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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While I think new sources of funding for public transit have to be found/developed in order for Toledo to achieve the ideals discussed here, in the short term, businesses could do a lot to minimize the degree to which the TARTA cuts impact people's ability to work. I don't know whether scheduling a person with a disability who uses TARTA only Monday-Saturday would be something the ADA would require, legally, as a reasonable accommodation, but businesses could adopt the attitude that it is, and proactively convey the message, "If you depend on TARTA, we won't reject your application or fire you because you can't work Sundays." Employers could even have conversations / meetings with nondisabled, driving employees with the message, "We are committed to hiring people with disabilities. Since they depend on TARTA and you don't (right now) would you be willing to work Sunday and take another day off on a day when your coworker can use TARTA to get to work?"
We should have some program of educating the universities about the high-functioning, academically-talented people on the autism spectrum - whether it's trainings, or one-on-one meetings with such individuals. People with certain kinds of autism /Asperger's do well in certain academic work, and so they get accepted to colleges, and then the college professors and others at the colleges (in my experience) don't quite get that there's a disability in play. They respond to any mention of someone's barriers and challenge areas with "You can learn that." Sometimes accommodations are refused because the college thinks it's something they can learn (i.e., they're not allowed to record lectures because "you have to learn to pay attention.) I went to a college in a small town, but the career counselors assumed everyone was capable of moving everywhere to take a job. If you explained some of the problems you had with life skills, getting around and learning a new place, and being safe, the response was something like, "You need to be more of a risk-taker." Someone can be successful academically and still not have some of the common sense, safety, and life skills that it takes to safely move far away from home, and this becomes a problem if the jobs that you do best aren't around your area. I envision kind of a "support exchange program" with other cities - like exchange programs for people who want to study in other countries. A family in another city who has someone with that same disability supporting someone who has moved there for an internship or entry-level job.
Why is "assisted living" only for people over a certain age, rather than for people of all ages with disabilities? I know there is a focus on not segregating people with disabilities, but we seem to accept seniors living primarily with other seniors. My grandmother spent the last few years of her life at a place I joked was like a dorm for old people. Residents had their own unit / apartment (it was something of a cross between a hotel room, an apartment and/or a dorm room), but there was a common dining area that had meals a couple of times a day, planned activities, staff to help with activities of daily living, and vans that took residents on errands every week or so. The parent company of that one was, I believe, Brookdale, but there are many. Seniors don't seem to mind living mainly with other seniors. The needs of many older people and the needs of younger people who have always had disabilities may be alike, so a similar model might work for both. My grandmother, who had once thought she was too old to make new friends, made friends there. Had she stayed in her own apartment, it would have been hard for her to get around and see people (especially after she stopped driving.) If people with disabilities have apartments in the community but transportation or other barriers make it hard to get to social activities, they can end up being isolated. And some people with intellectual disabilities struggle with the social skill of seeking people out and seeking out assistance when they need it.
We need to provide services, camps, for kids over the age of 13 that are aged out of summer camps or after school care. Unfortunately many disabled kids i’m not able to stay home alone but yet their parents still need to go to work to provide for them.
How about news people who use up to date, respectful language? Perhaps a training for all the local news stations on disability and a resource for them to check with. A lot of people take their cue on what's appropriate from what they hear news anchors say on tv.