Improved Airline Accessibility In The Works

Posted: December 18, 2016 by AMCPress And Co in Disability News
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Disability Scoop has just reported that the U.S. Department of Transportation is planning on moving forward with new regulations mandating greater accessibility for people with disability when they fly. This is great news for the disability community as a whole. There has been a need for changes especially when people with disabilities fly. We at AMCPress&Co know this first hand.

After seven months of negotiations and meeting with an advisory committee that was tasked to address the accessibility issues for the Transportation Department has said it has  reached a consensus on how  the best way to move forward with rules designed to improve access to in-flight restrooms and on-board entertainment.

Currently, accessible restrooms are only required on planes with more than one aisle. The current challenges that are presented for those individuals who use wheelchairs since domestic flights involve single aisle aircrafts.

In the agreement provides a roadmap for changes through an incremental improvements and an eventual requirements that single aisle planes include accessible restrooms.

The ACCESS Advisory Committee has comprised of reps from the airline industry, people with disabilities and other stakeholders. Other changes that will be coming with the changes with the new requirements involves in flight entertainment which means audio descriptions to become available for most in flight entertainment and greater safety and  maneuverability standards for on-board wheelchairs.

Also the committee was not able to reach an agreement on the issues with service animals the Transportation Department stated.

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has said “The agreement reached by the ACCESS Advisory Committee is an important step towards ensuring that air travelers with disabilities have equal access to air transportation.”

Anthony Fox also stated “It is unfair to expect individuals with limited mobility to refrain from using the restroom when they fly on single-aisle aircraft, particularly since single-aisle aircraft are increasingly used for longer flights. It is also unfair for passengers who are deaf or blind not to be able to enjoy the same entertainment that is available to other passengers.”

The Transportation Department stated these changes will proceed with developing new regulations along with a proposal in July of 2017.

 

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