Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has announced it is seeking a court order compel the DOT to make airplane lavatories accessible to travelers with disabilities, the organization said.
The action results from DOT ignoring its Congressional mandate to address this issue and continuing to deny full restroom access for veterans and travelers with mobility impairments.
On May 20, 2019, after DOT stated it would issue a proposed rule addressing lavatory accessibility by December 2019, the Court put a hold on the lawsuit led by PVA and required DOT to provide ongoing status reports. DOT´s latest status report makes it clear that the agency has reversed course, and that what it plans to do in December will not meet its legal obligation.
DOT´s proposed rule would not address whether to make lavatories fully accessible and instead would only address measures that fall short of increasing the size of the lavatories. On the critical issue of restroom size, DOT would merely issue a call for more information and would not propose a rule addressing the issue.
The absence of a rule requiring accessible lavatories on single-aisle commercial airplanes means passengers with disabilities are often forced to take extreme measures, including intentionally dehydrating, before long flights.
Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only Congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease.