Wednesday, 16 Jan 2019
News

A group of veterans is asking the court for help to make the bathrooms more accessible


Lori Aratani Reporter, a specialist in transportation, including airports, airlines, and the country's rail and metro networks. Veterans paralyzed in America on Thursday filed a lawsuit in the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, asking the court to force the Department of Transportation to relaunch efforts to make bathrooms accessible to single-aisle planes disabled people. "Our costume simply asks the [Transportation Department] do what Congress asked them to do, "said Karianne M. Jones, a lawyer at the Democracy Forward Foundation, who represents the group of veterans. After years of debate, advocates were encouraged when, in 2016, a committee convened by the Transportation Department came to a consensus on improving the accessibility of bathrooms. [Could you fit in this airplane bathroom? Airlines are shrinking the lavatories down to their smallest width ever] "The agreement … is an important step in ensuring that air travelers with disabilities have equal access to air travel," said Anthony Foxx, then Secretary of Transport. expect people with reduced mobility to refrain from using toilets when using a single-aisle aircraft, in particular because single-aisle aircraft are increasingly used for longer flights. "But the complaint says that not only has the department missed the deadline, but that the agency has also indicated that it would not follow the directive's" effort. " Was arrested when, in the spring of 2018, the ministry postponed the toilet accessibility rule to its long-term program and then completely removed it, which means that it was not 39; has no intention of changing the rule so soon "says. [As airline fines go down, will passenger dissatisfaction go up?] The department did not respond to a request for comment on the delay or prosecution. But the Trump administration had previously announced its intention to stop new rules. Aircraft, unlike other modes of transportation, are not subject to the accessibility rules set out in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The industry instead complies with the rules specified in the law on aviation. 39, access to air carriers, adopted by Congress in 1986. Wide-body aircraft must be equipped with accessible bathrooms, but they are not necessary for single-aisle aircraft, such as the Boeing 737, one of the planes most used lines on the market. Despite sustained pressure for change, the airline industry has objected, which could have significant financial implications, as installing larger bathrooms could result in loss of seating or space. of the kitchen. In 2016, the Transportation Department formed a committee composed of representatives of the airline industry, flight attendants, aircraft builders and disability rights advocates, in order to # 39; study the issue of toilets and other issues. Later that year, the group reached consensus. The committee agreed that the bathrooms should be made accessible, but did not require modernization of current aircraft. Instead, the group presented short and long-term strategies to achieve the goal of facilitating access. Jones, who represents the veterans group, said the public often did not realize that flying poses particular challenges for travelers with disabilities. The Ministry requires 60-seat or larger planes to provide wheelchairs to persons with disabilities, provided that the airline is notified 48 hours in advance. Chairs are designed to help disabled passengers get to the bathroom door – but chairs should not enter the bathroom. Because of this, many disabled travelers avoid using the bathrooms. [Will FAA bill mean relief for cramped travelers?] James Thomas Wheaton Jr. travels frequently for his work as national treasurer for Paralyzed Veterans of America. But flying scares him, he said in a statement included in the suit. The Navy Veteran is paralyzed and getting to the aircraft restroom is often a test, so much so that it limits the amount of food that he eats and drinks the day before the flight. He also wears protective underwear in the plane. The impetus for more accessible bathrooms comes at a time when personal space in planes is decreasing. The toilets on some of the newer Boeing 737 models are now 24 inches wide, which can free up space for six more seats. Many airlines are also upgrading older planes with smaller toilets in hopes of maximizing their revenues. .

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