New DOT Rules Make Flying Easier for Passengers with Disabilities

It is requiring airline websites and automated airport kiosks to be accessible to passengers with disabilities. In addition, airlines will choose between stowing wheelchairs in a cabin compartment on new aircraft or strapping them to a row of seats, an...


If an airline chooses to use a closet to stow a wheelchair, then it will still be required to stow only one wheelchair in the cabin. However, in this case it must install a sign or placard prominently on the closet indicating that a wheelchair and other assistive devices are to be stowed in this area with priority over other items brought onto the aircraft by other passengers or crew, including crew luggage.    

The rule on accessible websites and kiosks is available on the Internet at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2011-0177. In addition to accepting public comments on the web and kiosk rule through this website, the Department partnered with Cornell University’s eRulemaking Initiative (CeRI), Regulation Room, designed to improve the public’s ability to understand and participate in the rulemaking process. A goal of the CeRI team is to make Regulation Room as accessible to as many users as possible.  This partnership supports President Obama’s open-government initiative.  The final rule on wheelchairs is available at the same website at docket DOT-OST-2011-0098. 

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