Ir. Joseph Kwan, HK
– Chair, International Commission on Technology & Accessibility, Rehabilitation Int.

JOSEPH KWAN is an Architect and Access Consultant with more than 36 years of experience in architectural practice having worked in Australia, the United Kingdom, France and now 28 years in Hong Kong. He specializes in universal design and access to the built environment, transportation and inclusive tourism.

He was a Consultant to the United Nations – Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) on Non-Handicapping Environments for People with Disabilities, and also their Expert/Resource Person on Barrier-Free Tourism in Asia and the Pacific.
He has been the Director of the International Union of Architects (UIA), Work Program on “Architecture and the Disabled” for 12 years, and is currently the Chairman of ARCASIA (Architects Regional Council of Asia) Committee on Social responsibility.

He participated in the ISO (International Standards Organization) Working Group on the drafting of a new Standard on “Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment” 2011, and also as a Member of the International Steering Committee for TRANSED (International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons) since 2001.

He is a Member of the Hong Kong Government’s Rehabilitation Advisory Committee – Sub-Committee on Access since 1988 and a Member of the Working Group on Access of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Hong Kong.

Anna Laura Grazia,
President of European Network on Accessible Tourism.

ANNA GRAZIA LAURA has a long experience in promoting the rights of people with disabilities within CO.IN. (Cooperative Integrate Onlus and then Consorzio Sociale COIN), an organisation involved in creating job opportunities for people with disabilities, also through accessible tourism, where she had the responsibility to develop the Group’s Tourism Dept. at national and international level.

She is presently responsible for Int.’l relations and European projects and represents CO.IN in several EU funded projects and international organisations.

Since 2009 she is a member of the Commission for the development and promotion of accessible tourism , set up by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, where she participated to the study groups on Training and Accessibility.

Dr. Scott Rains, USA
Consult Tourism & Development Sectors On Disability.

SCOTT RAINS writes daily on travel and tourism industry issues of interest to people with disabilities. His work appears online at www.RollingRains.com and in: New Mobility, Emerging Horizons, Venture, Brave New Traveler, Accessible Portugal, Audacity, Travel and Transitions, eTur Brazil, Success & Ability and Disaboom among others.

In 2009 he was selected as Person of the Years in the US by New Mobility magazine. For his research on the topic of Universal Design and the travel and hospitality industry he was appointed as Resident Scholar at the Center for Cultural Studies of the University of California Santa Cruz (2004-05).

Saowalak Thongkuay,
Thailand – Regional coordinator for Mekong, Abilis  Foundation

SAOWALAK THONGKUAY is Regional Coordinator for Abilis Foundation Mekong Regional Office, based in Bangkok. She was Regional Development Officer of the Disabled Peoples’ International Asia Pacific Region (DPI-AP). She graduated Master degree of Education Program in Human Resource Development from Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand. She achieves an outstanding woman to promote women human rights from The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Royal Thai Government in 2008. She has been involved with numerous projects in the government and NGO sectors in Thailand to promote and strengthen the human rights of people with disabilities, and in particular to develop the network of women with disabilities at the regional and sub-regional level.

Hideto Kijima,
Japan Accessible Tourism Center

HIDETO KIJIMA is a Japanese born and lives in Osaka, Japan. He had his  spinal cord injury T-11 by rugby accident since 17 years old.  He is a wheelchair traveller visiting over 100 countries in the world alone.  He is a writer / accessible consultant / motivational speaker .

1997 – 2004 Advertisement agency “DENTSU” as a marketing planner

2004 – “ Barrier Free Institute “ chief executive.

2011 – “ Japan Accessible Tourism Center ” president

Veneranda Mateo
President , Philippine International Network on Accessible Tourism

Studied Bachelor of Science in Business Administration University of the East Manila 1976.

Advocate of PWD  Rights and Universal Design for Inclusive Tourism

2015     Vice Chairman    Local Poverty Reduction Team (newly elected )

2014     President              Philippine International Network on Accessible Tourism

2009 —2014    President     Valenzuela Persons with Disability Federation Inc.

2012—2014     KMBPI PWD Head-Officer   Katipunan ng Mamamayan ng Bagong Pilipinas

Adela Kono
Organization of Rehabilitative Advocates for Inclusion (ORAI)

ADELA KONO is a polio survivor using wheelchair. She graduated from Business Management from University of the Philippines, Cebu.  Adela Attended JICA’s training Course for Disabled Persons in 1989 in Japan

& studied accessibility. She called for use of  Universal Design For Barrier–‐Free Environments & Tourism (BFT) and amendments of Accessibility Law.

Adela has done access audits and Technical guidance to major buildings. Given the Apolinari  Mabini Outstanding Woman with Disability Award in 2008 by President Arroyo for helping make Cebu City one of the most disabled-friendly in the country.

Adela worked with Cebu Provincial Councilor Sitoy to pass the 1st BFT Provincial Ordinance on August 18, 2011.  She Introduced BFT to the Department of Tourism resulting in the inclusion of barrier‐ free specifications in hotel accreditation requirements nationwide.  Worked with CebuCity Councilor Dizon to pass the 1st BFT City Ordinance on May 14, 2014.

EL Houssaine Ichen,
Jurney Beyond Travel, Morocco

EL HOUSSEIN ICHEN was born in Tounfite, a rural area in the mountains of Morocco in North Africa. He contracted polio at the age of three and since then has had to use crutches to walk. This impairment couldn’t slow down Houssaine as he enjoys trekking, showing tourists his homeland in Morocco, and being an active participant for change in his country.

Houssaine speaks a local Amazigh (Berber) dialect, Arabic, French, English, and some Dutch. He works with a renowned tour operator known as Journey Beyond Travel with the mission to develop and champion accessible tourism in Morocco.

Dr BongKoo Lee,
Professor, Department of International Tourism, DongEui University, Busan, South Korea

DR BONG KOO LEE is a Professor at the Department of International Tourism, DongEui University, Busan, South Korea.

He is a of Tourism Sciences Society of Korea, and specializes in the field of Interest on Accessible Tourism, Tourist Behavior. Dr Lee aims to introduce existing status of accessible transportation, accessible places of interest, current status of tourism industry, and future accessibility plan in Korea and, thereby to share useful information with other countries.

Chong Wey Lin,
Department of Communication & Technology National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

CHONG WEY LIN has been working as professor in the department of communication and technology at National Chiao Tung University Taiwan since 2005. With multiple academic trainings in both social and information science, he launched the Digital Creativity and Marketing Strategy Lab in 2006 and set up the OurCityLove Social Enterprise, and devoted himself in developing social participatory mechanism and creative operation models for smart living industries and social enterprises.

Wong Yoon Loong, Manager
Centre for Accessibility, National Council For The Blind, Malaysia. (NCBM)

WONG YOON LOONG is currently the Manager for the Centre for Accessibility, Research and Empowerment for the Blind at the National Council for the Blind, Malaysia (NCBM). He is also the Editor of the East Wind which is the newsletter of the World Blind Union Asia-Pacific (WBUAP) and their web master. Prior to this, he was the principal of the Gurney Training Centre for the Blind in Kuala Lumpur from 2001 – 2006 and the Training and Support Services Manager of St. Nicholas’ Home Penang from 2006 – 2008.

He has vast experience in work for the blind and persons with disabilities especially in the areas of special education, employment, ICT, accessibility, advocacy and public awareness. He has coordinated many projects in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Awarded the Takeo Iwahashi Award 2013 by the Nippon LightHouse in recognition of their outstanding services for the blind and visually impaired in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Paul Gerarts,
Friends of George Town Heritage, (NCBM).

PAUL GERARTS was born in Antwerp, Belgium. He is retired and have been living  in Malaysia for 8 years. Paul was trained as a volunteer heritage guide for George Town World Heritage Inc under Friends of George Town Heritage. He is a volunteer at St Nicholas Home for the Blind in Penang, Malaysia.

Yam Tong Woo, Co-founder
Adult Blind Association of Selangor, Malaysia

YAM TONG WOO, Master of Science Degree in Automotive Engineering (UK) had many years in senior management in his career and had traveled extensively during his career, mainly in the heavy equipment industry. Whilst in Kunming, China in year 2008, he contracted a severe bacterial infection which resulted in blindness in both eyes.

He is actively advocating for better access to build environment, public transportation, and information for the disabled. He was a member of the Petaling Jaya City Council technical committee on facilities for the elderly and disabled for 3 years, involved in accessibility audit exercises and improvements on behalf of MBPJ.

He is also a member of the DBKL accessibility audit team. He co-founded the Adult Blind Association of Selangor in year 2012, bridging darkness with hope for the adults, affected by sight loss, and their care givers.

Ibrahim Abu-Helil,
MENA-ENAT Regional Representative, Jordan.

IBRAHIM ABU-HELIL is currently the MENA-ENAT Regional Representative. Prior spent more than 25 years in tourism, first as a Kitchen boy & Barman: Later became Head of Tourism Section Aqaba-Jordan, President Advisor Arab Tourism Organization (ATO) Saudi Arabia, Programs Coordinator ATO/UNWTO, President Advisor Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority-Jordan, Programs Coordinator EU Commission-Spain, IPPF Regional Advisor/ North Africa.

He taught tourism courses in UK, Jordan, Spain & Lebanon universities. Obtained MPhil from UCL UK, MSC from LSE & MMD from EAMS Spain & BA Jordan University.

Jacky Hsu, Sunable, Taiwan.

JACKY HSU, graduated in Master of Physiotherapy National Yang-Ming University School of cum Assistive Technology, Taiwan. He is currently the Director-General- Taipei Association for the Promotion of resources affect the line, “Committee of the Taipei City Government to promote barrier-free environment.“, “Taipei City Government public buildings accessible Advisory Review Panel committee, Urban roads accessible pedestrian environment exploration plan evaluation committee, Member- Ministry of Culture with disabilities, Sub-committee of Taoyuan County, disability rights and interests, Forest Service National Forest Recreation Area Accessibility vetting plan collaborative moderator and Forest Service National Forest Recreation Area Accessible Travel Promotion Program host environment.

Herbert Affendi Wong bin Abdullah, Chairman
Pertubuhan Pencinta Air Terjun Selangor, Malaysia. (PPATS)

HERBERT AFFENDI WONG, Chairman of PPATS. Focus on conservation and preservation of waterfalls in Malaysia. Conduct Sustainable Waterfalls Adoption Program and Save Our Waterfalls Campaign to educate the public to love our mother nature.

Abha Negi


Abha Negi is a communications person and comes with a rich background of heading several crucial communication assignments. She currently heads Group Corporate Communications at Jindal SAW Ltd. Besides communications, she also heads Svayam, a CSR initiative of Jindal SAW and devotes extensive time, resources and energy to realize the initiative’s mandate of making public infrastructure accessible/barrier free to all including the elderly and disabled and is working closely with various government bodies like NDMC, ASI, DTC, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India for the same. She is trained in “Non-Handicapping Environment” at Asia Pacific Development Centre on Disability (APCD) Bangkok, Thailand. She is also one of the Directors at ARUNIM – (Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative of Marketing that aims at empowering people with disability.

She is also an avid writer and has written many interesting articles on various areas which have been published in leading national dailies.

Dr. Mohamed Salama El Shaer



Dr. Mohamed El Shaer, has twenty years experience in field of tourism. He holds a D.B.A majoring: Accessible Tourism Development.

Dr. Mohamed is CEO of MSG Holdings-Blue sky travel GRP-Bright Sky Travel-Blue sky transport-Sky Limo- Kafficho-BlueWaves.

MOB: Royal Makadi Investment-Festival international-Sentido hotel management-Sunrise Hotels & Cruises-Oasis investments

Owner and MOB: Med 2 Heal -AMC Hospital-Madina Hospital