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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If your organization, union or business wants to become involved in pushing the state of Ohio's government to fund public transportation more adequately, there is a new coalition called MOVE (Mobility and Opportunity for a Vibrant Economy) working on just that. The Ability Center is involved, and their advocates will have more information. Another contact is Amanda Woodrum who can be found through the web site of Policy Matters Ohio, a Columbus-based research institute.
I realize you're not talking here about access to basic medical care per se. That seems to be something not emphasized in the Disability Dialog. That may be because it may not be the most immediate need of the disability community, given that a significant number of people with disabilities qualify for Medicaid and/or Medicare. It is more difficult to make your case for those, however, when your disability is somewhat obscure or invisible - such as high-functioning autism. The Medicare for All Act of 2019 was just re-introduced into the House of Representatives. This link is from the web site of the Congresswoman who introduced it. https://jayapal.house.gov/medicare-for-all/ This bill would allow everyone in the US to have a public health care plan like Medicare. The following is from an email that the advocacy group Single-Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPAN Ohio) just sent out: "Long-term services and supports will be fully covered by the Medicare for All program.The legislation requires that the program presume that recipients of all ages and disabilities will receive long-term services and supports through home and community-based services unless the individual chooses otherwise." This plan would also completely eliminate the issue of people with disabilities having to limit how much they work in order to remain on Medicaid. And a lot of government time and money would be saved because people would no longer have to go through application processes to prove they have a disability in order to get Medicaid. And consider the added financial security for those working as HPC staff. BUT what I would like to see disability advocates do is come out in favor of this kind of bill but pitch it as, "You shouldn't have to have a disability to get public health insurance...the rest of the community shouldn't have to earn access to health care." I see this as opportunity to build relationships between the disability community and those who wouldn't normally consider themselves a part of it, through the disability community offering something that could improve everyone's quality of life. I have participated in discussions where it has been asked how much people not immediately affected by disability care about helping make the community more disability friendly. I would say, a reason why those people may seem not to care is, they are too busy surviving.
Adding to what Sarah Sol says, below, I think the "nothing is impossible / attitude is everything" mantras can cut both ways: for everyone, but especially for people with disabilities, they can come across as criticizing or blaming the person for not doing something, or can be used as rationalizations for why a person with a disability doesn't need accommodations. Perhaps this means we need to reevaluate the "nothing is impossible" messages we give non-disabled people, too. I have been to millions of seminars (mostly aimed at non-disabled people) where it is assumed that everyone is holding back from doing things they are longing to do out of fear of failure, or of being different. I have never felt that these were my motivations; these kinds of seminars don't address the real barriers for me. And there are situations where trying something and failing can mean serious injury or death - like with trying to learn to drive. But perhaps, if we admitted more that some things are impossible or hard to achieve for many nondisabled people, people with disabilities might not feel as stigmatized for not achieving certain things?
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)?