DPI e-news - 3 November 2010

November 4, 2010


E-news for Week ending 5 November 2010

Welcome to Disabled Peoples International's (DPI's) E-news. Please continue to send your activities, conference information, and publications news to Dr. Cassandra Phillips at info@dpi.org. Today we provide some examples of recent incidences that violate the rights of persons with disabilities. If you want to contribute to this discussion, contact info@dpi.org

Violation of Human Rights on USA Air Flight

Johnnie Tuitel, a long-time business traveler and motivational speaker, states that he has flown on various airlines over half a million miles. Last month, however, he was told by a US Airways employee that he was "too disabled to fly" alone. Tuitel, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, had already settled into his seat when the airline attendant who helped him onto the plane escorted him off and delivered this news.

"Their argument was that, if something were to happen, I cannot help myself or someone else, which is an assumption first of all. Second of all, the people that made the decision are not medical doctors," said Tuitel. "They basically told me I was too disabled to fly. I had to fly with a companion, and I had to purchase that companion a ticket."

US Airways said for that, for safety reasons, the airline's official policy requires passengers with severe mobility impairments to travel with someone who would be able to help them evacuate the aircraft. To read more and listen to video interview, go to http://newsletters.dpi.org/inc/rdr.asp?3504___10113211412___http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/10/15/usairways.disabled.flier/index.html


Woman with Disability Assaulted and not Helped in Canada

In Vancouver, Canada, a woman with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair said she is shocked by the lack of response from transit workers when she tried to report an incident of assault.

Trish McKay states that a man sexually assaulted her when she was waiting on the train platform for an elevator at a station in Vancouver a few weeks ago.

She said she tried to report the incident to transit staff but could not find anyone on duty at the station, so she caught a train to another station, hoping to find someone there. Once there, she was ignored.

The next day she approached another employee who was also unresponsive.

To read more and view video interview, go to



Woman in UK Assaulted on Bus

A woman with a disability was assaulted on a full 85 passenger bus in South London, UK. No one came to the woman's aid. After being physically assaulted, the woman was covered in blood and lying on the floor. She states that before the assault, passengers laughed at negative comments made about her disability. To read more, go to http://newsletters.dpi.org/inc/rdr.asp?3504___10113211412___http://brennybaby.blogspot.com/2010/09/disabled-woman-brutally-attacked-on.html


Blind Man Told he cannot fly on American Airlines

Bill Diamond is legally blind and sees nothing from his left eye and shadows from his right eye. It was on a recent trip to a training school in Chicago when he ran into trouble on an American Airlines flight.

Diamond caught his flight to Chicago out of Pittsburgh. He was brought to the plane in a wheelchair. He got on board using his cane and was told he had to give it up even though it was folded up. He said, "I need my cane."

The stewardess responded, "Sir, if you refuse to give up your cane, I will have no alternative but to call security." Faced with possible arrest, Diamond gave up the cane, sat on a nearly two-hour flight unable to get up and move around, even though he needed to use the bathroom. To read go to http://newsletters.dpi.org/inc/rdr.asp?3504___10113211412___http://kdka.com/local/blind.man.flight.2.1971310.html

Boy killed in Serbian Institution

Disability Rights International (formerly MDRI) has firmly reacted to the death of a 15 year old boy in Kulina, an institution for persons with disabilities in Serbia. The boy was attacked and killed by another resident, an adult who also has a disability.

As far back as 2007, Disability Rights International (DRI) reported on the abuse and neglect of children in this particular institution, as well as about the possible tragic consequences of such treatment. To read more, go to http://newsletters.dpi.org/inc/rdr.asp?3504___10113211412___http://www.disabilityrightsintl.org/mdri-serbia/


WHO Report on Mental Health

The World Health Organization's (WHO) report on mental health and development is a call to action to all development stakeholders - governments, civil society, multilateral agencies, bilateral agencies, global partnerships, private foundations, academic and research institutions - to focus their attention on mental health. It offers compelling evidence that persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities continue to be marginalized in terms of development aid and government attention. It makes the case for reaching out to this group through the design and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes and through the inclusion of mental health interventions into broader poverty reduction and development strategies. To read, follow links at http://newsletters.dpi.org/inc/rdr.asp?3504___10113211412___http://www.who.int/mental_health/policy/mhtargeting/en/index.html


To see the html version and past e-news archives, please go to http://newsletters.dpi.org/inc/rdr.asp?3504___10113211412___http://www.dpi.org/lang-en/index.php?page=23