Accessible transportation is critical for people with disabilities to have the freedom to travel where, when, and how they choose. Transportation holds a influential key in providing people with access to employment, health care, education, community services, and activities necessary for daily living.Transportation providers are obviously crucial in making accessible transportation happen. And there’s a lot involved, when you consider all the ways in which we travel. Airplane, train, paratransit, bus, subway, van pool, taxi…
This resource page is developed especially for transportation providers, to support them in making transportation accessible and safe for the millions of people in the United States who have disabilities. If you’re a transportation provider, you may have questions about disability etiquette, what the law requires, how to make accommodations for a traveler with a disability, and much more. We hope these resources will answer your questions and help support the work you do as you provide transportation to travelers with disabilities.
Easter Seals Project ACTION (Accessible Community Transportation In Our Nation) is a national program that supports innovation and cooperation in solving transit accessibility problems. If you have questions about what federal laws require in terms of offering accessible transportation, if you need technical assistance in making accessible transportation happen in your community, Project ACTION is the place to come. A fine place to start is with the Frequently Asked Questions page.
U.S. Department of Transportation.
What better authority on accessible transportation for everyone than the DOT?
As always, disability.gov is an excellent source of information on disability issues. The link above will take you to the site’s “Transportation” page, which breaks down further into:
- Accessible Transportation (which offers separate resource pages on the type of travel: air, automobiles, bus & rail, paratransit, and passenger vessels);
- Funding Sources (which highlights funding and grant programs for increasing the accessibility of transportation to people with disabilities);
- Transportation Providers & Communities (who’s who in transportation);
- Accessibility Tools & Guidelines (all about federal standards on accessibility in transpo, and practical toolkits for involving people with disabilities in planning transportation systems);
- Research and Statistics.
Federal Transit Adminstration
The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity and access for persons with disabilities. The Federal Transit Administration works to ensure nondiscriminatory transportation in support of its mission to enhance the social and economic quality of life for all Americans. The FTA Office of Civil Rights is responsible for civil rights compliance and monitoring to ensure nondiscriminatory provision of transit services. On the FTA’s website, you can find all sorts of guidance and technical assistance materials.
United States Access Board
1-800-872-2253 (Voice); 1-800-993-2822 (TTY)
The Access Board is an independent Federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. The link above lands you on the Access Board’s home page. On the left navigation menu, you’ll see “Transportation” is one of the areas emphasized by the Board. As a category, it breaks down into Vehicles, Transit Facilities, and Passenger Vessels. Under each of these domains, you’ll find applicable federal guidelines and regulations, as well as resources of assistance. Technical assistance is also available through the Board’s 1.800 telephone service.
Community Transportation Association.
Lots going on here, including some of CTA’s projects. Example: CTA operates the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination (NRC) on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration. The fundamental purpose of the NRC is to provide states and communities with the support they need to better integrate public transportation services with the services and demands of their human services networks.
United We Ride.
United We Ride (UWR) is a federal interagency initiative aimed at improving the availability, quality, and efficient delivery of transportation services for older adults, people with disabilities, and individuals with lower incomes. In addition to state coordination grants, United We Ride provides state and local agencies a transportation-coordination and planning self-assessment tool, help along the way, technical assistance, and other resources to help their communities succeed.
ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles.
Here’s what the ADA regulations require for all kinds of transportation vehicles, from buses, vans, and systems, to intercity rail cars, to over-the-road buses and systems.
AbleData’s Transportation page.
Here, you can find out more about products and assistive technology devices to enable people with disabilities to drive or ride in cars, vans, trucks, and buses.
Need tips on interacting with your customers with disabilities?
If you’re a transit provider, you may appreciate this great video of travelers thanking all the transportation providers out there…