Airlines are not required to honor special seating requests for autistic passengers. I think this is wrong. Many autistic passengers require special seating while flying that should be respected. Currently, airlines are “encouraged” to make the accommodations, but not required. Join me and tell the Department of Transportation that autistic people should be given special seating accommodations just like other disabled passengers. Tell them to amend the ACAA to require specific accommodations for autistic spectrum passengers.
My name is Beth Joy. I have an autistic daughter. Last April, we took a trip from New York to Hawaii. Flying, for someone with sensory and auditory processing disorders, can be quite difficult. Her neurologist recommended she sit in the bulkhead and by the window. The seat placement would help ease her symptoms and allow for easier care during the flight. We got a doctor’s note requesting the appropriate seating arrangements and called 6 months ahead of time to make sure she would have the accommodations she needed to have a stress free flight.
The airline honored our request on the way to Hawaii, but denied us on the way home. The problem is the Air Carrier Access Act, the law that requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities, doesn’t specifically require airlines to provide special accommodations for people with autism. While others with disabilities are guaranteed certain seating accommodations, airlines can use discretion when providing seating for the autistic passengers. This needs to be fixed. The ACAA needs to be amended to specifically require airlines to provide those with autism the same seating privileges as others with disabilities.
The CDC found that one in 68 children lie somewhere within the autism spectrum. It is important to ensure that their flying experience provides for their medical needs. The Department of Transportation can ensure this by amending the ACAA to require airlines to afford autistic passengers special seating if requested.
Join me and ask the DOT to do the right thing and help make air travel as comfortable as possible for those on the autism spectrum. Tell them to amend the ACAA.
AMEND THE ACAA FOR AUTISM: AIR TRAVEL FOR ALL EQUALLY
We ask that you amend the Air Carrier Access Act to accommodate the developmentally disabled of whom have doctor prescribed seats.
It must be a federal mandate just as you have for the physically disabled.
We as parents are asking for not only the safety and well-being of our children but for the comfort of other passengers flying as we know our children's sensory issues best.
It takes a simple presidential signature for all airlines to conform to the modernized policy.
We are different, not less.
We ask for equal treatment to fly like everyone else around the country. No more discrimination.
Mahalo, Vivie, Vivie's Mommy & the entire spectrum community #1in68
Our full story: https://www.facebook.com/Ausomerainbow
UPDATE APRIL 2015:
Scroll down to number 84, that is our proposal:
Here is the DOT link to the proposed rule change.
Ours is the last line in the paragraph.
Again, please tell everyone to email their disability discrimination stories whether they be physical or developmental to them.
Or just why you believe it is important.
No more injustice.