Will Cruise Lines Follow Suit on Pool Access?

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As you probably are quite aware, cruise ships are technically covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, however since there are no specific access regulations – known as the ADAAG – it’s still rather a moot point. The ADAAG for cruise ships has been a work in progress by the US Access Board for many, many years; and quite frankly I’m stymied by the delay. But that’s another issue. Continue reading

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Crossing the Line

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Last week I discussed how sometimes some basic common sense can help things go a little smoother access-wise, as it pertains to privacy. As you recall, travel and tourism providers can’t ask you the details of your disability, but they can ask what accommodations you require. It’s really a fine line, one that often leads to some miscommunication because hospitality folks are afraid to ask too much, for fear they’ll break the law. So sometimes you have to volunteer a bit, just so they have a full understanding of your disability.

Then we have the other side of the coin. What do you do when they ask too much? Continue reading

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Privacy, Access Laws and Common Sense

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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

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French Court Rules Against easyJet

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It what could be considered a case of karmic justice last week, a French judge found easyJet guilty of discrimination, for denying passage to three disabled passengers in 2008 and 2009. It’s long been the British air carrier’s contention that if you can’t walk unassisted to the emergency exit, then you can’t fly without a companion. They claim it’s a matter of health and safety. Continue reading

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United Airlines Chimes in on Wheelchair Policy

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As the busy holiday travel season is upon us, I thought I’d post a follow-up to my “Don?t Believe Everything Airline Employees Say” blog. As you recall, a friend of mine was horrified when an OKC gate agent informed her that a new policy would soon require wheelchair-users to retrieve and recheck their wheelchairs at all connecting cities.

Continue reading

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Rolling Around Wellington

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Cherrie enjoying the Museum of Wellington City and Sea.

Cherrie has been having a great time exploring Wellington, as it’s a very walk-able and roll-able city. We’ve been all around the CBD, over to Oriental Bay, up to Zealandia and even back out to the airport for an evening function –with nary a step or curb along the way. It’s really been grand. Plus I have to give the folks at the I-site (visitors center) a big thumbs up on access  — they are actually familiar with wheelchair-access in their fair city. Continue reading

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Wheelchair-Accessible Thermal Pools in New Zealand

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Cherrie enjoying the nicely accessible thermal pools at Hanmer Springs, New Zealand.

Unfortunately I have to preface this blog post with this notice. The photos on this blog are the copyrighted property of Charles Pannell, and SATW and/or its employees or agents have no authority to use them in any way or to repost them. Sorry guys, but after having photos lifted twice in less than a week by the organization, I’m a little wary.

Now.. on to the meat of the post.

I have to say that I continue to be impressed with the accessibility in New Zealand. Take today, for example, when we visited the thermal pools at Hanmer Springs. Sure, I expected to find accessible changing rooms and barrier-free access to some of the pools; but they of course went one step further. Continue reading

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New Zealand Bound

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Well it’s time to hit the road again, and this time we are off to New Zealand. I was totally impressed with the access on my last visit to the North Island, and am looking forward to exploring the South Island with Charles and Cherrie on this visit.

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American Airlines — Right or Wrong?

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Local media outlets in Killeen, Texas are reporting about an army veteran who had a bad experience on a recent American Airlines flight. According to media reports Dawn Wilcox informed flight attendants that she needed to use the restroom “really bad” just prior to landing in DFW. American Airlines says flight attendants offered the use of an onboard wheelchair, but Ms. Wilcox declined. Continue reading

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Bloomberg on Accessible NYC Taxis

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Mayor Bloomberg isn’t exactly a happy camper these days, especially when the subject turns to wheelchair-accessible taxis in New York City. You see, the US attorney’s office recently filed suit against New York City, for non-compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Why?

Well, according to United Spinal Organization, less than 2% of the city’s 13,000 taxis are wheelchair-accessible. And frankly I agree with the US attorney’s office — in this day and age that’s totally unacceptable. Continue reading

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