As part of our mission to break down barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities, we’re committed to helping those we serve get where they need, and want, to go via accessible transportation. Through the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, we help people find rides and transportation resources to reach employment, appointments, shopping and other destinations. We also can support an organization’s ability to connect with transportation and mobility services in their community through our mobility management work. The National Center for Mobility Management can help you identify those people and organizations in your state, region, or local community that could connect you to the most appropriate transportation service and support the development of coordinated transportation networks.
The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center can help people with disabilities and older adults find out about their community’s available transportation services and connect individuals with transportation operators and mobility managers who can assist in finding transportation when they need it.
The National Center for Mobility Management promotes customer-centered mobility strategies that advance good health, economic vitality, self-sufficiency, and community. NCMM can assist individuals and communities through dissemination of promising practices, a monthly e-newsletter, and customized technical assistance.
Steps to helping you or your client find transportation:
Step 1 – Identify Transportation Needs
- Determine where you want to travel, how often, and the general hours or time of day that you need transportation services.
- Find out whether you are able to use regular public transportation service or would want to participate in travel training or mentoring to learn how to use bus or rail transit.
- If you cannot use regular public transit or private transportation options (e.g., taxi, shared-ride, volunteer drivers), identify whether you will need to meet eligibility requirements for ADA complementary paratransit service or age or income requirements for Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation so that you are aware of the process and paperwork involved to apply for those services.
Step 2 – Connect to a Local Mobility Manager
A mobility manager is an employee of a transit or human service agency who offers on-on-one counseling or group education on transportation options and alternatives to driving. A referral to a local mobility manager will put you in touch with a transportation expert who can offer information on transportation services that are available in the area, offer guidance on how to find a ride, and in some cases, arrange or coordinate rides. A mobility manager’s job is to take a person-centered approach to finding the right transportation based on an individual’s needs.
If you are unable to locate a mobility manager, you can reach out to an Information and Referral Specialist, an Aging and Disability Resource Center, or a 2-1-1 program (see Step 3 for phone numbers and websites).
Step 3 – Learn about Transportation Options in Your Community
Creating a comprehensive list of transportation resources and options can be a daunting task, but chances are others in your community may have already done so. Transportation providers in your community are willing, and often eager, to share their expertise and get the word out about transportation services available. Some transportation options are available through one-click websites. Use the following resources:
- Check the American Public Transportation Association directory to find public transit agencies.
- Call the Eldercare Locator at (800) 677-1116 or visit the elder care locator to find the Area Agency on Aging or the Aging and Disability Resource Center in your community.
- To find the Center for Independent Living in your community, visit the CIL center and association directory.
- Dial 2-1-1 or visit your state’s information services website for a variety of services including transportation.
- Reach out to faith-based organizations and other community groups who offer transportation.
- Friends and family may be able to assist by helping find and schedule transportation, becoming an escort or personal care attendant, or helping to pay for services.
Preparing to Talk to a Transportation Provider
Transportation providers will want to know answers to specific questions about you or your client’s travels in order to help them find the best option, and you or your client should be prepared to ask any questions you have to better understand the service. The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center has prepared a sheet of questions and information you, your client, or family and caregivers will want to address when deciding on the type of transportation service to use.
Need more information?
To read up on the types of transportation available, download a full copy of the NADTC Information brief Identifying and Overcoming Transportation Barriers for Clients at www.nadtc.org. To speak with a technical assistance specialist about additional Easterseals transportation resources, call toll-free (866) 983-3222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Transportation Planning and Community Engagement
Are you planning for or implementing transportation services in your community to expand options for people with disabilities, older adults or travelers of all ages? Do you need practical assistance with inter-agency facilitation, policy development or public engagement? Contact Easterseals Project Action Consulting, a division of Easterseals that provides customized training solutions and technical expertise on the Americans with Disabilities Act and accessible transportation for transportation providers, human service agencies, states, regional agencies, and tribal nations. Learn more at www.projectaction.com, call toll-free (844) 227-3772, or email email@example.com.
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