Does advanced notice really do any good?
Katj at brokenclay.org shares some revealing insights into a recent travel experience. First she reports that the ruling that people with disabilities won't be submitted to shoe searches at airports is not really getting down to those on the frontlines. Second, she discusses her experiences with prior notification of her needs and what that really gets done when the time comes to actually travel. You hear and see that all the time, "advanced notice required" when you're traveling and have a disability. It always strikes me as supremely unjust. Now I know that it's not even useful, much of the time. I can't believe that personnel can't be trained to handle a passenger with disabilities in the proper manner when they come upon one. Katja's statement that advanced notice makes little difference in how she is assisted just makes the advanced notice requirement even more preposterous. And lastly there's the unaccompanied traveler with disabilities. Katja relates how some personnel appear to be just floored that she travels unaccompanied. This is another frequent request of especially some overseas airlines, you must have someone with you -- I assume so the airline folks don't have to bother with some assistance here and there. It's a sad reality that many people can't even conceive of someone with a disability being independent enough to travel alone. Really sad. It also shows that establishing people with disabilities as full participants in society has a long way to go. (Photo by courtesy of morgueFile.com)