Transportation Legislative Agenda for the 112th Congress (2011-2012)

Millions of Americans with disabilities have difficulties obtaining transportation.  People often have trouble traveling from place to place because transit systems are unavailable, inaccessible, or not coordinated.  Transportation provides a vital lifeline for people with disabilities to access employment, education, health care, and community life.  With the upcoming reauthorization of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) and the urgent need for economic stimulus, significant expansion of public transportation is possible.  These investments will achieve many important societal goals such as more jobs, a cleaner environment, and better mobility options for seniors and people with disabilities.  Principles of universal design should be integrated in the development of new transportation devices and projects to ensure greater mobility for people with disabilities. 

The 112th Congress should expand transportation opportunities for people with disabilities by:

  • Increasing funding for the Federal Transit Administration programs, including mass transit programs (including paratransit), Section 5310 program for the elderly and people with disabilities, Section 5317  New Freedom program, the United We Ride interagency initiative, and other critical programs;
  • Creating funding opportunities for coordinated services across jurisdictional lines;
  • Streamlining the 5310 program so that it is readily available for non-profit organizations so that they can carry out their missions;
  • Expanding mobility management and travel training services for individuals with disabilities in order to create more public and private coordinated transportation systems;
  • Simplifying the coordinated planning process for the programs that serve people with disabilities and creating transparency and accountability at the Department of Transportation;
  • Ensuring that state and local transportation systems address accessibility;
  • Promoting tax policy that encourages greater mobility for people with disabilities;
  • Improving accessibility in and around transit locations;
  • Promoting policies that expand the availability of accessible taxis, buses, and other transportation vehicles and systems, particularly for travel in rural and underserved communities and across jurisdictional lines;
  • Providing funding to Amtrak to improve station accessibility and holding Amtrak accountable for a plan to achieve full accessibility;
  • Improving airline accessibility; and
  • Requiring new federally supported transportation technologies to meet universal design standards.

Legislative Agenda Partners

We are national organizations that serve and advocate for people with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities. We work together to shape, expand, and protect a strong federal role that provides vital benefits, services and supports and assures civil rights for our constituency.