Under the terms of a settlement agreement reached in December 2020 between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Amtrak, disabled passengers who traveled or tried to travel on Amtrak may be entitled to compensation. Specifically, passengers who traveled or tried to travel to or from one of 78 inaccessible Amtrak stations as far back as July 27, 2013 may be eligible for a piece of the $2.25 million compensation fund. Once Amtrak appoints a settlement administrator, a link to apply for compensation will be prominently displayed on www.amtrak.com. Continue reading
I get a lot of e-mails about access failures, and unfortunately in this day and age these things still happen. Why? Well part of the reason is that even though we have access laws on the books, we don’t have any entity that goes around and inspects facilities for compliance. And even if we did, there are some things – like providing reasonable accommodations – that you really can’t inspect. Continue reading
Airlines for America (AIA) — an airline industry group — recently announced that it had submitted a 222-page document to the Department of Transportation (DOT), in response to a call for input on possible revisions to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). The group’s response included the suggestion that the DOT narrow the definition of “service animal” to “trained dogs that perform a task or work for an individual with a disability.” The document also included the recommendation that airlines should not be required to allow emotional support animals (ESOs) on board. Continue reading
Have you ever checked into a hotel only to find that the bed in the accessible room was too high or too low for you? Well you’re not alone. Trust me, I get a lot of mail about this issue. It’s a real problem for managers and guests alike, as there are no regulations regarding bed height. Continue reading
Are you a wheelchair-user who has experienced an access-related problem with Greyhound in the past three years? If so, you might be entitled to compensation. Continue reading
Although I generally direct my tips to consumers, I’m going to change things up a bit and reach out to folks in customer service today. Lately there has been a lot of buzz about “fake” service animals, otherwise known as pets. And to be honest, the fakers really do a huge disservice to people who have legitimate service animals. Continue reading
As a result of a recent settlement agreement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), the Indianapolis 500 will now be more accessible to everyone. Continue reading
Well, the Department of Justice (DOJ) once again surprised me when they announced their decision to extend the compliance date for access to pools and hot tubs in places of public accommodation. While I had hoped that pools would be open for business this summer, that’s the case at all. In fact the DOJ extended the compliance date to January 31, 2013.
Yep, you read that one right. Continue reading
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
I get a lot of questions about access in Mexico. Truth be told, it’s a large country and it pretty much depends on where you go. I have seen some nice accessible hotel rooms south of the border, but the infrastructure is somewhat lacking, especially in regards to accessible transportation. Still if you can go with a sense of adventure and be willing to accept a little help, Mexico may be doable for you.
But what about getting there? Continue reading