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Transport agency reprimands Air Canada over 'paternalistic' deaf-blind policy

December 09, 2015 - 10:36 AM

VANCOUVER - The Canadian Transportation Agency has ordered Air Canada to officially change what it calls a discriminatory policy prohibiting deaf-blind people from travelling solo.

Carrie Moffatt booked a flight from Vancouver to Victoria in 2013 with her guide dog when she was informed she would have to fly with an attendant.

Moffatt is legally blind but can read text and communicate orally over a phone.

She filed a complaint with the transportation agency after Air Canada refused to change its rules.

The airline drafted a new policy after the agency ruled in Moffatt's favour earlier this year, but says Air Canada has until Dec. 15 to formalize it and educate employees.

Moffatt says the company's guidelines were based on the paternalistic idea that deaf-blind people can't be independent and it's unfortunate the policy change came after more than a year of litigation.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2015
The Canadian Press

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