An Open Letter to Stock Clerks Everywhere

I realize that this time of year can be very busy for you, but I’d like to take a moment to point out an all too common mistake that turns a perfectly accessible store into one that wheelchair-users simply can’t use. And it’s a mistake that you’re directly contributing to, by the way you do your job. Continue reading

US Senate Votes Against Disability Rights

In a disappointing vote today, the US Senate failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Seen as a basic human rights treaty by the 126 nations that have already ratified it – including Iran, Syria and China – this international treaty works to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. Continue reading

Standing Room Coming to Ryanair? But What if You Can’t Stand?

It’s hard to pass on the opportunity to blog about Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. After all, he just gives me such good material. First he charges for wheelchair assistance (and actually defends his actions), and then he wants to install pay toilets in his planes. Continue reading

Bloomberg Swings and Misses with New Accessible Taxi Dispatch

At first glance the new accessible taxi dispatch system for New York City seems like a good thing. After all, less than 2% of New York City cabs are wheelchair-accessible, so actually finding one when you need one can be somewhat of a Herculean task. So what could be better than calling 311 to order your own accessible taxi? Continue reading

An Informal Study on Pool Accessibility

As I make my way across the country on this two-month road trip, I just can’t help checking out the swimming pools at the properties I stay at along the way. Not only do I really enjoy the water, but I’m also interested in seeing how many properties are taking steps to be in compliance with the new ADA accessibility regulations for pools and spas. Granted, the regulations don’t go into effect until January 2013, but I’m just curious about how we are doing right now. And although it’s far from a scientific study, here’s what I found out about pool accessibility – or lack thereof – in a wide range of properties across America. Continue reading

Top Five Access Oversights

I see a lot of accessible rooms and do a lot of site inspections in my travels; and granted, some properties fare much better than others access-wise. I’m an optimist at heart though, and believe that everyone who makes the effort to add access features to their property has good intentions. But you know what they say about the road to Hell and good intentions.

Still, I’m genuinely glad folks make the effort , especially when many are not required to add access features. Continue reading

Disability Rights Coalition Announces Hotel Boycott

In light of a recent decision by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to postpone implementation of the new pool lift regulations until Jan. 31, 2013, the American Association of People with Disabilities, The National Disability Rights Network, the National Council on Independent Living and ADAPT have banded together to protest the matter. Continue reading

It’s Here!

Happy to see my newest title -- 22 Accessible Road Trips; Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers.

No matter how many books you write, it’s always a thrill to see a new title in print for the very first time. And that happened once again yesterday when I got a box of 22 Accessible Road Trips; Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers delivered to my front door.

And I have to say I’m very happy with the end product. Continue reading

DOJ Flooded with Public Comments

Well in what’s probably the shortest public comment period ever — just two weeks — the Department of Justice (DOJ) has received 1358 comments regarding the pool and spa access regulations. Of course the lodging industry was well represented, with a good number of properties sending in form letters penned by their lobbyists. That comes as no surprise; after all that’s what they pay their lobbyists for.

But here’s the really cool part. Over 55% of those comments were from people with disabilities, their friends, family members, Joe Public and grass roots disability focused organizations. Most of those comments were pretty direct, and some even contained personal stories about what it feels like to be denied access, and telling the DOJ that they just want to swim and enjoy the water like everyone else. This is great, not only because of the volume of the response, but because of the tone. No form letters there! Continue reading

Privacy, Access Laws and Common Sense

Everywhere you turn these days there’s talk of privacy. In fact we’re literally being bombarded with privacy notices. Every time you visit a new doctor, dentist or other medical provider you’re asked to sign a privacy policy and you get a copy to take along with you. In fact I recently found a purse I hadn’t used since I broke my foot several years ago, and it was crammed full of privacy policies — from the orthopedist, the lab, the hospital and even the medical equipment supplier.

In the long run, I know it’s good that my medical history is protected by these privacy laws, but sometimes it seems that the paperwork is a bit much. Still, I know it’s necessary. And everyone that goes into a new doctor’s office expects to come out with at least one copy of their privacy policy these days. Continue reading