AFB is particularly concerned about AV accessibility. Without clear federal standards and enforcement, people who are blind or low vision are likely to be left out of the vehicles promise. On this priority, we encourage DOT to make accessibility and non-visual access a key priority in research activities and vehicle approvals. Requiring accessibility from the onset will ultimately enable equal access. In addition, DOT should work with states to ensure that not only will licensure processes be accessible but also insurance practices must not discriminate against people who are blind or have low vision.
Considering existing forms of transportation, inaccessible technologies are a common complaint of people who are blind. Many transit systems do not post their routes and schedules in accessible formats, arrival time systems may be inaccurate or unusable, and transit systems fail to take advantage of innovative technology systems that are accessible and convenient to riders. DOT should provide technical assistance and encouragement to support states, localities, and providers in meeting their obligations under Title II of the ADA.
Additionally, DOT should work with DOJ as appropriate to ensure that transportation providers, including TNCs and taxis, are providing accessible services that encourage ridership by people with disabilities. Common concerns continue to be the lack of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, discrimination against service animal users, and lack of support for parents, all of which limit access to these services by people with disabilities. Beyond supporting individual access, improving the accessibility of private services is likely to increase the opportunities for investment in accessible public-private transportation partnerships and ensure that the partnerships which do exist are equitable.