[nfbmi-talk] Airport

Fred Wurtzel f.wurtzel at att.net
Fri Mar 11 17:49:56 UTC 2016

Hello Michigan Federationists, 


Here is an affidavit filed by a guy named Gary Talbot.  His credentials are
in the beginning of the document.  He apparently agrees with our 2014
resolution, that is, "the bus stop was accessible and now it isn't."  


Warmest Regards,




been duly sworn, states 2:15-cv-13567 Hon. Victoria A. Roberts 1. The
information contained in this affidavit is based on my personal knowledge,
except where otherwise stated, and I am competent and able to testify
regarding the matters



US Access Board is the federal agency responsible to write and develop the
accessibility guidelines for our nation. These guidelines are then adopted
by the federal enforcmg agencies into ADA accessibility standards; DOJ, DOT,
DOD, HUD, etc. While on the US Access Board I participated in all committees
and was the chair of several committees including the technical programs
committee, passenger vessel committee, medical devices committee, etc I was
a member of the General Motors President's Committee for Persons with
Disabilities from 1995 to 2004. I was also the Chairman for the Adaptive
Devices Standards Committee from 1999 to 2009, where I worked on developing
recommendations and best practices for mobility adaptive devices I also
worked as an Engmeer, Engineering Group Manager and Mobility Engineer for GM
from 1995 to 2004, where I interpreted regulatory requu ements for GM
facility accessibility including world headquarters, tech center and other
GM locations,



laws. I was also responsible to perform ADA assessments on all forms of
Disney transportation to the parks, in the parks, including Monorail, cruise
ships (existing and future) and develop strategies to address all ADA
deficiencies and bring the systems into ADA compliance. I also served as "in
house" subject matter expert on all topics of accessibility and served as
Disney's "in house" legal expert on several legal cases. From 2007 to 2011,1
also served as the Assistant General Manager in charge ofSystem- Wide
Accessibility for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ("MBTA").
MBTA operates the 5Tn largest mass transit system in the US. There, I
developed the System-wide accessibility department to identify all existing
ADA deficiencies and develop strategies to ensure all modes of public
transportation were fully accessible and compliant; fixed route bus, light
rail, heavy rail (subway), commuter rail, commuter boat contracted
transportation services, etc From 2011 to the present, I have been employed
as the Amtrak Program Director for ADA. During my time at Amtrak, I have
been responsible to evaluate the existing



10.1 have testified as an expert witness in other proceedings, and have
undergone depositions relative to my expert opinions filed in other cases. I
can and will testify in the instant case regarding my expert opinion should
that be requested or required 11. This declaration of expert opinion is
based upon my personal knowledge, and grounded on a thorough and complete
review of the current location, the relevant regulations, exhibits, briefs,
as well as my knowledge of the prior boarding location, and the changes that
have occurred at the Ground Transportation Center ("GTC"), since September,
2014, 12.1 have also reviewed the regulations proposed by the Wayne County
Airport Authority, which will create segregated bus stops for individuals
with disabi lilies, available only upon advanced request to a transportation
provider. 13.1 have also reviewed various objections to the proposed
regulations submitted to the Way ne County Airport Authority by the
University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and the Ann Arbor Area
Transportation Authority. (Attachment 1). 14. While the disability community
is certainly not monolithic, the concerns expressed by the



16. 28 C.F.R. 35.230(d) states " a public entity shall administer services
programs, and activities m the most integrated setting appropriate for the
needs of qualified individuals with disabilities 17. Section 36.203 of
Appendix B to 28 C.F.R. 36, interpreting Title HI of the ADA, states M t he
ADA recognizes that the provision of goods and services in an integrated
manner is a fundamental tenet ofnondiscrimination on the basis of
disability. Providing segregated accommodations and services relegates
persons with disabilities to the status ofsecond-class citizens F...1 these
nrovisions are intended to orohibit exclusion and segregation of individuals
with disabilities, Appendix B lurther provides that "nothing m the ADA
requires individuals with disabilities to accept special accommodations and
services for individuals with disabilities that may segregate them." Id. 18.
The Regulation further provides "nothing in the ADA requires individuals
with disabilities to accept special accommodations and services for
individuals with disabilities that may segregate them." id.



immediate service n 63 Fed. Reg. 51669, 51676(Sep.28,2998). This type of
strategy was used in the 1980's and later with fixed route buses, often
referred to as the "call a bus" programs because only a few buses were
accessible and only a few bus stops were accessible so a person with a
disability had to call ahead and request bus service, something that is
clearly not allowed under the ADA 20. In my opinion, and based on my
expertise and unique familiarity with the implementing regulations to the
ADA, the plan proposed by the Waync County Airport Authority, if
implemented, will result in illegal segregation of individuals with
disabilities, forcing them to pre-report their disability to third-parties,
and forcing those with invisible or hidden disabilities, who exist in the
millions m the United States, to have to publicly disclose their disability
in order to receive access to public transportation and a federally funded
airport. 21. Implementation of this plan poses a real and serious threat to
the well-being of individuals with disabilities. Forcing transportation
providers to periodically service



about where they should wait for the bus. How would the disabled only bus
stops be signed, would the international symbol of accessibility be shown
and others with out a disability be crossed out' 22. The proposal is not
analogous to other accommodations provided by transportation providers, such
as paratransit services, because those services are absolutely necessary to
provide individuals with disabilities equal access to services, programs,
and activities. And, paratransit systems were created due to the lack of
accessibility of the fixed route systems. Transit systems around the country
are making fixed route systems more accessible so pressure can be relieved
from paratransit systems and overall costs can be lowered. Segregating bus
users at DTW is not necessary as has been demonstrated by the prior
accessible and integrated stop at DTW that existed until September 22,2014.
AddUionally, paratransit users are not required to be stigmatized and
outcast in front of other non-disabled riders. Finally, it is the United
States Congress, fhe United States Department of Transportation, and the
United States Department of Justice who pass



accessible but the regulations do not state that the announcements are only
made to and for a passenger with a disabili 24. Furthermore, the plan is in
no way comparable to priority seating for individuals with disabilities
required by 49 C.F.R. 38.75. That type of accommodation does not impact
other riders, and it does not cause delays and chaos that will necessarily
be associated with the Defendants' proposal, including forcing non-disabled
individuals to remain on the bus while disabled individuals unload at
segregated bus stops, no doubt drawing anger towards persons with
disabilities by non-disabled riders 25. The plan is also contrary to
requirements imposed on public transportation providers by the Department of
Transportation and other implementing regulations, which require providers
ofintercity transportation to be fully accessible, including equipping every
single bus providing public transportation with a wheelchair lift and ramp.
26. Private providers of transportation, such as rental car shuttle services
and hotel shuttles have their own accessibility requirements however, they
are often not subject to the more



28. The Department of Transportation held the creation of segregated train
stops to be contrary to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the
Rehabilitation Act, as it unnecessarily segregated individuals with
disabilities 29. Furthermore, the Defendants in this action have analogized
their plan to pre-boarding of an aircraft, which is allowed for individuals
with disabilities. 30. Of course, prc-boarding docs not lead to the type
ofstigmatization, singling-out, and ridicule users of public transportation
will be subjected to if they use the segregated stops. Pre-boarding does not
change the nature of the service being offered for non- disabled individuals
using the service the way this plan will impact non-disablcd riders by
causing delays m their service due to the unnecessaiy need to service
multiple bus stops 31. Furthermore, programs like pre-boarding do not have a
detrimental impact on air carriers the way this plan will detrimentally
impact public transportation providers by causing delays, and forcing them
to periodically service multiple bus stops. A plan which may



least three major ADA based lawsuits in the past decade. The Defendants have
continuously attacked and attempted to undermine the expansion of public
transportation; which provides an essential service to individuals with
disabilities. 34. The limited powers granted to the Wayne County Airport
Authority, and the Authority partnership with Delta Air Lines, Inc., does
not excuse them from compliance with Federal Law and regulations developed
by federal agencies and the U.S. Access Board to which I was a former member
35. Furthermore, there is no need to implement a segregated system at this
public airport, where for years a single, integrated, accessible bus stop
was operated at International Arrivals terminal that served the passengers
well. Any change from the previous terminal based bus stop, that reduces the
level of accessibility provided is a violation of the ADA, simply what has
been done by relocation to the GTC and now segregation of passengers with a
disability. 36. Finally, the plan to allow individuals with disabilities to
use segregated bus stops upon




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