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Travel Trainers Help People With Disabilities Gain Independence

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Public transit services are helping people with disabilities become more independent by deploying trainers to teach individuals how to use fixed route buses rather than rely on door-to-door service.

While public transportation providers offer special bus service designed for people with disabilities and other special needs, rides often must be arranged at least a day in advance, limiting the number of trips a person can take and hindering flexibility.

Now, under a federal grant program, special travel trainers are helping adults with disabilities in cities across the country to overcome this hurdle by teaching individuals how to use their local fixed route bus system.

In Ohio, a travel trainer recently helped Mary Ricketti learn to navigate the bus system. After 20 years relying on door-to-door service the woman with an intellectual disability says being able to use the bus stop right outside her front door will be liberating.

Trainers spend many hours with individuals, teaching them to read bus schedules, understand routes and fare cards and learn who to ask if they need help. They take test rides to destinations of the individual’s choosing and tag along until the person is comfortable.

Fixed route service likely isn’t for everyone, trainers acknowledge, but they say many people just need some help getting started, reports The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. To read more click here.

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Comments (4 Responses)

  1. KeriY says:

    There are also programs across America that can assist individuals with developmental disabilities access public transportation safely and effectively. Programs such as Employment & Community Options, a California-based non-profit, provide services such as Mobility Training to promote ability and independence.

  2. ecurra19 says:

    I would really like to understand how this program or service works. I have being living in Orlando for more than two years and I have not seeing such service yet. I would like to know more information and how is the public transit services suppose to offer such service under the guidelines of the Federal Government. A private company providing the service does not assure that the service will be done right nor a government program as is the case of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The help of the community of people with disabilities to become more independent by deploying trainers to teach individuals how to use fixed route buses rather than rely on door-to-door service is important to keep the community properly trained. The door-to-door service has become more and more unreliable and I do have to blame the increase of the community and the lack of the agencies to understand the situation and now we have to keep vivid fight with the financial crisis and the reluctance of private and state agencies to see the situation unfold. Yes, I do agree with Mrs. Mary Ricketti that learning to navigate the bus system instead that relying on the door-to-door service is liberating to both communities. On my experience from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it seems to me that the ADA Law is not enough and that individuals need to understand how to be independent and learn who to ask if they need help. You article seems to be incorrect because Fixed route is open for everyone. Everybody needs help getting started.

  3. ecurra19 says:

    Travel Trainers might help people with disabilities to gain independence but this is not working fully yet in the United States. I guess that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico society will have a hard time accepting this Travel Trainers. I hope that the Public transit services will be prepared for the consequences. This will help to save a lot of funds but these Trainers have taken to be doing that task that it will be difficult to enforce. The simple fact that rides often must be arranged at least a day in advance still will limit the number of trips a person can take and hindering flexibility and I will hate to see someone twisting the service to restraint a consumer from using the service.

  4. ecurra19 says:

    I wrote sometime ago and still have not being able to get thru to receive information on this program or service works. I have being living in Orlando for more than two years and I have not seeing such service yet. I would like to know more information and how is the public transit services suppose to offer such service under the guidelines of the Federal Government. The help of the community of people with disabilities to become more independent by deploying trainers to teach individuals how to use fixed route buses rather than rely on door-to-door service is important to keep the community properly trained. The door-to-door service has become more and more unreliable and I do have to blame the increase of the community and the lack of the agencies to understand the situation and now we have to keep vivid fight with the financial crisis and the reluctance of private and state agencies to see the situation unfold. Yes, I do agree with Mrs. Mary Ricketti that learning to navigate the bus system instead that relying on the door-to-door service is liberating to both communities. On my experience from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, it seems to me that the ADA Law is not enough and more resources are necessary for individuals on both expectrums of society. The Fixed route is open for everyone. Everybody needs help getting started.

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