A disability-friendly community asks its citizens to become creative problem-solvers. If some of us have a problem, we all have a problem. When we solve it for some, we can solve it for all. Disability Dialog is your invitation to weigh-in on key topics, and offer your ideas and/or suggestions for solutions—the more creative the better!
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Thank you for providing this platform. What I find as a severely disabled person is the lack of social acceptance of 'invisible illness' which can be mental & physical. A campaign of education to enlighten the community that not all disabilities are visible would perhaps change perceptions. Cheers
Are churches and other groups that meet on Sundays organizing their car-driving members to give rides to those without transportation? Also, if your event is Monday-Saturday, and people will be taking TARPS or other specialized transportation, advanced notice is very helpful. TARPS rides can be booked up to seven days before the day of the trip, and sometimes waiting until the day before is risky - the time you want isn't always available. Knowing about events a week or more out is helpful.
Uber and Lyft are currently cheaper than taxis, but economists are now saying their model won't sustain itself and they may have to raise fares. The current cost is still problematic for some people with low incomes, and people with low incomes may not have credit cards or smart phones, both of which are necessary for Uber and Lyft. Another issue is that Uber drivers use their own cars which may not be accessible. And then there is the safety issue. How background-checked are Uber and Lyft drivers? There have been some stories about assaults by or against drivers. For a female, Uber seems a little too much like a ride with a stranger. I even once heard a TARTA official say that people TARTA fires go to work for Uber (meaning, Uber doesn't have the same standards.) What steps could be taken to ensure that Uber drivers will not harm passengers? Could they be made to undergo TARTA's background checks? Could TARTA make money by charging a fee for these background checks? Or, could the Ability Center or another agency that thoroughly checks its employees check Uber drivers? Could we develop a network of volunteers who are background-checked by, perhaps, the Ability Center, who then provide rides (perhaps, with the passenger contributing to fuel cost)?
We seem to hear/read a lot these days about the need for young adults (20s and 30s) to be more independent from their parents. And we talk a lot about "empowerment" and use it to mean "doing whatever you want." People who make these speeches or write these articles are usually thinking about 20-or-30-somethings who (they assume) don't have disabilities. Or they don't think about disabilities. But touting independence and empowerment as virtues can sound like criticism of people who need support in every day life (due to disabilities).
Everywhere you turn today, you read or hear something about "being yourself" and "not caring what others think." School vocational programs, job developers, and others who are helping people with disabilities find jobs may need to, as part of preparing the person for jobs, need to delve into how to balance "being yourself" with the reality that you have to work a schedule and do certain things an employer's way in order to have a job (and, to some extent, do certain things that are appropriate in order to live in the community.) This may be an issue for any young person, but people with DD (particularly autism) may be especially prone to taking "be-yourself"-type motivational lectures literally.
Another observation related to transportation: it seems like everywhere we turn today, we hear or read something designed to inspire us to be independent and live our lives exactly the way we want, with no thought for "what others will think." But that becomes more challenging when something as simple as getting to a place you want to go is challenging. Sometimes the encouragements to be more independent can feel like criticisms to those who have transportation barriers and/or need other similar everyday supports - and can't change the fact that we need them.