Regardless of how her case might play out in court, Figueroa’s death has amplified calls to fix a system that disabled activists have called archaic and dangerous. Hand in Hand, the advocacy group she was rallying with in Washington, launched a petition calling for airlines to stop breaking wheelchairs. Paralyzed Veterans of America has invoked Figueroa as it pushes for stricter rules about accessibility on airplanes.
Before Figueroa died, “she told me, ‘I think this is my calling,’” her sister Sandi Porter said. “‘You know there are no ADA laws in the sky?’”
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