for US airports on passengers with reduced mobility

Montreal, 10 December 2015 – In order to enhance services and facilities for passengers with disabilities, Airports Council International (ACI) and Open Doors Organization (ODO) will offer a new series of workshops in the US for aviation managers and access coordinators. The first introductory-level workshop, Passengers with Reduced Mobility, is scheduled for 16–18 May 2016 in San Francisco. A second intermediate-level course, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of airport access coordinators, will launch in the third quarter of 2016. Additional workshops are to come in 2017.

These new training offerings represent a growing partnership between ACI and ODO, the aim of which is to help the aviation industry better accommodate travelers with disabilities or reduced mobility. At certain US hubs, airlines provide more than one million wheelchair assists per year. An eLearning course from ODO, Disability Sensitivity Training, has been offered through ACI’s Online Learning Centre for several years. Moreover, speakers from ODO regularly share their specialized knowledge at ACI events worldwide.

“The goal is great customer service for everyone,” notes ODO’s Executive Director and Founder Eric Lipp. “However, we know that providing an accessible, trouble-free air travel experience is no simple matter. It requires not only knowledge and expertise, but also detailed planning and design, a lot of cooperation and an ongoing commitment. At ODO we bring a unique perspective and passion to our training and I’m pleased that ACI is recognizing the need for access and helping us to reach the aviation professionals who can really make a difference.”

The Passengers with Reduced Mobility workshop will provide an introduction to US disability rights legislation, architectural accessibility standards, adaptive information technology and how to appropriately accommodate a wide range of passengers with disabilities. The interactive course will conclude with a walking tour of the airport, and will focus on accessibility elements such as how travelers with disabilities function and navigate within this complex environment. Additional details on this course, as well as the intermediate-level course focusing on the roles and responsibilities of airport access coordinators, will be available shortly.

“ACI has partnered with ODO on a number of occasions in the past, always to great effect, and these workshops are no exception,” says Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World. “Statistics from ODO’s most recent nationwide survey indicate that the number of passengers with reduced mobility moving through US airports is increasing. As an industry we want to ensure that air travel is a convenient and enjoyable experience for all travelers, and this initiative goes a long way toward reaching that goal.”

Notes to editors

1. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable.

2. Open Doors Organization (ODO), a non-profit organization based in Chicago, IL, was founded in 2000 for the purpose of teaching businesses how to succeed in the disability market and make their goods and services accessible. ODO focuses primarily on travel and tourism and has developed numerous training programmes for airports, airlines, airline service companies and ground handlers. ODO has hosted Universal Access in Airports biennially since 2006, a unique educational event which brings aviation stakeholders together to share best practices. To learn more about ODO’s aviation-related initiatives, visit the ODO website (

3. To download a pdf version of this media release, please click here.

Media contacts

Ryan White
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1226

Eric Lipp
Executive Director
Open Doors Organization
Telephone: 773 388 8839