Ambassadors and Board of Advisors
Danielle is our Ambassador for the Blind and Visually Impaired Worldwide.
She is also the strongest mother we know. The energy she has is enormously warm and contagious. Being of mom of 2, having a job, living a life like anybody else, she has the illness called Retinitis pigmentosa. This is a very progressive illness and causes blindness or severe loss of sight changed her life forever.
This amazing woman manages to live with this AND inspire so many others. She has made her appearance on regional and national media in the Netherlands. She learned to read braille, has an assistance dog, is very actively involved (she runs half marathons) in a sports organisation called the Running Blind, got her diploma as a professional sports masseuse and as of 2017 she will be our Ambassador for the Blind and Visually Impaired Worldwide.
The visually impaired people is the largest group within the community of people with disabilities and yet many improvements have to be made. The digital age has brought tremendous freedom and independence, as goes for accessibility online. Danielle will promote the importance of good lighting, braille products, and naturally assistance dogs for the blind, or guide dogs.
Helma Verhoeven is our Ambassador Assistance Dogs Worldwide. She travelled with her assistance dog Banios from her home in the south of the Netherlands to the residency of the Ministry of Health, in the Hague. Along the way, she wanted to stay at hotels and restaurants. They were refused many times.
Helma made it happen for assistance dogs to be recognised by law in the Netherlands for their owners, meaning that assistance dogs are not to be refused in any location.The assistance dog of Helma was trained at the BultersMekke Foundation. Assistance dogs are the difference between independence and always being dependent on other people. These specially trained dogs are very important. The BultersMekke foundation is a certified member of the Assistance Dogs Europe organisation (licensed by Assistance Dogs International (ADI).
She is available for interviews offline and online and is available as a motivational speaker on events for Accessible Travel Online.
Thank you Helma and Danielle, for your support to our mission!
Board of Advisors
Ruud Nijhout, strategic consultant and entrepreneur. Advisor for many international companies in consumer goods, financial services, travel & leisure. Considers ATO an inseparable part of the travel industry. An industry that still not fully recognizes that people with a physical handicap indeed travel (a lot) and represent an attractive sales potential.