New Rules Make Flying Easier for Passengers With Disabilities
White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 13, 2014 - Flying may become easier for people with disabilities, thanks to new federal rules.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued new rules that will require airlines to make their automated airport kiosks and their websites accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, airlines can now choose between two options for handling wheelchairs on flights: they may either stow them in the cabin compartment or strap them to a seat row, which ensures that two wheelchairs of a manual, folding design can be transported at once.
The rules are part of the DOT's ongoing implementation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986. Officials stated that these rules build upon past work to ensure air access for people with disabilities, and that air travelers should be treated with fairness, regardless of any disabilities.
The new rules require airlines to make core informational and service pages of their websites accessible to people with disabilities within two years, and to make all web pages accessible within three. The accessibility standards are contained in the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines and address such issues as navigability for those with vision limitations. The rule also applies to foreign airlines that have websites marketed toward U.S. travel consumers.
Also under the new rules, web-based discount fares must be disclosed and offered to customers who are unable to use an airline’s website due to disability. This requirement takes effect 180 days after the effective date of the rule.
The rule regarding automated airport kiosks (such as those for printing baggage tags and boarding passes) requires that any new kiosks installed be accessible to people with disabilities until 25 percent or more of the kiosks in each airport are accessible. The 25 percent goal must be reached within 10 years, regardless of whether new kiosks are installed.
The change regarding stowage of wheelchairs permits airlines more flexibility. Previously, the seat-strapping method of stowing wheelchairs was restricted, and the method of stowing the wheelchair in a closet or other compartment was favored. Now both methods may be used under certain conditions, allowing an aircraft to stow two wheelchairs if necessary.
New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone
View Larger Map
- How Students With Disabilities in New York Are Succeeding
Some special education experts say that New York’s assessment tests, aligned with Common Core standards and intended to improve student achievement, are not producing good outcomes for students with disabilities. Last year, throughout the state, there were 190 school districts in which no third-grade special education students were proficient on the language arts test. In […]
- Moving to a New State When You Have a Family Member with a Disability
Moving to another state is a big undertaking for any family, but it can be particularly complicated when a family member has a disability. The secrets to a successful transition are advance planning and a backup plan in case of problems. Here are a few specifics to keep in mind. Know what to expect with […]
- Special Education Case Seeks Supreme Court Review
The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether to grant review in a case about the degree of educational benefit that a special education student should receive under an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to satisfy the requirements of the (IDEA). “Clearly, the Supreme Court should hear this important case, as the requirement that a student receive […]
- Potential Disclosure of Records Impacts Students with Special Needs
New York City special education students and their parents should be aware of a potential disclosure of student records for the purpose of a class action lawsuit. The potential disclosure may affect students who had an Individualized Education Program (IEP) prepared between 2003 and 2016 by the New York City Department of Education (DOE), and […]
- Autism Speaks Teams Up with Major League Baseball
By Stacy M. Sadove, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP As school is closing and summer is starting, many parents are looking to find ways to integrate their children in community events and activities for summer. Americans consider baseball a national pastime. Children of all ages look forward to attending a ball game with friends and family […]