Cornell University’s e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are working together to make it easier for the public to comment on proposed new federal regulations requiring air travel websites and airport check-in kiosks to be fully accessible to travelers with disabilities.
Travelers with disabilities, web designers, usability experts and others with an interest in this proposal can use CeRI’s online participation site, Regulation Room, to get easy-to-read explanations of the proposal, look at the cost and benefit estimates, and discuss how the proposal could be improved. CeRI will summarize the discussion on Regulation Room and submit it as a public comment that DOT will consider in finalizing the accessibility regulations.
This is the fourth rulemaking in which DOT and CeRI are using Regulation Room to make it easier for people to participate effectively in important government policy decisions.
The Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) is a multidisciplinary research collaboration bringing together Cornell University faculty and students from computing and information science, law and the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution.
Working with legal informatics professionals at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School, CeRI researchers consult with government agencies on, and engage in theoretical and applied research about, the technology and practice of e-rulemaking and related areas of e-government.
Regulation Room is a CeRI pilot project that provides an online environment for people and groups to learn about, discuss and react to selected rules proposed by federal agencies. Contributions become part of a formal public comment prepared by CeRI researchers and submitted to the federal agency for use in preparation of a final ruling.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are more than 15 million adults in the United States with vision, auditory or mobility disabilities. About 30 percent of adults with disabilities travel by air, and the DOT expects this number to rise if it were easier to buy tickets and other services online, and to check in using kiosks. Airlines and online travel agencies have argued, however, that the costs of achieving full accessibility are too great.