Eric founded Open Doors Organization (ODO) after personally experiencing the restrictions that people with disabilities face in everyday life due to lack of awareness and accessibility. In the 21 years since, he has assisted countless companies in the travel, tourism and transportation industries to better serve the disability community. As much of ODO’s work is in aviation, Eric has extensive knowledge of the operational intricacies of providing service to air travelers with disabilities. In addition to providing training, conducting research for ACRP and contributing to a variety of national and international advisory boards, ODO holds annual closed-door Symposia for Airline Service Companies and Airlines and hosts a biennial Universal Access in Airports (UAIA) event to foster the industry-wide exchange of innovations and best practices. ODO also conducts the only national market study of adult travelers with disabilities, most recently in 2020, with detailed analysis of air travel frequency, spending and barriers.
Assistance Services at US Airports
Since responsibility for assistance in U.S. airports has remained the responsibility of the airlines, service companies there face different challenges than in Europe. Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organization, will briefly describe how this impacts the individual companies as well as the travelers with disabilities they serve. While the collapse of demand during the pandemic was devastating just as in Europe, the 2021 surge in domestic air travel has presented new challenges. Eric will share information sourced directly from airline service companies on the current status quo.
Read about all the speakers and register for the event here