Transport agency asks for public input on air travel for disabled
TORONTO — Two separate federal agencies issued announcements Tuesday on life with a disability in Canada — one seeking greater input on hotbutton issues and the other urging society at large to challenge its preconceptions.
Statements from the Canadian Transportation Agency and Statistics Canada differed in scope and content, but both touched on issues that disabled
Canadians have long said lacked adequate attention.
The CTA announced it was launching the next phase of its consultations on accessibility issues, saying it was looking to remove further barriers to travel across borders.
StatCan, meanwhile, issued a report suggesting Canadian society’s understanding of disability is at odds with the realities experienced by the majority of those identifying as disabled.
Both agencies noted that their announcements came on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a United Nations initiative.
In its call for public submissions, the CTA identified a handful of specific and sometimes polarizing topics on which it is keen to receive feedback.
Those include the possible expansion of a policy often known as “one person one fare,” a rule that waives fees for those travelling alongside specific types of wheelchair users under particular conditions.
The policy only applies to domestic travel aboard flights with Canada’s major airlines, but the CTA said it’s seeking feedback on the idea of expanding it to include international travel and the country’s smaller air carriers.
The agency also explicitly requested feedback on how — if at all — airlines should accommodate emotional support animals or service animals other than dogs. The public is also invited to weigh in on how to apply accessibility regulations to small transportation providers, with consultations open until Feb. 7, 2020.
Meanwhile, in its report titled “The Dynamics of Disability,” Statistics Canada focused on broader issues.
The report said while most Canadians picture disabilities as static, stable conditions that do not change over time, the reality is very different for the majority of disabled Canadians.