The U.S. Supreme court has ruled the U.S. ADA Law applies to foreign flagged cruise ships in U.S. waters. I await the full decision since no mention in this news item if this also applies to international waters.
No it doesn't apply to non-US flagged ships that sail in international waters. That was never part of the original complaint, and in truth US courts have no jurisdiction on foreign ships in international waters.
So for example it doesn?t apply to a RCI ship that sails the Mediterranean but it does apply to a RCI ship that sails the Caribbean and calls on a Florida port.
The only issue decided by the Supreme Court was "does Title III of the ADA apply to foreign-flagged cruise ships that call on US ports?".
The lower court will decide how the law will be applies - in other words it will decide what level of access vessels will be required to have.
I blogged about the decision today.
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I just read the 'Net report of the Supreme Court decision on Disabled Cruisers. We are not disabled. We have cruise extensively on several cruise but mainly on Princess ships.
We have seen people with canes, with walkers, in wheel chairs (manual and electric) and electric scooters. All seemed to get around to all the areas of the ships. I dont know about extra cost for special cabins, most of the ships we sail on were built before any regulations on access. All ships have elevators and most passengers agreeably make room for those who need a ride, when stairs are oout of the question.
But we have seen crew members carry persons and their wheel chairs down the outside gangways into tenders-without charge.
On one cruise to Antarctica a woman wanted to see the shore up closer than the ship. They carried her down to the Zodiac and when we all got off to wade ashore, she stayed on for a personal tour along the coastline.
There probably ships, staff and situations that dont permit the handicapped to every location on every ship. But is it possible that this ruling will mean unreasonable demands for modifications, even where structure safety is not involved?
Here in the states we have reserved handicap parking at ice rinks........
Not at all Harry. In fact Justice Kennedy specified in his ruling, "Title III does not require structural modifications that conflict with international legal obligations or pose any real threat to the safety of the crew or passengers. "
He also added, "It may well follow that Title III does not require any permanent and significant structural modifications that interfere with cruise ships internal affairs."
The specifics will be decided by the district court, but since this is the court which originally held that the ADA does not apply to foreign-flagged cruise ships, I don't think it will give a wide berth.
I also have to add, that I think for the most part cruise ships that call on US ports are market driven and they do offer <many> accessible options. Until this date they haven't even been required to offer accessible rooms -- but they do. And some have pools and spas with lifts. In fact some ships are more accessible than "land resorts".
People like Harry are a big part of the problem. They think that people with disabilities get all sorts of perks and it is great to be disabled because of them. They cannot and do not appreciate all the things that people with major disabilities give up every day because of lack of access....both attitudinal and physical.
Yes, I hope your ice rink has accessible parking. Not only is it the law, but where do you expect the wheelchair user who plays sledge hockey there with their team every week to park?
His comments show a lack of empathy and imagination. Think about yourself...if you were disabled tomorrow (it could happen) or a loved one was, wouldn't you still want to "cruise extensively"?? Wouldn't you want to sit where ever you want in the showroom on the cruise ship, instead of in the wheelchair Jim Crow seats in the back of the theater with the worst view? Wouldn't you like to be able to go ashore without the indignity of being hauled manually like a sack of potatoes? Wouldn't you like to be able to get a cabin in what ever catagory you choose, instead of only in the most or least desirable?
Princess is one of the prime offenders in this area. They don't have pool lifts, or if they do, they are broken or "not available". They have no special services desk, and poor training of their staff on disability awareness. They offer no information about which of their tours can provide wheelchair accessible transportation, even in ports where it is required (ie, Alaska and Hawaii as well as the mainland). If you think Princess bends over backwards for people with disabilities, you are sadly mistaken, and need to walk in the shoes of someone with a major disability, and be a little less selfish.
The Supreme Court decision for Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Limited is 25 pages long and I understand the same written decision via Adobe Acrobat is 46 pages long.
Due my poor eye sight, for which I apoligize , I have gotten as far as page 12 and I think there are too many repetitive paragraps going over the same point.
So far I have determined the Supreme Court has issued a report filled with loopholes that benefit any defendant cruise line. The most important piece of informtion is that foreign flagged cruise lines tthat use U.S. ports for embarking and disembarking U.S. citizens, and who ply in U.S. territorial waters can no longer plead that they are no subject to ADA Title III. The Supreme Court, so far in my readings, has held that for foreign flagged ship plyng in International waters are not subject to ADA. Another loopholed that has prevailed since 1993 is that the DOT has yet to come up with specifications as to the constructiion of a wheelchair accessible stateroom and the rest of the ship.
After the wife was disabled in 2001 we cruised on a Princess ship, where each morning and early evening the passage ways were clogged with large room steward carts. The space between the wall and the carts was too small to pass with a wheelchair and I suppose to complain about this would be out of order since to relocate the carts would interfere with the internal affairs of the ship(another loop hole).
I learned a new word from the court decision. "Coaming",these are those floor saddles that are difficultt to roll over in a wheelchairs. Anyway, based on four years pushing ny better half I have concluded that those wheelchair staterooms are usually the poorest location on the ship Either they are in the foremost front part of the ship or aft requiring long distances to the dining facilities dependent on the ship. On the HAL "Statendam" class ships, two cabins are directly under the galley, proividing little sleep at night or early morning for the disabled occupants. IIt seems thaat the shower drains aare so poor that the bathroom is flooded.
Harry, does it ever occur to you that maybe a disabled person would like to go to an ice rink to see their child skate? I guess not, sounds like you just enjoy making jokes of people's unfortunate situations.... God forbid someday you find yourself or someone you love in that situation and then you'll realize the insensitivity of your "joke"....
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I cannot blame you for your ignorance. I can only pray that someday soon you have to live even for a short time in wheelchair like I do. I believe you would then see that your ignorance of a worldwide problem only serves to fuel more ignorance.
Handicapped parking spaces are Federal Law. There is a complete set of rules and regulations that ALL businesses in the U.S. must comply with. It's called the Americans with Disabilities Act and there are three sections to it. Public Law 101-336 is the full text of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II contains all Regulations for State and Local Governments and Title III contains all Regulations pertaining to Places of Public Accommodation. Title III also includes Appendix A to Part 36 - Standards for Accessible Design. Take some time and read them someday ....... and help stop this vicious cycle of ignorance. They are all available at : www.ada.gov
Your comment about parking spaces at an ice rink is about as ignorant as they come. I suppose you think a double-amputee can't ice skate, right? Open your eyes Harry, it's amazing what you'll see.
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