[nfbwatlk] NFB Cane-Related Airlines Incident

Michael Forzano michaeldforzano at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 23:33:21 UTC 2015


Agreed. And to clarify I don't think there should be any issue with
stowing a cane by the window, but there are a lot of rules when flying
that don't really make sense and are supposedly based on safety, the
exit row regulation for example. So for that reason it didn't surprise
me that he was asked to stow it somewhere else. Unless there is a
specific regulation that allows it, it is probably left up to the
discretion of the flight attendant and who knows what their reasoning
was?

Mike

On 3/25/15, Arielle Silverman via nfbwatlk <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> .... And for the record, I think the airline was definitely in the
> wrong for moving Sushil's cane even though he complied. It sounds like
> a very unpleasant experience and I would encourage Sushil to file a
> complaint. I just think that before we get involved as an organization
> we really need to know the other side of the story, especially in this
> case where it seems like more than just blindness was involved.
> Oftentimes these kinds of arguments can escalate and not being there,
> it's hard for us to know what was said that might have triggered the
> airline to react the way they did.
> Arielle
>
> On 3/25/15, Cindy via nfbwatlk <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> Apologies for replying twice, but I do agree that we should hear both
>> sides
>> of the story before acting as an organization. That being said, the
>> situation certainly did not sound pleasant, and I can empathize as I have
>> had to deal with uneducated flight attendants who in some cases have
>> become
>> very powerful and argumentative with me making me feel incredibly
>> uncomfortable.
>> As for the exit Row thing, I do believe that people with certain
>> disabilities, including blindness, can be legally asked to not sit in
>> those
>> rows.  If we ever pick this up again as an organization, I thought of
>> some
>> arguments. One I cannot claim that was thought of by Jedi, a former
>> Washington resident. She mentioned that of people with their disabilities
>> can't sit in the row, perhaps those who  do shouldn't be served alcohol
>> as
>> that could be a huge hazard. Also, ironically, I think blind people would
>> be
>> some of the  best guides out of a flight if electricity was lost.
>> Additionally, the entire basis for the exit row discrimination has to do
>> with physical things that we Associate with disability. For example, my
>> friends who do not use canes could probably pass and sit in the rows
>> which
>> is just something that annoys me about society in general, but certainly
>> applies here. Finally, I would love to use this issue along with the fact
>> that website should just be accessible, to force airlines to make their
>> seat
>> selectors accessible. I know people who have been automatically sat in
>> the
>> exit row because they couldn't excessively choose their seat, didn't know
>> they were sitting in the exit row, and had to deal with annoying flight
>> attendance and passengers who assumed they made that choice consciously.
>> Do
>> I particularly want to be the hero in charge of saving people from a
>> plane
>> crash? Not really. If I didn't know about the issue, I certainly wouldn't
>> be
>> begging to sit in the exit row. But what bothers me is that the choice to
>> ask someone to move from that row is often based on  societal notions of
>> disabilities such as mobility aids.
>>
>> Cindy Bennett
>> 1st Year Ph.D. Student, Human Centered Design and Engineering
>> University of Washington
>>
>> clb5590 at gmail.com
>>
>> Treasurer of the national Federation of the blind of Washington, an
>> affiliate of the national Federation of the blind.
>>
>>> On Mar 25, 2015, at 3:26 PM, Michael Forzano via nfbwatlk
>>> <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>
>>> Sitting in an exit row is against regulations, as far as I know,
>>> though I don't agree with it. Correct me if I'm wrong.
>>>
>>> I'm all for standing firm on certain issues, but this one just doesn't
>>> seem worth it. As long as you know where your cane is and can access
>>> it if needed then what's the issue? I'm also curious what regulation
>>> states that a cane can be stowed next to the window.
>>>
>>> Mike
>>>
>>>> On 3/25/15, Mary ellen via nfbwatlk <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>> Mike,
>>>>
>>>> Your post has caused me to rethink my willingness to stow my cane
>>>> overhead.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Mary
>>>> ellen
>>>> via nfbwatlk
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 3:10 PM
>>>> To: 'Arielle Silverman'; 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
>>>> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] NFB Cane-Related Airlines Incident
>>>>
>>>> Stowing a cane in the overhead bin is certainly an acceptable option,
>>>> provided the bin is long enough.
>>>>
>>>> Because of having been threatened with arrest more than once, and
>>>> having
>>>> a
>>>> flight cancelled because I refused to move from an exit row when
>>>> sitting
>>>> in
>>>> one was not against regulations, I'm a hard liner on this issue.
>>>> Though
>>>> I'm
>>>> willing to store my cane overhead if it defuses a controversy, I
>>>> completely
>>>> support any blind person who resists having a cane removed when stored
>>>> according to regulations along the fuselage or parallel to the row of
>>>> seats.
>>>> (Mine will never be stored parallel because it's longer than the row.)
>>>>
>>>> I will support anyone who insists on the right to lawfully stow the
>>>> cane
>>>> in
>>>> a position of his or her choosing, but I also completely understand and
>>>> support any blind person who decides to comply with arbitrary flight
>>>> crew
>>>> demands.  When I flew Alaska last November, I chose to comply and
>>>> complain
>>>> later.  I did it because doing otherwise would have created significant
>>>> problems for my daughter who was meeting my plane.  She would have
>>>> understood and supported me, but I made the decision I did.
>>>>
>>>> Looking back on it, my hope that complying at the time and complaining
>>>> later
>>>> could serve an educational function was misplaced hope.  If I had been
>>>> willing to withstand the inconvenience, perhaps the education would
>>>> have
>>>> taken place and Sushel wouldn't have had to undergo the horrible
>>>> incident
>>>> he
>>>> faced.
>>>>
>>>> We all do the best we can at any given moment.  I've stood firm and
>>>> I've
>>>> caved.  I can justify either action; we almost always can.  Strategic
>>>> compromise can be valuable.  Unflinching courage also has its place.
>>>>
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
>>>> Arielle
>>>> Silverman via nfbwatlk
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 2:28 PM
>>>> To: Debby Phillips; NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
>>>> Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] NFB Cane-Related Airlines Incident
>>>>
>>>> There's a third option people haven't really mentioned. You can put
>>>> your
>>>> cane up in the overhead bin. I've done that a few times when either it
>>>> wouldn't fit by the window or the flight attendant mistakenly thought
>>>> it
>>>> wasn't allowed by the window. Putting your cane up overhead pacifies
>>>> the
>>>> flight attendants without making you lose access to your cane if you
>>>> need
>>>> it. If asked to put it up, I stow it with the flight attendant
>>>> watching,
>>>> or
>>>> we stow it together, and I make sure it is close to my seat. I explain
>>>> that
>>>> I want to be compliant but I also want to know where my cane is in the
>>>> event
>>>> of an emergency.
>>>> This has always worked fine. Again, it's best to put it by the window,
>>>> but
>>>> in the occasional event that putting it by the window presents a
>>>> problem,
>>>> putting it up overhead is a good compromise. Just make sure it's
>>>> anchored
>>>> behind another bag so it doesn't fall on your head when you go to take
>>>> it
>>>> down.
>>>> Best, Arielle
>>>>
>>>>> On 3/25/15, Debby Phillips via nfbwatlk <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>>> Julie, not ragging on you for giving them the cane, but when people do
>>>>> that it does make it harder for those of us who don't want to give up
>>>>> our canes.  I'LL gladly give it up if it won't fit between the wall
>>>>> and the window, but I'm not giving it up if it fits.  It's illegal for
>>>>> them to ask it, and I'm not giving my cane up.  Hopefully there will
>>>>> be no incidents the next time ow have to fly Alaska.  Of course, I
>>>>> still might only have my funky folding cane.  I remember reading
>>>>> articles in old Braille Monitors about people refusing to give up
>>>>> their canes and being arrested.  It's kind of like I won't leave a
>>>>> restaurant when I have my dog just because somebody doesn't know the
>>>>> law.  People have fought too hard for the rights we have to give up
>>>>> our canes
>>>>> and/oor dogs.    Peace,    Debby
>>>>>
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