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30 Jan, 2016

U.S. Paralyzed Veterans Launch Website Documenting Air Travel Experiences of People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Air Carrier Access Act, Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) has launched a new website where individuals with disabilities can share their air travel experiences, both positive and negative.

The new website can be found at www.airaccess30.org and is endorsed by Paralyzed Veterans and seven other disability organizations—United Spinal Association, Easter Seals, National Disability Rights Network, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Council on Independent Living, and The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

“We hope that this site will provide a forum for people with disabilities to share their air travel experiences and help raise awareness as we continue to advocate for improved access in air travel,” said Al Kovach Jr., national president of Paralyzed Veterans. “We encourage everyone to visit the website, share their stories and stay up to date on any air access improvements.”

In October 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) into law. The ACAA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in air travel. This law – along with the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 – were critical in laying the groundwork for passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) published the ACAA’s implementing regulations in 1990. Since then, air travel for passengers with disabilities has improved greatly. Now, airlines may neither refuse to transport anyone on the basis of disability for any reason, except those related to safety, nor may they require advance notice for travelers with disabilities.

Despite progress, too many travelers with disabilities continue to encounter significant barriers in air travel, such as damaged assistive devices, inaccessible lavatories and in-flight entertainment, and delayed assistance.

To share your story or learn more about the Air Carrier Access Act, visit www.airaccess30.org.

About Paralyzed Veterans of America:

Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For nearly 70 years, we have ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.

As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities. With more than 70 offices and 34 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. (www.pva.org)