Gauging progress in accessibility is like “seeing” global climate change. Both are happening, no doubt, but how much and how fast is difficult to pinpoint. Nonetheless, on a recent pleasure/business trip, I got an up-close look at how discrimination is changing.
On my flight from Portland, Ore., to Burbank, Calif., I was assigned a seat on an Alaskan Airlines/Horizon flight that was so far back the aisle chair couldn’t squeeze between seats. I complained and they accommodated — because they had to. I got a seat near the front with an arm that raised up and more space in the aisle.
When I reached my destination for a family wedding, the accessible room with two king beds and roll-in shower I had “reserved” for my wife and me, our daughter and her son, was no longer available. I threw a major fit, loudly invoking the ADA, and they comped me two connected rooms — one an accessible king room — for the price of one.
Two days later we arrived back in Burbank, my family flew home, and I stayed and rented a regular minivan with hand controls to go to the Media Access Awards. They didn’t have the Chrysler Town and Country they had “guaranteed” me — with an automatic sliding door and stowaway seats so I could roll my ch