"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Thursday, January 10, 2008

'Disabled Canadians Jubilant to Have Transport Barrier Removed'

Does your adult son, daughter or friend need a support person with them when traveling by public transportation? Have they or you ever expressed frustration with the fact that it costs twice as much for a person with a disability to use the same public transportation available to other Canadians?

I know I have. And still do, as a matter of a fact. Right at this moment, I am haunted by one of the many items on my never-ending To Do List, this one to recontact our local bus company to continue the debate about whether I should have to pay a second fare for my teenage daughter's support person. It turns out that they do have a policy in conjunction with the CNIB, providing that a blind person can travel with a support person without paying or a second fare. But they don't have any policy around any other disabilities.

After telling them how great I thought it was that they have this policy in place for the blind, I calmly pointed out that to have such a policy for one type of disability and not for others might, by some, be considered discriminatory. Somehow, that seemed to get their attention.

They advised me that would be making a policy around the issue for all disabilities and provided me some with free bus passes in the interim. Which was fine, except that was quite a while ago, the bus passes have long since been used up and I need to call them back again and get them moving on this issue. Just one more time and place when I have to do someone else's job.

But fortunately, and the reason why I am now writing this post, I will now have some backup when I make that call and write that letter.
Today the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) released a landmark decision concerning the right of individuals with disabilities to travel by air without having to say for a second seat, for an attendant or other use, to accommodate their disability. In a historic decision in the “One Person, One Fare” case, the agency has recognized the right of these individuals to have access to a second seat when traveling by air in Canada without having to pay a second fare.
Sometimes, I like to convince myself that I haven't simply been procrastinating (or more accurately, been too overwhelmed to finish what I started in a timely manner) but that it's all fate, you see ... of course, I hadn't been aware of it but I had just been waiting for this decision to be released so I would have some good quality ammo on my side for the next time we spoke.

The media release from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities can be found here.

Read it, Preach it, Use it!

1 comment:

MMC said...

Just checking comment function.