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‘Wheelchair rule’ aims to foster friendlier skies for travelers with disabilities

February 15, 2019

Washington Post (February 15)

‘Wheelchair rule’ aims to foster friendlier skies for travelers with disabilities

Vilissa Thompson was flying to a conference when she got a terrible piece of news on her layover: Someone had forgotten to load her wheelchair onto the airplane. Thompson, a full-time wheelchair user who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, was alarmed. Then she was stunned to discover that she wouldn’t get her wheelchair back until the next morning. “My wheelchair is a part of my body,” she said. “When that was missing, it was like a part of me was missing.” Thompson received a loaner chair that she said was far inferior to her own, and stayed with a friend overnight instead of boarding her connecting flight immediately. Altogether, she spent 15 hours without her wheelchair. "They call it the friendly skies, but for disabled people there's nothing friendly about flying," she said.

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Last modified on 02/15/2019

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