Transportation: Department of Transportation Hosts Access and Mobility for All Summit

On October 29, the Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted the Access and Mobility for All Summit. The summit provided an opportunity for the public to learn about DOT and government-wide efforts to improve access to transportation for people with disabilities, and for members of the public to provide input on new developments in transportation. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced several new initiatives, including Complete Trip Deployment solicitation, which provides $40 million to communities to promote independent mobility and $5 million in cash prizes for inclusive design of automated vehicles. Visit the Department of Transportation website to learn more.

Transportation: Department of Transportation to Host Access and Mobility for All Summit

On October 29, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will host the Access and Mobility for All Summit. The summit provides an opportunity for the public to learn about DOT and government-wide efforts to improve access to transportation for people with disabilities, and for members of the public to provide input on new developments in transportation. Keynote speakers include Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Visit the Department of Transportation website to learn more.

Transportation: Air Carrier Access Amendments Act Reintroduced

On March 6, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative James Langevin (D-RI) reintroduced the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (S.669, H.R.1549). This bill improves accessibility of air travel for people with disabilities by creating a private right of action for violations, requiring new airplanes to meet minimum accessibility standards, and requiring removal of access barriers on existing planes where feasible. The Arc supports this legislation.

Transportation – Senate Approves FAA Reauthorization

On October 3, the Senate approved the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 by a vote of 93-6. This bill includes numerous provisions that benefit people with disabilities, including required training for Transportation Security Administration officers on working with passengers with disabilities, increased civil penalties for bodily harm to a passenger with a disability or damage to wheelchairs or other mobility aids, a new Advisory Committee on Air Travel Needs of Passengers with Disabilities, and a study of potential in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems that will allow passengers to remain in their wheelchairs during flight. The bill now heads to the President’s desk.

Transportation – Senate and House Committees Reach Agreement on FAA Reauthorization Bill

On September 22, leaders of the House Transportation and Infrastructure, and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees announced a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. The bill includes a section on improving air travel for people with disabilities and requires Transportation Security Administration officer training to include training on working with passengers with disabilities. The current FAA authorization expires on September 30, so Committee leaders hope to achieve final passage this week.

Transportation – DOT Announces Changes in Services Animal Enforcement Priorities and Regulations

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has released an Interim Statement of Enforcement Office Priorities and Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding regulations of service animals under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). DOT will now prioritize enforcement cases involving dogs, cats, and miniature horses over cases involving other animals. Additional priorities include the general prohibition on advance notice; a requirement that identification cards, other written documentation, presence of a harness, tags, or the credible verbal assurance of a passenger be accepted as proof of that an animal is a service animal; and the prohibition on requiring passengers with service animal to check-in at the counter.

DOT is seeking public comment to help ensure that individuals with disabilities can continue using their service animals while also helping to ensure that the fraudulent use of other animals not qualified as service animals is deterred and animals that are not trained to behave properly in public are not accepted for transport as service animals. The ANPRM contains ten questions covering topics such as psychiatric service and emotional support animals, the number of animals allowed per passenger, leash and harness requirements, and allowable documentation requirements. Public comment on the ANPRM is due by June 9. Click here to comment.

Transportation – Senate Introduces Bill to Improve Airline Accessibility

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has introduced the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (S.1318) along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Ed Markey (D-MA). This bill will strengthen the Air Carrier Access Act by providing a private right of action and increasing civil penalties for injury of a passenger with a disability or damage of a wheelchair or other mobility device. Additionally, it requires a study of in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems that would allow individuals to sit in their wheelchairs during a flight and to put forward guidelines based on those findings. The Arc supports this legislation.

Transportation – Senate Approves Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation

On January 24, the Senate confirmed Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao with a vote of 93-6. The Department of Transportation’s mission is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Transportation – Senate Committee Votes to Approve Chao Nomination

On January 24, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee voted unanimously to recommend the full Senate confirm Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation. The Department of Transportation’s mission is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.” Visit the Committee web site for more information or to view archived video of the hearing.

Transportation – Senate to Hold Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Transportation Nominee

On January 11, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Technology Committee will a hearing on the nomination of Elaine Chao to be the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. The Department’s mission is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.” Visit the Committee web site for more information or to access live video the day of the hearing.