LTP News Sharing:

Melissa Ortiz describes herself as a happy warrior, but her natural optimism wasn’t enough to overcome the inhumane treatment she experienced during a recent trip.

Melissa, who serves as senior advisor for the National Center’s Able Americans project, travelled for work last month with her boss, National Center President David Ridenour:

I was returning to D.C. from a business trip in Florida when I experienced the nightmare scenario for all travelers who use motorized wheelchairs — there were no wheelchair accessible cabs available. The airlines graciously allowed me to book a later flight when I called to explain the problem. I then waited three more hours only to remain without a cab….

Because time was of the essence, I chose to take the bus. My supportive boss, who had a rental car, took my luggage, and I began a 90-minute odyssey across Miami to the airport via public bus, a trip that should have taken 15 minutes via cab.

Unfortunately, her troubles only increased from there, as once she was onboard the airplane she was refused the seat she needed for ADA compliance and was not allowed to use the restroom.

Melissa detailed the ordeal in an American Thinker commentary, concluding:

People with disabilities are routinely discriminated against and treated improperly when traveling….

The FAA and individual airlines must pay better attention to the existing guidelines and training of their employees on how to properly interact with people with all disabilities. People with disabilities should spend their money with airlines who do the best job taking care of their needs as travelers. Shareholders should require better behavior from the airlines they invest in. Making airline policies and other disability policies more effective is what the National Center for Public Policy’s Able Americans program is working on to ensure that people with disabilities can live their best lives, unencumbered by government and corporate callousness.

Read Melissa’s entire commentary here.

Author: The National Center