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For People With Disabilities, Transportation is Getting More Expensive – If It’s Available at All

Alisha Dicks, CBC News
Posted: Nov 18, 2021

Living with a disability can sometimes be frustrating, expensive and isolating. But, as the CBC’s Alisha Dicks knows, it’s so much more than that. Her disability has taught her to think creatively and look at things from a different perspective. In her new series, Access with Alisha, she gives us a look into her life and helps break down barriers for others.

Recent record high gas prices are hitting people across Newfoundland and Labrador right in their bank accounts, but for people with disabilities, especially outside St. John’s, the cost of transportation is even higher – and sometimes there’s no access to transportation at all.

U.S. Justice Department Sues Uber for Allegedly Overcharging People With Disabilities

Christina Carrega
Published Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Customers with disabilities across the United States have been overcharged by Uber since 2016 for allegedly taking too long to load into their designated vehicle, according to a federal civil lawsuit the Justice Department filed on Wednesday.

Uber’s policies and practices of charging “wait time” fees for disabled passengers and potential passengers violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the lawsuit filed with the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

How the Netherlands’ Train System Works for the Visually Impaired

From apps that read what’s on the signs to staff who meet you at the door, the country has built one of the world’s most accessible railway networks. By: Anne Pinto Rodrigues
Reasons to Be Cheerful, November 4, 2021

“Anyone can go blind,” says 51-year-old Rik Wouters. As a young man, Wouters could see perfectly fine. But about 25 years ago, his vision gradually worsened due to a progressive eye disease. Today, Wouters, who lives in the Dutch city of Leiden, is entirely blind and works as an advocate for the visually impaired. “It just happens to you,” he says.

Class Action Takes Aim at Airfares for Persons With Disabilities

Claim filed by Paralympian and engineer alleges discriminatory pricing for seats on international flights August 20, 2021

Celebrated Paralympian Paul Gauthier and a Calgary engineer with quadriplegia are suing a group of Canadian airlines including Air Canada (TSX:AC) and WestJet, claiming in a class action that people with disabilities are subject to discriminatory air travel charges if they require more than one seat to accommodate their disabilities on international flights.

Gauthier and Christopher Reaume filed a notice of civil claim under the Class Proceedings Act in BC Supreme Court on August 3, naming Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge General Partner Inc., Chorus Aviation Inc., Jazz Aviation LP and WestJet as defendants.

Accessible Cabs Would Make a ‘Major Difference’ in Halifax

By: Stephen Wentzell
July 24, 2021

An accessible taxi-style service could soon be making its way to the Halifax Regional Municipality.

A new survey, launched Thursday, is looking for public feedback on a potential program anticipated to begin operations by the end of 2021. The municipality says survey responses will help inform the framework for how the service will operate.

The private, on-demand program would require the municipality to pay a fee to the contracted company to provide an accessible taxi-style service, while users will pay the standard rate for cab rides.

For disability rights activist, Vicky Levack, the program would make a major difference in her life.

‘You’ve got to keep pushing: CTA rules in woman’s favour over Regina bus accessibility

By Kelly Skjerven
Global News
Posted May 1, 2021

A Regina woman who uses a wheelchair filed a claim against Rider Express after an operator told her they could not accommodate her wheelchair on the bus.

After waiting over two years, a Regina woman who uses a wheelchair is happy the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled in her favour against a bus company.

In October 2018, Terri Sleeva called Rider Express Transportation to book a ride from Regina to Saskatoon for a date in November.

Sleeva told the operator that she uses a wheelchair and was told that the bus was not wheelchair accessible. The operator told Sleeva the company would be receiving wheelchair-accessible buses in the future but was not told a specific date.

Intel and AI Developer Create Backpack for Visually Impaired

By Ujala Chowdhry
April 20, 2021

What differentiates an animal from a machine are its mirror neurons, a set of neurons in an organism’s brain that is fired to perform a task based on the performance of self or others. Discovered in 1991, the research on mirror neurons is still going on, and the Giacomo Rizzolatti research group believes that these neurons are the biological basis of compassion and empathy.

Federal Appeals Court: Civil Rights Claims Against Uber Must Be Heard in Court

Originally Posted March 22, 2021

Pittsburgh, PA – Plaintiffs suing Uber for failing to provide transportation accessible to people with disabilities cannot be forced out of court and into arbitration, a federal court of appeals ruled on Wednesday. Read the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion at the link below.

The plaintiffs are people with disabilities who cannot use Uber’s on-demand transportation service in Pittsburgh because there are no wheelchair accessible vehicles available through Uber’s app.

The lawsuit, filed in 2019, seeks modifications to Uber’s policies and practices to ensure that the company makes wheelchair-accessible vehicles readily available to Pittsburgh riders who need them. Plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages.

Uber Ordered to Pay $1.1m to Blind Woman Refused Rides

BBC News, Apr. 2, 2021

Uber argued it was not liable because its drivers are contractors Uber has been ordered to pay $1.1m (£795,000) to a blind woman who was refused rides on 14 occasions.

Lisa Irving said on some occasions, drivers were verbally abusive, or harassed her about transporting her guide dog, Bernie, in the car.

One driver allegedly cut her trip short after falsely claiming to have arrived at her destination.

An independent arbitrator ruled Uber’s drivers had illegally discriminated against her due to her condition.

It rejected Uber’s claim that the company itself was not liable, because, it argued, its drivers had the status of contractors rather than employees.

Alaska Airlines Clamps Down on Emotional Support Animals on Flights

The airline says it will permit service dogs only, following a move by the U.S. Department of Transportation to reclassify the types of service animals allowed on flights.
Alaska Airlines said it would disallow emotional support animals on its flights starting Jan. 11. By Allyson Waller
Dec. 29, 2020

If you’re flying on Alaska Airlines starting in mid-January, don’t plan on boarding with your support pig or miniature horse.

The airline, acting in the wake of new federal guidelines aimed at reining in a range of at times exotic animals that passengers have brought onto commercial planes as emotional support animals, kept it simple in announcing on Tuesday what it would allow: only qualified service dogs that are able to lie on the floor or be held in one’s lap.