More than two decades after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a new survey of Amtrak stations around the country claims that the overwhelming majority of them still fall far short of being accessible for passengers with special needs and that some are still completely inaccessible to consumers who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices. [More]
The owner of a Massachusetts restaurant thought that he knew what service dogs look like, and the terrier in his dining didn’t fit the profile. “It just looked like a regular mutt,” he told a reporter. Not like the guide dogs for the blind or alert dogs for the deaf that most people picture when they hear the words “service dog.” He threw the dog and his owner out of the restaurant, prompting boycotts and howls of protest. [More]
Earlier today, we told you about a Whataburger restaurant in Florida that called the police to force a customer to leave because of complaints about her service dog. Now, a rep for the fast food chain gives the company’s side of the story. [More]
Melissa is a war veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder and is able to function with the help of a service dog trained to help vets like her. She and her husband were recently strongly encouraged to leave a restaurant where they had dined with the dog before. No matter what kinds of documents or federal government websites she showed, the waitress, manager, and owner all insisted that the dog needed to leave…without actually telling the couple to get out of the establishment. [More]
Britt is a paraplegic. While planning a recent trip, she reserved an accessible room at the Best Western where she and her boyfriend would be staying. A room that she could move around in, and that would not require her boyfriend to lift her into bed and onto the toilet. You know, allow her some independence and dignity. When they actually checked in to the hotel, though, they learned that the accessible room had been assigned to another traveler. Worse: according to staffers, this traveler was a regular guest who wasn’t disabled, but just likes having a bigger room. [More]
At some sporting and concert venues, seating spaces reserved for people with disabilities can sometimes be prime spots. So it’s sadly not surprising that unscrupulous scalpers are taking advantage of a loophole in the Americans with Disabilities Act that makes it legal for them to buy up blocks of these seats and then resell them to people without disabilities. [More]
A lawsuit by a rabbi, who says that Northwest Airlines booted him from its frequent flyer program for complaining too much, can go forward. The case had initially been dismissed by a lower court that said federal deregulation law pre-empted the man’s claim, but the 9th circuit reversed that decision on Friday. [More]
The Transportation Department has served AirTran a $500,000 civil penalty for repeated failures to accommodate disabled travelers, reports Associated Press. The airline was also cited for not providing adequate responses to customers who complained, and for not properly filing complaints with the government. The biggest issue, however, was that it doesn’t always provide wheelchairs to disabled passengers in a timely manner. AirTran says it’s working on implementing a wheelchair tracking system at its hubs. [More]
Hershey has joined Mars, Coke and Pepsi as a sponsor of the American Dietetic Association, which bills itself as “world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals,” and says its goal is to “optimize the nation’s health through food and nutrition.” Hershey? Nutrition? Actually, it’s the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition, which is devoted to “the sweet science of chocolate.” Hey, we can live with that. [More]
Laura has a pretty good description of what an anxiety attack feels like to her: “First, your chest starts to feel tight, like you are wearing a corset. You can’t breathe properly, your heart rate starts to skyrocket, causing a pounding feeling. It’s very out-of-body. You can’t figure out what’s going on. It’s like being trapped by your brain into a tight corner.” If the skeptical gate agent for Continental had ever experienced this–or had just been given adequate training for dealing with passengers with disabilities–maybe she wouldn’t have told Laura her doctor’s note looked fake, or asked her to stay put when Laura said she needed to get her meds. [More]
Ooo, you nasty! With your service animal! Get out of here! That’s the new informal slogan of Isis Bridal & Formal in Dallas after news broke that they kicked out a 62-year-old grandmother with multiple sclerosis, because they were worried her service dog would get service dog cooties all over the dresses.
A legally blind New York woman sued several fast food restaurants for ridiculing her when she asked for help reading their menus, but a federal judge threw out the suit on the grounds that “ADA laws don’t regulate ‘rudeness or insensitivity’ of workers.” Last week, however, an appeals court overturned that ruling and now the suit—” believed to be the first of its kind—could go before a jury this year.”
A Steak ‘N Shake manager refused to serve Karen Putz, a deaf mother of three, after she asked to place her order at the drive-thru window as allowed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The manager claimed it was “policy” to force Karen to order like any other customer:
“You’ll have to drive around again so I can take your order through the speaker,” the guy said.