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Old October 17th, 2000, 08:47 PM
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The cruise lines usually defend lack of adequate facilities for the disabled on the following grounds: (1) ADA does not apply to foreign flagged ships; (2) The United States no construction standards for staterooms to accommodate the disabled. In 1993, United States Senator Phil Gramm, who headed the Senate transportation Committee asked the department of transportation to develop standard that could be incorporated into the ADA standards. As of October, 2000, the Dept. of Transportation has done nothing.
What we see now is a "one size fits all approach" or "Rube Goldberg" facilities by the cruise lines. My wife uses a walker or wheel chair so her main problem is getting into those monstrous 22 inches high bathtubs. I solved this problem by constructing a stepping stool that can be easily be taken apart, stored I a suit case and re-assembled. When I recommended this to Holland American, all I received was a blank stare and ultimately no response.

Some of the responses to the original posting by a passenger suggested to sue the cruise line. Not until the United States supreme Court rules as to whether ADA applies to foreign flagged cruise ships, will the invalid passengers stand a good chance of prevailing. The lower courts have been consistently inconsistent, and the Supreme Court has not be too kind to the disabled. Hopefully the Supreme Court might rule that ADA applies to foreign flagged cruise ships but the court needs a test case. Too bad the U.S. Department of Justice, which was a "Amicus Curie"(friend of the court) in the Tammy Stevens v Premier cruise Line case has not submitted this case to the Supreme Court

If anybody wants to learn more about this they can go on the Web keyword and go into U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Once there try to being up Americans for Disability Act. You might be able to bring this up by using keyword ADA or Americans With Disability Act. You will be concerned with Title III . Anyone interested inn two recent Federal Court decisions on the subject at hand, "keyword" on the Web, H ttp://laws.find.com/11th/98591:11th Circuit Tammy Stevens v Premier Cruises, Inc is No 98-5913 decided on June 22, 2000. This case can probably also be found in the Federal Reporter or Federal Supplement. A more recent case is Walker v Carnival Cruise lines, Cited as 107 F. Supp2nd 1135, a ninth circuit case..
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