Paralyzed Veterans of America, an organization dedicated to empowering veterans, is undergoing a campaign to alert the public to the dangers people with disabilities commonly face during air travel. Shaun Castle, a US Army veteran and Deputy Executive Director for Paralyzed Veterans of America, is here to discuss this important topic.
Shaun explains that the number one thing Paralyzed Veterans of America and other organizations hear about is air carrier access and the dangers that go along with it. If you have a catastrophic disability, or any kind of disability, it could take you about 30 -45 minutes every time you go through airport security. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it is embarrassing. It is also dangerous because you are being handled by people who do not have high-level medical training when it comes to dealing with people with disabilities.
When those with disabilities get to the plane, they are put into a narrow aisle chair, again being handled by other people who are not trained. So, you could be dropped. Then, you are stuck in your seat for the entire flight. There is no way to get you down to the bathroom, but even if you could get there the bathroom is not big enough or you to access.
Shaun notes that this is not just a disability rights issue or just a veterans’ rights issue. This is an issue for all Americans who travel. The Air Carrier Access Act has been in place for about 30 years, but it is still important to make sure that air travel is accessible for all people.
Learn more at PVA.org/travel.