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Travel Tip: ADA Turns 25, But Changes Still to Come for Travel

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amer-disabilities-act-logoThis year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While we’ve come a long way, the travel industry still has a lot of work ahead.

Uber has been hit with several lawsuits, with allegations of drivers discriminating against passengers in wheelchairs or traveling with service animals. Uber says it’s not technically a transportation srvice, but a technology company, so it doesn’t have to comply with ADA rules. Good luck selling that one, guys.

For families with autistic children, flying can be stressful, in part because the staff isn’t always educated about the best way to handle each situation.

Airlines are working on better awareness and sensitivity programs. For travelers, programs like Wings for Autism and Navigating Autism host practice runs to get employees acclimated with the process.

As for cruising, most lines are registered in foreign countries, where ADA doesn’t apply. However, ships sailing in U.S. waters do have to be compliant.

Each airline and cruise has a dedicated help desk for travelers with special needs, so call ahead to arrange things like early boarding, special meals, or a service animal.

For more information about traveling with disabilities, check out:

Keep reading for more travel tips.