Report: People with disabilities still left behind
A report by The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and The Leadership Conference Education Fund documents the lack of funding, enforcement, and oversight of transportation programs that allow people with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in community life.
According to the released “Equity in Transportation for People with Disabilities” study, the collected findings demonstrate that federal and local policymakers have failed to fulfill the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provide equal access to affordable transportation for all communities through federal surface transportation legislation. Among the findings:
Many public transit systems– particularly older rail and bus systems, as well as Amtrak–are still inaccessible to people with disabilities.
An estimated 560,000 people with disabilities never leave their homes due to transportation difficulties.
Paratransit services required by the ADA are plagued by poor oversight, high costs to transit agencies and, and woefully inadequate service.
Enforcement of ADA compliance remains spotty.
Significant access problems remain for people living in rural communities.
The report includes recommendations for ensuring that the next surface transportation re-authorization bill can begin to meet the needs of all individuals living in the United States.
“This report underscores how much the civil rights community has at stake in the transportation debate,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “Because of inadequate funding and enforcement, countless people with disabilities can’t reliably vote, work, attend medical appointments, or enjoy full independence.”