Final Summary of Discussion

By the Regulation Room team based on what people have said

Final Summary Introduction

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§1. Background

Regulation Room is an open government pilot project aimed at increasing the breadth and quality of public participation in the rulemaking process. It is a collaboration between the Cornell eRulemaking Initiative (CeRI), which owns, designs, and operates the site, and the Department of Transportation, which has selected Regulation Room as its flagship initiative under the Open Government Directive.

From September 19, 2011- January 9, 2012, people could use Regulation Room to learn about and discuss a new supplemental proposed rule, “Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Accessibility of Web Sites and Automated Kiosks at U.S. Airports.” This time frame coincided with the official comment period for the rule, which closed January 9, 2012.

On January 3, 2012, the Regulation Room team posted Draft Summaries of the discussion. All users who registered and/or commented on the rule during the time it was open, were invited by email to review the drafts and suggest additions or changes until January 9, 2012. In that time, 476 unique visitors visited the site and 1 commenter posted 2 suggestions. The team reviewed all suggestions and then prepared the Final Summaries that appear below.

On January 9, these Summaries were submitted, via, to DOT as a formal public comment in the rulemaking. (For more on the legal significance of this, see the FAQs.) Registered users received an email notifying them that the Final Summary had been posted on the site and submitted to DOT.

You may submit an individual comment directly to DOT on the proposed rule by visiting by midnight on Monday, January 9, 2012. DOT’s general policy is to consider late-submitted comments to the extent possible, but you should file your comment as close to January 9 as possible.

Materials from the Discussion Phase, including the Draft and Final Summaries, will remain available on Regulation Room for public review. A file of all content submitted by users will be made available to DOT at its option. (This file will not include any personally identifiable information you did not choose to make publicly viewable on the site. See Privacy & Conditions.)

§2. Who participated?

During the 112 days the rule was open on Regulation Room, a total of 7,949 unique visitors came to the site. There were 12,631 total visits, with people spending an average of 2.18 minutes on the site. Of the issue posts, the average time on the page was longest for Websites: Accessibility standards (3.35 minutes) and shortest for Websites: Implementation when? (2.10 minutes). The Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was viewed 446 times with an average time on page of 2:34 minutes and the Regulatory Impact Analysis was viewed 175 times with an average time on page of 4:59 minutes.

Anyone could read material on the site, but registration was required to participate in the discussion, 53 people registered during the time the rule was open.

Based on answers to a survey at registration, 64% of those who registered said that they had never previously submitted a comment in a federal rulemaking. A second survey question asked people to describe their interest in the rule. More than one category could be selected, so the numbers add up to more than 53.

Traveler: 18 people chose only this interest category; 20 others chose this interest category in addition to one of the categories below. In general, this summary describes a commenter as a “traveler” if he/she selected only this category.

Relative/friend of traveler with a disability: 13

Site designer or programmer/usability expert: 6

Travel agency owner or staff: 1

Airport staff: 1

Air carrier staff: 1

Other: 15 people chose this interest category; 13 further described their interests, which included:

  • 2 accessibility consultants
  • 2 disability advocate
  • 1 researcher in disabilities and universal design
  • 1 law student
  • 1 person giving their opinion
  • 1 person who is disabled and wishes to assist others in being independent while traveling
  • 1 person interested in the protection of the traveling public
  • 1 member of the NFB who is a deaf-blind person
  • 1 logical thinking US citizen
  • 1 taxpayer
  • 1 interested academic

Because of the nature of the rule, we also asked respondents if they had a disability and if they used assistive/adaptive technology. 29 people said they had a disability, giving the following additional details:

  • 12 vision
  • 5 mobility
  • 4 hearing
  • 1 other (unspecified)
  • 7 combination

Of these 29, 17 said that they had never participated in a federal rulemaking before, or weren’t sure if they had. Additionally, 18 of the 29 submitted a comment.

NOTE: Regulation Room does not attempt to check whether people correctly identify their interests. For this reason, whenever the summary states a commenter’s interest, the description is based solely on information given by the commenter.

Of the 53 people who registered while the discussion was open, 31 posted 103 comments. Site moderators posted a total of 60 responses. Comments by users were distributed as follows (these totals do not include moderator posts):

  • Websites: Accessibility standards: 26 comments by 14 people
  • Kiosks: Accessibility standards: 48 comments by 16 people
  • Websites: Benefits & costs of accessibility: 7 comments by 6 people
  • Kiosks: Benefits & costs of accessibility: 7 comments by 5 people
  • Websites: Which? What content?: 4 comments by 2 people
  • Websites: Implementation when?: 2 comments by 2 people
  • Kiosks: Which? When?: 9 comments by 4 people

Four other people who did not comment elsewhere on the site endorsed comments. These included travelers and a relative/friend of a traveler with a disability who also has mobility and vision impairments.

Additionally, one new user (disability rights advocate) posted 2 comments on the Draft Summaries. There were no comments on the draft summaries from people who had participated in the discussion.

§3. Final Summaries of Discussion

Websites: Accessibility standards
Kiosks: Accessibility standards
Websites: Benefits & costs of accessibility
Kiosks: Benefits & costs of accessibility
Websites: Which? What content?
Websites: Implementation when?
Kiosks: Which? When?

Thank you for being part of the Regulation Room experiment in making important federal rulemakings more accessible to the public!

Please take a few minutes to fill out this SHORT survey about your experience with Regulation Room. Your feedback lets us make the site more useful. To show our appreciation for your help, 2 people who respond by the end of January will receive $50 gift certificates to

Thank you for participating

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