Transferring Not an Option for People with Disabilities

For a visually/hearing impaired (not blind and deaf, just impaired) person like me transferring is simply not an option irregardless of technology and accommodations except to have a ride-along "coach" to manage the transitions. Expansion of more shared ride services (SRS) is the only option short of providing door-to-door car services which are generally cost-prohibitive. This resource in every city/state I have lived has been inadequately and mostly a seriously under-funded transit service there is. It's not a option--it is a NECESSITY for many of us. The aged, severely impaired and developmentally disabled populations cannot be viably served without this service. One cannot use them in their current level of available services to get to work. I tried to do this and the service was too underfunded and simply did not have the resources to get me to work on-time or close to it on a consistent basis. Employers will not tolerate constant lateness and missing important meetings and destroying work scheduling. The aged miss or are late for doctor's appointments, scheduled meetings with professional services (legal, financial, etc.) Time, distance, travel conditions and weather make already stretched SRS resources unreliable and not viable for use in a functional way in a business/work environment. There simply aren't enough vehicles, drivers, and support services to make it all work efficiently or effectively Seniors and the disabled cannot tolerate 120% increases while living on poverty-level incomes or very close to it. My SRS provider still had to cut-back on trips. We don't have other options available to us like most folks do especially in smaller cities and towns. Family, neighbors and friends help out when they can but they are busy and have their own issues to manage--jobs, children, work-related travel, community obligations and fulfilling their own household errands. Bottom line: Provide the means for us to live independently, get an education, get and keep a job, pay taxes or taxpayers will have to endure the cost of warehousing and providing for millions of aged and disabled folks. As I see it, pay now or pay a lot more later. It's not much of a choice and its not going to go away. It's an investment into our collective futures. It's a huge undertaking but it can reap enormous rewards if the programs and resources are adequately funded initially and maintained. It may have to be installed in stages due to funding concerns but its progress should be mandated. If not, you've wasted your time and mine. (Submitted on behalf of Jane L.)


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Idea No. 181