Monday, July 31, 2023

Accessibility Features at US Airports

Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) require specific assistance be provided at American airports for persons with disabilities. The Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights describes the fundamental rights of air travelers. These rights apply to all flights of all US airlines, and to flights originating at or ending in the US by foreign airlines. Here’s how to access that assistance.

First, when you make your reservations early, advise the airlines of the type of assistance you will need. Will you need someone to guide you to the gate, or someone to push your manual wheelchair, or will you be using your power wheelchair which must be gate-checked? Remember to call and confirm your accessibility needs before you leave for the airport.

When you arrive at the airport, identify yourself to an airline staff member as a person with a disability who has pre-booked specific assistance. You should be provided assistive services that address your needs. If you are traveling with your motorized wheelchair, be aware that each airline has its own procedures for storage of such wheelchairs and wet-cell batteries.

To express your gratitude for assistance, it is polite to tip the airport accessibility assistant. They are often low-paid workers and a small tip is usually appreciated. Their job is usually considered a tip-wage position by their employer, which allows them to be paid below the minimum wage.

Some of the rights passengers with disabilities have, in addition to assistance through the airport check-in and boarding process, include accessible airport facilities, priority aircraft boarding, assistance in getting to the onboard lavatory, and the right to travel with assistive devices and service dogs. Airline staff must have had training on how to properly assist a person with a disability.

What if you’re not disabled, but would find the long hike between check-in and boarding too strenuous? Can you request wheelchair assistance? Yes, you can, but the airlines may choose to transport you on a cart instead of in a wheelchair.

Have a safe trip and remember to book your accessibility needs well in advance of departure.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

July 26 is ADA33 Day

Thirty-three years ago on July 26, 1990, President George Herbert Walker Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.

President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act

This historic document not only guarantees the rights of Americans with disabilities, but it also serves as a model for disability civil rights legislation in nations around the globe. There are five sections, or Titles, in the law,

Title I of the ADA legislation protects persons with disabilities in the employment practices of private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, among other employers. Title II offers protection in the programs and activities of state and local government. Title III applies to private entities that are considered places of public accommodation. Title IV requires telecommunications companies (phone and internet) to provide relay services for hearing and speech impaired individuals. It also requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements. Title V contains miscellaneous provisions addressing, for example, the impact on insurance providers and a probation against coercion and retaliation. Title V also lists certain conditions that are not considered as disabilities.

What can you do to celebrate ADA33 Day. First, and perhaps most important, learn about the rights and responsibilities set forth in this document. A good overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act is here:

The ADA National Network has provided a Toolkit for ADA33 Day. It includes tweets and other ways to share the anniversary with your social media contacts. Find the ADA33 Toolkit here:

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Healthinfo Island Displays and Exhibits for July 2023

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the SLURLs in this blog post. Click on the poster with the same name as the title of the poster set, and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images. 

If you click each poster, you will get a message with additional information and live links.

Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island

Check out the calming breathing exercise on the back wall!

Garlic & Health

West Nile Virus

Fungus Among Us


Why You Should Read More!

Norovirus (“Stomach Flu”)

Opioid Use Disorder


Thanks to Mook for assistance with the posters this month.