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Transportation

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities1 must have access to both public and private transportation to lead full, independent lives.

Issue

Our constituents lack sufficient access to mass transit, paratransit, trains, ferries, airplanes, their own vehicles, and other modes of transportation to perform everyday activities.  Even where accessible public transportation exists, adults with disabilities consider transportation inadequate.  In the U.S., 24 million individuals with disabilities use public transit to maintain their independence and participate fully in society.  For many, it is their only transit option.

Although federal and state legislation encourages more people with all types of disabilities to go to work, getting to work requires transportation.  Inadequate transportation inhibits community involvement.  Those living in rural areas often face the greatest challenge of all due to total lack of public transportation and long distances between destinations.

Position

Transportation agencies, service providers, and advocacy organizations must ensure that:

  • There is increasing flexibility and growth in available transportation options throughout the U.S. for our constituents, including those in rural areas.
  • Public transportation is adequately funded and available.
  • Existing public transportation is accessible, available in a timely manner, and equipped to suit the physical, sensory, and/or cognitive needs of all people.
  • Paratransit systems for those who need them must be available at comparable cost and funded as an alternative to mass transportation.
  • Our constituents have the option of owning and operating their vehicles
Adopted: Board of Directors, The Arc
August 4, 2008
  Board of Directors, AAIDD
August 18, 2008
  Congress of Delegates, The Arc of the United States
November 8, 2008

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1 “People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities” refers to those defined by AAIDD classification and DSM IV. In everyday language they are frequently referred to as people with cognitive, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities although the professional and legal definitions of those terms both include others and exclude some defined by DSM IV.