NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND

OF MICHIGAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 15, 2017

CONTACT: Michael Powell, President

586-754-1325 - work

586-292-5581 - Mobile

www.nfbmi.org

Email president@nfbmi.org

Fred Wurtzel, Spokesperson, Second Vice President

517-256-5575 – Mobile

Email – f.wurtzel@att.net

TRAVEL ADVISORY: Detroit Airport Discriminates, Segregates and Endangers Persons With Disabilities By Enforcing Nation’s Only Separate Bus Stops for Persons With Disabilities

A travel advisory (http://www.nfbmi.org/DTW_Travel_Advisory.pdf) is hereby issued by the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan warning national and international travelers coming to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), of dangerous, discriminatory and inhospitable treatment. Federation members will turn out in force for the November 15th monthly meeting of the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) Board to formally present its advisory and continue its 3 year protest of illegal and discriminatory behavior toward blind persons and others with disabilities. The meeting will be held at 2:30 pm in the Kevin Clark Conference Room in the North Terminal of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

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Individuals using public transportation traveling to and from DTW are advised to travel with extreme CAUTION. This advisory is issued in response to the disappointing decision by the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA) to adopt Regulation Section 13 effective April 4, 2016 (https://goo.gl/uj9vDM), illegally implementing segregated bus stops for persons with disabilities. The WCAA Ordinance legalizes individual discrimination and harassment in the DTW. The ordinance prevents access to public facilities and services regularly enjoyed by travelers to and from DTW. The ordinance prevents individuals from protecting themselves from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Facilities for persons with disabilities who use public transportation to travel to the DTW are subpar as compared to facilities enjoyed by the vast majority of the public. Public bus stops are outdoors and expose travelers to freezing temperatures, strong winds, sub-zero windchills, extreme noise and air pollution from jet engines and diesel busses.

Speaking of the 2014 change of the bus stop at International Arrivals to the Ground Transportation Center (GTC), “The bus stop was accessible and now it’s not,” said NFB member and occasional DTW traveler Terri Wilcox.

“A bus stop is a bus stop. The public is not required to call the bus company to request that a scheduled bus drops them at a different place,” said NFB of Michigan President Michael Powell when discussing the segregated bus stops for persons with disabilities at the DTW. “They need to just let everyone use the former International Arrivals stop, the same as Delta Airlines employees, so there is no more need for me or others to be required to illegally disclose our disabilities or wait in inhospitable areas with no access to airport services. Just let us travel safely, conveniently and in peace.”

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The National Federation of the Blind of Michigan is our state’s oldest and largest organization of the blind. With members from the Upper Peninsula to the Detroit Metro area we provide advocacy, support, Talking Newspaper service, youth programs and many other relevant and important services.

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan visit www.nfbmi.org.