babble home
rabble.ca - news for the rest of us
today's active topics


Post New Topic  Post A Reply
FAQ | Forum Home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» babble   » current events   » national news   » Transport agency to decide if obesity is a disability

Email this thread to someone!    
Author Topic: Transport agency to decide if obesity is a disability
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 24 September 2001 05:36 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
http://www.cbc.ca/cgi-bin/templates/view.cgi?/news/2001/09/24/obesity010924
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JCL
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1387

posted 24 September 2001 05:45 PM      Profile for JCL     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Somebody must've seen that Simpsons episode where Homer gains 70+ pounds to be classified as obesity.
From: Winnipeg. 35 days to Christmas yet no snow here. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 24 September 2001 05:49 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A classic.
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 24 September 2001 05:55 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The biggest problem is that airline and other public transportation seats are artificially small. Even athletes who are muscled have problems with the seat size.

As far as obesity as a disability, if it is due to a medical condition, then it is. Someone over 300 lbs is obese and sometimes there are medical reasons for it, not food or lack of exercise. Therefore, a doctor's certificate or proof of disability should qualify a person for special seating. This should be allowable anyway, without extra charge. For instance, many of us not in wheelchairs need to be near bathrooms, or have enough legroom to raise our legs, or some other accomodation. We should not be unable to travel because we can't get what we need to do so without harming our health.

When I travelled to B.C. a few years ago, I advised the airlines that I would need transportation assistance in the larger airports as I could barely walk. The ones who accomodated me best were the smaller airports. In one, I had to walk down a long, steep, small-staired staircase to reach the tarmac and walk out to the plane. I was told I couldn't fly if I couldn't do it. This is wrong. If I had fallen, I would have been severely injured and possibly taken someone else with me. They had been advised of my need a month before my flight. Some other arrangement should have been made for me. I made it down, but they were angry with me for taking so long.

Then they had seated me near the window. How was I supposed to get past the other two people in that narrow space to get to the washroom? Once we were in the air, an attendant moved me to an empty seat that I could get out of. Good thing too, that was the longest leg of the trip and I was already sick from the staircase.

A friend had a problem with a diabetic meal on a flight, it wasn't. She was flying for medical treatment and arrived sick because of it. They had to delay the treatment and she had to stay an extra day, paid for out of her disability cheque.

I think the airlines, trains and buses should all be challenged on disabled issues an made to make accomodations for special cases, including obesity.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 24 September 2001 06:10 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Air Canada allows obese passengers to purchase a second seat for 50 per cent of the full economy fare on flights within North America. It offers the same deal to parents travelling with children under two years old or incapacitated people travelling with a companion.

I think thats fair. If obese people are looking for aid or handouts they should lobby the government to give it to them directly, let all taxpayers decide. Not force businesses to give it to them. They're trying to make an end run around social assistance as far as I am concerned.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 24 September 2001 06:29 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I said the ones with obesity as the result of illness should receive special treatment, not those who are only self-indulgent. If there is a medical certificate, they shouldn't have to pay an extra 50%. If they're on disability, they can't afford it and may even be having to travel under the Ontario Travel Grant for medical treatment which doesn't provide much money.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 24 September 2001 07:52 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah but shouldn't that special treatment come from the federal or provincial governments in the form of vouchers or something. That would make taxpayers realize that it is a cost that they are incurring, not trying to trick them into thinking that the airlines are carrying the burden alone. (meanwhile airfares keep rising).

I'm not against it, I just think that going to the airlines to pay is misleading. If we decide to pay for a legitimate disability (and granted Obesity in some cases is one) it should come from the same agency.

Also its like asking dad if mom says no. What business does the Transportation agency have deciding a Health Canada jurisdiction.

[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Markbo ]


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 24 September 2001 09:33 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Are you kidding? We can't even get a travel grant in our part of Ontario to travel to areas around Toronto equal to what those in the Toronto area get to travel here or even around their own section of the Province.

The issue here is accessibility and the airlines, etc. should be as much responsible for that as the buildings are expected to be. They are a public transportation service and should serve all the public, not just those who fit certain measurements or moveability.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 24 September 2001 09:52 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah but your going one step further than accomodating disabilities to:
letting these agencies actually decide who is disabled.

From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 24 September 2001 10:07 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, that doesn't necessarity follow. Building owners don't get the right to decide who is disabled. They are just expected to make their building accessible. Doctors are the only ones who can certify disability. The government only decides who they will pay benefits to and many people who really should be on pensions are still fighting for theirs. The transportation industry would only have to require official certification of disability.

It still comes down to accessibility. Are airline seats accessible to those with health and movement problems? Only if they are aisle seats and near a washroom in most cases. Do airline seats have enough leg room for movement to avoid blood clots in the legs while travelling? Some do, some don't. Are the aisles wide enough for crutches? Some are, some aren't. Are the seats wide enough to allow for shifting of sitting position? Most aren't, the old ones were. Are there seats suitable for wheelchair users or secure wheelchair fasteners? Some yes, some no. Is the washroom set up with handrails for disabled security? Some are, some aren't.

I don't see where it's all that hard to figure out what is needed and if it were built in in the first place, not that expensive either.

I don't see a problem with requesting that most travel of special needs people be done at non-peak times and giving a financial reduction for this. They have seat sales all the time for other reasons. This would also allow them to limit free two-seats for obese people to underloaded flights without being too discriminatory.

[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Trisha ]


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 24 September 2001 10:09 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Government should just nationalize all the airliners and rip out all the seats and put in real seats so that you don't have to be 5-foot-6 and 110 pounds just to be able to shift about without banging elbows with the person next to you.

Goddamn Air Canada, Goddamn Canada 3000 and Goddamn the rest of those bloodsucking bastards who think charging $1000 for an economy class ticket somewhere is "cheap".


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 24 September 2001 10:10 PM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fair enough, I do not disagree with you. But look at the title of this thread.

The title was not "Transport agency to decide how airlines are to accomodate the specific disability of obesity".


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 24 September 2001 10:14 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thank you Dr.C. If they put in regular sized seating instead of these new mini-seats, there wouldn't be a problem except for those grossly obese, over 500 lbs. The extra seat charge should then be put into the travel grants on a special needs basis. The airlines wouldn't have a problem with that.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 24 September 2001 10:29 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I know. But the decision should not be theirs. Only doctors would know if obesity is a disability. That makes it the key issue. You're the one who questioned if the obese were looking for a handout. This wouldn't even be a question if they had their accessibility issues taken care of. What next, they get to decide if someone not yet in a wheelchair is disabled? When I travelled, they decided I should still be able to climb down that dangerous staircase. Transportation agencies have no right to be judging peoples health.

[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Trisha ]


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doug
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 44

posted 24 September 2001 11:06 PM      Profile for Doug   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It is the case, though, that people's asses, to put it bluntly, are on average a lot bigger than they used to be. Anyone remember sitting in Maple Leaf Gardens? *squish*
From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 24 September 2001 11:41 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Built during the Great Depression, that heap. People had circuses, if not much bread.
From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Markbo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 124

posted 25 September 2001 02:39 AM      Profile for Markbo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What next, they get to decide if someone not yet in a wheelchair is disabled? When I travelled, they decided I should still be able to climb down that dangerous staircase. Transportation agencies have no right to be judging peoples health.

But thats exactly my point. Thats whats happening now the Transport agency is deciding on what is a disability.

THey should only be deciding 0n how airlines deal with disabilities.

Health care departments should decide on disabilities

The reason I think some obese people may be looking for a handout is that they didn't get their condition declared a disability before going to the Transport agency.


From: Windsor | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 25 September 2001 03:31 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read the article, of course, but I'll have to reread it tomorrow as the site wouldn't come up again. Even if she had medical proof, it appears the Transport Agency doesn't want to accept it, just like they didn't want to accept that if I couldn't walk through a large airport, I also couldn't maneuver those stairs very well. I should have launched more of an objection when it happened but I was eager to get to B.C. to see my ailing brother. It's a good thing his doctor was also his friend and made sure I was okay when I got there.

I'll tell you, Markbo, it was like I was drunk when I got off the plane from the pain in my legs. I was veering to the right and fell into the wall. Nobody moved to help me at all.

I've heard a lot of horror stories about airline treatment of people with disabilities. This has to be worked on.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 387

posted 25 September 2001 03:47 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Important point missed. The article claims Air Canada allows a second seat at half price for incapacitated people travelling with a companion. They didn't do that for us when I went with a diabetic with seizure disorders for medical tests. I guess you have to know about it and ask, though they were asked if there were any special allowances for our situation and were told no.
From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 25 September 2001 01:43 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Personally, I think that if you're 300+ lbs, there is something seriously wrong whether it's because of something physical like your thyroid, or something psychological like an addiction or like depression, or whatever. Obesity is something that a lot of people deal with. I'm not saying, well, everyone should just do what they want with their bodies and everyone else should pay the price. But I am saying that in the cases we're talking about, where people are so large that they can't fit into airplane seats (I would likely be considered obese, but I can still fit into airplane seats), then that person has a major problem that doesn't just end at having seconds when the dessert is passed around.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
machiavellian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1365

posted 25 September 2001 05:48 PM      Profile for machiavellian   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm with Dr. C as to allowing more room, and with Trisha all the way as well. The airlines are not only insensitive to people with permanent disabilities but also to people who are temporarily disabled by things such as pregnancy (by 6 or 7 months YOU try fitting into the mini-seats - and when your bladder is the size of a pea, it only makes sense to be allowed to sit by the aisle). There is also a problem about allowing for child seats for kids under two - sure it wouldn't help much if the plane crashed but during turbulence children would be much safer, especially babies. I can check this fact but as of yet I believe that there are no provisions for this at all - your kid rides on your lap or in an adult seat, whose restraints don't fit.

I just don't think airlines as a whole are sensitive to their passenger's needs. I remember being about 3 mos pregnant and sick as a dog with morning sickness combined with jet lag. Although when they asked me what I wanted to eat I told them nothing, the attendant still brought me breakfast at what by my time was about 3 am, and when my husband asked if they could please take it away, they told him that they weren't going to buck the system - they'd take it when they took everyone else's food trays back. I believed they actually laughed in our faces. I complained through our travel agent but fat lot of good it did.

The policy seems to be - one type of service fits all, and of course, profit reigns supreme. I'm with Trisha on this one - they should be accessible just like any other public building should be. At the very least provide one or two roomier seats for people who don't fit the conventional ones.

Still, it's hard to regulate sensitivity.


From: Peace River (no, not actually in the river, silly) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 25 September 2001 06:01 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Air Canada isn't exactly sensitive to able-bodied passengers' needs either.

I'm sympathetic to passengers with special needs, and agree that obese passengers shouldn't have to pay extra. But we do have to draw a line somewhere, don't we?

Like, can airlines be expected to accomodate passengers with special needs at the last minute, without being notified in advance that the passenger has special needs? Unless a passenger tells them in advance that they have special needs, they can't be expected to change the seating plan as the plane is about to taxi onto the runway, can they?

If we were to dictate to airlines how large their seats must be, would we also make the same demands of buses, trains, movie theatres, restaurants, offices, baseball stadia, and any other place where there is a standard seat size for all patrons?

If airlines were allowed to have a small number of oversized seats on a plane for passengers with special needs, would they be allowed to turn away obese passengers if there was a high demand for the small supply of oversized seats? What about able-bodied passengers who might like to have an oversized seat for themselves?

Is this a problem the world over, or merely on Air Canada? How do airlines in other countries handle passengers with special needs? Is this a disabilities issue, or just one more symptom of Air Canada's monopoly? In countries where there is healthier competition in air travel, do airlines treat passengers with special needs better?

Also, can considerations be made for the fact that Air Canada isn't turning a profit at all right now? When a company is bleeding money, is it fair to dump more costs on them?

[ September 25, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
vaudree
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1331

posted 25 September 2001 06:20 PM      Profile for vaudree     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why should we blame the person and why should the person have to prove disability to receive help. If the seat is too small for you, that is not your fault and you should not have to pay extra. One person one fare.

The airlines know that the smaller they make their seats, the more people who are bigger than these small seats they will have to accomodate. It is still cheeper to let an overweight person use two seats if she can`t fit into one than it is to make all seats bigger. A person, even if they are on the heavey end should not be punished for the decision of the airlines to makes smaller seats.

As far as disability, most people would like to avoid that if at all possible because it makes them feel more helpless and less effective as human beings.

I also believe that we should scrap terms such as "learning disability" and replace it with "alternative learner." You don`t think this makes a difference. The first term implies that one`s ability to learn is impaired while the latter that one learns differently. The first implies that if your teaching method does not work it is because the kid is defective, the latter that this child is being denied an education unless you can figure out how she learns best.

Fat is beautiful we keep telling ourselves. We should not be asshamed of our bodies we keep telling our selves. We cannot accept the label of disability without seeing ourselves as less than. If I ever become that big I hope that I am treated with the same dignity as a thin person and that I don`t have to bribe my way into the airplane by paying double.

I know I said I was gaoing to slow down on this page Audra, but sometimes I get heated. I joined because what the doctor said about my dad, but I`m enjoying myself here.


From: Just outside St. Boniface | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
bandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1435

posted 25 September 2001 06:35 PM      Profile for bandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm a pretty glutonous and lazy person and I'm "heavy" on account of that.
But I've seen people far more obese than myself that are lighter eaters and more ambitious in there excercise who may be stuck at that size.If giving them a seat large enough to sit in is a hand out than there is something wrong.even people who do eat a lot and don't take care of there bodies should be given some courtesy, think about the kids who were told to eat everything on there plate or like myself were bribed by being offered a dessert afterwards (which is now connected to teaching kids that some foods are better than others, something I could see as true at times). Even Skinny people want bigger seats as a matter of comfort so you can switch but cheeks everyonce and a while on some very long flights. on a flight from calgary to toronto there was this poor teenage girl who was very badly air sick. The girl managed to get to sleep so I would have never in good concious woke her up so that I could get to the bathroom. So I waited three hours to get to pearson airport since air canada can't accomodate people with both leg room and a descent amount of space to get up without totaly inconveniancing three other people.

From: sudbury | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
bandit
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1435

posted 25 September 2001 06:47 PM      Profile for bandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I also beleive that we should scrap terms such as learning dissability and replace it with "alternative learner"

Thats a very good point."alternative learner" is far more representative as well of what these programs do.

From: sudbury | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 554

posted 25 September 2001 06:49 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I dunno. Maybe it's the "smart" kids who are actually the alternative learners. Maybe the "learning disabled" are the normal ones?

What if obesity becomes the norm, like current fitness trends suggest could happen?

[ September 25, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wide Eyes
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1414

posted 25 September 2001 07:35 PM      Profile for Wide Eyes        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Before we degenerate into PC symantics, the question of who should decide who has disabilities should be addressed by those qualified (ie. Health Canada). Airlines are businesses, like any other. Dictating seating capacity or size for reasons other than safety, should be left to the airlines and not outside agencies. The more seats, the more revenue. Consumer pressure on the individual airlines to provide larger seating as in public buses, for example, should be the only solution. It would be good PR for an airline that can promote accessibility to all.

BTW weight is a major cost factor, weither it be cargo or people. That's why freight, and mail are weighed and sized and priced accordingly. Airplanes and the physics of flight do not distinguish between people and cargo, but airlines interested in attracting business should, but by their own accord.


From: a lofty perch in my basement | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
vaudree
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1331

posted 25 September 2001 07:38 PM      Profile for vaudree     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
MEDIA BOY welcome to Rabble Reactions, will be posting the links to Barkley`s editorial and Hartmann`s reaction to it soon - then you can see how fur really flies. For now - what about tall people paying more for things, being 5ft1½ I`d really enjoy that.
From: Just outside St. Boniface | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1402

posted 26 September 2001 02:07 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting, but probably moot - nobody wants to fly anywhere these days.

The airlines have been trying to make a buck, or a seat, stretch a little farther, to make ends meet. I never really blamed them, until i saw my (way previously requested) 'vegetarian meal' on American Airlines: half a small pita bread with two cucumber slices and some shredded lettuce inside. The carnivores got a tiny cardboard pizza and an ice-cream sandwich. I lusted after that ice-cream sandwich - it's a long way from from TO to LA, especially with delays in Chicago. No frills, no apology - made Air Canada look like heaven.

All of that is water under the bridge now. Many or most of them won't survive. The ones that do will probably make much better accomodation for disabled people, fat people, old people, pregnant people, children, vegetarians - anyone they can get.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged

All times are Pacific Time  

Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | rabble.ca | Policy Statement

Copyright 2001-2008 rabble.ca