In keeping with their pre-Thanksgiving tradition, Disability Rights Advocates of Berkleley announced their Eagle and Turkey awards last week. These annual awards recognize businesses and organizations that work towards improving access (the Eagles) as well as those that demonstrate enormous insensitivity to people with disabilities (those would be the Turkeys). Nominations come from the community, and it seems that almost every year there is a tourism-related business on the list.
This year there are two.
The Eagle award goes to Microtel. No surprise there as they have been very proactive in training their employees and going above and beyond the letter of the law as far as access in concerned.
The Turkey award was a bit surprising though. It went to Northwest Airlines for ?its draconian attitudes toward travelers with disabilities and for its lack of disability awareness, and lack of disability customer service training.?
Now don?t get me wrong, it?s not that I don?t believe people have had problems with Northwest as far as access is concerned; it?s just that I get complaints on all the airlines, pretty much in equal amounts. And Northwest is one of the airlines that actually has a Customer Advisory Board on Disabilities. Go figure.
In any case, I think it?s telling that travel-related businesses keep making both lists. For one thing, it shows that people with disabilities really do travel. And hopefully it also serves to increase access awareness among travel providers.