Flying With Your Shower Chair

180-24_Shower_Wheelchair__98401.1498846767A friend contacted me last week, and she was very upset because a US airline wanted to charge her $150 to transport her shower chair on an upcoming flight. “Can they do that?”, she asked.

In a word, no. The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) is very clear on that issue. Continue reading

Air India Boots Power Wheelchair-User

airplane_landing_199029Although travelers in the US are used to the protections that the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) affords them in this country (and on flights to and from the US), that’s not how it works on foreign soil. In fact, I routinely get reports of wheelchair-users who were unceremoniously denied boarding at airports throughout Asia. Such is the case of Kaushik Majumdar, who recently tried to board an Air India flight from Bengaluru to Kolkata.

Notice, I said “tried”.

According to reports of the incident Majumdar was told at check-in that he would have to remove the dry-cell battery from his power wheelchair and transfer to a manual wheelchair at the gate. After he did this, he was also informed that he would have to disconnect all of the wires that ran to the battery case. Being leery about his ability to properly reconnect the wires, and concerned about possible damage to his wheelchair, he refused. And then Air India refused to accept him as a passenger.

Should this have happened? Well no it shouldn’t have, but it did. And although in the US, the ACAA prohibits the removal of non-spillable batteries that are appropriately marked and installed, that’s not the way it works with Air India.

So this is just a little heads up if you happen to have India on your bucket list. Tread lightly with Air India, as they don’t appear to be “power-wheelchair friendly”. And no matter where you travel, check with the airline to see what their policies are regarding the stowage of assistive devices before you buy your ticket. A little advance research could possible save you a whole lot of heartache – not to mention a ruined trip. In this case, forewarned is definitely forearmed!

Should We Celebrate the ADA Anniversary?

barrier-418450_640Recently I’ve seen a lot of posts and comments from younger people who think we shouldn’t celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), quite simply because it does not go far enough. They claim that without any real enforcement, public entities are not held to the standards laid out by the US Access Board. Continue reading

Florida Law Addresses “Fake” Service Animals

trooperIn June of last year the Florida State Legislature amended CS/HB 71 on service animals, to reflect changes in the Americans with Disabilities Act and to update the language. The law took effect on July 1, 2015. Most of the changes were innocuous, however there are two interesting additions to the law. Continue reading

Proposed Arizona Law Problematic for People with Disabilities

The debate rages on in Arizona, over whether a person who identifies with a specific gender should be able to use the restroom of that gender. In fact, if Republicans have their way, transgender people will have to use the restroom of the gender stated on their birth certificate, or else face jail time.

Not exactly a disability issue, you say? Well, think again. Continue reading