[nfbwatlk] {Disarmed} FW: Why a blind man, his dog, and 35 passengers left an airplane

Corey Grandstaff corey.grandstaff at gmail.com
Tue Nov 26 16:58:19 UTC 2013

As a dog guide user, I think it is important to add a little comment on this
story. The job of a dog guide is to be not noticed, almost to be invisible,
as much as possible. In addition, the dog guide is taught to go under
airplane seats, chairs, etc: therefore, when the gentleman's dog became
restless(which can happen after sitting on the runway for over two hours),
he could have respectfully explain his dog needed to relieve himself or get
some exercise, and typically airlines are very accommodating in this
instance. However, when the gentleman allowed his dog to begin moving around
the airplane, which is disruptive to other people, in my opinion, the dog
became noticed, which is not what is supposed to happen. I think in this
instance we need to refer back to the document Don Mitchell posted a few
weeks ago on expectations sighted people have for people who are blind. The
reason I say this is because society is jumping on the story because this
"poor blind disabled man" was kicked off an airplane. The reason they are
jumping on this is because of the low expectations sighted people have for
blind people. Therefore, when I go to fly the next time, and I have to deal
with the stereotype that dog guides cannot behave, I can blame this man who
allowed his dog guide to misbehave, just as when blind people create
stereotypes about needing help all the time, this man created a stereotype
dog guide users will now have to defend every time we fly. The fact of the
matter is his dog was not behaving correctly, and if he could not control
it, he should either go back to using a cane or remove himself from the
plane. We should not be feeling sorry for this man, he should learn how to
control his dog.
-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
Nightingale, Noel
Sent: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 11:30 AM
To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nfbwatlk] {Disarmed} FW: Why a blind man, his dog, and 35
passengers left an airplane

From: Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Action [mailto:aclu at aclu.org]
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2013 2:05 PM
To: Nightingale, Noel
Subject: Why a blind man, his dog, and 35 passengers left an airplane



933671671d5294da109992e>US Airways kicked a blind man and his guide dog off
a flight. Demand they apologize and make sure it never happens




Please note: If you forward or distribute, the links will open a page with
your information filled in.

Dear Friends,

Passengers on a US Airways flight recently rallied around a blind man and
his service dog, who were kicked off the plane, and got the same treatment
for doing the right thing.

After a long delay on a US Airways flight, Albert Rizzi's guide dog, Doxy,
became restless from being cramped under the seat in front of him. According
to Rizzi and fellow passengers, a flight attendant insisted Doxy had to stay
under the seat or the plane would turn around. When Rizzi objected, they
were both kicked off the plane.

Then in an inspiring show of unity, his fellow passengers demanded Rizzi and
Doxy be let back on. Instead of fixing the situation, the captain cancelled
the whole flight, and all 35 passengers left the plane with Rizzi.

This story is already getting a lot of attention Wednesday is one of the
biggest traveling days of the year. But US Airways is making matters worse
by digging its heels in, insisting it did nothing wrong and refusing to
apologize to Rizzi. So let's join with Mr. Rizzi and his fellow passengers
to pressure US Airways to change their ways - and help make sure that all
airlines treat people with disabilities with dignity as they fly to see
their loved ones this holiday season.

Stand with Mr. Rizzi and his fellow passengers: sign the petition urging US
Airways to treat all passengers with disabilities with

Rizzi's fellow passengers spoke out against his treatment because they knew
in their conscience what's written in law - that airlines are supposed be as
accommodating as possible to people flying with service animals; removing
the animal should be a last resort.

US Airways has been so inflexible and thoughtless that they actually posted
this on their Facebook page: "There certainly must be more to this story
than meets the eye," which is a horrible turn of phase when responding to
their treatment of a blind passenger. And they continue to blame Rizzi's
"disruptive" behavior.

The ACLU fights for the rights of all people to live lives free of
discrimination. Rizzi's story demonstrates the mistreatment people with
disabilities often face - but it also highlights the power of people joining
together to speak out for what's right. Let's make sure Rizzi knows we're
with him and call on US Airways to make sure this never happens again.

Stand with Mr. Rizzi and his fellow passengers: sign the petition urging US
Airways to treat all passengers with disabilities with

Thank you,
Anthony for the ACLU Action team

"The blind leading the sighted." The Economist, 11/18/2013 "Blind man and
guide dog kicked off plane; passengers follow in support." CNN, 11/15/2013

Please note: If you forward or distribute, the links will open a page with
your information filled in.

This email was sent to:
noel.nightingale at ed.gov<mailto:noel.nightingale at ed.gov>

This email was sent by:
American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY, 10004, USA

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