Centerlines - December 2009 - (Page 23)

P A S S E N G E C OFLO C UN R UM S ENABLING THE DISABLED B Y C A R ROL L MCC OR M IC K Curb-to-curb accessibility is a never-ending struggle Eric Lipp, executive director, Open Doors Organization. “We are saying ‘go for it.’” WHAT is DOING? ACI-NA • ACI-NA is an active participant in the proceedings of National Council on Disability and U.S. Access Board. hile advocates for the disabled say airports have a legal duty, a moral duty, and perhaps, a commercial duty to accommodate travelers with disabilities, airports that go the extra mile to provide quality customer services to disabled passengers should realize that “it’s just good business.” Eric Lipp, founder and executive director of the Chicago-based Open Doors Organization, said 9.6 million disabled travelers spend $3.3 billion a year on air travel, and airports willing to accommodate their top requirements — wheelchairs and meet-and-assist services — earn the loyalty and respect of these travelers. Airports that undertake a self-assessment of the quality of the services they provide to the disabled should have some humility, he added “There are (some airports) that think they have done everything they have to or should,” Lipp said. “Some airports do fantastic jobs on their Web sites. Some airports have great visual paging. Yet others have shuttle bus lifts and elevators that do not work, and Braille signage is rare.” Passengers traveling with service animals will be served by a number of airports, such as Knoxville, Philadelphia and Tucson, which have relief areas for those animals. However, there is no requirement that the service areas be located on the airside — a shortcoming that passengers making connecting flights lament. Airports from St. John’s to New Orleans offer teletypewriters for deaf passengers; Yellowknife Airport which does not, offers a work-around through the NWT Council for Persons With Disabilities. Many airport Web sites, such as Indianapolis, Little Rock and San Diego describe their accommodations for the disabled. The information is somewhat buried, requiring a short drill-down • It is active in the rulemaking from the home page to “passenger serproceedings of both the Transportation vices” to “accessibility.” Chicago O’Hare and Justice departments’ concerning extols its accessibility-friendliness. transportation access. Airport services and special infra• Outreach efforts are part of the bistructure may include videophones, annual ACI-NA Customer Service elevators, special parking, rental cars Seminar. | CENTERLINES W

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - December 2009

Centerlines - December 2009
Table of Contents
President's Message
Canadian Airports
Associates' Corner
Policy Corner
Training Center
On the Hill and On the Stump
Cover Story: Time to Look Ahead
Griesbach Concessions Award Winners
Passenger Focus: Enabling the Disabled
Environment: Sustainable Aviation Guidance Alliance
Now Underway
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - December 2009