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]
Jessica Cabot was born blind, but she’d been on two flights by herself before boarding a United Airlines flight last month, so she figured she knew what to expect. On all three flights, she was told by the flight attendants to remain seated until everyone else was off the plane, and then someone would help her off. That worked the first two times at any rate. [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]
Yesterday I posted about Zeb, a special needs guy whose phone was stolen shortly before Christmas. Between then and when his family found out about the theft and reported it to T-Mobile, the thief had made $6,000 in international calls and texts–and T-Mobile wanted Zeb’s family to pay $1,500 of that.
Today I received word from Zeb’s dad that T-Mobile has changed its mind and won’t hold Zeb or his family responsible for the bogus charges. His email is below.
According to Richard, Greyhound has some real work to do when it comes to making people in wheelchairs not feel like second-class citizens. Even in snowy weather and with delays, you don’t really want a driver telling a passenger that he should have brought an attendant if he wanted to get on the bus. [More]
Connecticut shoppers with bowel disorders, rejoice! Now, there’s a sentence we never expected to write. In order to prevent humiliating and undignified restroom access debacles for people with verified medical conditions, Connecticut has passed a law guaranteeing their access to otherwise off-limits restrooms in public places. The law went into effect on October 1st.
A North Carolina Honeybaked Ham store manager was shot in an attempted store robbery in April, and has been recovering on worker’s compensation since the shooting. Now that his benefits have run out, the store very thoughtfully has terminated his employment. (Update: Honeybaked Ham sent us a statement with their take on this situation, which is appended at the end of this post.)
One of the unfortunate things about Crohn’s disease is it can make you need to use the bathroom pretty much immediately, without warning or fanfare. Of course, there’s plenty of fanfare afterward if you can’t find a bathroom, as one longtime customer of Plaid Pantry found out yesterday when she shat her pants in the parking lot after being denied emergency access to their employee toilet.
Rachel’s 86-year-old grandmother was a loyal Wells Fargo customer for more than thirty years. She’s been forced to take her business to a new bank because Wells Fargo representatives refuse to talk to her.
Here’s pretty much the same story about a customer on a motorized scooter not being allowed to use the drive through, this time at a Tim Hortons coffee establishment in Nova Scotia. He’s not going to sue, but plans to appeal to Nova Scotia‘s Human Rights Commission.
A White Castle in St. Paul, Minnesota, is a 24-hour establishment, but it locks its dining room doors at 11 pm. Unfortunately, its drive-through service is restricted to customers in cars, so the employees refused to serve a 37-year-old woman who pulled up on an electric mobility scooter. Now she says she’s madder than fish grease, which is pretty mad, and she wants to sue them for discriminating against customers who can’t drive.
Ned wears a neck brace when he flies, not because he’s injured or disabled, but because he prefers it to one of those floofy neck pillows. This didn’t sit well with a Delta flight attendant who was intent on keeping disabled-looking folks out of the emergency exit aisle. The attendant wouldn’t leave Ned alone, even after Ned demonstrated his range of mobility and explained that the brace was from a minor car accident thirty-three years ago. Ned managed to hold onto his seat after a chat with the senior flight attendant, but the original flight attendant later came back, “got in [Ned's] face ñ literally, just inches away” and complained that Ned had “bucked his authority.”
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.
Natalie is pretty angry. Lately whenever her mother, who is blind, has to travel, she seems to run into trouble. As Natalie puts it, as far as airline regulations go a guide dog is equivalent to a wheelchair, and the appropriate accommodations should be made without hassle. It’s too bad on her last flight, Natalie’s mother had to sit in the bulkhead next to a Delta employee with a fear of dogs.
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.”
The manager at T.G.I. Friday’s in Wheeling told the Arlington Heights family on Saturday that the restaurant couldn’t accommodate Dawn even after Greenberg showed him her Public Access card, which explains the Americans With Disabilities Act.