Oregon State Parks Seek to Improve Access

10678499_10204717928898825_8786844006418640572_nIn an effort to make Oregon state parks more accessible, the Oregon State Parks Foundation (OSPF) recently invited 10 people with a spinal cord injry on a camping trip. But it wasn’t your ordinary camping trip — it was more of a research project. The goal was to identify the barriers that people with disabilities face in the state parks, and to ultimately remove those barriers.

What a great idea!

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Despite the Fire, Glacier National Park is Still Open for Business!!

No crowds in Apgar Village!

No crowds in Apgar Village!

As you may have heard, there’s a large fire burning along the north shore of Lake Mc Donald that has led to the closure of some areas of Glacier National Park. That said the park is still open for business. The smoke is variable, and to be honest it depends on the wind direction. That said even though facilities are pretty limited on the west side, it’s still possible to stay there and explore the open areas of the park.  Continue reading

The Last Straw

1200px-Eight_drinking_straws_(4273846588)With so many regulations popping up across the country limiting or outright banning the use of plastic straws, I’m getting a lot of questions from folks about why this is even an issue to some disabled people. And to be honest, some of the questions are well meaning, but many folks just don’t get the point – or points – that banning the use of plastic straws in restaurants puts yet another undue burden on our disabled citizens. Maybe some people just never thought about it before, or maybe they don’t understand the technicalities behind it all. Whatever the reason, here are some of the questions I’ve fielded in the past month, along with the answers I’ve given. Feel free to pass them along. Continue reading

Size Does Matter

airplane_landing_199029In this day and age of improved airline access regulations, flying has become rather commonplace for many wheelchair-users. And that’s a very good thing. Sure there are still hiccups, but flying is a far cry from what it was in the pre-ACAA days — when airlines could refuse wheelchair-users passage for any capricious reason, and those lucky souls that were permitted to board were required to sit on blankets for fear they would soil the seats. Continue reading

UK Considering New Accessible Air Travel Regs

airplane_landing_199029On the heels of Frank Gardner’s nearly two-hour wait to be reunited with his wheelchair at Heathrow International Airport, the British government is considering strengthening their almost non-existent accessible air travel regulations. In the US, disabled passengers are entitled to “prompt” deplaning, which according to the Department of Transportation means  “as soon as the rest of the passenger are deplaned”. Unfortunately that’s not the way things work in the UK. Continue reading

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

VIA Rail to Upgrade Access in 2018

Canada’s national rail provider – VIA Rail recently announced that it plans to add more wheelchair tie-downs to their rail cars in 2018. And although this is great news to disability advocates, this access upgrade didn’t come without a battle. A battle that began back in 2016, when Marie Murphy and Martin Anderson traveled from Windsor to Toronto on VIA Rail. Continue reading