Accessible tourisms: a prize for who helps them be known

We often talk about accessible tourisms, a trend which is (luckily) increasingly establishing, witnessing a higher awareness towards everyone’s licit need and will to travel, discovering new countries and different cultures. By the way, several initiatives (even in Italy) demonstrate that paying attention to the tourists with “special needs” isn’t just a generous act, but also a forward-looking and profitable strategy: as a matter of fact, taking into account that, limiting our talk to people with any disability, we’re talking about a quarter of the world population, not thinking about ways to adequately welcome them too means renouncing to a not exactly unimportant market share.

accessible tourisms

But, there’s often an issue on the table: transmitting correctly the message about the importance of accessible tourisms and help all the existing services, structures and initiatives be known through mass media. From this need arises an initiative promoted by the non-profit organization Diritti Diretti: the Premio Turismi Accessibili (Accessible Tourisms Prize), precisely aiming to award journalists, advertisers and communications specialists who succeed in “overtaking the barriers”,  describing though radio-TV services, advertising campaigns, videos or communications campaigns entities which succeeded producing social and economic development, combining attractiveness, innovation, appearance and/or sustainability and accessibility culture.

Premio Turismi Accessibili - Accessible Tourisms Award

The Accessible Tourisms Prize, which has reached its third edition, is addressed to the existing accessibility, in the various categories of tourism: culture, food & wine, sports, conventions, sea, mountains, thermal baths, education, religion. The goal is to demonstrate, through concrete examples, to entrepreneurs and institutions that serious investments in accessibility can improve a territory and its touristic and cultural offer, resulting in an advantage both for tourists and residents and- what’s not a secondary issue- with important economic effects for the enterprises operating to this end.

how to participate in the accessible tourisms prize?

To participate, you must register, filling, by May 5th 2018, the form that’s available on the Accessible Tourisms Prize website. Among all the participants, two winners will be selected: the project which will receive more votes by the users will gain 1000 €, while the project selected by the experts’ panel will receive a plaque. For more details about the contest, please check its announcement.

PS. Move@bility runs for the award as well, with its article about “B&B Like Your Home“. You can vote for it following this link 

Advertising and diversity: is something changing?

We’ve stated many times, here, that media are essential in the process of removing cultural barriers and establishing a new disability culture. While fields such as cinema and fashion are taking important steps forward, approaching disability, and diversity as a whole, in a way that overturns many stereotypes from the past, advertising is still almost totally closed to people with a disability:  except for the Pubblicità Progresso campaigns and the well-known commercial with Checco Zalone, how many other examples of advertising with disabled people come up to your mind?


That’s true, there are campaigns aiming to eradicate stereotypes connected to the “ideal” beauty concept (an example for all: the Dove© campaign for Authentic Beauty ), but there’s still another step forward missing. Yet, at least 1/5 of the world population, today, has a disability: why keeping on excluding those people from advertising, which, logically, would be supposed to reflect all the sides of the world we live in?

But something seems to be changing. In the USA, for instance, there’s a lot of buzz (also thanks a massive usage of social media) around Changing the Face of Beauty, an association which aims to push brands to use in their adv campaigns also people with Down syndrome.

changing the face of beauty

Pictures taken from the Changing the Face of Beauty Facebook page

And what about Italy? As it often happens, unfortunately, it takes a while for our country to adopt Eatalysuch inputs. Yet, something is changing in our advertising as well. For instance, the picture issued on the Milanese edition of the national newspaper “la Repubblica” on November 1st, to advertise Eataly Smeraldo, the Milanese location of the well-known franchise of “made in Italy” restaurants and food and wine shops: for the first time, among the others, there’s also someone with Down syndrome, who precisely works there. Then, it isn’t a pietistic representation of disability, but an accurate portrayal of reality: the girl, as her other colleagues in the picture, is there as a professional, not to “show a disabled person” (and give themselves a good conscience, maybe arousing some buzz).

The real inclusion of everyone can be reached not just granting equal opportunities to access work, education, mobility, but also seeing on the mass media all the aspects of our community, including disabled people, in their daily normality, which, on closer view, isn’t that far from that of any other one.


“Rock, paper, scissors”: Google against bullying

In these days, while surfing the Internet, I’ve often bumped into a very beautiful and meaningful video: “Rock, paper, scissors”, the Android (the mobile operating system by Google) commercial against bullying. The commercial isn’t new, since it had been launched in February, during the last Oscar ceremony. But, since bullying is still a global issue, it’s always worth to watch it again and, above all, reflect on the profound meaning of the message it transmits.

Rock, paper, scissors”: who has never played this game, at least once, as a child? In the game, the three elements are, on one hand, able to cancel their opponent’ action, but, on the other hand, are exposed to it: for instance, the rock beats the scissors, but, meanwhile, it’s beaten by the paper. Only joining their own forces rock, paper and scissors can stand up to the external attacks.

Since the bully (or the bullies) leverage precisely the loneliness of the victim he has chosen, to hit her. And bullying is an issue that constantly affects children and kids of all ages, for very different reasons: disability, ethnic, sexual or, simply, behavioural or aesthetic differences are all factors that, marking a “diversity”, can make who represents them, unfortunately, as a sort of “menace”, to be removed from the picture that, according to the bullies, should represent “perfection”.

“Rock, paper, scissors” the commercial against bullying

So, what can we do? How to solve this problem? For sure, not pretending it doesn’t exist, judging bullying as “childish actions”, that will pass by themselves, as it, unfortunately, often happens. The only way to overtake bullying is, as the “Rock, paper, scissors” commercial recalls, joining our forces, not isolating the (even just potential) victims of bullying, staying close to them, making any possible effort to overthrow, through an inclusive culture, the barriers that separate from the “diverse” people.

Is the commercial with Checco Zalone truly “unfair”?

In these days, there’s a lot of buzz around the commercial with Checco Zalone for the fundraising to support the research about Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), promoted by Famiglie SMA no-profit organization.

Contrary to what usually happens in this kind of initiatives, the commercial with Checco Zalone doesn’t use pietistic tones, but leverages something the Apulian comedian is famous for: his ability to be desecrating. In the commercial, Zalone complains about his neighbour’s excesses. What’s new? The neighbour he’s talking about is Mirko, a kid with SMA who’s just moved to the building, forcing Zalone to modify his own habits: he loses his parking spaces, gets late at work or misses his flight because, due to architectonical barriers, the kid’s father has to do thousands of manoeuvres to enable him getting from the car to home and vice versa, can’t sleep because Mirko plays ‘til late with videogames, etc.

Mirko, in the commercial, isn’t described as a “poor guy” to help for pity, but as an “obstacle”: Zalone decides to fund the research wishing that, this way, Mirko gets better and sets him free from the issues he causes.

Famiglie SMA - commercial with Checco Zalone

Does it mean that the commercial with Checco Zalone is “unfair”? In my opinion, it’s exactly the opposite. Because it’s exactly this way we’d have to look at disability: enough with a limited-time compassion (which, very often, doesn’t change anything), welcome “normality”!

We don’t have to support the scientific research due to “pity”, but to help people that, for the better or for the worse, are exactly like everyone else. Then, maybe, also to “selfishly” solve a problem. The same approach should be adopted when looking at architectonical and cultural barriers,  that daily limit the life of many people, both disabled and not: their removal wouldn’t have to be a “courtesy” towards to people or categories to feel sorry for, but the outcome of the awareness that, without them, the world we’re all living in would definitely be better. For everyone.