Millions of Americans have invisible disabilities. Instead of being treated with compassion and concern, we often are treated with skepticism -- are you really that sick? You look okay!
My Crohn's disease is invisible, but it is no less disabling because of that. If I don't speak up -- if WE don't speak up -- things will never change.
And so I am asking you to sign this petition to help me to educate US Airways. On a recent cross-country flight, I was not allowed to take my one carry-on suitcase on the plane. They said the plane was too full and I needed to check my bag. I clearly identified myself as a person with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and explained that I needed my medicine with me. What I was trying not to say in front of an airport full of people is that I also suffer from fecal incontinence and I need to travel with a change of clothes and personal hygiene items. US Airways would not allow me to do so. No matter what I said or how I said it, they refused to acknowledge my rights.
And to top it all off, there was a completely empty overhead bin on the plane. All anybody had to do was to check to see if there was room for my bag. There was. But no US Airways employee showed enough compassion to even check on this.
I have been in touch with customer service at US Airways. They keep saying that, although they do have to allow people with disabilities to bring assistive devices on a plane, they don't have to let us bring a change of clothes and personal hygiene items. However, that's wrong as a matter of law -- and certainly wrong as a matter of compassion. The way I was treated was horrible. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. It's bad enough being sick; we shouldn't have to pay hundreds of dollars to be disrespected and humiliated.
Help me tell US Airways that we won’t accept anything less than a plan to educate their staff – ground staff, flight crews, customer service – about the rights of people with invisible disabilities so that this horrible experience will never be repeated.