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
- Guest Blog: Clothes Make the Man
Our guest blogger this week is Liane Kupferberg Carter, Writer, Journalist, and Autism Advocate. (Originally published on Autism After 16) It’s 51 degrees out. Which means my 21-year-old son Mickey is wearing shorts and sandals. “It’s too cold!” I protest. “But it’s May.” Well, yes. I get it. He hates socks. Loathes sneakers. Long sleeves […]
- Special Needs Trusts: How Much Trouble Are They to Manage?
By Bernard A. Krooks, Certified Elder Law Attorney A client recently asked the following question: I’m thinking about setting up a special needs trust for my son, who has a developmental disability. Will it mean a lot more work for my daughter, who will be handling my estate? It’s a fair question, and one we […]
- Structuring the Trust Fund
Trust funds allow parents and grandparents to ensure that children receive their inheritance slowly over time, rather than receiving it all at once at the age of 18. There are many factors to consider when creating a trust fund, but the impact of the trust on the beneficiaries is one of the most important considerations. […]
- Sorting Out A Transition Plan for Your Child
- Anonymous Let’s call my son Johnny. He has a neurological impairment and is ambulatory and impressively articulate. These are my views and perceptions as his mother. I hope the points that I will highlight will resonate with readers. I also hope that some of you will be motivated and proactive in not only […]
- Guest Blog: Notes From a Not-So-Empty Nester
Our guest blogger this week is Liane Kupferberg Carter, Writer, Journalist, and Autism Advocate. (Originally published by The Chicago Tribune) Maybe it’s just this time of year making me pensive. Summer is ending. Kids are leaving for college. Social media are crammed with articles and advice on how to weather the seismic family shift: […]