DOT Seeks Input on Airport Service Animal Relief Areas

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The DOT has been a busy little agency of late, with two sets of proposed access regulations released within days of each other. The first set, which was issued late last month involves accessible airline websites and airport kiosks; while the most recent set addresses airport service animal relief areas. Continue reading

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DOT Addresses New Technology

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The times they are a changing, and the Department of Transportation is determined to keep up with new technology. To that end they released some Proposed Regulations regarding accessibility at airport kiosks and airline and ticket agent websites. It’s kind of a carryover item from the May 2008 update of the Air Carrier Access Act; as the DOT didn’t feel they had enough information to rule on those items at that time. But now they do, so they’re hitting the ground running.

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What Does the C-Word Really Mean?

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No not THAT C-word — get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about an entirely different C-word –Certified. The whole subject came up last week when I got an advertisement from a Certified Dating Relationship Consultant. Let’s forget the fact that I’m happily married, but I thought to myself, “What kind of malarkey is this?”

And my Facebook friends pretty much had the same take on it, and one particularly astute gal even asked the million dollar question “Certified by who?” Continue reading

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Ballooning with Cherrie

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Cherrie getting ready for her ride in America's first wheelchair-accessible balloon.

At first glance, it doesn’t appear that hot air ballooning is a good choice for wheelchair-users. But Cherrie likes to try new things, so I’m thrilled that we found a hot air balloon operator in Sonoma County that recently added a wheelchair-accessible balloon to his fleet. And Cherrie was thrilled to be one of his first passengers. Continue reading

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Big Bottom Market Launches Winemaker Thursdays

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The Big Bottom Market in Guerneville offers some tasty lunch selections

My friends at the incredibly cool Big Bottom Market in Guerneville just launched a fun new Thursday evening event — Winemaker Thursdays. It’s pretty much what the name implies — every Thursday evening a local winemaker will be invited to showcase their wines, share their story and even discuss wine and food pairings. Continue reading

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Oregon Coast Aquarium Access Report

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Carole's mom is all smiles after her recent visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Carole Terwilliger Meyers — a travel writer colleague of mine — recently took her slow walker mom up to the Oregon coast for a little mother-daughter quality time. Upon her return she wrote to tell me of her experience, and then gave me permission to repost her report here. She’s also posted a good accessible lodging suggestion on her own blog, in case you’re also planning a trip up there.

So without further adieu — here’s Carole! Continue reading

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FAA Weighs in on Seatbelt Extensions for Torso Support

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Although the blogosphere is all atwitter about the recent denied boarding of a quadriplegic passenger who used seatbelt extensions to stabilize his chest and legs, nobody has really addressed the legality of it all. That’s because there’s really nothing in the Air Carrier Access Act that specifically allows or prohibits this type of adaptation. Not just seatbelt extensions, but any kind of torso support. Continue reading

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Mumbai Rail Officials Consider Decreasing Disabled Space

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According to the Mid Day, pregnant women may soon be allowed to board the Mumbai commuter train cars reserved for disabled passengers. Apparently this isn’t the first time this rule change has been proposed by the National Railway Users Consultative Committee; however last time up, rail officials rejected it outright. Their reason? “It would be difficult to identify all pregnant women.”

Point taken.

So this time they are thinking about limiting the privilege to women in their third trimester. Presumably they would be easier to identify. Continue reading

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Why Do Travel Agents “Push” Travel Insurance?

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As I was going through my mailbox and answering “Ask the Expert” questions, I stumbled across one that really stood out. Now granted I’ve answered just about every accessible travel question you can imagine– and a few you can’t — however this one really didn’t ask for advice, but instead solicited my opinion about a travel agent that “pushed travel insurance”. It wasn’t like I could do anything to solve the problem at hand, but I thought if I explained the rationale behind the travel agent’s actions, then perhaps the person who wrote to me would have a better understanding of it all.

And although it really didn’t make the “Ask the Expert” cut, it seemed incredibly blog-worthy. So if you’ve ever experienced the hard-sell on travel insurance from your travel agent, here are some of the reasons behind it all. Continue reading

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