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ing of that kind of information would provide employment for handicapped individuals, and they could be trained as information specialists in the travel industry. And so it would generate some jobs for some handicapped people, as well.

One of the reasons it really needs to be a computerized data base is because accessibility guides become outdated as soon as they are published. I don't know of one that remains accurate when it is published, and that is a really sad thing to have to say.

It is my opinion also-and I want to make two final points in these oral remarks-and that is that the deregulation of the airline industry has really hurt handicapped travelers. The interline agreement on handicapped travel going out of force with the demise of the CAB really does hurt handicapped travelers and ought to be looked at very carefully in terms of possible amendments to the Air Travel Security Act or other legislation. I think that the deregulation, in general, of the FAA regulations throws out the window some of the advisory opinions which we worked so long to get from the FAA.

The final point, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, is that I think handicapped people in this country don't want discounts from the travel industry-charity, but they want to be able to get on an airplane and sit in the seat and fly, or get on a bus and take a tour. And a lot of good things have happened. There have been a lot of good things, and those good things, like the 767, with an onboard wheelchair, or bus companies being more interested in handicapped business, or the Smithsonian program which I used to work on-those things are good things, but those come about because there is no discount, because people want to provide service and not charity.

So I would advocate that the Congress, in passing laws that affect such items as the Federal Railroad Administration and others, not give discounts to the handicapped traveler. Even though handicapped travelers can indeed be a low income group, it is better to give the industry a financial incentive to provide good service than a financial requirement to give out charity. The travel industry ought not get into the welfare business, Mr. Chairman.

I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to testify before you today, and I would be glad to answer any questions.

Thank you.

[The statement of Mr. Snider follows:]


Society for the Advancement

of Travel for the Handicapped

INTERNATIONAL HEAD OFFICE, suite 1110. 26 Court Si, Brooklyn, NY 11242

To 1212) 66 inlet 1294* ITAAVUKTINT NYKI

Testimony of Dr. Harola Snider at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Commerce, 1:27sportation, and Tourism of the U.s. House of Representatives on koncay, December 5, 1963.


Improving travel and tourism opportunities for handicapped persons.

Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, ladies and gentlemen;

I am Dr. Harola Snicer, the immediate past-president of the Society for the
Advancement of Travel for the Handicapped, and also, currently president o!
Access for the Handicapped, Incorporated. This testimony is being presented
by me on behalf oi the officers and members of the Society for the Acvancement
of Travel for the fandicapped. We would like to thank the Committee for this
opportunity to testi:y on issues of vital importance to handicapped Americans,

According to the receral Bureau of Health Statistics, there are over 35 million
handicapped Americans. In a speech on July 6, 1983, before the annual national
convention of the racional Federation of the Blind, in Kansas City, Missouri,
Nr. Martin. Darity, assistant Secretary of Commerce for Tourism Marketing, stated
that hancicapped Anericans representes a potential market of over $30 billion
a year for the trai'el and tourism industry.

De sceiety for the revancement of Travel ?c: the anaicaipea is a non-profit,
tax-exemps, educational organization écunded in 1975. S.A.7.H. has, as its
erbers, travel açe:-s anĉ tour operators, hotel and airline executives, as
well as handicaped persons thenselves. Fandicappee persons play a leasership
rcle 1:. S...7.7., as wel: as their abie-bodies colleagues. Over the last eight
years, has held a variety oi ecucational conferences in Orlando, Boston,
=107€.0€, Italy, stercat, Folland, Washington, D.C., i'ie, Austria 2.20
Los eles. I:. 196. and 1962, S.A.T.E. sponsozec congressional luncheons
1.. co-operation was the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus. In February,
2963, 5....1... sponsored a tho-cay corteze..ce with the ü.s. Travel and Tourism
reministration on irroving 2.0 promoting travel an tourist. opportunities 20:
the ha.cicapped. Co. Norenber 9, 1983. Pace University, in ew York City, and
5.2...3. joint); $90-sozes a one-day seminar on travel for the handicapped.
Co roverber 7, 298, s...... presentes a sezi.2. c. travel for the handicapped
a: che conventica ci che racional TOSI Association - he:ston., Texas. Also
at the rational Tour association convention is Houston, the Executive Director

1.1.1., Nr. 2 Vicockie: received the Travel Leade: 02 the Year inard
10: his work on bener of travel for the handicappee. . 1'.cock.e: also serves
és a member os ine idrisory Board of Congress 2016) Travel and Toris Cauc s.

Cier she last eight years, S.-..... has been able to carefully analyze both te market potential anċ the possible problems which iace handicappeċ travellers. he would like to briefly outline several o: or concerns and suggestions:

1. We believe that insufficient research has been done to quantify the potential handicapped travel market. We know how many handicapped Americans there are, but we don't know how often they currently travel or what their potential propensity to travel would be if opportunities were improved. We do know that handicapped Americans are in general either unemployed or underemployed and that when they work their per capita income is often less than that of able-bodied workers. In order to justify future expenditures by the travel industry, we believe that urgent research is needed which will identify the hancicapped travel market more clearly. For instance, we have no knowledge cf how many handicapped Americans may hold and use credit cards for travel and leisure. To date, the credit card industry has been most unresponsive in meeting the needs of handicapped travellers. We strongly recommend the establishment of co-operative research projects between travel industry crçanizations and appropriate federal agencies, such as the U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration, Department of Education, Department of Health and Patan Services and National Library Service for the Elind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress.

2. The single greatest problem facing the handicapped traveller is che lack of information about airports, hotels, sightseeing attractions 220 destinations. There is no single up-to-date source which can be consulted by the handicapped traveller or their family which will give information about services and architectural accessibility. Access quides to many cities have been published is the last few years, But they are out of cate almost as soon is che; are publishec. hich subiiciet funding {rom the private sector and the Federal Government, it would be possible to establish and upgate a computerizeê data base with a toll-free runder. This case base could serve both the incividual hescicapped traveller as well as travel açents and tour ceradors max 279 errancements fo: ha:dicapped travellers. Since it is theoetically possible for computers to talk to each other, it is possible that 21:10:4 reservation serices could ta; this data base when making reservations for a bandicapped traveller. Establishment of a national cata base of travel 1.60.72tion fc: the handicapped would also make it possible to promote tourism to the United States by handicapped persons from overseas, who could easily cocain. information in advance of their trip. A: present, the travel industry itsel: cannot içertify or quantify the number, availability and location ci accessible motel are hotel rooms, aircraft accessibility, and other kinds c: 1.portant information essential to the hancicappee traveller. in interesting -rocuct of the establishment of such a cata base ci travel information for the fascicapped is that the cathering of information, data entry into the Co-peer and giving the information over the phone could be cone by handicapped e-010; ees, thus providing trained information specialists for the travel industry ho are handicappea.


me si-sle eatest probiet. Cacing the tendicarses traveller mile craie?11... is the iç orance, prejudice anc çeneral lack of understaeing of the treess c: the ha:cicapped travelle: by persco...el in the travel and tourism i.custry. This lack of adequate training results in hartıful and unneccessary discrimination against the handicapped traveller. Since 1975, the number os court cases involving ciscrimination against handicapped travellers has multiplied m2ny times.

These cases have been harmful to the image of the travel industry, but they have been necessary because of the lack of adequate federal regulations and enforcement, as well as the lack of voluntary industry-wide standards. S.A.T.6. strongly acvocates the establishment of a committee representing the travel industry, the handicapped community, federal regulatory agencies and the Congress, which could attempt to develop voluntary standarċs of service for handicappeč travellers and standards for training of personnel in the travel industry. In the future, appropriate legislation to prevent discrimination against handicapped travellers may be necessary, but a cood faith effort, throuch voluntary standards, should be given a chance to work. with the deregulation of the airline industry by Congress, thereby coing away with many federal regulations and the inter-line agreement about handicapped passengers, both the airlines and handicapped travellers are faced with a void which must be filled by either industry standards, other regulations, or legislation.

Finally, the travel industry has come a long way in making its bacilities, vehicles ans aircraft more available and accessible to handicapped travellers. There are o: accessible hotel rooms in the Uniteo States. The Boeing 767 aircrait is accessible to wheelchair passengers. Blind passengers can keep their canes with them while flying and bus conpanies are doing a better job of marketing their procact co the handicappes traveller. COor companies 2..d trazel açerts accross the country are beginning to find that the handicapped travel market is commercially lucrative. Organizations cé handicapped persons are holding larce conventions with thousands of Ebers travelling from every state. major sightseei-g attractions are opening their coors to the ha..dicapped traveller. More and more bancicappes -mericans are learring through experience that they can enjoy the independence of travelling along with their family 2... ieras. The cy or the face of the blind crila toucnire a piece o: Toca rock - the Smithsonian cannot be measures, and that experie ce ca:10t take place without travel.

The travel industry has come a long way, but still has a long way to co in meeting the needs and che potential c: the handicappeć narket. We believe

at handicages travellers wat service and not charity from the travel 1...ustry. ve also believe that because oi tre sce:cnics ce providing good service, the traiel industry car. ill-eiford to give charity. Tezeiere, the Society for the sera ceret o: Travel for the handicappes casoses special discounts

c: the tangica: es traveller. ke believe that suficier: ccpetition 2nd ciscomtec rate: already exist within the industry.

Furthermore, we believe 172t éiscounted cravel for the handicapses can only lead to continued segregation and ciscrimination against the tačicaspeċ tre elle?. ve wice the Congress 5.0+ to pass let's wnich force the travel áticastry to give charity to the fandicapped. Hitro.. there is cze2Singatny for the tarė:capes anė there is a teniency to 9:"e discounts to Incore croups, we believe that most handica972 ricars

: rather be treated with dignity a-decuality by the tr2:el incastry.

"*. Chairman, we request that the preceec:nç siatement be tiede e permanent part of the record of this hearinç. bca., we wouls 1.19 to tha: you 2.0

is committee for the cpportunity to present testimony to you about travel co: the handicapped.

Mr. FLORIO. Mr. Gashel.


My name is James Gashel, director of governmental affairs for the National Federation of the Blind. We are a nationwide membership organization of blind people; State affiliates in every State. So we come to this hearing from a consumer base with direct personal and constant experience in dealing with the travel industry and the tourism industry, and these are the views I would like to express today.

I begin first with a general statement which is that I doubt whether there is any member of this subcommittee or anybody in the Congress as a whole that would seriously question the proposition that our Nation's travel and tourism policies should emphasize the right of all persons, blind and sighted alike, disabled or not, to have freedom of movement throughout our country and to be served by all the common carriers and places of public accommodation. That is a good beginning point, but we have a long way to go to get to the beginning.

First, let me express a note of caution or concern. Some who will testify at these hearings will come to tell of difficulties that they have because of architecturally designed inaccessibility, and that does exist, and these are very real problems. But it is a widespread myth that all classes or subgroups of people who we call the handicapped have that sort of trouble with the built environment. That notion is false.

But, worse than that, the controversy swirling around issues such as the cost of accessibility draws attention from the all-pervasive social and psychological barriers which exist. These barriers, too, Mr. Chairman, can be removed, and they must be removed along with the tearing down of the architectural barriers. Attacking the barriers of public ignorance and misconceptions which we face requires teaching new attitudes to replace old stereotypes, but it must be backed by a framework of laws and strong leadership to enforce them. Congress and the executive branch of Government can do the latter. We, the blind, and the handicapped must do the former. But both tasks must begin now.

Although, as I said before, I suppose we would not find very many who would contest the fact that everyone, regardless of disability, should be able to have the freedom of independent movement in our country. We still lack today a comprehensive, consistent and clear Federal mandate or law to that effect.

The laws which do exist are like a patchwork quilt-protection varies from one jurisdiction to another. Nearly half the States enacted over the past several years a model law which we developed called the Model White Cane Act. The results at the State level with that law have been good, but the protection is still spotty. Federal involvement is minimal or nonexistent.

Take the failure of the aviation industry and the Federal regulators to truly ban discrimination. Beginning about 10 years ago, the FAA started, under considerable pressure, to consider the failure of some air carriers at that time to transport handicapped people. We

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