----- Original Message ----- From: "Patricia A. Lipovsky" <plipovsky@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <fcb-l@xxxxxxx> Sent: Monday, November 04, 2013 6:59 PMSubject: [Nfbf-l] New DOT Rules Make Flying Easier for Passengers withDisabilities
-----Original Message----- From: Bob AcostaSent: Monday, November 04, 2013 4:15 PM TODAY REGARDING PERSONS WITHDISABILITIES for your information: DOT 92-13 Monday, November 4, 2013 Contact: Bill Mosley Tel.: (202) 366-4570 New DOT Rules Make Flying Easier for Passengers with Disabilities WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in its ongoing effort to ensure equal access to air transportation for all travelers, is requiringairline websites and automated airport kiosks to be accessible to passengerswith disabilities. In addition, DOT will allow airlines to choose betweenstowing wheelchairs in a cabin compartment on new aircraft or strapping themto a row of seats, an option that will ensure that two manual, folding wheelchairs can be transported at a time. The new rules are part of DOT's continuing implementation of the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986. "All air travelers should be treated fairly when they fly, regardless ofany disabilities they may have," said Secretary Foxx. "These new rules buildon our past work in ensuring that our air transportation system isaccessible for everyone, while balancing both airlines' and passengers' needfor flexibility." Under the new websites-and-kiosks rule, covered airlines are required within two years to make pages of their websites that contain core travel information and services accessible to persons with disabilities, and to make all of their web pages accessible within three years. Websites are required to meet the standards for accessibility contained in the widely accepted Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The requirement applies to U.S. and foreign airlines with websites marketing air transportation to U.S. consumers for travel within, to or from the United States. The rule also requires ticket agents to disclose and offer web-based discount fares to customers unable to use their sites due to a disability starting within 180 days after the rule's effective date. Airlines arealready required to provide equivalent service for consumers who are unableto use inaccessible websites. Under the new rule, airlines must also offer equivalent service to passengers with disabilities who are unable to use their websites even if the websites meet the WCAG accessibility standards. In addition, any automated kiosks installed at U.S. airports for services -- such as printing boarding passes and baggage tags --must beaccessible to passengers with disabilities until at least 25 percent of allkiosks at each airport location are accessible. Even if no new kiosks areinstalled, 25 percent of kiosks at each airport location must be accessible within 10 years. The standards for accessible kiosks are based on those setby the U.S. Department of Justice for ATM and fare machines in its 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act rule as well as the Section 508 standards for self-contained closed products, such as copiers. DOT's wheelchair rule provides airlines with more flexibility because itpermits airlines to transport passenger wheelchairs by strapping them acrossa row of seats using a strap kit that complies with applicable safety standards, in addition to stowing them in a closet or similar compartment. In 2008, DOT issued a rule prohibiting airlines from using the seat-strapping method on new aircraft as an alternative to stowing themanual wheelchair in a closet or similar compartment. In that same rule, DOT allowed the use of a seat-strapping method on existing aircraft. Based on afuller evaluation of the costs and benefits, DOT has now revised itsposition to also allow the use of seat-strapping on new aircraft subject tocertain conditions. For example, if an airline chooses to use the seat-strapping method to stow a wheelchair, it must transport two wheelchairs in the cabin if requested unless stowing the second wheelchair would displace other passengers. If an airline chooses to use a closet to stow a wheelchair, then it willstill be required to stow only one wheelchair in the cabin. However, in this case it must install a sign or placard prominently on the closet indicating that a wheelchair and other assistive devices are to be stowed in this area with priority over other items brought onto the aircraft by other passengersor crew, including crew luggage. The rule on accessible websites and kiosks is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2011-0177. In addition to accepting public comments on the web and kiosk rule through this website, the Department partnered with Cornell University's eRulemaking Initiative (CeRI), Regulation Room, designed to improve the public's ability to understand and participate in the rulemaking process. A goal of the CeRIteam is to make Regulation Room as accessible to as many users as possible. This partnership supports President Obama's open-government initiative. Thefinal rule on wheelchairs is available at the same website at docket DOT-OST-2011-0098. ---------------------------------------------------------- _______________________________________________ Celebrating 75 years of serving the blind of California, we are the California Council of the Blind _______________________________________________ CCB-L mailing list CCB-L@xxxxxxxxxx http://ccbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/ccb-l Robert Acosta, President Helping Hands for the Blind Email: boacosta@xxxxxxxxxxx Web Site: www.helpinghands4theblind.org You can assist Helping Hands for the Blind by donating your used computers to us. If you have a blind friend in need of a computer, please mail us at the above address. _______________________________________________ Nfbf-l mailing list Nfbf-l@xxxxxxxxxx http://nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfbf-l_nfbnet.orgTo unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for Nfbf-l: http://nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nfbf-l_nfbnet.org/peace05%40comcast.net
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