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Accessible Air Travel Survey

Share Your Accessible (Or Not) Air Travel Stories

Large North American airline seeking feedback from people with disabilities that have had good and bad accommodation experiences on any airline. The survey results will be used in the development of an online training program for airline staff supporting travelers with disabilities. Please click the link below to participate. Thank you for your time and consideration. https://tinyurl.com/AccessibleAirTravelSurvey

TRISH ROBICHAUD
trish@changingpaces.com

Canadian Transportation Agency Announces Plans to Enhance Accessibility of Canada’s National Transportation System

PR NewswireJune 21, 2019

GATINEAU, QC, June 21, 2019 /CNW/ – Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act , which received Royal Assent today, will provide the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) with new tools to help advance the accessibility of the national transportation system.

Once in force, this legislation will provide the CTA with:

  • own motion powers to initiate investigations, upon approval of the Minister of Transport, regardless of whether a formal complaint has been made;
  • new power to award compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and willful or reckless practice when an adjudication finds that there was an undue barrier to the mobility of persons with disabilities. This power to award compensation aligns with that of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal;

Global Apex Body of Airline Operators Passes Key Resolutions to Make Travel More Accessible

Originally posted June 4 2019

Improving airline infrastructure and facilities for people with disabilities, global deployment of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for baggage tracking and facilitating implementation of biometrics based One ID process were some of the key resolutions passed on Sunday at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global apex body of airline operators, in Seoul.

The resolution means that global airlines and airports will work together to ensure that wheelchair assistance to passengers increases. Airlines will also work with passenger associations, airports, ground handlers, and regulators to ensure that there is no damage to the mobility aids of passengers who travel with their own aids.

Province in British Columbia, Canada to Develop Online Tool to Track Accessible Parking Spaces

May 28, 2019

An online tool to track accessible parking spaces is being developed by Richmond Centre for Disability (RCD), thanks to a $28,000 provincial grant they received last year.

The province is once again calling for grant proposals for community projects that improve accessibility for the second year running, the province is giving out a total of $500,000 in grants.

“Every day, people with disabilities overcome barriers that could otherwise impact their lives,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, in a press release. “Organizations across B.C. are working to embrace diversity, create equal opportunities and improve social inclusion.”

Lyft Fights to Avoid Americans with Disabilities Act in Federal Court

By SAMANTHA MALDONADO
May 2, 2019 06:16 PM EDT

Lyft argues it should not be subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and is fighting a federal class action lawsuit filed in Westchester County on the grounds that “it is not in the transportation business.”

It’s an argument long employed by app-based companies like Lyft and Uber, and it’s one that experts in the field continue to scoff at.

According to their public filings their mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,” said former New York City Taxi Commissioner Meera Joshi. “Or maybe it should be improving some people’s lives because throughout the country most passengers that use a wheelchair still can’t get a Lyft.”

Apps, Badges and 3D Rendering: Steps Being Taken to Improve Rail Accessibility

April 29 2019

In the not-too-distant past rail, the considerations afforded to passengers with mobility issues or those whom require special assistance can sometimes be found lacking. For obvious reasons, having to travel when negotiating steps, stairs and trains that the majority of the travelling public find straightforward can make the idea of using public transport quite daunting.

Thankfully though attitudes are changing in this area, with operators, infrastructure manufacturers and technology developers increasingly making accessibility for this section of the community more included.

Illustrating this change in mindset, the UK government has this month announced a £300 million initiative to bring accessibility improvements to 73 train stations, upgrading ticket counters so theyre adjustable for those in wheelchairs and installing lifts.

‘I Had to Crawl’: Amputee Seeks Damages After United Airlines and Airport Security Seize Scooter Batteries

CATSA apologizes, United offers travel certificate; WestJet offers credit in separate incident Erica Johnson · CBC News · Posted: Apr 28, 2019

Stearn Hodge says he’s ‘had enough’ of airport security agents and airlines trying to take away the batteries for his portable scooter a disability violation. He’s fighting to take United Airlines, WestJet and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Stearn Hodge says he will never forget the humiliation of having to drag his body across a hotel room floor during what was supposed to be a vacation celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary because a security agent at the Calgary International Airport and United Airlines confiscated the batteries he needed to operate a portable scooter.

Autonomous Vehicle Design Should Benefit Broader Group of Potential Drivers

April 1, 2019
cstdenis@itsa.org

New ITS America Report Underscores Need for AVs to be Accessible, Inclusive.

Washington At a time when major automakers are planning to deploy greater numbers of autonomous vehicles (AVs), they have a unique opportunity to ensure people with disabilities have access to this transformational technology.
That is one of the conclusions of “Designing the Future of Transportation for People with Disabilities,” released today by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America).

The report calls for key players in the transportation, healthcare and consumer electronics fields to work together to encourage manufacturers to produce accessible designs for automated vehicle systems and notes that developing standards and focusing on universal design must happen now.

Proposed Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations now published in Part I of the Canada Gazette

March 11, 2019 Gatineau, QC Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) today announced that its proposed Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR) are now published in Part I of the Canada Gazette for public review and comment.

The proposed regulations consolidate the CTA’s various accessibility instruments including six voluntary codes and two regulations – to create a single, robust, legally binding set of accessible transportation regulations.

The CTA consulted extensively with persons with disabilities and industry, including members of its Accessibility Advisory Committee, as well as the general public, on which regulatory measures can help make the federal transportation network more accessible for persons with disabilities.

Uber enlists outside help to improve wheelchair-accessible rides

It’s aiming to keep wait times down to 15 minutes or less
Mallory Locklear, @mallorylocklear
November 20, 2018

Uber has found itself in hot water multiple times over its lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs), and now it’s teaming up with another company in order to better serve passengers with disabilities. It’s partnering with MV Transportation, a company that provides paratransit services across the US and Canada, and is bringing MV Transportation’s WAV fleet to eight cities.

Passengers Taken Off Flight Due to Guide Dogs Allege Discrimination

by Adrian Ghobrial and News Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 2018 at 7:56 am EST

Two visually-impaired Toronto women will have their complaint investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal more than three years after they were removed from a flight at Pearson airport because of their service dogs.

Friends Amal Haddad and Nayla Farah and Farahs daughter had booked a round trip to Stockholm on Jet Airways, departing July 1, 2015, with a stopover in Brussels on the way over.

Farah, who has been travelling the world with a seeing-eye dog for years, said she and Haddad made sure they had all their papers in order before arriving at the airport.

Sydney Woman With Disabilities Said She Was Carried on Air Canada Jet

Sharon Montgomery-Dupe (sharon.montgomery@cbpost.com)
Published: Oct 18 at 10:22 p.m.

A Sydney woman said she recently took the jet as a start to an exciting vacation but because they had no proper means of boarding a passenger with disabilities she was carried aboard, which was humiliating and dangerous.

Air travel is under federal jurisdiction

SYDNEY, N.S. It was a dream vacation that began with a nightmare.

Marcie Shwery-Stanley recently boarded an Air Canada jet by being carried up a steep set of stairs by three men.

“I was not only frightened to death, it was very demeaning,” said the Sydney woman who needs a wheelchair to get around. “It was a terrible experience and I’m looking into making a formal complaint.

The New York City Subway’s Accessibility Problem

Broken elevators, muffled announcements, a lack of Braille the transit system can be commuting chaos for riders with disabilities Oct 21, 2018
By Brit McCandless Farmer

With 472 stations in total, the New York City subway is one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world. It’s also one of the least accessible: Only 25 percent of the stations are designated wheelchair accessible, the lowest rate of wheelchair accessibility for any heavy rail system in the U.S.

Bike-Lane Bus Stops Dangerous for Blind: Suit

Bill Cleverley / Times Colonist
July 6, 2018

The City of Victoria and B.C. Transit have put the lives of blind pedestrians at risk by moving bus stops away from the curb to accommodate bike lanes, claims the Canadian Federation of the Blind.

“It’s a Russian Roulette game,” said Oriano Belusic, 56, who is named in the complaint that the federation is making with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against the city and transit, claiming discrimination against the visually impaired.

He cited a close call he had in a bike lane in March.

‘Disappointing and Frustrating’: Air Travel Accessibility Highlighted at Winnipeg Passenger Rights Meeting

CBC News · Posted: Jun 25, 2018

Jesse Turner, who uses a wheelchair, says she loves to travel but hasn’t flown for months because of concern following severe damage to her chair during a flight last summer.

A national forum on air travel passenger rights in Canada heard from Winnipeggers on Monday, including a presentation from one woman who said she hasn’t flown for months following serious damage to her wheelchair on a flight last summer.

Jesse Turner, who works as an accessibility advisor in Winnipeg, told the Canadian Transportation Agency that even before the incident 10 months ago, her wheelchair has been damaged regularly during loading and unloading for air travel.

Mobility Devices and Air Travel Forum

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) will host an international forum on June 12-13, 2018, in Toronto, in order to address issues related to the storage and transportation of mobility aids on aircraft.

The CTA is Canada’s longest-standing independent, expert tribunal and regulator. One of its core mandates is to ensure that transportation services are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve undertaken a major initiative to modernize all the regulations, codes and guidelines we administer, starting with those in the area of accessible transportation. In the course of the consultations and analysis related to this initiative, it became clear that these issues are becoming more serious as mobility devices grow in size and complexity.

Travel With Ease: How Singapore Is Catering to Visitors with Special Accessibility Needs

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA: With an aging population, Singapore has been tackling accessibility needs head-on with a series of changes to the city’s infrastructure. Today, it’s one of the most travel-friendly cities in the world for those with accessibility needs, so if you’re looking for delicious Asian food and a cultural adventure, Singapore makes a great vacation destination. New York travel company AllTheRooms has the lowdown on how Singapore has become a top, accessible vacation destination.

Lyft Sued for Discriminating Against Wheelchair-Users

Berkeley, CA (March 13, 2018)

Today, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) filed a major class action lawsuit against Lyft, challenging the popular ride-sharing service’s failure to make wheelchair-accessible vehicles available in the Bay Area through its rideshare service.

The suit, brought by a coalition of a disability rights group and individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the first legal challenge to Lyft’s wheelchair-inaccessibility on its home turf. The plaintiffsIndependent Living Resource Center of San Francisco and two individuals who use wheelchairs brought this action to end Lyft’s discriminatory practices and policies.

Lyft does not provide wheelchair-accessible transportation in the Bay Area. The case challenges Lyft’s failure to provide wheelchair-accessible service as a violation of California anti-discrimination laws.

Are Autonomous Vehicles Ready to Help the Blind?

April 16, 2018

New research conducted outside of the auto industry aims to develop data and software to ensure that the needs of the blind are met when autonomous cars become commonplace.

In 2012, Steve Mahan, who is blind, climbed into the driver’s seat of a self-driving car and rolled up to the drive-thru of a Taco Bell in a video viewed more than 8 million times.

Produced by Google, the video captured the potential of autonomous-car technology to change the lives of the visually impaired.

“It was my first time behind the steering wheel in seven years and was absolutely amazing,” Mr. Mahan said.

Bill C-49 Empowers Goliath and Takes Away David’s Sling Shot

March 15, 2018 For Immediate Release

Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, will make some aspects of Canadas federally regulated transportation system more inaccessible than it already is for people with disabilities.

Travelers with disabilities routinely encounter accessibility barriers, such as damaged or delayed mobility equipment, kiosks without audio output to make them accessible to blind travelers.

If passed without amendment, Bill C-49 while adding new barriers will also make it harder for organizations like the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, a national organization that has been working for more than 40 years in support of an accessible and inclusive transportation system, to take complaints in the public interest to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).