Oakland, Calif. —July 27, 2010— The Port of Oakland received the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Community Partner Award for its work to make Oakland International Airport (OAK) accessible to all users. Arthur Whitmore, OAK’s Acting Assistant Director of Aviation, accepted the award on behalf of the Port at the Center for Independent Living’s (CIL) awards ceremony held yesterday at Hayward City Hall Plaza.
“We recognized the Port of Oakland with the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Community Partner Award for its high customer service standards that recognize the importance of civil rights laws, using best quality practices, and implementing innovative solutions to improve accessibility at Oakland International Airport,” said Yomi Wrong, Executive Director for the Center for Independent Living.
"Oakland International Airport is committed to ensuring equal and excellent access to all our users," said Deborah Ale Flint, Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland. "We proudly accept this hard-earned award on behalf of our partner airlines, tenants, Transportation Security Administration, and contract companies, who we have worked closely with to design facilities and services to meet the needs of all travelers, employees and others who do business here."
OAK has renovated both Terminals 1 and 2 over the past few years to make them more accessible for all. Improvements include:
- New visual paging screens;
- Lowered ticket counters and boarding gate podiums to the appropriate height for travelers using wheelchairs as a mobility device; and
- Accessible restrooms.
In Terminal 1, the graded walkway located between the passenger screening checkpoint and gates has been flattened. OAK has also made improvements to its parking lots and bus shelters, and paths of travel between both of these and the terminals.
In addition, a training program was developed for airport staff and volunteers on appropriate laws, disability awareness and OAK’s customer service policies. OAK also created handbooks for passengers with disabilities that offer information to enhance their travel experience. The brochures are available at OAK’s Information Centers; are posted to OAK’s website oaklandairport.com/access; and are available by mail upon request.
OAK continues to meet regularly with its Universal Access Advisory Group, which is a formal stakeholder group that supports individual universal access projects and provides guidance to project managers and teams. The goal of this group is to make OAK a model airport for accessibility.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, as the most comprehensive federal disability civil rights legislation in US history. The ADA equalized access to employment, public goods and services, public facilities and telecommunications for everyone regardless of disability.
The Center for Independent Living (CIL), established in 1972 as the world’s first service and advocacy organization run by and for people with disabilities, supports disabled people in their efforts toward independence by providing direct services and advocacy on their behalf. CIL is a powerful force for social change working to empower people with disabilities to fight for and achieve their civil rights. CIL’s hard work and victories won on behalf of the disabled community helped to pave the way for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
About the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport and fourth largest airport in California, offering over 140 daily flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Visit portofoakland.com and oaklandairport.com.
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