Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Travel as a platform for showing what can be done

Travel by people with disabilities is rewarding for all of the usual reasons travel is rewarding. But it also can show a message of independence and inclusiveness. In Matthew Eddy's case, it also can be a PR platform to draw attention to other very worthy work. Good luck Matthew!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This book could help you get around Italy

Going to Italy? You might want to check out this new book series.

Photo by Clara Natoli via morgueFile.com

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cool heads and better solutions can prevail for air travel snafus

So many stories of air travel by people with disabilities end in outrageous actions that defy common sense. In fact it seems common sense seems to rarely prevail, or you rarely hear about it anyway.
That's why I wanted to share this tale about two men, a set of allen wrenches and empathy acted on, which I came across via the Rolling Rains Report. It shows common sense solutions, even improvised on the fly, can prevail -- even in the realm of air travel.
What a relief to know it's at least possible.

Photo by Jane Sawyer via morgueFile.com

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Blind? On Dragonair you must have a window seat. Or else.

We've all read about the outrageous incidents where people with disabilities are kept from flying for for all kinds of inadequate reasons. Usually, this ends up getting reported on because someone files a lawsuit and then the facts -- once only known to those involved -- become widely known.
The latest such incident, however, occurred in front of the wrong person -- a blogger with a camera. Now we have a first hand account of what just might be the most bizarre, inflexible forcible deplaning of a blind person I've ever heard of (thanks to Scott Rains at rollingrains.com for bringing this to my attention BTW).
You've got to read the whole post -- and see the photos -- by Jim Fruchterman at Beneblog. But in summary Dragonair forcibly removed Rami Rabby, a blind foreign service officer working for the US State Department, because he switched seats with another passenger to be able to sit in the aisle seat. The airline's rules say disabled people sit by the window.
The reason for the rule isn't clear. Likely, it's for safety, which is the way many of the discriminatory practices used by certain airlines are justified. Gotta have an attendant. Can't have too many disabled people on a single plane etc. Add sitting by the window to the list I guess. I will ask Dragonair what this policy is supposed to mean. If I get an answer I'll share it with you. If a travel expert like Scott hasn't heard of this rule before, I'm thinking it's pretty obscure.
What's more certain is that the day a person with disabilities can count on only encountering the typical problems of air travel, not those foisted on them by ignorant rules that relate to their disability, isn't here yet.

Photo courtesy of Dragonair