GLOBAL ACCESS NEWS TRAVEL E-ZINE
VOLUME II, NUMBER 11, November 2001
Copyright © 2001, Global Access News

http://www.globalaccessnews.com/

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Please note: Any Internet links mentioned in this E-Zine were verified as functioning as of the date on this E-Zine. Websites and e-mail addresses, however, change frequently, so changes may have occurred after that date.

Welcome to the November 2001 issue of the Global Access News Travel E-Zine. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write us and share your travel experiences.

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CONTENTS

1. U.S. AIRLINE SECURITY MEASURES FOR DISABLED TRAVELERS
2. ACCESS ALOHA
3. WHEELCHAIR DOWN UNDER
4. COSTA RICA TRAVEL
5. ACCESS TO SWEDEN
6. ISLAND HOPPING: MAURITIUS, MALDIVES & SARDINIA

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1. U.S. AIRLINE SECURITY MEASURES FOR DISABLED TRAVELERS

The following statement was issued on 10/29/01 by the Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings and its Aviation Consumer Protection Division:

Recent steps have been taken to ensure new security requirements to preserve and respect the civil rights of disabled people. The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and the Department of Transportation's implementing rules prohibit discriminatory treatment of persons with disabilities in air transportation.  Since the terrorist hijackings and tragic events of September 11, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued directives to strengthen security measures at airline checkpoints and passenger screening locations. In securing our national air transportation system, where much of FAA's efforts have been directed to date, steps were also taken to ensure that the new security procedures preserve and respect the civil rights of passengers with disabilities.

This Fact Sheet provides information about the accessibility requirements in air travel in light of strengthened security measures by providing a few examples of the types of accommodations and services that must be provided to passengers with disabilities. The examples listed below are not all-inclusive and are simply meant to provide answers to frequently asked questions since September 11 concerning the air travel of people with disabilities. 

Check-in: Air carriers must provide, meet and assist service (e.g., assistance to gate or aircraft) at drop-off points. The lack of curbside check-in, for certain airlines at some airports, has not changed the requirement for meet and assist service at drop-off points. Screener checkpoints: Individuals assisting passengers with disabilities are allowed beyond the screener checkpoints. These individuals may be required to present themselves at the airlines' check-in desk and receive a "pass," allowing them to go through the screener checkpoint without a ticket.
Ticketed passengers with their own oxygen for use on the ground are allowed beyond the screener checkpoints with their oxygen canisters once the canisters have been thoroughly inspected. If there is a request for oxygen at the gate for a qualified passenger with a disability, commercial oxygen providers are allowed beyond the screener checkpoints with oxygen canisters once the canisters have been thoroughly inspected. Commercial oxygen providers may be required to present themselves at the airlines' check-in desk and receive a "pass" allowing them to go through the screener checkpoint without a ticket. The limit of one carry-on bag and one personal bag (e.g., purse or briefcase) for each traveler does not apply to medical supplies and/or assistive devices. 

Passengers with disabilities generally may carry medical equipment, medications, and assistive devices on board the aircraft. All persons allowed beyond the screener checkpoints may be searched. This will usually be done through the use of a hand-held metal detector, whenever possible. Passengers may also be patted down during security screenings, and this is even more likely if the passenger uses a wheelchair and is unable to stand up. Private screenings remain an option for persons in wheelchairs. 

Service animals, once inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed, are permitted on board an aircraft. Any backpack or sidepack that is carried on the animal will be manually inspected or put through the X-ray machines. The service animal's halter may also be removed for inspection. Assistive devices such as walking canes, once inspected to ensure prohibited items are not concealed, are permitted on board an aircraft. Assistive devices, such as augmentative communication devices and Braille'N Speaks, will go through the same sort of security screening process as used for personal computers. Syringes are permitted on board an aircraft once it is determined that the person has a documented medical need for the syringe. Personal wheelchairs and battery-powered scooters may still be used to reach departure gates after they are inspected to ensure that they do not present a security risk. Any backpack or sidepack that is carried on the wheelchair will be manually inspected or put through the X-ray machines. Personal wheelchairs will still be allowed to be stowed on board an aircraft. Air carriers must ensure that qualified individuals with a disability, including those with vision or hearing impairments, have timely access to information, such as new security measures, the carriers provide to other passengers. For example, on flights to Reagan Washington National Airport, persons are verbally warned to use the restrooms more than a half an hour before arrival since after that point in time passengers are required to remain in their seats. Alternative formats are necessary to ensure that all passengers, especially deaf persons, understand new security measures, such as the one at Reagan Washington National. 

We hope this information is helpful to you. Members of the public, who feel they have been the subject of discriminatory actions or treatment by air carriers, may file a complaint by sending an email, a letter, or a completed complaint form to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division (ACPD). ACPD's e-mail address is airconsumer@ost.dot.gov
and its mailing address is: Aviation Consumer Protection Division, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room 4107, C-75, Washington, DC 20590. Complaint forms that consumers may download and/or print are available at http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/problems.htm

Submit questions to: Marcie Roth, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy National Council on Independent Living 1916 Wilson Blvd., Suite 209 Arlington, VA 22201 (703) 525-3406 (V) (703) 525-4153 (TTY) (703) 525-3409 (F) marcie@ncil.org
E-mail: www.ncil.org  


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2. ACCESS ALOHA

Traveling to Hawaii need not cost a fortune. Check out the full range of accessible accommodations at Access Aloha. Everything from budget to luxury accommodations is available. The website also offers tips on: transportation options on the islands, beach wheelchairs availability and where to rent equipment. To learn more visit http://www.accessalohatravel.com/index1.htm

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3. WHEELCHAIR DOWN UNDER

Australiaís excellent disabled access makes it fertile ground for authors. Patrick & Anne Simpsonís Wheelchair Down Under has recently become available. To learn more, contact Pentland Press, Inc. at 1-800-948-2786 or visit their website at www.pentlandpressusa.com

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4. COSTA RICA TRAVEL 

Travel Your Way
is now providing accessible tours of Costa Rica for physically and mentally disabled people. This Central American paradise offers a warm climate with beautiful beaches and gardens, rainforests and volcanoes. To learn more, check out http://www.utravelyourway.com/

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5. ACCESS TO SWEDEN

Sweden
takes the spotlight with their Access to Sweden website. Visitors can click on an easy-to-navigate map of Sweden, displaying every region in order to locate resources for accommodations, activities, restaurants, etc. At the moment, most of the descriptions are in Swedish, but there is a small section in English, which will hopefully expand soon. This site is a good starting point for researching a trip to Sweden. Visit http://www.equality.nu/index_eng.htm
Or e-mail info@equality.nu

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6. ISLAND HOPPING: MAURITIUS, MALDIVES & SARDINIA

Fiammetta Draghetti, of Rome, Italy, shares the access insights she gained while visiting the islands of Mauritius, the Maldives and Sardinia with her wheelchair-using boyfriend, Marco. To learn more, visit http://www.globalaccessnews.com/mauritiuswheelchairaccess.htm

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Global Access News welcomes your travel reports, tips and comments at clearpath@cox.net
Thanks for sharing!

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