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Transportation Options for Individuals with intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Amy Goodman, Autism NOW Krystian Boreyko, Easter Seals Project ACTION

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Presenter’s Profile
Amy Goodman, MA Co-Director of Autism NOW The Arc 1825 K Street NW, Suite 1200 Washington, DC 20006 202-600-3489

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The Air Carrier Access Act
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel and requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities.

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The Air Carrier Access Act (cont.)
• • • • Passed by Congress 1986 Covers all disabilities, including broken bones Cannot refuse a passenger because of disability Must provide any information given to others

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The Air Carrier Access Act (Cont.)
• Cannot require proof of disability • Do not generally require travel with another person as a condition to fly • Air carriers cannot charge for providing facilities, equipment, or services • Airports must be accessible and usable for all individuals

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The Air Carrier Access Act (Cont.)
Provides assistance with: • Moving to and from seats • Enplaning and deplaning • Preparation for eating • Use of wheelchair if needed • Stowing, retrieving carry-on items • Access to information of importance

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The Air Carrier Access Act
Does not assist with: • Cannot lift or carry an individual • Cannot feed an individual • Using the restroom • Cannot help with elimination functions or any medical services

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Tips for Air Travel
• • • • • • Plan Ahead Be Assertive Research Airlines Navigating Airport Security Utilize airline assistance hotlines Know your rights as a passenger

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Transportation Security Administration

Procedures for screening and checkpoints Information related to disability TSA’s Notification Card to help communicate discretely. All passengers regardless of medical condition or disability must be screened • Depending on disability or medical condition the screening may be different • • • •

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Acceptable Items on an Airplane
• • • • • • • • • • • • • Casts Crutches Wheelchairs Support Braces Service Animals Ostomy supplies Canes Walkers Scooters Hearing Aids Slate and stylus Coclear Implants Any other disability related equipment and associated supplies • • • • • • • • • • • • • Orthopedic shoes Prosthetic devices Support appliances Baby apnea monitors Augmentation devices Exterior medical devices Assistive/adaptive equipment CPAP machines and respirators Braille note takers Tools for prosthetic devices Personal supplemental oxygen concentrators Medications and associated supplies Tools for wheelchair disassembly/reassembly All diabetes related medication, equipment, and supplies

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Transportation Security Administration

• All items must be screened or visually inspected • Including wheelchairs and scooters • Types of screenings: o Metal detector o Advanced imaging technology o Pat down screening o TSA’s notification card

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Transportation Security Administration

• The type of screening you use will depend on your disability or medical condition • Discuss the options with TSA prior to the screening to choose the appropriate one • Be patient • Be honest • Know your rights

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Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
• TSA Cares: Help Line- Call 3 days prior to travel 1-855-787-2227 • Hours of Operation o Monday-Friday 8am-11pm EST o Holidays 9am-8pm EST • E-mail:

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Touching Individuals with Autism and other

Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities

Appropriate or Inappropriate?

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Touching Individuals with Autism and other

Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
• • • • • Ask first Use firm pressure when touching someone Explain what you are doing and why you doing it. Never use light touch Only touch necessary places

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Tactile Defensiveness
• Touching can be a problem for individuals with disabilities. • The reason: tactile defensiveness • Body and brain use flight or fight response • Individual may hit if touched the wrong way • It is not their fault, they may not understand why they did it

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Tactile Defensiveness
• • • • • • Sensory Issues Different reactions to sensations Don’t be alarmed or frightened Touch in a non-intrusive way Only touch if absolutely necessary Minimize touching body unless individual is okay with it.

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Obtaining a Driver’s License
• Against law- not to report • Procedure-exactly the same • Medical form

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Obtaining a Driver’s License
What to bring with you: • Medical form o filled out and signed by doctor • Birth Certificate o Original copy o Courthouse not hospital o Proof of identity • Social Security Card o Legally given name o Social security number • Proof of Residency o two forms o i.e. voter registration card, bank statement
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Driver’s License- How to acquire?
• • • • • • • Fill out application and medical form Go to Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Take required information Take up to desk and get number Wait turn Take written exam Take eye exam

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Driver’s License- How to acquire (cont.)
• • • • • • Take picture Pay fees For more information contact local DMV In person On phone On-line

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Adapting Motor Vehicles
• Evaluate your needs • Select the right vehicle • Choose qualified dealer to modify the vehicle

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Evaluating your Needs
• Driver Rehabilitation Specialists o Evaluation includes • Vision • Muscle strength • Coordination • Reaction Time • Judgment and decision making skills • Ability to drive with the equipment Insurance Company may pay

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Selecting the right vehicle
• Collaboration: you, evaluator, and modification dealer • You: purchase or lease vehicle • Vehicle modification dealer: properly modifying the vehicle

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Choose qualified dealer to modify the vehicle
• State Agencies specify dealer you must use- for reimbursement purposes • Phone inquiry-ask questions • Credentials, experience, and references • Visit dealer-ask questions • Specific questions: Cost, payment, how long, etc.

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Auto Insurance for Individuals with

• Illegal for an insurance company to charge higher premiums solely on the basis of a disability • ADA- prohibits insurance companies from increasing auto insurance rates for disabled individuals without any due cause • Diabetes, epilepsy, and certain heart conditions

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Auto Insurance for Individuals with

• Anyone can get auto insurance providing you have a car and a valid drivers license • Be upfront about disability • Provide any documentation to get best rate possible • Some disabilities may require additional coverage

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Disability Plates and Permits
• Qualifying disabilities • Portable oxygen • Legal blindness • One leg or no legs • Inability to walk 200ft • Neuro-muscular dysfunction • Class III or IV cardiac conditions • Arthritic, neurological or orthopedic conditions • Lung disease • Physical or mental impairments which are equal in degree of disability

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Disability Plates and Permits
• Proof of disability • Need doctor to fill out the forms for you (MD,DO,DPM, OD) • “Application for License Plates and Parking Permits for People with Severe Disabilities” • Available at DMV, call center, or internet • Doctor’s statement less than 1yr old • Doctor’s Letterhead • Doctor’s licensing state, number and signature are required

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Disability Plates and Permits
• License Plates: International Symbol • Passenger cars • Motorcycles • Vans • Pick ups not for commercial use • Only issued for a vehicle registered in the name of person who has the disability • May only have one set of plates

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Disability Plates and Permits
• Person with disability must be travelling in the car in order to use handicapped parking spaces • Never park in access aisle or striped area next to a reserved space • Remember you are not exempt from parking regulations or fees • If you move to a new state, you must start over with your proof of disability

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Driver Services
• • • • Vocational Rehabilitation Assessment and Training Services Teens, Seniors, and individuals with disabilities Check with local VOC REHAB for specifics o Each one may have slightly different requirements

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Tax Relief Scheme for Vehicles
• Vehicle must be modified for a specific disability to qualify • Individual must have a severe and permanent medical condition or disability in that they cannot use the lower half of their body • Need to have a Primary medical Certificate to qualify

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Tax Relief Scheme for Vehicles
• Vehicles that are relieved of taxes must be used primarily for the transportation of a qualifying person with a disability • Three ways to apply: o Driver with a disability o Passenger with a disability o Family members

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Car Share
• Car Sharing is a service that provides 24/7 self-serve access to a network of vehicles stationed around your city, which can be reserved by the hour or day via smart phone, internet and call centers. • Use and return it when you trip is over • Cities: Washington DC (Zip Car), Austin (Car2Go), Boston (ICar),Los Angeles (LAXcarshare),Oklahoma City (Time Car), New York City (Mint), and other countries as well. • For more info: refer to the handout that will be emailed to you.

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Bike Share
• Bicycles that you share by reserving them by the hour ($1.50 and up), day ($5-$10), or year ($60-$75). • For reservations: visit kiosk, use credit card, punch in code, remove bike, ride and return • Cities: Boston, Denver, Miami Beach, Minneapolis, and Washington DC • For more info: refer to handout that will be e-mailed to you.

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• • • • • • • • • • •

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Transportation Options and Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities
Krystian Boreyko Training and Technical Assistance Specialist

Easter Seals Project ACTION
April 30, 2013


Meet the Presenter

Krystian Boreyko


Easter Seals Transportation Group
• Multiple projects focusing on:
– Accessible transportation for people with disabilities – Transportation for older adults – Veterans’ transportation concerns – School transition programs and travel skills for students – Mobility management

Easter Seals Project ACTION
• Funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration
• Housed within Easter Seals Office of Public Affairs Since 1988

Our Mission
To promote universal access to transportation for people with disabilities under federal law and beyond by partnering with transportation providers, people with disabilities and others through the provision of training, technical assistance, applied research, outreach and communication.

Session Outline
• Overview of ADA regulations for transportation
• Available transportation options including: – – – – Buses Paratransit Trains and Subways Taxis


ADA Basics
• The ADA is a civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities
• Regulations pertaining to transportation intended to create an equal travel environment • Requirement to make reasonable modification to policies and procedures


ADA Regulatory and Enforcement Authority
• US DOJ – Title II public entities – Title III places of public accommodation and commercial facilities • US DOT – Title II Part B public transportation • Private transportation – taxicabs and motor coaches • Transit facilities

Stop Announcements
1. At transfer points with other fixed routes 2. At other major intersections and destination points 3. At intervals along a route sufficient to permit individuals with visual disabilities to be oriented to their location 4. At the request of a person with a disability


Route Identification
• If a stop is served by more than one route, operator must make sure a route identification announcement is made at the stop for waiting passengers
• Operators must know the other routes well enough to provide travel instructions • Announcement must be loud enough for individuals to hear clearly


Service Animals
• No national certification process for identifying service animals
• Transportation providers can not ask for: – A certificate – Identification card – Note from a physician – The animal to wear a vest or other identifying gear – No limitation on the type of animal


Determining Service Animal Status
• A transportation provider can ask:
– – – – – Is that a service animal? Is that a pet? What tasks does the animal perform? Must rely on the answer provided by the customer Can not ask for a demonstration

Finer points of regulation
• No limit to the number of animals a person uses
– One in training – Performing different tasks • Fear, allergies, other objections not a reason to deny service – For the driver – For other passengers • Handler must always be in control of the animal


If There is a Problem
• Speak to the person handling the animal
• Explain the problem • Allow the person to take action

• Follow policies regarding what to do when disruption occurs on the vehicle

Regulations on Mobility Devices
• The term “common wheelchair” has been removed from the regulatory language
• Originally intended as operational use of design concept • In practice, was used to exclude customers using mobility aids that didn’t meet the definition • Court found that this was legal given the DOT language on “common wheelchairs”


New Regulatory Language
Transit providers must carry a wheelchair and occupant
– If the lift (or ramp) and vehicle can physically accommodate them – Unless doing so is inconsistent with legitimate safety requirements


Lifts, Ramps, and Securement Areas
• Lifts are for the use of anyone who asks for them.
– Need not be a person using a wheelchair. • Securement spaces for the use of passengers in wheelchairs • ADA requires securement be available. Transit agencies can have a policy on use. • If your agency has a policy requiring securement but equipment is unable to secure the mobility device, you are still required to transport the individual.

Amendments for Rail
• Rail station requirements apply only to new or altered commuter, intercity and high-speed station platforms
• No retrofitting is required

• Where no track through station is shared with freight, full-length level-entry boarding is required

Methods to Achieve Performance Standard
• Full-length level-entry boarding
• Car-borne lifts • Station-based lifts

• Mini-high platforms

ADA Resources
• Federal Transit Administration •

• U.S. Access Board •



Public Transportation Services
• Fixed Route
• Demand Response • Motorcoach

• ADA Complementary Paratransit


How to Ride
• Trip planning
– Visit your local transit provider’s website – Level of service depends on population size – Take advantage of customer service line • Online resources – Google transit directions


Accessibility for Fixed Route
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • External vehicle signs Bike racks Steps, lifts, ramps, kneeling system Wheelchair boarding and deboarding processes Fare box Internal vehicle signs Alternative format signs Stop request signals Priority seating area Mobility aid securement system Securement locations and processes Public Announcement (PA) system Security equipment and processes Safety equipment and processes


• Popular in more rural areas
• Rides are reserved ahead of time • Smaller vehicles

• Often does not have designated stops
• Origin to destination service


Motorcoach Service
• Larger vehicles

• Travel longer distances
• Wheelchair Lift located in rear of vehicle • On trip longer than 3 hours, drivers must provide a comfort stop on request if the coach has an inaccessible restroom • Operators providing interline service to customers using mobility devices are required to contact all subsequent carriers so that each one is prepared to provide accessible service for the customer at 64 transfer points

DOT Definition of Large and Small Operators
• Determined by annual revenue • Large operator has gross annual transportation revenue equal to or exceeding $9.3 million • Small operator has a gross annual transportation revenue less than $9.3 million


Accessibility of Fleet
• Large operators are expected to have accessible fleets
• Replace inaccessible buses as they go out of service

• Most should be close to 100% accessible by now


Accessibility of Fleets (cont.)
• Small operators may request customers to give 48 hours notice if an accessible vehicle is needed
• If the request is not made in advance, provider is still required to make a good faith effort to provide an accessible vehicle


ADA Complementary Paratransit
• Paratransit as a complement to fixed route service
– Each public entity operating a fixed route system shall provide paratransit or other special service to individuals with disabilities that is comparable to the level of service provided to individuals without disabilities who use the fixed route system. § 37.121 (a).


Where Paratransit Goes
• Service must be comparable to fixed route service
• Must service within ¾ mile of the fixed route • For rail or bus stations, service must be within a ¾ mile radius round the station • If an eligible rider resides outside service area, s/he can travel into service area and then use the service


Eligibility for Paratransit Services
Three categories of eligibility:
• Category 1: includes persons with disabilities that are unable to use accessible fixed route service

• Category 2: includes persons with disabilities that have the ability to use the accessible fixed route services, but the service available is not accessible
• Category 3: includes persons with disabilities that are unable to travel to or from a station or a bus stop

Types of Eligibility
• Unconditional: Not reasonable for individual to use fixed-route services for any trips under all conditions
• Conditional: Individual is able to use fixed-route services under certain conditions • Temporary: For an individual whose disability is temporary or functional abilities are expected to change


Scope of Paratransit Service
• Trips are origin-to-destination
• Systems can have a basic level of service – Curb-to-curb – Door-to-door

• No specified trip type: can be medical, work, recreation, etc.


• Heavy Rail
• Light Rail • Passenger Rail


• Level boarding
• Tactile strips along platform edge at key stations • Area in rail vehicle for mobility device

• Stop announcements
• Stations made accessible with elevators


• Must offer same level of customer service
• Drivers provide assistance upon request (not including lifting the passenger)

• Must transport customers in mobility devices
• Must transport service animals • Cannot charge additional fees


Important Note

Passenger can request assistance from the operator on any mode


Learning to Ride
• Travel Training:
– Learning to ride public transportation independently – Contact ESPA for more information on travel training services in your area


Different Levels of Travel Training
• Transit Orientation – Group or individual activity which explains the transportation systems – Options and services available – Use of maps and schedules; – Paying fare; – Use of mobility devices while boarding, riding and exiting – Other vehicular features


Levels of Travel Training (cont.)
• Familiarization
– Individual or small group trip activity to demonstrate the use of transportation systems; – A travel trainer accompanying experienced traveler(s) on a new mode of transportation or route.


Levels of Travel Training (cont.)
• Travel Training for an Experienced Traveler – One-to-one short-term instruction – Provided to an individual who has previously traveled independently – Provided to individual who needs additional training or support to use • A different mode of travel • A different route • Mode of transit • Travel to a new destination


Levels of Travel Training (cont.)
• Travel Training for a New Traveler
– One-to-one comprehensive, specially designed instruction in the skills and behaviors necessary for independent travel on public transportation – Provided to an individual who does not have independent travel concepts or skills to go from point of origin of trip to destination and back


Thank you!
Krystian Boreyko 800-659-6428


Webinar Materials The PowerPoint, recording and additional handouts will be provided in a follow-up email. Email Phuong ( ) if you have any questions.

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