We need effective transparent procedures for storing mobility devices on flights in Canada
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Every flight has a risk of lost or damaged luggage, it's a risk we all take as part of flying, but when the item lost or damaged is a mobility device, the situation takes on new meaning. Many Canadians who fly with mobility devices know the risk, and many mobility devices have arrived at their destination broken, dissembled, or even lost.
Why does this happen?
I’ve looked up the standards and regulations, it turns out Transport Canada is really concerned about wheelchair batteries, as they should be. They are also rightly concerned about the accessibility of the aircraft, there are also Training Regulations for Employees and Contractors Who Handle Mobility Aids. These were written in 1994. They concern:
(a) different types of mobility aids;
(b) requirements, limitations and procedures for securing, carrying and stowing mobility aids in the passenger compartment of a vehicle; and
(c) proper methods of carrying and stowing mobility aids in the baggage compartment of a vehicle, including the disassembling, packaging, unpackaging and assembling of the mobility aids.
The issue is people with disabilities have no information about this training used to transport mobility devices on commercial aircraft, nor or we consulted about it. We have no publicly available information on what this training involves, or how consistent it is.
The damage to mobility devices that results costs citizens thousands of dollars, it also costs the Assistive Devices Program, and the economy when people who use these devices are too concerned about the security of their mobility device to travel.
This is a call for greater transparency and improvements to those regulations in a way that includes and seeks meaningful input from people with disabilities.
Canadians make changes to the way we fly for all kinds of reasons. Here's one that benefits the economy and Canadians. Let's make some #RealChange by making procedures for transporting mobility devices on Canadian aircraft more effective and transparent for commercial consumers.
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