Here is a round-up of the latest news in the world of accessible travel and disability, including a lawsuit targeting the lack of sidewalk accessibility in Atlanta, a TSA search that might have gone too far, new accessible trains in London, wheelchair accessible trails at U.S. National Parks and more.
Accessible travel news from around the web:
- Controversial pat-down of elderly woman at airport security — In this viral video (watch at the link), we see 96-year-old passenger Jeanne LaBrier Clarkson undergoing a security screening at the airport. The woman’s daughter, who taped the screening, seemed upset that her mother would have to be patted down. Policy says that travelers using wheelchairs must undergo a pat-down, unless they have TSA PreCheck. While I thought the screening was a bit too thorough (the agent did not need to check her legs 3 different times), her daughter escalated the situation. Never say, “What in the hell do you think she’s gonna do…set off a shoe bomb?” in the airport.
- Wheelchair users sue City of Atlanta over poor sidewalks — Three wheelchair users have brought an ADA lawsuit against the City of Atlanta for its failure to maintain sidewalk accessibility. The suit alleges, “Many disabled people simply avoid going out into the world, fearing that they will become stuck at an intersection lacking a curb ramp, or that they will be unable to travel along a broken sidewalk.” In the Atlanta wheelchair travel guide, I rated the city’s sidewalks 3-out-of-5, but my ratings only consider areas where tourists are likely to travel.
- Technology is making accessible travel easier — In a story published by the New York Times online yesterday and in print today, journalist Joshua Brockman examined how technology is improving access to travel for people with disabilities. I was one of those interviewed, and shared my experiences with intercity bus travel.
- New trains will bring greater accessibility to London Overground — Beginning in November, Transport for London will deploy the first of 54 new Bombardier class 710 trains on the London Overground. The new trains “include more space for wheelchairs, the latest intelligent lighting and temperature control for more comfortable journeys, plus digital information screens providing passengers with high quality, real-time travel information while on board.”
- Wheelchair accessible trails at U.S. National Parks — A list of some of the coolest wheelchair accessible trails in U.S. National Parks, including the Bryce Canyon, Denali, Grand Canyon and Yellowstone parks. If you’ve been to any of these, let me know in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy National Park Service/Janine Waller.