The Department of Transportation today published a Proposed Rule containing a Technical Assistance Manual (“TAM”) for air carriers and individuals with disabilities concerning their rights and responsibilities under the Air Carrier Access Act and DOT regulations. The TAM is intended “to provide guidance to air carriers’ employees and contractors who provide services, facilities, and accommodations to passengers with disabilities. The manual should give air carriers a better understanding of their responsibilities under the law and a greater awareness about the perspective of an air traveler with a disability, particularly through Chapter 7 titled “Interacting with People with Disabilities”. This manual is also designed to provide air travelers with disabilities useful information about their rights.”
The DOT is seeking comments and public input on the TAM. Any comments to the TAM are due no later than May 20, 2005. However, it should also be noted that a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) revising Part 382 and extending it to cover foreign air carriers, has been published and the Department is also currently working on two separate NPRMs which address possible additional accommodations for: (1) Passengers who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind; and (2) passengers who require inflight medical oxygen. If final rules are issued based upon any of these NPRM’s, the TAM will require additional revisions.
For further information regarding the TAM contact Mike Spollen or Omar Guerrero, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, 400 7th Street, SW., Room 4116, Washington, DC 20590. Phone: (202) 366-9349; TTY: 1-800-455-9880; Fax: (202) 366-7152. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.