On January 29, CREEC filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on behalf of a class of all blind people in the U.S. represented by the National Federation of the Blind and three individual blind guide dog users. The petition seeks an exemption so that blind individuals who use guide dogs will no longer be required to submit inaccessible online forms that nearly all airlines require to travel with a service animal. Currently, airlines may require that passengers submit the forms 48 hours in advance. However, the forms are not accessible to many blind individuals due to lack of access to both the internet and a personal computer, both of which are necessary to download, complete, and submit the forms.
Airlines are not required to provide assistance filling out the forms, even though ticketed passengers who are unable to complete the forms can be denied the right to board. If granted, the petition will eliminate barriers to travel for thousands of guide dog users.