NCD Releases Report on Improving the Enforcement of Civil Rights of Air Travelers with Disabilities

The NCD has released a groundbreaking report documenting ineffective enforcement of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) since the law's passage in 1986. Internet publication URL: www.independentliving.org/docs5/ncd199.html

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WASHINGTON (1999) --The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released a groundbreaking report documenting ineffective enforcement of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) since the law's passage in 1986. NCD's report, Enforcing the Civil Rights of Air Travelers with Disabilities, contains recommendations on how to improve the enforcement of civil rights of air travelers with disabilities, including changes to the law and improvements for the Department of Transportation.

At a news conference, NCD chairperson Marca Bristo said, "The negative experiences of disabled travelers go beyond the typical hassles all air travelers encounter. When you are dropped or mishandled by poorly trained staff who treat you like an inconvenient piece of luggage, when you can't get critical information because it is not provided in an accessible format, you are left with the feeling that you don't count, that your dignity as a human being has been violated."

"Unfortunately, NCD has found that although things have improved since ACAA was passed in 1986, people with disabilities continue to encounter frequent, significant violations of their civil rights. When they complain, they encounter an enforcement effort that is both inconsistent and limited in scope," Bristo added.

The report is available at NCD's award winning Web site (http://www.ncd.gov/publications/acaa.html), and will have serious implications for ACAA, the Federal Aviation Act, and passenger bill of rights legislation sponsored by the President and Congress. It is the first in NCD's "Unequal Protection Under Law" series of independent analyses of federal civil rights enforcement for Americans with disabilities.

NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President and Congress on public policy affecting people with disabilities.

For more information, contact Mark S. Quigley at 202-272-2004.

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