adaptive travel

adaptive travel standards

adaptive travel

adaptive travel standards

air travel standards

As Chair of the RESNA Standards Committee for Assistive Technology for Air Travel (ATAT), Peter is working closely with representatives from airlines, DOT, FDA, disability groups, and wheelchair manufacturers to draft standards related to air travel for people with mobility impairments.

The first volume will focus on specifications for power mobility devices designed for air travel, including information to be given to power mobility device users, manufacturing specifications, and guidelines on information and training for baggage handlers. Power wheelchairs and scooters currently available often sustain significant damage during transit, severely limiting the owner’s mobility. Baggage handlers are also at risk of injury due to unknown device weights and lack of secure, labeled lifting points. The draft standard addresses mobility device design, mobility device labeling, mobility device handling procedures, and dissemination of relevant information to people with mobility impairments. Two sections have been completely drafted and have been out for committee pre-balloting review. This work was mentioned in a December 2019 article in Undark Magazine. For more information visit the RESNA ATAT web page.

air travel issues

The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Research Foundation provided funding (PVA Grant #3028) to Beneficial Designs in order to conduct a research project to study and explore a variety of issues related to commercial air travel for non-ambulatory passengers. Beneficial Designs performed the project in collaboration with Jessica Presperin-Pedersen, MBA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS; RIC, Chicago, IL. This project focused on issues related to boarding wheelchairs, aircraft seating, transfers, and protection of wheelchairs during travel. Beneficial Designs surveyed 695 wheelchair-dependent air travelers, conducting laboratory testing of existing aircraft boarding devices. IRB-approved human subject testing was performed on 56 wheelchair users to evaluate existing boarding wheelchairs and aircraft seating in order to develop seating modifications and design specifications for improved comfort and safety of wheelchair users when traveling. The RESNA Standards Committee on Air Travel was formed as a result of this work.

air travel issues

the following issues were documented and explored

the following issues were documented and explored

1) steep jetway slopes

The jetways to the aircraft are often steep with no level landings at the bottom resulting in boarding devices tipping over laterally when turned to enter the aircraft.

proposed solution

Develop technologies to level the surface in the bubble area of jetways.

2) boarding device issues

Non-ambulatory passengers have issues with current boarding devices.

proposed solution

Develop design specifications for improved boarding chairs for boarding aircraft and on-board aisle wheelchairs to get to the bathroom on aircraft.

3) dangerous transfer methods

Non-ambulatory passengers who cannot transfer from a boarding device to the aircraft seat must be physically lifted in tight quarters by untrained personnel.

proposed solution

Develop and promote technologies, such as mechanical lift systems, that can limit the need for physical lifting and transferring of persons without the ability to independently transfer to the aircraft seat. Create standards for the training that must be provided to airport service contractors who assist passengers with mobility impairments.

4) hazardous sitting pressures

Sitting on boarding devices and aircraft seating presents a hazard for persons without sensation.

proposed solution

Educate consumers and health care professionals who serve  persons without sensation to use appropriate seating accessories.

5) lacking accessible bathrooms

Medium and large single aisle aircraft have no bathroom large enough to accommodate larger and taller passengers, passengers who require a personal care giver, and non-ambulatory passengers using an on-board wheelchair to access the bathroom.

proposed solution

Provide one larger bathroom at the rear of the aircraft to accommodate passengers with different needs.

6) narrow aircraft aisles

Lack of specifications for the minimum width of an aircraft aisle leaves boarding device manufacturers unable to optimize the stability of their products.

proposed solution

Develop minimum aisle width requirements for aircraft to allow boarding devices to be designed for greater lateral stability.

7) wheelchair damage

Manual and powered wheelchairs and scooters are typically stored underneath aircraft with the baggage, where they are often damaged.

proposed solution

A RESNA Assistive Technology for Air Travel standards committee will develop standards for the design of powered wheelchairs that are suitable for air travel and standard procedures for the handling of powered wheelchairs.