Conference paper
Accessible and inclusive tourism and recreation : practices of universal design in Sweden

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Author list: Ankre, Rosemarie;Godtman Kling, Kristin;Wall-Reinius, Sandra
Publication year: 2019

Abstract

Lack of accessibility limits participation in tourism and outdoor activities for people with disabilities. Previous research has recognized that the tourism industry does little to identify and accommodate the specific demands and preferences of people with disabilities. Through universal design, products, communications and physical environments can be used, accessed and understood by all people regardless of age, ability or disability. Disability is a social construction where social and physical contexts act towards excluding persons with disabilities. It remains a challenge for both public and private actors to make tourism environments and products conducive toward disabilities.

In this project, access to different types of Swedish recreational outdoor environments for people with disabilities are studied to outline key aspects for improving accessible tourism strategies among outdoor recreation companies and public authorities. The project also includes an in-depth study of Östersund municipality to increase knowledge about accessibility, recreation and health for people with disabilities, with a focus on how social inclusion can be strengthened locally. The project will discuss examples of solutions for eliminating barriers in order to allow equal participation.

This presentation includes a literature review relating to obstacles to participation, mobility, accessibility and inclusion in tourism and outdoor recreation. We will also present initial ideas on data collection but also stakeholder collaboration between people with disabilities, experts on accessibility and universal design, public and private actors, and researchers. This will enable us to identify promising practices of how actors can collaborate and develop products by making environments more accessible.


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