Here is a round-up of the latest news in the world of accessible travel and disability, including a including a wheelchair accessible RV from Winnebago, an ADA fight over sidewalks, accessible tables at restaurants, issues with accessibility in the winter ice/snow and more.
Accessible travel news from around the web:
- Winnebago launches wheelchair accessible RVs — Winnebago has just announced three new wheelchair accessible RVs and motor homes, called the Accessibility Enhanced product line. Factory-installed accessible features and options will include a platform wheelchair lift, powered door, remote controls for door/lift, roll-in shower with bench seat, electric adjustable queen bed, wider hallways for easier wheelchair access and more. The AE trim level will be available on Winnebago’s Intent 30R, Adventurer 30T and Forza 34T RVs. Are you ready to explore?
- High schoolers build ADA swing for playground — Sandpoint High School seniors Aiden Ackerman, Garrett Bamer and Nick Kempton are building a wheelchair accessible swing that will be installed at McNearney Park in Ponderay, Idaho. The work is being done in the students’ welding class and is being supported with funding from the Rotary Club of Ponderay and Jacey’s Race, a local charity. Isn’t it great to see communities coming together in this way?
- Disabled fans have an ally at Wrexham FC — An article in The Leader put a spotlight on the work of Kerry Evans, the disability liaison officer for the Wrexham FC football club (Wales). Her tireless efforts are improving the match day experience for supporters with disabilities, and also making it possible for fans to travel to away games. Read about the effort she has put forward to make Wrexham a truly inclusive football club. It’s amazing, and an example to teams of all sizes around the world.
- Chicago Airport Unveils ‘Changing Places’ ADA Accessible Bathroom — Chicago’s O’Hare Airport has opened an accessible ‘Changing Places’ bathroom facility in Terminal 2, near Gate F3. The companion care bathroom features equipped a motorized passenger lift/hoist, an adult changing table (max load of 330lbs.), two ADA accessible showers (roll-in and transfer seat types), an accessible toilet, sink, emergency pull cords and an automatic door. Great news! I hope other airports will follow.
- Alabama city purchases wheelchair accessible trolley — Tuscumbia, Alabama, located in The Shoals area just outside of Huntsville, has purchased a new trolley with a wheelchair accessible lift. The city plans to use the trolley in its promotion of tourism in the area.
- Wheelchair user takes on Shreveport, LA for dangerous sidewalks — Cedric Murphy, a disability advocate and wheelchair user, recently filed a complaint with the City of Shreveport, Louisiana for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. KTBS news followed Mr. Murphy, who showed intersections and sidewalks that were not accessible to his power wheelchair. He said, “We’re putting ourselves in danger to cross the street…I can’t cross the street here because I can’t get up on the curb over there.” Read his full story and learn about the city’s response at the link.
- Abandoned railroad track to become an accessible trail — A publicly owned railroad track bed in New York will be transformed into The Adirondack Rail Trail, a public trail of 34 miles end-to-end that can be used by “bikers, dog walkers, joggers, baby buggy pushers, wheelchair travelers, bird watchers, little kids with training wheels on their bikes, you name it.” The trail begins at the Olympic Village of Lake Placid, (Winter Games of 1932 & 1980). What a great way to repurpose an abandoned railroad for public use!
- Winter weather exacerbates accessibility barriers — Newswatch 12 Wisconsin recently ran a story on the challenges people with disabilities face, and how the snow and ice that comes with winter weather can make getting out and about more difficult. It’s nice to see local media bringing this important information to the community. As I always say, accessible travel starts local – and awareness does too!
- Restaurant owner sued for lack of accessible seating — Was this a “drive-by” ADA lawsuit? Maybe. But there is still an ADA lesson here: Restaurants that provide patio seating must ensure that the patio and the associated tables are wheelchair accessible. Accessible indoor seating is not enough. Don’t take a business to court if they are willing to make the necessary changes for ADA compliance.
Feature image courtesy Winnebago Industries.