Under The Spotlight: Isabelle Ducharme, Member Of Destinations For All Steering Committee
Isabelle Ducharme, chairwoman of the board of directors of Kéroul and co-president of Destinations for All Summit 2018, affirms that the goal of Destinations for All is to put an end to the fight for accessibility and to ensure it is assumed automatically into every sector of society.
Tell us more about KEROUL
Kéroul was founded in 1979 and is the key consultant for Tourisme Québec regarding accessibility. It is a non-profit organization which, through information and lobbying, promotes and develops accessible tourism and culture.
The organization also works with governments and private businesses to increase accessibility. It offers a range of services such as evaluation and certification, consultation, hospitality training, and publications.
What is the global mission of the organisation?
Kéroul wishes to share its expertise with other decision-makers and non-profit organizations to make sure that all countries work towards a world of accessible tourism using the tools we have developed and adapting them to their specific requirements.
What is your role?
I have been president of the board of the organization for nearly ten years. Other than the usual responsibilities of a president, I do a lot of representation as well as keeping in touch with the disability community.
You have joined the newly formed steering committee of Destinations for All (DFA). How and why did you choose to get involved in the continuation of DFA?
Kéroul’s founder and director, Andre Leclerc, was the instigator of the first Destinations for All Summit held in Montreal in 2014. The first objective was to move from talk to action. The declaration “A World for Everyone” to be signed by all individuals, organizations and decision-makers willing to work on improving tourism accessibility, was one of the ways of establishing a commitment to concrete actions. After the success of the first edition, it was evident that we needed to have further editions to confirm the industry is moving forward.
Destinations for All is deeply appreciative of your long-standing involvement. What is your ultimate goal for this sector?
Kéroul hopes that its products and services for accessible tourism, throughout the world, will be included automatically in the planning stages of all new built environment and services developments. The ultimate goal is that we should no longer have to fight for accessibility. That it should be seen as an essential commodity with a lucrative value, is likely to be on the board of Destinations for All agenda for many years to come.
What can we expect, and what does KEROUL hope to achieve in the long-term?
The board aims to bring together more countries, decision-makers and organizations to each new summit. It is the best place to share actions that work and to learn from the success of others. We also want to hold the event in a different country every time to ensure that we reach as many people as we can in order to attain universal accessibility.