[nabs-l] More on Eddy Morten and Air Canada

Angela fowler fowlers at syix.com
Wed Jun 10 00:00:07 UTC 2009


Please do, thanks.
Angela  

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of mworkman at ualberta.ca
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 4:30 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] More on Eddy Morten and Air Canada

Yes, you're right.  I missed that.  Air Canada is appealing this decision in
federal court.  Sorry about that.  I'll let you know if I ever hear anything
about the court's decision.

Marc

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]On
Behalf Of Angela fowler
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 5:02 PM
To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] More on Eddy Morten and Air Canada


Hey guys,
	Isn't the decision that air Canada is appealing? All the same, its
at the very least a big step in the right direction.
Angela

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Serena
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 3:21 PM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] More on Eddy Morten and Air Canada

Awesome!

Serena


----- Original Message -----
From: <mworkman at ualberta.ca>
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2009 2:28 PM
Subject: [nabs-l] More on Eddy Morten and Air Canada


> Since people seem to be interested in this story, I thought I would 
> pass on an article from the ARCH Disability Law Centre's latest news 
> letter, which came out today.  It's not quite as pithy as a news 
> story, but it is pretty informative, and I think most of you will be 
> pleased by the outcome.
>
> Marc
>
> Eddy Morten v. Air Canada - Air Canada's Blanket Policy for Deaf-Blind 
> Passengers Discriminatory By Laurie Letheren, Staff Lawyer
>
> In its January 26 2009 decision, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal 
> [The Tribunal] found that Air Canada's decision that Mr. Eddy Morten 
> who is deaf-blind was required to travel with an attendant and that he 
> cover the costs of having the attendant fly with him. The Tribunal 
> found that this blanket decision did not allow for individual 
> assessments of disabled travelers and it had a discriminatory impact 
> on Mr. Morten as a person with a disability.
>
> At the Tribunal hearing Mr. Morten described many examples of how he 
> travels independently around the city where he lives.  He is 
> accompanied by his guide dog when he travels.  He spoke of the methods 
> that he uses to communicate when travelling. For quick communication 
> such as asking for directions, Mr. Morten will ask a person to spell 
> the words in block letters on his palm. He indicated that people have 
> no trouble understanding very quickly how to communicate with him.
>
> Mr. Morten also explained that he travels with a backpack which has a 
> large button indicating that he is deaf-blind. He gave an example of 
> travelling on public transit.  If a transit employee approached him to 
> ask if he needed help, the transit employee would tap him on the 
> shoulder and put Mr.
> Morten's hand on a badge on the employee's shirt. By this he could 
> identify the person as a transit employee. He would let the person 
> know that he is not lost by writing O K on a hand.
>
> If he takes a taxi, his guide dog accompanies him.  Mr. Morten writes 
> out the address where he wishes to go and the driver tells him the 
> amount of the fare by drawing the number on his palm.
>
> When Mr. Morten made a reservation with Air Canada he indicated that 
> he was deaf-blind.  Once Air Canada had this information about Mr. 
> Morten's disability, the reservations attendant decided he needed an 
> attendant to fly with him and he would be required to pay the cost of 
> the attendant. The Air Canada Meda desk confirmed the reservation 
> attendant's decision. The Meda desk is part of Air Canada's 
> reservations department. The practice that is to be followed when a 
> person making a reservation indicates that they are a person with a 
> disability who may require some accommodations while flying is that 
> the Meda desk is to receive information from the passenger and from 
> his or her medical provider relating to the accommodations they may 
> need while flying. The persons who work on the Meda desk are not 
> medically trained.
> The
> medical information is to be passed to Air Canada's Occupational 
> Health Services department who review the medical information and 
> determine whether the passenger can fly on Air Canada with or without 
> conditions. The Occupational Health Services is staffed by licensed 
> physicians, occupational health nurses and medical officer assistants.
>
> The Occupational Health Services is to consider whether a person would 
> be self-reliant in air travel. This involves considerations of 
> passenger's ability to understand emergency announcements, the ability 
> to make his or her need for assistance known and the ability of the 
> passenger to move from his or her seat should that be necessary in an 
> emergency.
>
> An Air Canada witness stated that when determining whether a person 
> with a disability is self-reliant the tests applied are to determine 
> whether an individual would be able to act on emergency instructions. 
> The Air Canada witness said that if the individual was not able to see 
> or hear the cabin crew to receive information about safety procedures 
> in an emergency situation, that individual would be considered non 
> self-reliant for airline travel.
>
> At the Tribunal, Air Canada agreed that the proper procedure was not 
> followed when Mr. Morten made his reservation. It was not for the 
> reservations department or the Meda desk to decide that Mr. Morten 
> required an attendant to fly on Air Canada. The appropriate procedure 
> was to the questionnaire used to determine fitness to fly sent to Mr. 
> Morten and his doctors and then reviewed by the Occupation Health 
> Services department of Air Canada.
>
> Mr. Morten's physician was not asked to complete the fitness to fly 
> form until after Mr. Morten objected to the decision that he had to 
> fly with an attendant and the form was not received by Mr. Morten's 
> doctor until a couple of weeks before he was to travel. The completed 
> form was not received by the Occupation Health Services office before 
> the date that Mr. Morten was to fly.
>
> The Tribunal concluded that the evidence is clear that Air Canada 
> imposed on Mr. Morten, as a condition of flying that was not imposed 
> on other passengers. Placing this condition of flying on Mr. Morten 
> was directly related to his disability and the Tribunal found that 
> this condition imposed by Air Canada was discriminatory. Requiring Mr. 
> Morten to fly with an attendant affected his freedom to travel and 
> increased his cost of travelling.
>
> Once the Tribunal found that the requirement to fly with an attendant 
> discriminated against Mr. Morten they had to consider whether the 
> discrimination could be justified.
>
> In deciding whether Air Canada was justified in imposing the attendant 
> requirement the Tribunal had to consider if the purpose of this 
> restriction was rationally connected flying; whether the requirement 
> was adopted in the good faith belief that it was necessary for 
> passenger safety and whether allowing Mr. Morten to travel alone would 
> have imposed undue hardship on Air Canada, considering health, safety 
> and cost.
>
> Air Canada acknowledges that an individual assessment of each 
> passenger's needs is not impossible especially since individual 
> assessment is the procedure that Air Canada's medical staff uses to 
> determine fitness to fly.
>
> The Tribunal concluded that Air Canada could not justify the 
> discriminatory policy that had been applied when Mr. Morten made his 
> reservation. Air Canada had not taken any steps to assess Mr. Morten's 
> individual needs and capabilities and because of this failure it could 
> not justify the discrimination.  The Tribunal stated "Decisions not to 
> accommodate the needs of disabled persons must be founded on their 
> actual capacities and the real risks posed thereby, rather than on 
> discriminatory assumptions based on stereotypes of disability."
>
> The Tribunal ordered:
> Air Canada needs to work with the [Canadian Human Rights Commission] 
> and Mr.
> Morten to develop an attendant policy that takes into account the 
> communication strategies utilized by people like Mr. Morten, the 
> inherent risk posed by passengers with comprised mobility who are 
> currently allowed to fly unaccompanied, and the fact that in emergency 
> situations, many able-bodied passengers are unable to receive, process 
> and act on safety-related emergency instructions.
>
> It is only after doing this that Air Canada can truly and fully 
> redress the discriminatory practice it visited upon Mr. Morten and 
> prevent its recurrence.
>
> The Tribunal also made the following order to address the personal 
> suffering that Mr. Morten had experiences as a result of Air Canada's 
> decision:
>
> Given the impact that this discriminatory practice has had on Mr. 
> Morten's sense of accomplishment, his efforts to develop his 
> independence over the years and the effects on his physical 
> well-being, we consider that an award of $10,000 is an appropriate 
> amount for pain and suffering.
>
> The full decision of the Tribunal can be read at 
> http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/chrt/doc/2009/2009chrt3/2009chrt3.html
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> nabs-l mailing list
> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
> To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
> nabs-l:
>
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/serenacucco%40verizo
n.net


_______________________________________________
nabs-l mailing list
nabs-l at nfbnet.org
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
nabs-l:
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/fowlers%40syix.com


_______________________________________________
nabs-l mailing list
nabs-l at nfbnet.org
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
nabs-l:
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/mworkman%40ualberta.
ca


_______________________________________________
nabs-l mailing list
nabs-l at nfbnet.org
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for
nabs-l:
http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/fowlers%40syix.com





More information about the nabs-l mailing list