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some sign-interpreted performances;

a tape cassette sent with tickets containing a

description of stage sets; and

a special hotline with information on available shows for

persons with visual impairment.

Despite these advances, there is still a long unfinished

agenda with respect to equal access to tourism and recreation

facilities for handicapped persons.

Advances have been made in

equality of access to travel opportunities for those who are

handicapped or ill.

But these advances have not always kept pace

with gains in other forms of equality.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance

Board has received 944 written complaints about barriers since it

was established, and 822 have yet to be resolved.

One-hundred-and-twenty-eight of those complaints were received

this year alone.

The most common complaints were about lack of

curb cuts, ramps and automatic doors.

Facilities in New York

State, Washington, D.C., and California were the object of the


about 36%


of all complaints this year.

Few restaurant menus are printed in braille.

Few waiters

and waitresses have been trained to tell blind patrons the

location on the table of food items, for example, in terms of "12


Rental cars with hand controls are not available at all of

our major cities.

The only commercial aircraft with wheelchair accessible

restroos are the new-generation Boeing 767s and Airbus

Industrie's A-300.

Few airlines will transport wheelchairs

powered by wet-cell batteries.

The State of Hawaii requires a 120-day quarantine for all

dogs entering the state, including guide dogs.

Many passengers who are sight-impaired may have special problems in coping with airport security devices and in comprehending in-flight demonstrations of safety features and

survival equipment such as life vests, oxygen masks and emergency


Policies and practices for accommodating handicapped

pasengers are not uniform.

At least one trunk airline and some

intrastate carriers will not transport wheelchairs.

Treatment of

the handicapped traveler often varies from airport to airport,

even on the same airline and even if the carrier's corporate

policy prohibits discrimination against disabled persons.


35-248 O - 84 - 3

the most fair and equitable policy doesn't always filter down to

the operating level, and when it does, it isn't always uniformly

administered and executed.

One major U.S. carrier went so far as

to produce a training film to instruct its employees in the

application of its policy toward the handicapped traveler, and

the policy was to accommodate the disabled passenger to the

maximum extent possible. Yet, a handicapped passenger attempting to deplane from one of that carrier's aircraft at Dulles

International Airport was informed by an airline employee that

wheelchairs were not permitted aboard mobile lounges.


passenger waited in the aircraft for more than an hour after

other passengers had deplaned before finally being assisted to

the terminal.

Even though the addition of onboard wheelchairs to 767s represents a significant breakthrough for the handicapped passenger, there is no existing standard, Federal or otherwise,

which requires such wheelchairs to be equipped with a seat belt.

In one incident I was informed of recently, a paraplegic

passenger using a beltless wheelchair fell from the chair.

Similar deficiencies exist in non-transport facilities

designed for the disabled traveler.

An official of the

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, himself a handicapped person, recently described some which he

encountered in traveling cross-country to assume his new post in


He used a directory put out by a major U.S. motel

chain which has made a conscientious effort to provide necessary

facilities for handicapped persons.

At one motel described in

the directory as "accessible", and where he stopped for the

night, there was an extra-wide bathroom door, permitting the entry of a wheelchair, and grab bars around the bathtub. There

was also a grab bar around the toilet

making it inaccessible

by wheelchair.

According to the Society for the Advancement of Travel for

the Handicapped, wheelchair access motor coaches are in short

supply and several dozen are needed immediately, nationwide.

The celebrated Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman, partially paralyzed by polio, estimates that architectural barriers still deny 30 to 50 million handicapped Americans the right to enjoy

the arts, a common reason for travel.

Many barriers which impede travel by handicapped persons are restrooms on interstate buses are generally not

most resistant to change in the less-expensive transport modes:

wheelchairs are not routinely available, as they are at airports, to carry the physically-disabled from the ticket counter to the boarding platform, or from the

platform to the curb, at many train stations and bus


wheelchair accessible, nor are train or subway station


arrival and departure announcements and "all-aboard"

calls cannot always be communicated in a timely fashion

to rail passengers suffering from a hearing disorder.

State governments have taken steps to expand travel and tourism opportunities for handicapped persons, and nearly every

state has a "barriers" law requiring public spaces to be


However, some handicapped individuals report that

application and enforcement of the law often differ from state to

state and even from locale to locale within a state.

The American National Standard Institute has developed

design standards to ensure accessibility to buildings, but there

are no similar standards defining "accessibility" in


These and similar problems affect large numbers of Americans. Although the reliability of available data has been subject to

question, the data we do have indicate that the number of our

handicapped citizens is not decreasing; it's growing larger every year. Today, there are more individuals with "activity

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