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Category: Travel

Where to expect negative reactions on a broader front [attitudes towards disability maps]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Where to expect negative reactions on a broader front [attitudes towards disability maps]; published August 29, 2013, 06:58; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2036.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Where to expect negative reactions on a broader front [attitudes towards disability maps]}}, month = {August},year = {2013}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=2036}}


There are cases where a disabled person (see below, a story that happened in Bavaria, Germany) is asked by the hotel staff to leave or to refrain from using their facilities. There are reports that one reads (see below). But then, so far, so good. But one does wonder, generally, whether these seemingly arrogant and apparently shameful activities have a geographic pattern and whether areas, or, where people come from, statistically impacts an overall experience or not.

While we cannot possibly answer that question without extremely careful and extensive gathering and analysis of data, we can just do cheap polemics and download some freely available maps. So without further ado, the map of Germany and the map of the USA. You may very well believe that these areas map out general attitudes about people with disabilities but I could not possibly comment.

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Mini Cooper - power steering, garage attitude and my own repair [how to]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Mini Cooper - power steering, garage attitude and my own repair [how to]; published July 18, 2011, 00:22; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=458.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Mini Cooper - power steering, garage attitude and my own repair [how to]}}, month = {July},year = {2011}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=458}}


After a serious winter with lots of driving, I was not too surprised to see my power steering fail on a day where I was about to take the car to the well established Titan Garage Zuerich (Badenerstrasse 527, Zuerich) anyway. There were a number of occassions where the car was caught in heavy snow or sliding on icy roads as unavoidable consequence of winter travel, and as cautious as one may drive, one wonders how the car holds up. Turns out it doesn't.

A Mini Cooper with a failing power steering is serious business. With two hands, this thing is impossible to steer then. With one hand, no freaking way. So I tweaked my way back into getting that power steering back up luckily - and asked the dispatch person to also check what was wrong there, and if possible, to please fix it.

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TSA Transport Security Agency and Disability - an ongoing sequence of questionable practice?

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - TSA Transport Security Agency and Disability - an ongoing sequence of questionable practice?; published November 21, 2010, 10:36; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=29.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - TSA Transport Security Agency and Disability - an ongoing sequence of questionable practice?}}, month = {November},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=29}}


Jul 28, 2008 - There are rumors that the TSA agents are respectlessly touching and undressing disabled people which embarasses them. Those rumors are probably true if one believes certain video footage that circulates on the Internet.

An ACA report that went into TSA screeners' issues addressed concerns previously as well. Nevertheless, issues continue.

Clearly we are not looking at a regulatory problem here. They changed regulations but to no avail. It is not hard to see why. The thing is, the same people that chose to impose their institutional authority onto others still work for the TSA as they always did. So in essence, the situation will remain problematic unless dramatic improvements as to monitoring and legal action are put in place. You can get TSA or other security personnel to illegally store screening footage, you can also get US army people to abuse prisoners and release video footage of that. In essence, sadists will seek out these positions and act out their urges until the very moment when they are physically stopped. Not all TSA employees will behave like that but it appears that too many of them do.

Until then, the far more interesting subject quite cleary is "Cool cars to rent and drive (instead of suffering TSA abuse)".

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Robotic arm man Christian Kandlbauer dies in hospital after crash [news]

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Robotic arm man Christian Kandlbauer dies in hospital after crash [news]; published October 24, 2010, 14:25; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=359.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Robotic arm man Christian Kandlbauer dies in hospital after crash [news]}}, month = {October},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=359}}


News report:

An Austrian man who was the first in Europe to wear an innovative high-tech artificial arm has died after the car he was driving veered off the road and crashed into a tree.

Christian Kandlbauer lost both of his arms in an electrical accident in September 2005 but was able to live a largely normal life thanks to a mind-controlled robotic prosthetic left arm and a normal prosthesis in place of his right arm.

The 22-year-old died yesterday said Andreas Waltensdorfer, a senior physician at a hospital in the southern city of Graz, where Kandlbauer had been in intensive care since Tuesday, the day of the crash.

The cause of the crash remains unclear. Both Waltensdorfer and local police said today it was impossible to tell whether the accident was caused by problems with Kandlbauer's prosthetic arms.

Kandlbauer, who drove himself to work every morning after getting his driver's licence last year, had said his quality of life improved dramatically due to the mind-controlled prothesis, which recognised signals from his brain and moved accordingly.

"Thanks to the mind-controlled prothesis, I'm almost as independent and self-reliant as I was before my accident," Kandlbauer said in comments on the Web site of Otto Bock HealthCare Products, the company that produced the prothesis. "I can pretty much live the life before the accident."

Kandlbauer's car was adapted with special equipment and was approved by local transportation authorities.

Notburga Halbauer, a spokeswoman for Otto Bock, said Kandlbauer was the first person outside the United States to wear the mind-controlled prothesis.

Men, young men, cars, fast cars, always are a combination that sometimes end tragically. In this instance, all that remains is to wish the family and friends all the best.

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Driving with a prosthetic arm

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Driving with a prosthetic arm; published August 13, 2010, 10:25; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=360.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Driving with a prosthetic arm}}, month = {August},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=360}}


Driving with a disability that requires a prosthetic arm is a peculiar subject.

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ACA report faults TSA's treatment of amputees

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - ACA report faults TSA's treatment of amputees; published June 30, 2010, 19:07; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=325.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - ACA report faults TSA's treatment of amputees}}, month = {June},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=325}}


From scattered news blurbs, I did get the gut feeling that it was a rather good idea to stay away from the USA - until they solved some of their domestic problems.

I mean, we all along knew there were and continue to be a whole list of incidents that highlight clear abuse that some TSA guys played out on some folks, some of them with medical or orthopedic situations, including amputee travelers.

As traveler on USA airports, you have next to no legal rights. With the US patriot act, one can be detained for years or decades without any charge or legal rights either. This does sound extremely difficult and unsympathetic.

One generally is at the mercy of people such as these:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2010/05/latest_tsa_screener_drama_noth.html

Jan. 3, 2010: A TSA agent was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for behaving erratically. The guard had just gotten off duty and was heard saying, "I am god, I’m in charge."

Jan. 6, 2010: An internal investigation discovered that four LAX TSA agents used drugs at an after-hours party. All four were tested for drugs and one came back positive. That employee was fired.

Jan. 7, 2010: Video showed that a Newark Liberty International Airport screener allowed a man to bypass a security checkpoint and enter a terminal to see his girlfriend. The move forced passengers to clear the terminal and reenter the screening process. The guard was disciplined and back on the job by March.

Jan. 22, 2010: A screener lost his job after pretending to plant a plastic bag of white powder in the carry-on luggage of a passenger at the Philadelphia International Airport. A spokeswoman called the behavior "highly inappropriate and unprofessional."

Jan. 28, 2010: The screener was put on desk duty after she wasphotographed sleeping in plain sight at LaGuardia Airport.

Seems like my gut feeling was right (see below).  So, until the Americans resolved their attitude issues, I figured it was probably safe to stay away as much as possible, give my money to other holiday destinations and keep following the news.

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Airline "specialists" of Easyjet ban disabled passenger from flight

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Airline "specialists" of Easyjet ban disabled passenger from flight; published March 30, 2010, 22:53; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=297.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Airline "specialists" of Easyjet ban disabled passenger from flight}}, month = {March},year = {2010}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=297}}


What a weird behavior!

Easyjet sure do not know how to do business.

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Parking for upper extremity amputees - Shops and employee staring - Region of Zuerich - North East

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Parking for upper extremity amputees - Shops and employee staring - Region of Zuerich - North East; published September 4, 2009, 23:26; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=222.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Parking for upper extremity amputees - Shops and employee staring - Region of Zuerich - North East}}, month = {September},year = {2009}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=222}}


There are some facts about parking and shopping:

  • I do not shop a lot of stuff once a week. Also, I shop daily and I shop small amounts. That allows me to keep overuse of my heavily strained left arm to a minimum.This means frequent runs to the store.  I park close to the entrance. Actually, I park very close to the entrance. My ability to carry bags far and my ability to push a heavy shopping cart straight over asphalt or paved parking lots is limited. And truth is, I do have a choice.
  • My left "non disabled" arm contains damage to wrist and hand after about four or more serious falls, sports injuries and the likes, so it is unstable and chronically painful. So I buy small amounts and carry these using a suitable bag.
  • Do I have any interest to pay a parking fee? No. Free parking rules.
  • I have a problem loading my bags into my car sometimes, having to open the passenger door wide. That requires wide parking spots. Typically, disability parking is better suited, it is narrow on normal parking spots. I always managed to get my bags into my car - don't ask. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • I do not get any official 'disability parking' allowance. Our laws do not provide for that as upper extremity amputation is not recognized, simple as that. Doesn't mean I have no options though now, does it!
  • This restricts my shopping to two classes of shops (a) shops that have ample free parking available, (b) shops that allow me an explicit exception to use their disability parking.
  • I did write to all of our shops in the area to ask how they see the situation. Of all, only COOP answered politely saying they allow me to use their disability parking despite not having an official 'disability parking' vignette (Swiss traffic law restricts these to people that can't walk well).

So, Glatt Zentrum, COOP Dietlikon and gas station shops are definitely winners! That is where I feel my requirements are met best. Thanks, guys. After that, online shopping is next. Why carry anything if they can have it transported here.

IKEA, JUMBO, Migros, Media Markt and others lose. Parking is elusive, costly, narrow, scarce, uninteresting. Also I did not like the stares in some of these shops, also by employees, so maybe some of these shops just by nature are a bit against disability. Shops without parking don't even come into consideration. I am not strict or exclusive in where I pick up my stuff but obviously, friendship is a natural process.

Employee / shop clerk staring that stands out as particularly unpleasant

Employees in the Walder Schuhgeschäft in Glattzentrum actually will stand at a safe 5 meter distance, all turned towards me, and give me a full stare as I struggle to tie shoe laces. More than once, their company is extremely tense and uneasy. These folks are highly recommended for investigative journalists - that is, if you go there with a disabled decoy to shoot some undercover camera, or as actors for a Paradrom Rathausen experience.

Employees in IKEA Dietlikon also stopped and stared. If a customer with disability scans and packs his stuff, it is considered good practice to stand at a safe distance and spend a few minutes with wide open eyes staring.

Best shops to use

Electronics and tools are best ordered through digitec.ch or toppreise.ch.

Furniture, carpets or frames, fabric, bikes, hifi equipment, watches, nails or screws are definitely best ordered through eBay.ch or ricardo.ch. Clothes are best and cheapest ordered through llbean.com and from jcpenney.com. Shoes are best ordered from rmwilliams.com.au.

Besides, why fight it! I am now free of problematic overuse symptoms that I had last year and daily jerking around of heavy stuff played a major role in these - and I am determined to keep it that way.

A gerneral solution to such accessibility issues would mainly increase other shops' chances to sell stuff so maybe it'd be in their interest. But then who knows. And who cares.

keywords - disability parking in bruettisellen wallisellen dietlikon glattzentrum behindertenparkplaetze behindert behinderung parken parkplaetze amputation vorderarm starren anstarren anglotzen behindertenfreundlich disability friendly

Airport nightmares II - Berlin Tegel - check-in for disabled people

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Airport nightmares II - Berlin Tegel - check-in for disabled people; published June 1, 2009, 13:58; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=177.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Airport nightmares II - Berlin Tegel - check-in for disabled people}}, month = {June},year = {2009}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=177}}


4 Comments

I do not actively collect travel experiences. They just happen. So please allow me to refer to 'airport Berlin Tegel' as 'Errorport Berlin Tegel' or in German 'Fluchhafen Berlin Tegel' (curse port).

On May 31st 2009 we tried to board AB8198 Air Berlin from Errorport Berlin Tegel (BERLIN/TXL) to Zürich (ZURICH). We then faced gate A01 where the security check is set up almost fully transparently so waiting passengers are visibly and audibly well entertained by watching disabled people struggle through the security ordeal.

The experience was indeed a very German one, however somewhat historical, when one is shown to the public as disabled person and when the public decides to stand and stare. Empathy in these moments is entirely absent in both security and gawkers (that is, passengers), and if the following lines miss empathy too, please regard this as a sharp retribution, as revenge, as a tit-for-tat which some of you probably owe me.

Now, Germany is not just paradise - no! Germany is the country where racial discrimination is an ubiquitous experience in that all of Germany was declared a "No Go Zone" by some extremists. And disabled people still go through undiluted hell - daily - according to a recent well argued article. So staring and discrimination are what Germans are really good at. Conversely a disabled person is good as long as they make up for it by, say, training for the Paralympics. Still, this looks like they made great progress compared to just some decades ago, so maybe we should be grateful.

Germans are the European Champions in classifying people. They systematically deny disabled people a decent and human treatment they so very much claim for themselves and so disabled people are classified lower than ordinary people. Even though their constitution is alleged to state "nobody is to be disadvantaged due to disability" since 1994, we are painfully reminded that that is only 15 years now (2009).

You should also realize that the German mindset, the cultural make, the way these people think, make them file these air traffic rules against (would you argue using the word "for" here, yes?)  disabled people not under the section "people" - no, the rules against disabled people are listed not just even under "goods", but under "hazardous goods" - German term being "Gefahrgut".

Gefahrgut. That is the category disabled people are dealt with in air traffic. Let this sink in. Germany, 2009.

Regulations for making sure that a fast recovery of disabled people is impeded as much as possible due to the apparent fact that lives of non-disabled people are worth more (JAR-OPS 1.260 Carriage of Persons with Reduced Mobility):

http://www.regelwerk-online.de/recht/gefahr.gut/flug/ops_ges.htm

So we are "Gefahrgut" in the German minds, these minds that are so adept at classifying, discerning and discriminating.

The times of assuming naivety are long gone though. Germans stare and like to stare, point blank. Now I don't think we should leave that situation at the Tegel Errorport there and in the past - I think we should all be able to continue to stare, and even more, stare back.

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Airport nightmares I - Wien Schwechat

Cite this article:
Wolf Schweitzer: Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Airport nightmares I - Wien Schwechat; published May 3, 2009, 16:10; URL: https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=178.

BibTeX: @MISC{schweitzer_wolf_1574115289, author = {Wolf Schweitzer}, title = {{Technical Below Elbow Amputee Issues - Airport nightmares I - Wien Schwechat}}, month = {May},year = {2009}, url = {https://www.swisswuff.ch/tech/?p=178}}


Am 3.5.09 wurde ich am Flughafen Wien kontrolliert. Da ich eine (mechanische) Armprothese trage, geht das Warnsignal des Metalldetektors jeweils los. Der Sicherheitsmitarbeiter kam gleich auf mich zu. Seine Finger begannen rasch, in etwas verwirrter Weise meinen Kabelzug abzutasten, aber irgendwie schoen er dort haengen geblieben zu sein und fiel in eine Art Rewind-Play-Rewind-Play-Mode. Er begann dann etwas von “Hemd ausziehen” zu sagen, was ich nicht genauer verstand, da es kein ganzer Satz war.

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