Here is a round-up of the latest news in the world of accessible travel and disability, including new accessible cabins at Yosemite National Park, a hunting event for wheelchair users, a new advisory committee on accessibility at the DOT, a new way to get around Disney and more.
Accessible travel news from around the web:
- Delta Refuses to Follow DOT Guidance — In guidance issued to airlines in August, the DOT informed airlines that “dogs as a species are accepted for transport” as service animals, and that Delta’s refusal to allow pit bull-type dogs aboard was a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act. Delta has doubled-down, stating in a press release that it will maintain its ban on pit bulls. Airlines like Delta have long violated the ACAA, but to do so in such a public manner demands that the DOT levy enforcement action. The fines should be retroactive to the date Delta first announced its policy, which violates the civil rights of some air travelers with disabilities.
- Accessible Cabins at Yosemite National Park — One of the most hip places to stay on a Yosemite adventure is AutoCamp Yosemite, a unique lodging experience that allows guests to sleep in custom Airstream camping trailers. The problem? They aren’t accessible. To compensate and create an inclusive resort, Autocamp Yosemite has announced new, wheelchair accessible cabins with roll-in showers, grab bars, level entry and other accessibility features!
- Man organizes hunting event for wheelchair users — Clint Robinson, who has used a wheelchair for more than 30 years, created an event for wheelchair users to experience the thrill of hunting and being outdoors. His “Wheelchairs in the Wild” event pairs disabled people with able-bodied hunters who can assist them during the pheasant hunt.
- Wheelchair accessible cable car connects resorts to Disney Parks — Disney’s newest ride is a cable car with wheelchair accessible gondolas called the Disney Skyliner. The Skyliner connects the Epcot and Hollywood Studios theme parks with Disney’s Art of Animation, Disney’s Caribbean Beach, Disney’s Pop Century and Disney’s Riviera Resorts. The cable car opened September 29th and offers new views of Disney’s Orlando campus and a convenient accessible transportation option to guests.
- DOT Announces Air Carrier Access Act Advisory Committee — I wasn’t invited to participate, and the committee’s membership is short on disabled people (no surprise), but there are some strong advocates for accessibility and inclusion represented. I am hopeful that the committee can make a difference, and won’t cede authority to the airlines and airport operators. The ACAA is stuck in the 1980s and must catch up to regulate accessibility in air travel for the 21st century.
- Organization Rents All-terrain Trackchairs in Wisconsin — Access Ability Wisconsin (AAW) has 15 all-terrain outdoor wheelchairs from Action Trackchair, which it has placed in strategic locations throughout the State of Wisconsin. With a $50 deposit, disabled people can rent a chair to take out for a few hours or a few days, and they can transport it to locations of their choice using one of AAW’s 12 transport trailers. For more information, visit www.accessabilitywi.org.
- Long-delayed Albuquerque BRT system gets first buses — In cities without the resources to support subway systems or trams, BRT can be a good option. Albuquerque, New Mexico applies for federal funding to build such a system, but construction issues and defects with its buses has led to multiple delays and a waning of public support for the project. That may change, now that the city’s first true BRT-equipped buses were unveiled to the public. The system is expected to be operational “this winter,” but winter doesn’t end until March.
Featured image courtesy M-Rad.