Here’s an interesting question I got from a reader today. And my reply below.
“Will the ADA ever require cruise ships to make sure the handicapped cabins go to handicapped people?”
I hate guessing or predicting things, but if you just want an opinion, then I say no, they won’t.
The cruise ship guidelines (which are still not finalized yet) are based on the same guidelines used for hotels, and there is no such requirement for hotels.
Second, the DOJ doesn’t really like people having to prove they are disabled in order to get services. So if you put in a clause requiring that the accessible cabins only go to people who are disabled, then the cruise lines will have to require some sort of proof of disability.
What kind of proof will that be? Well if it’s just self declaration, anybody can say they are disabled, so what’s the use of even adding the provision? And if it’s a medical certificate, (in the eyes of the DOJ) that’s too much. I have to agree – why should you have to go to a doctor to go on vacation?
Even service animals don’t require specific certification, and under the law you can’t ask a person with a service animal to “prove” that his or her animal provides a service or even question them too much. You can ask them what the animal does to assist them, but beyond that they don’t need any special certification.
So like I said, no, I don’t think the DOJ will go that way.
And that’s as far as I’m going to go with my predictions on this election day:)