Learn More about This Dialogue

Why is this dialogue taking place?

In carrying out its accessibility priorities, the Department will be guided by four overarching themes that cut across transportation types and operating administrations:

  1. Complete trip: DOT’s accessibility work will be guided by the “complete trip” concept. All travelers, especially those with disabilities, should be able to get from their starting point to their destination spontaneously and independently, being able to navigate sidewalks, intersections, transit facilities, rail stations, vehicles, and all other parts of the transportation network with ease and confidence: not just curb-to-curb and door-to-door, but point-to-point.
  2. Partnerships: DOT will work collaboratively with other Federal agencies, State governments, metropolitan planning organizations, local transportation agencies, the private sector, and other stakeholders toward making existing transportation infrastructure accessible. Further, DOT will encourage new transportation projects to be designed with all users in mind. Given that infrastructure maintenance can have accessibility implications, DOT will also work to address accessibility through current grant programs and prioritize keeping infrastructure in good repair.
  3. Innovation: DOT will encourage research technologies that have the potential to remove barriers to accessibility in the transportation system. DOT will seek to complement research done by leading academic institutions, the private sector and other entities to fill gaps that industry is not already covering. DOT will work to remove any regulatory barriers affecting innovative products that will improve accessibility in transportation while prioritizing safety.
  4. Geographic Equity: Rural residents with disabilities face unique challenges accessing transportation, including lack of public transit, longer distances to desired destinations, and increased reliance on personal car ownership as a means of transportation. Therefore, simply applying urban solutions to rural communities is not enough. Consistent with DOT’s Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative, DOT will ensure that the Department’s accessibility and technological initiatives take into account the unique needs of rural residents and consider the initiatives’ impact on rural communities.

Why participate?

Thank you for participating in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s virtual ceremony, “Breaking Down Barriers: Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.” This landmark civil rights law led to major improvements in transit systems across the country. However, there are still barriers that we need to address, such as access to on-demand, accessible transportation services. The spirit of the ADA was to ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. As we celebrate many accomplishments stemming from the ADA over the past three decades, we have an opportunity to build on its success.

During the ceremony, we announced a department-wide Accessibility Strategic Plan Framework and are seeking stakeholder feedback to inform the full Strategic Plan. We are seeking to tap into the knowledge of the disability community, researchers, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and others who are interested in advancing the accessibility of the nation’s transportation system. Please review the proposed goals and additional information and weigh in with your ideas, comments, and votes!

Who should participate?

People with disabilities, advocates, researchers, transportation industry representatives, policy-makers, federal partners, and others who are interested in advancing the accessibility of America's transportation system.