"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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Travel, Anyone?

While I do have a post brewing on some more human rights in education issues, given the time of year and the fact that I have a few other irons in the fire at the moment, I'm hoping you will forgive my tardiness. And, for now, see fit to accept this collection of potentially useful links for traveling this holiday season (or any other time, for that matter).

But first, some background on the Canadian Transportation Agency.
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent administrative body of the Government of Canada. It performs two key functions within the federal transportation system:
  • As a quasi-judicial tribunal, the Agency, informally and through formal adjudication, resolves a range of commercial and consumer transportation-related disputes, including accessibility issues for persons with disabilities. It operates like a court when adjudicating disputes.
  • As an economic regulator, the Agency makes determinations and issues authorities, licences and permits to transportation carriers under federal jurisdiction.
Part of the Agency's mandate includes dispute resolution (resolving complaints about federal transportation services, rates, fees and charges) and accessibility (ensuring Canada's national transportation system is accessible to all persons, particularly those with disabilities).

And, by the by, the CTA is also the Agency responsible for the historic One Person, One Fare” decision, in which the the right of  individuals with disabilities to have access to a second seat when traveling by air in Canada without having to pay a second fare for an attendant or other use, to accommodate their disability was recognized.

So now that you are sufficiently versed in the "who", let me share with you the "what". For your viewing pleasure, I offer the following three documents from the CTA:

Carriage of Mobility Aids On Board Planes, Trains and Ferries
This document sets out the standards, regulations, policies and procedures concerning the carriage of mobility aids in air, rail and ferry travel. It also provides some helpful tips for those traveling with mobility aids, as well as the procedure to be followed in resolving any problems/issues.

Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities
This guide helps to anticipate the questions and prepare for the challenges that can arise when traveling. Starting with suggestions on making reservations, the document goes on to look at potential issues around the terminal, getting on board and your arrival at the other end (including mobility aids, medical clearances and service animals). There are some handy reminders and advice about what to do when things don't turn out as you expected, as well as a section with useful information sources and an index to help with quick searches. A reservation checklist is also included.

Accessible Transportation Complaints: A Resource Tool for Persons with Disabilities
As the title suggests, this document deals with the procedures involved in resolving accessible transportation complaints.

I haven't personally reviewed the documents at any great length or had any reason to use them yet (although I hope to change that soon - meaning I hope our family will be doing some travel by air this summer) but I hope you find them useful, either now or in the future.

H/T to the Arch Disability Law Centre and their great newsletters

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