Airport To Add Accessible Features For Deaf Travelers
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 15, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA--San Francisco International Airport will be "one of the best airports in the country for people who are deaf", thanks to the settlement of a class-action suit brought on by disability rights groups and advocates like Colin Piotrowski.
The federal suit was filed in April 2002, claiming the airport violated the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide airport information in a manner that was accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing travelers.
Under the agreement, airport terminals will be adding 80 visual paging monitors to the existing 46 monitors which present text of announcements on video screens. Travelers who are deaf will also be able to access a special number posted at white courtesy phones and TTY phones to page family members or friends with whom they are trying to connect at the airport.
"With these new changes, SFO is going to be one of the best airports in the country for people who are deaf," said Piotrowski, who was one of the original plaintiffs. "The visual paging system is a great example of universal design, because people who can hear will use it too."
According to a press release from the Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates legal firm, the airport has also agreed to award $12,000 to Piotrowski, $20,000 to the Deaf Counseling and Referral Agency, and $8,000 to the California Center for Law and the Deaf.
"Deaf Counseling, Advocacy, and Referral Agency v. San Francisco International Airport" (Disability Rights Advocates)