Amtrak Disability Settlement Paid

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Amtrak recently paid out over $2 million to some 1,500 disabled travelers, under the terms of a settlement agreement reached with the Department of Justice on December 2, 2020. This agreement was reached after Amtrak failed to make its existing stations accessible to passengers with disabilities.

Says Assistant Attorney Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department, “As a result of the Justice Department’s efforts, more than 1,500 people with disabilities harmed by Amtrak’s inaccessible rail stations are receiving compensation for the discrimination they experienced.”

That’s not the end of the story though. Although compensation is great, the root problem still needs to be fixed. To that end, in the next nine years Amtrak is required to make at least 135 of their stations accessible. Amtrak will also provide training to staff on the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) requirements, and implement an improved system for handling ADA complaints.

And it appears that they are moving forward with a new focus on accessibility, as Amtrak recently established the Office of the Vice President of Stations, Properties & Accessibility.

Rail travel is about to get more accessible. Finally.

 

 

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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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DOJ Clears the Air at Pool Access Webinar

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Yesterday I attended the first of two webinars on swimming pool access, presented by the Department of Justice (DOJ). And I wasn’t alone as over 750 other people also logged on to it. The difference was that most of the folks were from the hospitality industry – the same industry that’s been lobbying for the repeal of the latest ADA guidelines for access to swimming pools and spas. I was merely there as an observer, as I was looking for some clue as to how the DOJ might respond to the industry request for an even longer extension to the implementation of those rules. Continue reading

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DOJ Knuckles Under to Powerful Hotel Lobby

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In a very disappointing last minute decision, the Department of Justice (DOJ) granted the hotel industry a 60-day extension on the implementation of the new access regulations for pools and hot tubs. Scheduled to go into effect on March15, 2012 the new rules will now become the law of the land on May 15, 2012.

Of will they? Continue reading

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